Ein Sof (or Ayn Sof) into Malkuth: The Endless One, No End, Unending, Becoming

art, illustration, Ein Sofa, Ayn Sof, Freemasonry, Hermetic, Kabbalah

Ein Sof (or Ayn Sof) into Malkuth: The Endless One, No End, Unending, Becoming, 2014
Pen and ink
Gregory B. Stewart

book, The Apprentice, Freemasonry, Masonic
The Apprentice

Originally created as the major frontispiece for The Apprentice, the following is a short selection of the descriptive text that accompanied it. It reads:

Upon the frontispiece of this short work is an illustration depicting the transformative journey from chaos to order – from Ein Sof into the sphere of Malkuth.

Those looking upon this image for the conventions of Masonic initiation will not see them and become quickly lost in its relevant symbolism and devices. While this board purports to hold secret symbolism, its allegorical lesson is not in its many parts, but in its overall message of transformation. What it represents is initiation and transformation, from chaos to order (ordo ab chao), presenting the initiate the opportunity to ascend higher into the limbs of the majestic Kabbalistic Tree of Life, itself a metaphor of transformation in understanding our evolution to the divine.

The chaos from which we come is like a network of roots warped and entwined, choking and starving for nourishment that comes from the light above. Its network striking deep into the foundations of the Prima Materia, the primal earth, never knowing or understanding that their nourishment and growth comes from above.

The Allegorical Tree

tree of life,Gregory B. Stewart,art,illustration

The Allegorical Tree, 2015
Pen and ink
Gregory B. Stewart

This work was devised as the small frontispiece image for the work, The Apprentice, and used as the cover image for the book.

Originally appearing barely larger than a postage stamp, the symbolism at work in this image resonates much more deeply when observed at a larger scale.  In it, the tree represents a literal tree of life, emulating the movement and nuance of the imagined tree of the Kabbalistic tradition.