28 years ago, when I first started to study at the Mystery School of Maat, it was to learn about Astrology.  Friends of mine had started a course at this amazing place and told me I would love it, so I signed up and went along.  It was the beginning of something incredible.

I wasn’t actually looking for spiritual enlightenment – just a hobby, something I could enjoy doing in my spare time.

The moment I stepped through the doors I knew I had entered something very different.

The building felt alive, and on more than one occasion the hairs on the back of my neck stood fully on end!

My fellow students were – from my perspective – somewhat quirky.  I felt completely out of place – a square peg in a round hole – and it was only because of the effort involved in organising my personal life to get there, that I stayed.

I’m very glad I did. At that point I had no idea that behind the astrology, tarot, inner light, karma classes etc. was a school teaching Qabalah – the practical Qabalah – to be precise.

Once I had completed all the courses I was asked if I would be interested in continuing to study only now the teaching would be on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

I had never heard of Qabalah or the Tree of Life before entering the School of Maat but I had absolutely loved what I had learnt so far so decided to stay and complete my training,

It was the start of something wonderful.  Before, had someone tried to talk to me about angels, crystals or healing I would have cringed because I considered such things to be fanciful nonsense.  However, there is nothing like getting your own proofs to change your mind, and I soon realised my previously dismissive assessments were formulated without taking the trouble to understand or explore further.

With the training I received within Maat everything started to make sense.  My perception widened, I could see more of the bigger spiritual  picture, and understand better how everything interacts and connects.

We were all encouraged to question – its how we find our own truths and how we learn – and I had loads of questions!

We started at the base of the Tree of Life – unlike many other Kabbalah schools which begin at the top – and explored the sort of life we had created for ourselves, the way we took action to get what we want, and examined the way we behaved.

We moved on to what was called the level of the personality covering emotions, thoughts and feelings, and examined those.

Next we focused on connecting with the soul (personal spirit guides were covered within the level of the personality) and studied the different forms of karma: personal, family, national and racial.  Then we looked into our picture of life to see our place within the bigger picture.

The journey continued until we reached the top of the tree and then we started again, at the bottom, this time going deeper.

I learnt about the inner temples, 4 worlds and elemental kingdoms; how to manage my life, and identify and pursue my goals.  The Tree of Life is vast – it is an incredible spiritual tool.  It is also relative to everyday life and beautifully simple.

What the Tree of Life has done for me is enrich my life and given me a sense of purpose and fulfilment.  The teachings have propelled me forward and given me the confidence and courage to explore and pursue my life’s interests.  I discovered my creative ability and found a way to channel it.

I also learnt that spiritual enlightenment cannot be handed on a plate, you have to work for it.  Once you start to expand your thinking there is no going back.  You cannot undo awareness.  There was no question that I would not continue.  There was an excited restlessness inside me now that wanted to keep learning and endeavour to understand.  I studied at the School of Maat for over 15 years.

What I have received is like a degree in life.  It has made me a better person.  A more productive individual.  I was given the tools to help myself and found a creative outlet through which I can help others to do the same.

Myself, and the thousands of others who trained at the School of Maat can never thank our teacher, Jenni Shell, enough for devoting her energy to passing on the ancient wisdom of Qabalah.

Today, the School of Maat has evolved into The Order of the White Lion.  There is also a complete series of Practical Qabalah and Tree of Life workbooks – designed for beginners – available to purchase in pdf and paperback format.

Getting started with Qabalah: Malkuth the Kingdom

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