Many years ago, like many people, I became enamored of Hermetic Qabalah and joined a “mail-order” organization that claims a lineage back to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Rosicrucians and more. This organization is called the Builders of the Adytum or BOTA, and one of the very first lessons presents a very simple list of statements. They call them the Pattern on the Trestleboard, and they relate to the Tree of Life of the Qabalah. They include them on a card in their deck of Tarot cards and spend a lot of time to elaborate on them in their lessons.
From the first time I read the words, I realized they were a very powerful set of statements that encompass so many aspects of the principles of Qabalah and of Light Working. I kept a printout of them on the wall of my office and I would refer to them regularly. They are insightful and inspirational. I spent hours and hours memorizing them and learning to take them to heart. Even today, some 30 years later, I still find myself referring to them mentally, or uttering one or another as needed.
Each statement corresponds to one of the spheres on the Tree of Life. They serve me as a form of mantra, that I can use during meditation. They also form a beautiful set of daily affirmations that you can use to help you open yourself to the subtle energies and Universal Light.
The meaning may not be obvious when you start, so you read them and understand the surface-level interpretation. But, as you gain knowledge of the Tree of Life, pathworking and Light Working, more and more of their inner meaning will reveal itself. They are highly symbolic in nature and evoke a reaction from and synergy with your subconscious mind.
What is a Trestleboard?
Well, in Freemasonry it is a drawing or diagram used by a Master Mason to convey information to the junior masons about how to do their work. It is used in the first degree of Entered Apprentice and is often confused with the “tracing board”, which is also prominent in other degrees of Freemasonry. Many people use the terms interchangeably, however, they are different.
These diagrams depict the moral, ethical and spiritual lessons for the degree. These are often referred to as “patterns on the trestleboard”, which comes from the way in which a Master Mason would draw out plans on a wax board to explain how the construction was to be done by the junior masons. BOTA and its founder Dr. Paul Foster Case use a lot of Masonic symbolism and systems, and so he gave these statements this name from Freemasonry.
How you can use the affirmations?
Read through them in their entirety. Try to understand what they mean concerning the Universal Light and our spiritual selves. If you have knowledge of the Tree of Life, understand that 0 corresponds to the 3 veils of negative existence (ain, ain soph, ain soph or) and the entire Tree itself. 1 through 10 correspond to the 10 Sephirah in descending order (1 = Kether, 2 = Chokmah, 3 = Binah, 4 = Chesed, 5 = Geburah, 6 = Tiphareth, 7 = Netzach, 8 = Hod, 9 = Yesod and 10 = Malkuth)
Then, you can take them one by one or just focus on one. You can meditate and use the sentence as a mental focus, repeating it mentally as you meditate. You can also use it as a form of spoken Mantra, to repeat over and over while you meditate. If you have a diagram or picture of the Tree of Life and know some of the characteristics of the various spheres, you can look at it and contemplate those characteristics as you meditate.
Another thing, that I find useful is to just think about the affirmations or say them to myself whenever the mood hits, a need arises or I just want to have some additional affirmation.
The Pattern on the Trestleboard
This is the truth about the Self:
- All the Power that ever was or will be is here now.
- I am a center of expression for the Primal Will-to-Good which eternally creates and sustains the Universe.
- Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.
- Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.
- From the exhaustless riches of its Limitless Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material.
- I recognize the manifestation of the Undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.
- In all things, great and small, I see the Beauty of the Divine Expression.
- Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.
- I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.
- In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of Eternal Being.
- The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.