tend to incorporate many forms of new ages and teachings into counseling a
crisis.  Kabbalah is another tool that can be used in trying to uncover
life's hidden truths.

Kabbalah means to
receive Light from the creator.  Two thousand years ago, the most important
teachings of Kabbalah, termed the Zohar, was revealed in Israel by Rabbi
Shimon Bar Yochai.  This contained information on how the universe works
from 2000 years previous.  This came to Abraham, and passed down to Moses. 
It is all contained in the 5 books of Moses, which form the Zohar.  The
Zohar is the centerpiece of Kabbalah.  The Kabbalah lineage kept it

For centuries, Kabbalah
was only made available to married Jewish males over the age of 40.  It was
forbidden to anyone else.  Initially created completely within just the
realm of Judaism, Kabbalists generally use classical Jewish resources to
describe and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings were held
by followers in Judaism to define the internal meaning of the Hebrew Bible
known as the Torah, and standard Rabbinic literature known as the Talmud. 

Kabbalists consider its
earliest origins predate earth religions, and are pivotal in the foundations
forming the blueprint for philosophies, religions, sciences, arts, and
political systems.  The concept is that before God created the physical
world in six days, there was a first thought.  It is from within that
thought that consciousness stems.

Kabbalah emerged
following earlier varieties of Jewish mysticism in 12th to 13th
century in Southern France and Spain.  It was popularized as an internal
teaching of Hasidic Judaism from the 18th  century onwards.
Twentieth-century interest in Kabbalah has inspired cross-denominational
Jewish renewal and contributed to wider non-Jewish contemporary

One can spend a few
lifetimes to understand authentic Kabbalah.  There are numerous volumes of
material written on the Zohar, Talmud, Torah, the Bible, and other
interpretations that it is difficult to choose what to study.

Ten Sefirot in the process of creation describes
all the worlds.  This can be quite technical.  For our simplified purpose,
one can make a parallel to the 10 planets (one would have to include either
the sun or moon).  Also, if we look at the 7 days which God performed
creation, we can equate it to the 7 chakras. 

Today, there is controversy with 2 schools
of thought about Kabbalah, its authenticity, how it’s taught, and the reason
for its teaching.

Both schools agree that studying Kabbalah
will fill the individual with revelatory light.  At the same time, from a
new age or spiritual prospective, it will reduce one’s stress level, as it
will center a person.  A word of wisdom needs to be applied to this too. 
Being consistent to any practice, whether its yoga, religion, meditation,
prayer, etc. will also center a person.

The 2 schools of Kabbalah studies clash
because of the commercialism that has caused the Kabbalah to become a source
of income for many individuals and institutions.  For example, there is the
Kabbalah Centre which has become popular over the years because of Madonna’s
interest in the Kabbalah.  This is a more westernized, commercialized
version of the Kabbalah.  

Authentic Kabbalah does not have a red
string, sell Kabbalah water, or mix Kabbalah with self-help books,
astrology, psychology, Judaism, Catholicism, or other
spiritual/philosophical movements.  Each of these pursuits are fascinating
in themselves and should be given the proper credit where due.  It is in my
humble belief that the Kabbalah Centre should call themselves a new age
center focusing on ideas taught in the Kabbalah because it is not the
traditional Kabbalah of history.

If one is truly interested in spiritual
growth, they should not be influenced by the current “fad” religion courted
by Hollywood.  Celebrity interest in Kabbalah started with Madonna sporting
a red string.  In no time, the Kabbalah became a commercial success for

In the traditional
Kabbalah, it is best to be taught by an educated scholar.  It is very
technical and it is easy to get lost in the material.  Kabbalah has its own
jargon and ways of belief that may challenge current perceptions.  It is
like studying a new language. 

What prospective
students must be aware of is the institutions that are only interested in
making money off the current popularity of Kabbalistic teaching.  There is
nothing wrong with an institution charging tuition.  After all, rent, air
conditioning, heating, water, and electric utilities need to be paid.
However, any organization spends a lot of time and money on international
marketing campaigns touting its educational abilities needs to be approached
carefully.  Stating promises that studying their principles will help you
draw the perfect career, soul mate, and bring eternal happiness may sound
too good to be true.  This isn’t isolated to just the Kabbalah – it happens
with many other organizations outside of the areas of religion, spirituality
and philosophy.  The goal of all institutions and teachers offering personal
growth should be that the individual will hopefully become more centered and
possibly more in peace, so that they might make a better life for himself as
he would be educated to make better choices.

Kabbalah is an
elaborate and beautiful study that helps one find some more peace in life. 
This is a goal that can be obtained by finding a spirituality, religion,
philosophy of life, etc. that works for you, which is something that I
encourage.  However, before investing time and money into any institution,
verify its offerings and do appropriate research so you go into the practice
without doubt and with eyes open.

Professionally, my studies in Kabbalah have helped develop my counseling
skills for my readings.  Though I was offering readings prior to my studies,
I have developed more knowledge and experience in new age, meditation,
spirituality, and surely Kabbalah.  This additional knowledge has broadened
my counseling abilities, especially when helping clients in a time of

Author's Bio: 

Jackie Williams has worked for as a manager overlooking the talent department for a prominent new age communications company. Later as the internet developed, she diversified her recruitment specialty to server global clients for a internet based spiritual network.
She attained her Master of Arts in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and her BA from Hunter College.