Malkuth: The Presence

Malkuth (Hebrew מלכות “kingdom” or “presence”) sometimes called Malchus is the tenth (or first according to the interpretation side) of the sephirot in the Kabalistic Tree of Life, and is located at the foot of the Tree, under Yesod.

Malkuth is the final (or initial point of the ascent) of all the activities of the Tree of Life, the last station of the descent of the flow of Infinite Light through the Sefiroth undergoing countless restrictions and condensations, to the Kingdom of Matter. At the level of Malkuth, Light, also understood as energy and awareness, begins to rise. The order of distinction between high and low is offered to us by the same etymological root of the word Malkhut, which derives from the letters Mem, Lamed and Kaf that form the word “melekh”, which means “king”, or “malakh” which has the meaning of “reign”. These three letters are the initials of the three words: moach (brain,) lev (heart) and caved (liver). The brain represents the seat not only of logical and rational, cold and analytical thinking, but also of intuition. The heart is the seat of the most noble and intense emotions: love and fear, emotion and hope, creative inspiration and sensitivity. The liver is the place where unconscious emotionality, the desire for power, physical vitality, instincts, the most egocentric needs, the tendency to anger and negative emotions reside.
The order of succession of these three letters has been interpreted by Kabbalists as the symbol of the right hierarchical scale to be established within the human being: “moach shalit al ha-lev, shalit al ha-caved” = “the brain controls the heart, which controls the liver”. So the difference between high and low is explained to us by the same physiological structure of the body.

Malkuth, the Kingdom/Presence is associated with the realm of matter/earth and refers to the physical world, but one should not think of this Sephirah as a “non-spiritual”, because although it is the “farthest” emanation from the Divine Source, it is still at the feet, and therefore part of the Tree of Life. It is often said that Kether (the highest Sephira) is at Malkuth, and Malkuth is at Kether, as a beginning and an end connected in a circle that allows the two opposites to be in close contact anyway. As the receiving sphere of all other Sephirots, Malkuth gives tangible form to the other emanations, the Divine energy descends and finds its expression on this level, and our purpose as human beings is precisely to bring that energy back into the circuit and up the Tree.

Malkuth is associated with our feet, firmly planted on Mother Earth, our roots to remind us that we need to be well rooted in the body, aware of our own origins, to be able to rise again to heaven, the home of the CREATOR.

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