The Zohar (זֹהַר means ‘splendour’ or ‘radiance’) is the most substantial and revered work for the kabbalist. It comprises a group of books, including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, said to have been written by Moses himself). The Zohar discusses the nature of God, the origin and structure of the universe, the nature of souls, redemption, the relationship between human psychology, and the inclination to malevolence, and the inclination of our ‘true self’ to ‘The Light of God’, which has emanated the manifest world and radiates in Creation.
The Zohar also introduces many-layered stories concerning angelic beings, and many New Age angel writers have depended on the Zohar for information about the celestial realms.
The Zohar first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, published by Moses de León, who ascribed the work to Shimon bar Yochai, a rabbi who lived in the 2nd century during the Roman persecution. According to legend, bar Yochai hid in a cave for thirteen years studying the Torah and was inspired by the Prophet Elijah to write the Zohar. Although modern scholarship affirms that the texts must have been written in the Middle Ages, one idea worth considering is that ‘de Leon’ may have channelled the content dictated during meditation. This concept accords with kabbalah – Elijah inspired bar Yochai, even though Elijah was long since dead, then bar Yochai inspired Moses de Leon, who lived at least one thousand years after his death.
I titled Sigil IV The Book of Radiance because several significant characters need to come face to face with ‘the Light of God’ and experience the ‘radiance’ of the Divine. This encounter will ensure their transformation as mature human beings, wised up and competent – able to support a future generation looking to rescuing humanity from potential catastrophe.