26 years ago, when I first started studying 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 looking for spiritual enlightenment.
I was more interested in finding an interesting hobby.
The moment I stepped through the doors of Maat I felt I had entered something very different. The building felt alive and on more than one occassion the hairs on the back of my neck stood fully on end!
My fellow students were - from my perspective - odd. I was a square peg in a round hole and it was only because I had made the effort to get there, that I stayed.
I’m very glad I did. I remained feeling somewhat detached from everyone else for quite a long time but it was ok because what I was learning was utterly fascinating.
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 only now the teachings 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 or crystals or healing, I would have felt uncomfortable.
With the training that I received everything started to make sense, and I could see more of the bigger picture, and understand better how everything interacted and connected.
I was probably one of the most challenging students the teachers had to deal with. I constantly questioned everything. But it’s through asking questions that we learn.
We started at the base of the Tree of Life - unlike many other Kabbalah schools which focus on the top at first - 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: emotions, thoughts and feelings, and examined those.
Next we focused on connecting with the soul (personal spirit guides were covered in the level of the personality) and looked at karma: personal, family, national and racial. Then we looked into our picture of life to see our place in 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.
There are worlds within worlds with the Tree of Life. Its vast, yet beautifully simple.
What my training has done for me is propel me forward and given me confidence and courage to explore and pursue my life’s interests.
Spiritual enlightenment cannot be handed on a plate, we 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 a restlessness inside me now that wanted to keep learning and endeavouring to understand. I studied at the school for over 15 years.
What I have received is like a degree in life. It's made me a better person. A more productive individual. I was given the tools to help myself and that is what I have done, and will continue to do, as well as 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. If you would like to explore the Tree of Life for yourself then please visit our website: The Order of the White Lion
We have a series of Tree of Life workbooks that may be of interest. They are designed for beginners and easy to follow.
We can also be found on Facebook: Practical Qabalah and Tree of Life Tuition
And Twitter: @IsisTuition
Please join us - whatever your faith, belief or tradition - it all helps to raise spiritual awareness.