Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March/April 2017 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Zohar

This article was written by John Michael Greer on April 01, 2005
posted under Zohar

(Hebrew, "Splendor") The most important of all Cabalistic books, the Zohar is more a collection than a single treatise, comprising a series of separate tractates that fills five volumes in the standard printed editions. It presents itself as the recorded discussions of Simeon bar Yochai, an important Jewish mystical teacher of the second century C.E., with his companions and friends. This attribution was accepted by most Cabalists up to recent times, and by the sixteenth century the legend had grown up that the Zohar as it now exists was a fragment of the original work, which had once been forty camel loads in size.

Linguistic and literary evidence, however, shows the Zohar to be a much more recent work, and all modern scholars agree that it was actually written by Moses de Leon (died 1305), a Jewish Cabalist who lived for most of his life in the small town of Guadalajara in Spain. It was composed in stages between 1270 and 1300, and most of it was in circulation by the time of its author’s death.

Vast, rambling, and diffuse, the Zohar is impossible to summarize and nearly as difficult to interpret. It assumes a very substantial background in Old Testament lore as well as Jewish legal, theological, philosophical, and mystical thought. Much of it consists of commentaries on scriptural verses, but these are interwoven with expositions on various parts of Cabalistic doctrine, narratives about the activities of Simeon bar Yochai and his companions, legendary stories, and a range of other material. Most of the themes and ideas of the traditional Jewish Cabala are covered in the course of the text.

In the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the Fool goes on a journey. This is similar to the Hero's Journey in mythology, and some view the ups and downs of the Major Arcana as the pathway the Fool takes to wisdom. Most people take the "Fool's Journey" several times during their life. If we hold the journey up as a template against our own life, it can... read this article
Five Aids to Magical Thought: Dion Fortune and the Path of Occult Fiction
The Angels of Your Sun Sign
Twelve Ways Your Chakras Can Enhance Your Decisions
4 Simple Steps to Receiving Angelic Guidance
The Hearth Witch in March

Most recent posts:
5 Ways to Make the Cards Your Own
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Cynova, author of the new Kitchen Table Tarot. I've been reading cards for nearly 30 years,...

How to Really Bring the Tarot to Life
Bringing the Tarot to Life In my many years of acquiring books and decks for Llewellyn, I’m always looking for something that is new and...

Learning from Childhood Magic
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Penny Billington, author of The Path of Druidry and The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew as well as...




Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Animal Lessons Animal Lessons
Discovering Your Spiritual Connection with Animals

By: Danielle MacKinnon
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Sacred Rebels Oracle Sacred Rebels Oracle
Guidance for Living a Unique & Authentic Life

By: Alana Fairchild, Autumn Skye Morrison
Price: $23.95 US,  $27.95 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
Subtle Energy Techniques Subtle Energy Techniques
By: Cyndi Dale
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN