Kabbalah: the lowdown

Next week Madonna releases her first book, a series of children’s stories called The English Roses, based around the teachings of the Kabbalah. If you’ve never heard of it or don’t know what it is, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Here’s our who, what, why and where guide to everything you need to know about the Kabbalah.

What is Kabbalah?

It is a philosophical system – sometimes described as a mystical branch of Judaism. It can be translated from Hebrew to mean ‘received tradition’. Kabbalah gives you the tools you need to achieve happiness and fulfilment in all aspects of your life. Applied in daily life it becomes a system of self-development. These spiritual teachings can apply to everyone, in every walk of life.

How old is it?

Nobody seems to know exactly how old it is but it is said to date back thousands of years. There are theories that it was taught to Adam and Eve by an angel after they were ejected from the Garden of Eden.

What it the tree of life?

The Tree of Life is central to modern Kabbalah teaching. It is a diagram made up of 32 ‘paths’ that show how to reach divine union in this lifetime.

Who practises it?

All faiths, although its roots are in Judaism

Which celebrities follow it?

It has become trendy of late. Madonna, Courtney Love, Barbara Streisand, Roseanne, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Mick Jagger and Guy Ritchie are all said to be digging Kabbalah.

Where can I do it?

There is a Kabbalah Centre in London.

For more information visit go to www.kabbalah.com or The Kabbalah Centre, 19 Grosvenor Square, London W1 (020 7499 4974)

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