An Introduction To Jacob's Wheel

[Then I had a vision at night. An angel of God came down from heaven with seven tablets in his hand. ...

...So I took the tablets and read. There were written all my sufferings,] troubles and everything that would happen to me [during the one hundred and forty seven] years of my life...

[From: The Vision of Jacob (Dead Sea Scroll 4Q537 Frag.1)—Paraphrased by Carol Hei.]

It appears that one of the main purposes of the knowledge system encoded into the text of the Sepher Yetzirah is to produce a complex mandala called Jacob's Wheel (Abbrev. JW). (To read about the origin of the blueprint of JW please go here.)

Download Hebrew Version
Download Astrological Version

The reason I use the name Jacob's Wheel to describe this system is because the Jewish patriarch Jacob, the 'perfected man' of the Zohar, symbolises the Human prototype evolving towards perfection as he journeys upon the wheel of re-incarnation. His twelve sons symbolise the twelve basic zodiacal types of human-being.

The Jacob's Wheel mandala maps out an eternally spiralling and repeating path of human evolution. This evolutionary path consists of 441 distinct stepping stones (called 'phases') that are woven into a complex system of inter-related archetypes. Here are some numerical relationships upon which the Jacob's Wheel system is based...

147 = 3 x 49
147 = 3 x 7²
441 = 3 x 147
441 = 21 x 21
441 = 3 x 7 x 3 x 7
441 = 9 x 49
441 = 3² x 7²

Jacob lived to be 147 years old (according to the Torah) and whether historically true or not this number certainly does have great esoteric significance in the Jacob's Wheel system. The 147 year 'master cycle' of Jacob's Wheel is the base cycle from which most other greater and lesser cycles are derived. It consists of twenty-one 7-year minor cycles that are broken down into 441 phases of 4 months each. The 147 year master cycle is the smallest possible Jacob's Wheel master cycle that consists of cycles and phases of whole years and whole months.

One theory is that the Jacob's Wheel master mandala is an archetypal map of the Earth's own auric field. If this is the case, then the astrological archetypes employed in the Jacob's Wheel system can be said to represent forces circulating within our home planet's energy field and chakra system. The seven spokes of JW would then perhaps represent the seven chakras within the metaphysical body of the Earth.

Of course, no system is completely self-contained, and influences do enter the Earth's auric field from distant stars, etc, and (as expected) there does indeed appear to be a definite dynamic link that exists between the JW archetypes and forces emanating from their physical counterparts in our local universe—i.e. the astrological planets and zodiacal signs of Tropical astrology.

Because we are born of the Earth, we too have the twenty-two archetypes built into our own personal energy matrix, and all our microcosmic energy matrices are component parts of one Universal Matrix, and all are interdependent.

Thus, the JW mandala represents an energy matrix that binds us to the Earth, and as such, the Jacob's Wheel system can also be used as the basis for a universal esoteric system of initiation, magick, and divination.

The Jacob's Wheel mandala maps a series of archetypal cycles within cycles (wheels within wheels) that appear to describe and coincide with powerful energies that flow through the various levels of our inner and outer worlds. In other words, the Jacob's Wheel 'master mandala' is an esoteric cycle and phase calculator, or a kind of metaphysical clock. Your personal JW clock begins ticking over at the moment of your birth.

The various cycles that are derived using the Jacob's Wheel mandala are of different time-scales. Some of these time-scales are vast and therefore difficult to relate to the personal lives of individual human-beings (whose average life-span is only about 72 years). Other cycles however, are of shorter duration and therefore easier to identify as a personal influence.

  • A complete Jacob's Wheel cycle is called a 'master cycle'.
  • Every master cycle consists of 21 minor cycles (mandalas).
  • Every minor cycle consists of 21 phases (Hebrew letters).
  • Thus there are 441 (i.e. 21 x 21) phases in every master cycle.

The sequence of progression of the twenty-one Jacob's Wheel cycles and phases is as indicated in the following diagram...

A Jacob's Wheel a phase is basically composed of four archetypal indicators:

cycle-phase [N/n]

Jacob's Wheel (and its component mandalas) consists of three concentric rings [N] and seven radial arms [n] that look like the spokes of a wheel.

The [N] component (of the equation) refers to the ring on which the phase occurs:

Inner ring = 1
Middle ring = 2
Outer ring = 3

The [n] component is a number from one to seven corresponding to the spoke on which the phase occurs.

  • The three rings are associated with the elements: Earth, Water, and Air.
  • The seven spokes are associated with elemental Fire and have numerological significance.
  • The 'cycle' and 'phase' components are both astrological in nature.

[Note: The Fire element is represented by the 'key mandala' at the centre of Jacob's Wheel and its seven rays (or 'spokes'). And consequently, by the twenty-one 'key archetypes' that are at the centre of each minor mandala. The 'key archetype' in the following example is Lamed/Libra.]

Phase Example:

Hebrew Version

Astrological Version

Libra-Scorpio [1/2]

The original Hebrew description of this phase is Lamed-Nun [1/2] (see image above-left), but the Hebrew letters are translated into their astrological correspondences to give us Libra-Scorpio [1/2] (see image above-right).

The minor cycle is Libra. The phase is Scorpio. The phase occurs on the inner ring [1], second spoke [2]—that is, [1/2].

In a Libra-Scorpio [1/2] phase we can expect relationships to be a major theme because Libra is concerned with relationships. The key issues or significant events that arise during this phase are likely to involve 'shared values and resources' because Scorpio rules such issues. For example, finance or business-related discussions with a partner are a possibility during this phase.

For a more personalised interpretation of the phases, their various astrological components need to be related back to the same archetypes as they are positioned in your own personal birth-chart.

The shorter the phase the less time the archetypes have to manifest their energies and therefore their influences are often quite easy to identify. If you are astrologically minded and follow your eight-hour phases you will see that circumstances arise during those phases that reflect the archetypal energies indicated in the associated phase equations. The longer phase archetypes (eg. one-month, two-month, & four-month phases) tend to correspond with the most significant developments that occur in our lives, while the shorter phases (eg. eight-hour phases) reflect more mundane expressions of the archetypes.

Each spoke of each of the 21 minor mandala contains three astrological archetypes. During each phase one of those archetypes is activated, but the other two archetypes on the same spoke also contribute an influence. The 147 spokes of Jacob's Wheel are also called bridges because of this phenomenon. The energy of all three archetypes move along their spoke and influence each other.

Thus the full description of a phases is...

cycle-phase [N/n] s1 + s2 + s3

...where s1, s2 and s3 are the three bridging archetypes that occupy the spoke on which the phase occurs.

Phase Example:

Libra-Scorpio [1/2] Scorpio + Jupiter + Cancer

The active bridge archetype for this phase is Scorpio, but Jupiter and Cancer are lesser influences that should also be taken into consideration during the interpretation process.

Click on the following link to learn about the Microsoft Windows-based Jacob's Wheel Calculator v3.

Jacob's Wheel Calculator v3

As you can see, Jacob's Wheel represents quite a complex esoteric system, but it becomes second nature after a relatively short period of personal use.

It is thought that the Jacob's Wheel master mandala can also be used as a communication device for contacting the Ophanim angels (or 'devas') who are on a path of evolution paralleling that of Humanity. Ultimately, humans and devas are destined to work consciously together to fulfill the divine Plan and it's hoped that Jacob's Wheel will help towards achieving that blessed union.

If you have any further questions regarding Jacob's Wheel please post them in the Jacob's Wheel Research Group.

Also, here's a file that contains some information pages from the Jacob's Wheel section of my old website. Download (Extract the chm file and double-click it to open.)