(i) The Ilkley Labyrinth

The Goddess in Wharfedale brings a balanced polarity to the findings, the landmarks on the moor and the Goddess in the valley representing the ‘above’ and the ‘below’ respectively.

Summer arrives, the Ilkley discoveries quieten down and I assume this particular avenue of research has run its course. But there is more to come.

It is early November when I next visit Ilkley. Shortly after arriving I head out with Paul and his daughters for a walk on the slopes of the moor. Paul has a particular route in mind but his daughters, following their own agenda, drag us elsewhere: to a popular play area at the foot of the slopes. The girls head straight for the site’s most notable feature, a labyrinth of flagstones flanked by two monoliths.

Upon reaching the entrance stone I stop short, my attention riveted by the words engraved upon its surface.


‘Abyss’ has a very specific meaning in Qabalistic literature. It refers to the divide between the upper and lower realms, between the World of Spirit and the World of Manifestation. On the Caduceus, it exists where the wings and the snakes meet.

Having been shown the Supernal Triad up on the moor and the snake-bearing Goddess down in the valley, I am now standing at the place where the two worlds meet.

The location of the Ilkley Labyrinth could hardly be more appropriate. It sits right on the edge of town, where the buildings give way to the countryside and the climb to the moor above – between lower and higher ground. It also aligns – on an axis perpendicular to the edge of the moor – with the snake-bearing Goddess deeper in the valley.

On the Tree of Life, this axis is known as the Middle Pillar. With the moor marked by the wings, the valley by the snakes and the snake-bearing Goddess at the lowest sphere, the Labyrinth sits at the place where the Middle Pillar crosses the Abyss: at the Tree's hidden eleventh sphere, Daath.


The Abyss runs through Daath, the name given to what some people refer to as the hidden eleventh Sephirah, what others don’t think is a Sephirah at all.

In The Shining Paths, Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki describes Daath as “a gateway to other dimensions, a meeting place, a crossroads.”

Gareth Knight devotes a chapter to Daath in the first volume of Qabalistic Symbolism. He mentions the Caduceus, describing how when aligned with the Tree of Life, the heads of the twin serpents unite in Daath.

The spiritual experience of Daath is the Vision Across the Abyss. Serpents are said to be its guardians.

Clairvoyantly the entrance to the Sephirah Daath was seen to be guarded on either side by silvery-grey Seraphim (serpents which represented the two serpents of the Caduceus).
Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

Daath is a portal between dimensions, gateway between the World of Matter and the World of Spirit. It is the sphere through which we pass to create a bridge to the beyond.