God Wears Lipstick: Kabbalah for Women - Karen Berg
“All energy is good because there’s only one source for it. And what is that? The Light of the Creator, of course. There are no other batteries in this world. But the manner in which we receive the Light will determine if that energy will manifest itself as a short circuit or as a lasting current of fulfillment.” – From the book

There was a time when the ability to study the Kabbalah was reserved only for 40-year old men. Thankfully, Kabbalists such as Karen Berg—co-founder of the Kabbalah Centre—are bringing this ancient Hebrew wisdom to the mainstream, allowing women and people of all ages to benefit.

There are three types of “Kabbalah”. The original Kabbalah—and that which the Kabbalah Centre teaches—is an ancient Hebrew esoteric system. At some point, Christians began tailoring the teachings to their beliefs, which is known as Cabala. Finally, ceremonial magicians and some Tarot readers use an occultic version of this system—Qabalah—concentrating mostly on the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is a consistent part of all three systems, and while Berg doesn’t mention the Tree directly, she does address the left, right and middle columns in her book God Wears Lipstick. According to Kabbalah, the right column is the Desire to Share and is characterized by giving, strength, and the energy of fulfillment. This is the masculine part of the Tree called Zeir Anpin. The left column is the realm of feminine energy and the Desire to Receive. That is, there is a natural motivation to accomplish things and get things in life. This is known as Malchut, which means recipient or vessel.

Using a light bulb analogy to explain the creation of the Universe according to Kabbalah, Berg describes the middle column of the Tree as a “filament” that resists the energy given by the left column. This resistance to receiving for the self alone determines whether we have a megawatt shine or the proverbial dim bulb. Humans generate Light when they “restrict”, or hold back, habitual negative, selfish reactions and allowing our proactive, sharing nature to emerge.

Berg has written God Wears Lipstick to show the spiritual complexity of women as Light bearers, who are imbued with dual energy—that of both receiving and sharing. She says, “The female is born with tremendous spiritual power, whereas the male has to earn his.” Thus, masculine energy needs to be corrected in both males and females so we can live out of the middle column of the Tree. That is, the idea of being proactive and not receiving for the self alone, which is known in Kabbalah as the Bread of Shame.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from God Wears Lipstick:

“…Kabbalah explains to us that spirituality is about accepting that our whole reason for being is to share.”

“Rather than relying on an ego that says, ‘I’m okay and the rest of the world is a problem’, it’s the capacity to say, ‘I’m willing to see that I need to improve myself, and I’m willing to give before I take.’”

“We are attracted to those who reveal unresolved issues in our own lives—the tikune we have come to earth to correct.”

“You must share of yourself in a way that permanently improves the quality of life in this world.”

“Spending too much time concentrating on yourself—the gravitational pull of ‘me, me, me’—is the seed of all problems.”

“A sense of entitlement and the act of complaining are two clear-cut indicators that you’re mired in Bread of Shame.”

“From your soul’s perspective, you’re fortunate when a driving force appears from above that removes you from your comfort zone.”

The author encourages women to be proactive and self-responsible, explaining Kabbalistic tools such as forgiveness, tolerance, honesty, astrology, reincarnation and prayer. Berg believes that relationships are the number one Kabbalistic tool, providing us with wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth and transformation. Thus, she spends a good deal of time discussing intimate relationships, as well as friendships and the parent/child interactions.

Although I am familiar with the western magical tradition known as Qabalah, I’m not well versed in the pure Hebrew version of Kabbalah. Yet, I “got” the author because of my familiarity with the columns. If I wouldn’t have had some background on the Tree of Life, however, I would have been lost reading God Wears Lipstick. Yet, I found this engrossing book irresistible. Berg is an able teacher and engaging writer, taking the Kabbalah from the realm of the abstract, distilling it, and presenting its wisdom for practical use. If you’re interested in exploring Kabbalah, especially in terms of feminine energy and self-empowerment, God Wears Lipstick is a fine introduction to this fascinating Hebrew esoteric system.

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