Symbols - What does heaven look like

Qliphoth

The Qliphoth/Qlippoth/Qlifot or Kelipot (Hebrew: קְלִיפּוֹת, the different English spellings are used in the alternative Kabbalistic traditions of Hermetic Qabalah and Jewish Kabbalah respectively), literally "Peels", "Shells" or "Husks" (from singular: קְלִפָּה qlippah "Husk"), are the representation of the Dark spiritual forces in Jewish mysticism.  

The realm of Darkness is also termed Sitra Achra/Aḥra (Aramaic סטרא אחרא, the "Other Side" opposite holiness) in Kabbalah texts.

As the universe was based on the two principle forces of Light and Darkness, the Intelligence hierarchy – terrestrial and celestial – has two aspects.

When drawing the Map of the Egg, for every layer in the ‘ascending’ levels towards the centre, there is a matching layer or level – one for Light and one for Darkness. 

In Hindu sacred geography the ascending levels and layers are there in the temple pyramid, whilst the descending levels and layers are found in the step well.

The combination of ascending pyramid and descending step well forms a diamond – another symbolic object – the complete Spirit with all its aspects - Creation and Destruction - as one entity.

The hourglass has exactly the same meaning symbolically.  The sand [Higher spirits] are always heading one way or another, attracted to Darkness or attracted to Light.  Within the Dark side we have "Sparks of Holiness" exiled in the Qliphoth, people who are trying to save souls. Repentance out of love retrospectively allows them to return to the Light.  Meanwhile of course the Sons of Darkness are sending Dark spirits to tempt and lead astray the little grains of sand and drag them into the Qliphoth.

When all the sparks are freed from the Qliphoth, the Messianic era begins.

In some non-Jewish Hermetic Qabalah, contact is sought with the Qliphoth, as part of its process of human self-knowledge. In contrast, the theurgic Jewish Practical Kabbalah was understood by its practitioners as ‘similar to white magic, accessing only holiness’.  However it helps to remember the key mystic admonishment

Know thyself.

Note that Georgie and W B Yeats’s the Vision has some very useful additional information about this concept.