The Kabbalistic “Tree of Life” a pictorial representation of the universe. It contains 10 “Sephiroth”, or “Spheres of Emanation” which represent different aspects of existence. The are ranked in a hierarchy, with the subtlest (more spiritual) realms at the top, and the denser (more material) realms at the bottom. In the diagrams the Flaming Sword is shown as a zig-zag lightning bolt (the Slant Serpent”) winding its way down the Sephiroth, on the Tree, forming a path from the top to the bottom. Simultaneously, the “Torturous Serpent” is shown slithering its way upward, forming a path from the bottom to the top.