Alef is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Although it is considered a consonant, it has no sound of its own in Modern Hebrew, serving instead as a carrier for vowel sounds. Anciently, it signified a glottal stop. To understand the glottal stop, say the words “fresh eggs”. If you say it correctly, you feel a slight release of tension in the back of your mouth. This is the hidden consonant, known as the glottal stop. We do not run the words together (“fresheggs”).
The Hebrew Language is based on common linguistic roots, usually of Three Consonants. For example, the very word “Alef” (“Ox”) is composed of the Three Consonants, Alef, Lamed and Peh. The Final Peh, or Feh Sofit is usually pronounced as “F” in English. Thus, the Three Letters of the Name “Alef” can spell several different Words, among them being “Aluf” (“Master”), and Alap (“Learn” or “Teach”). “Alef” also means “One Thousand”. The Numerical value of Alef is One.
The shape of the Letter Alef was originally a rough sketch of the head of an ox. You can still pick out the two horns. The current design, which has survived almost unchanged for well over Two Thousand Years, seems to be composed of a central Vav surrounded by Two Yods. The Numerical value of Vav is Six, and Yod is Ten. The sum of all Three Letters is Twenty-Six, which is the same Number as the total of YHVH (YOD HEH VAV HEH), the secret, unpronounceable Name of God, often transliterated (incorrectly) in English as “Jehovah”.
On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Alef correlates to both Keter (the Crown), and the First Path, which further relates to the Tarot Card of the Fool. The Fool, however, is traditionally Numbered "Zero". The First Path (Numbered Eleven in the "Thirty-Two Paths of wisdom") runs from Keter to Chokhmah. Here is the text of the "Eleventh Path":
The Eleventh Path is the Scintillating Intelligence (“Sekhel Sod HaPaulot HaRuchniot Kulam” (Literally: Intelligence of the Mystery of all Spiritual Activities כולם הרוחניות הפעולות סוד שכל ), because of the influx that permeates it from the highest blessing which is placed close to the order of the system, and this is a special dignity given to it that it may be able to stand in the presence of the Cause of Causes.
The “Primal Air” referred to in the Sefer Yetzirah is not the same as “Elemental Air”, but a more refined concept, similar to the Tao in Taoism, and, of course, the Road in Nova Thought. The Spiritual Meaning of Alef is very similar to that of the Rune Raidho, and thus relates to the Sushumna Nadi and the Middle Path.
Perhaps Lao Tze had all this in Mind in the First Chapter of the Tao Te Ching.
1.The Road that can be ridden is not the True Road.
2.The Name that can be named is not the True Name.
The traditional picture of the Fool Card illustrates this best. The Fool is setting out on a Journey by himself. The Meaning of this Card is pure Potential and Infinite possibility. He is about to fearlessly walk off a cliff into Space. The Fool’s dog, representing the Material World, follows right behind and is ready to go wherever the fool wanders. In a Tarot Reading, the Fool implies potential, new beginnings, innocence, high potential, a state of renewal, and new beginnings. It also indicates a Time of choice. Travel with the Fool on a new journey, and stop being so afraid of the Unknown! Look for new experiences, and trust that the Universe will carry you to where you need to be. For Meditation, use the Fool Card as a Tool to remove fear, and to gain new insights. Learn these Principles, and you will understand Alef.
An Affirmation for Alef might be:
"I am now One with the Source of all Being. I am being guided to take the next step in the Journey of my Life correctly and without fear."