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13 Keys: The Glory of Hod

Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 3rd. 2013
Times Viewed: 3,623

The focus of these articles is not the Paths of the Tree, but some explanation of their energetic state and connective function from sphere to sphere is necessary. The 22 Paths that connect the Sephiroth act as conduits/ filters and refiners of the energies of the connecting spheres. The Spheres are the pure states of Being, and the Paths allow for the movement of energy between the pillars of Force and Form. On the evolved or “Middle” Path, they become the direct line that mirrors the adage “as above (Kether or the Divine) , so below” (Malkuth or Manifestation) .

For this series of articles, our inclusion of the Paths will be those of the Lightening Flash. The second Path of connection on ascending the tree is the 30th Path connecting the spheres of Yesod and Hod. The 30th Path is that which is traveled as we rise further on the planes in the ascent up the tree. We have moved from the visions and dreams presented in Yesod and are now ready to enter the realm of logic, and mind to sort through in greater detail what was collected from that storehouse. Its element is that of Air and Water and its planet of correspondence is the Sun. The Tarot card placed upon this Path is The Sun card.

If we consider the symbols and meaning of Tarot Key #19- The Sun, there is deeper insight into the energy of this Path. It connects the sphere containing the storehouse of all knowledge (Yesod) and the Pure Mind of Hod. To be effective in our workings, we must shed light and illuminate those things, which would otherwise go unnoticed and unused.

In the Tarot Key of the Sun, we see the jubilant child center of attention and all is under the watchful eye of the sun. The rays of the sun, alternating between straight and wavy give insight into the true nature of mind. The straight paths that hold the energy of direct impact and the wavy, which are the vibratory response to the surge and pulse that occurs between the realms of dream state and subconscious quiet and fully awakened conscious mind. The 30th Path reminds of the need for rest and moving deeply within to prepare the way for the dynamic and direct flow of electrified pure thought.

“Cogitatio in vero exquirendo maxime versatur. Appetitus impellit ad agendum. The Intellect engages us in the pursuit of Truth. The Passions impel us to Action.”... Marcus Tullius Cicero

Keywords For the Sphere of Hod


The Energy of the Sphere
Hod is the sphere of Pure reason that has not received the cross flow and balance of heart and emotion (Netzach) . Its function is to make Order of the Universe through objective reasoning and higher thought. Hod is known as the "Absolute Intelligence".

By definition: Absolute is the one ultimate reality that does not depend on anything, and is not relative to anything else. And, Intelligence is an entity capable of rational thought, especially one that does not have a physical form

This form of Intelligence is Absolute because it originates in the upper spheres of Binah and Chokmah, receiving the Mercy and Grace of Chesed in downward emanation. Its mind is not quantifiable by any set of standards and it has not yet reached into the denser realms that have been filtered through the lens of Yesod. Just as matter itself resides in Malkuth, the focus and energy which make it “living matter” is contained within the essence of Yesod. As we ascend towards Hod, we reach the place where the first "idea" of that matter is born. The drafting board that goes through each step carefully and objectively in the planning stages before it receives the energizing needed at the level of Yesod. Hod decodes and analyzes but it also reveals deceptions and untruths.

Sphere of Communication
The Planetary ruler of Hod is Mercury, so it is fitting that this sphere is considered the sphere of communication. Within its rationale and reasoning are the tools that may be used in discovering the deeper mystery contained within information. It is through the crystal clarity of pristine thinking that enables better and more efficient means of communicating what knowledge has been extracted. It is also this modality that makes Hod the ideal energetic support for ritual work.

Effective ritual and devotional practice are honed from clear, purposeful intent. If that intent is not objectively informed the resulting product of that ritual will not be as strong, or as durable in form and focus. If, however, objective thought and clear Higher Mind is working in accord with focused intent, the results become the inroads and precursors to future successful magick, devotional or spiritual practice. Magickal work is of no value if there is no Understanding (BINAH) of its logical order, structure and Form (HOD) gained through dissection, sacrifice, and excision (GEBURAH) all that is extraneous and illusory (YESOD) .

The Water Temple
Hod is also known as The Water Temple. This refers to the connection of the lower triad spheres of Hod- Netzach and Yesod. It is within this Temple that the emotional and the intellect combine to become something greater than the totality of each. It is the quality of mind and reason reflecting back to itself the clarity of pure thought is generated. This is also the place of reflecting the truth of the Higher Mind. In truth, one could think of this as the Temple of birthing waters that carry the breath of mind having been catalyzed by the transformative Gates of Yesod.

Numerical Value
Hod is the 8th Sphere. Within the energy of the # 8 is great power and the sacrifice of contraction and expansion. The holding and funneling of what wishes to expand and then the ultimate release into a great circle of expansive formlessness. It is also the doubling of the stability and foundation of 4. It is the mirroring of two bases of four sides that reflect back to one another in perfect symmetry. The union of Higher and Lower Mind, the duality and polarity of pairs. Hod is thus the Sphere of Transmutation. The essence and spark of potential for creative thought lay within its depths and what emerges is the mind touch of the Higher transmuted for downpour into manifest form.

Location on the Tree: Base of Pillar of Severity
Hod enjoys the auspicious location of sitting at the base of the Pillar of Severity (Form) . It receives the downpour from Geburah (Might through transformative excision) and Binah (The Great Mother of Understanding) . It is the Ending place of Divine Thought, which has been finely honed and created through emanation from the Higher Spheres. Hod is the Seat of Consciousness of Form. The place of all manner of inspiration inclusive of science, the written word, music, art, and language. Thus, in the continued descent from Hod into Yesod the illusions of Yesod are the filtered forms of Divine Inspiration. At the level of Yesod, this may take the form of difficulty with interpretation of the symbols and images that are presented.

Awareness and Higher Intuition, when brought down to the place of Consciousness, join to stimulate the will to create at the level of the Mind. As this will moves into the waters of Hod, the Fire of Will directed through a Divine All-knowingness moves through those currents of mind activity and generate a circuit of electrical charge that becomes the ohm or watt of energy that moves along the circuit board of linear thought and reason.

Capacity of the Mind
Hod is the first sphere on the ascent of the Tree that has multiple paths of connection including the place of sitting at the base of the Pillar of Severity. It is also connected via a Path to Tiphareth (the central sphere of the Tree) to the left of Netzach (the base sphere of the Pillar of Mercy) and reaching upwards out of the moon sphere of Yesod. Just as the mind and brain have many chambers corridors and paths contained within, Hod offers many routes of emanation from its core to be opened and awakened. As the place where structure, order, categorization, analysis and making sense of it all Hod also serves as the distributor of what work has been accomplished in Malkuth and Yesod upwards towards its more refined spheres.

The Briatic Color of Hod: Orange
Each of the spheres is assigned four colors in accord with which of the Four Worlds that sphere’s energy is correlating to. In some readings you will find them identified by the nomenclature of a Royal Scale:

The King Scale, which correlates to the Divine World of Atziluth
The Queen Scale, which correlates to the Archangelic World of Briah
The Prince Scale, which correlates to the Angelic World of Yetzirah. This color is a combination of the King and Queen Scale colors of the sphere. In this way, you could think of Divinity (Atziluth) sending froth its Divine Messenger (Archangel of Briah) to command and guide the work to be done by the Angels (Yetzirah) that will extend into manifest creation (Assiah) .
The Princess Scale, which correlates to the Manifest World of Assiah. This color is the deepest hues and tones of the combination of the colors preceding it. This is also the densest form of those combined colors (often with flecks of light corresponding to the King or Queen scale colors) .

The Expression of Hod in the Four Worlds
Atziluth- The World of Archetypes- Deity
King Scale: Violet Purple
The Supreme Lord of Life
Deity of Thought – Learning - Communication

In the sphere of Hod, Atziluth is exemplified in the archetypical energy of those deities who provide the essence of thought and idea in its most pure and abstract sense. Moreover, these bursts of inspiration and clarity of idea are brought to a place of communication. This is represented in the energies of the God Hermes whose task it was to bring the information received from the Gods (Binah and Chokmah) down into the realms of pure idea. This modality of knowledge is held within the container of true wisdom or idea in its most primal form before the filtering and enhancement of emotion, personality and the density of manifest form. The trickster nature of this God is one to be aware of. Manipulation and cunning are the mind stuff of those wishing to present the persona of all knowing, and many have been fooled out of money, livelihood and more when the misuse of thought and idea was bandied about.

As exemplified by the Egyptian God Toth, this process of mind is not limited by any basis of expertise. He is at once master, creator, co-creator and keeper of all knowledge that was, is and will be. In this sense the Creative Urge (Atziluth) is simultaneously occurring within the realm of Higher mind in a constant downpour or emanation from the Divine Source of the All-Knowing.

In the sphere of Yesod, Atziluth is exemplified in the archetypical energy of those Deity who provide the fertile ground for inspiration, imagination and ultimately the catalyst for higher thought (at the level of Hod) . The goddesses of the Moon enhance the inner and intuitive sight and allow the flow of emotions in accord with the ebb and flow of the tides. The triple aspects of Maiden-Mother-Crone or Youth-Father-Sage show the ability for change and transition moving from one stage of being and level of experience to another- each dependent upon the other, however, to give the necessary clarity of the experience of the previous stage. Within the realm of Atziluth- the creative urge- life begets life through the Yesodian process of discernment, flow of increase and decrease and through the filter of the emanations from the other spheres on the Middle Pillar (through equilibrium) .

The Creation of a Concept- Archangelic
Queen Scale: Orange
Michael- Fire- Watcher and Guardian

The Archangel Michael is associated with Fire and is one of Watcher and Guardian. The work of Fire is to purge and transform those things it imposes will upon. It is through this means that the primal ideas and pure intellect that is devoid of emotional component (Netzach) and refinement is made ready to move down in emanation to Yesod for further filtering and rendering. In its form upwards on the Pillar of severity this "firing in the kiln's" of serves to burn away the dross in preparation for final excision through the energies of Geburah. Michael is the defender in times of imbalance and as such he wields the might of his sword in flash of light to bring clarity to this state of pure reason before it moves to a place of heart and healing in Netzach.

Forming the Image of the Concept- Astral/Angelic World
Prince Scale: Russet Red
The Angels of Yesod are the Beni Elohim- Children of the Gods

Children follow in the footsteps of their parents, and in this case, we, as the children of Binah and Chockmah have the ability to create through the energy of HOD. In the purely manifest aspect, this becomes the physical birth and creation of children, as well as a more limited ability to create and manifest spiritual thoughtforms. All of these "children", however, are the result of the polarizing effects of the union of male and female energy constructs.

These are Divine thoughtforms, born of polarized Divine consciousness that have come down to a place of being more readily available to the expanded human consciousness. These are the rays of inspiration that are ever so fleeting- the proverbial "light bulb" moments when the ideas and inspirations come rushing in at lightening speed from a source we can clearly define as being "more than" our own range of experience. And those that can pass through the illusions and trials of Yesod are those that come into the place of the 'Manifest Children (thoughts) of the Gods

-Active/Material World- Manifestation
Princess Scale: Yellowish Brown, Flecked with Gold Mercury

Mercury is the realm of all manner of communication. In the sphere of Hod, this is communication of and through a Higher Mind touch, emanating downward and potentially coming to a place of concrete idea and thought in the manifest, physical world. The caution here, however, is one of miscommunication. When communication moves into the domains of pure intellect, logic can often take the place of pure reason. We rationalize this or that to be so. We use logic as our defense for choosing one over the other. But pure and Absolute Intelligence is that which has not been directly affected by emotion. This is intellect that is objective and knows nothing other than its own pure state of being which is pure mind.

In the Assiatic World, Hod is the union of Higher and Lower Mind. Each serving the other and each in perfect dialogue with the other. It is the expression of pure intellect brought into the manifest realm and the abstract becoming the concrete of physical expression.

The Spiritual Experience of Hod: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe
In the sphere of Hod, the vision of splendor is one of splendor of the workings and order within the Universe. Intuitive thought has been brought to the place of intellectual understanding of these inner workings. Knowledge of how and why things proceed the way in which they do and how the energies and ebb and flow of the natural rhythms and cycles of the Universe intellectually make sense.

By definition: Splendor is ...Something that is impressive, magnificent or brilliant. It is this exact vision that opens the greater mind to a truth of the place of each being and energy in the vastness of an organized, unified whole.

The Illusion of the Sphere: Falsehood, Dishonesty
The Illusion of Hod is false ego based on faulty knowledge. It is the allowance of what is subjective, personality filtered information to fill the coffers of our minds as being the stuff of unbiased thought. Furthermore, claiming credit for those brilliant seeds of inspiration when they are nothing more than the over inflated toutings of one craving acknowledgement for being wise, breeds the dishonesty of validation that is not merit based, nor is it sound in it reasoning.

As the time honored thought on this matter goes- true wisdom cannot be found within the knowledge of book learning and course study. True wisdom is what is the result of experiencing at the level of connection to a Higher Consciousness what has been learned through books and study and transforming it into an enlivened part of oneself that cannot be disputed, argued, reasoned away or often even explained to others who have not also had similar experience on the path towards Wisdom.

The Magickal Image: “A Hermaphrodite”
The Hermaphrodite as magickal symbol for Hod contains the potential for self-creation and is at once both and separate. It is from this view point that the mechanism of reason and thought manifest. To "be" there is the necessary condition of union between what is like itself and what is the complimentary pair, yet different from itself.

The mythic tale of Hermaphroditus gives metaphoric insight to the combined energies of Netzach (Aphrodite) and Hod (Hermes) - Heart and Mind. The progeny of this union is that which is most desired (Will) . The Naiads are female water nymphs and here we have the vehicle of water that will serve as the transformative agent. It is the flow of the feminine- fired with the desire for the product of unified heart and mind- that with awareness of the Divine merges and blends to produce that which is self-creating and self illuminating.

"Hermaphroditus' name is derived from those of his parents Hermes and Aphrodite. He was raised by nymphs on Mount Ida, a sacred mountain in Phrygia (present day Turkey) . At the age of fifteen, he grew bored of his surroundings and traveled the cities of Lycia and Caria. It was in the woods of Caria, near Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum, Turkey) that he encountered Salmacis the Naiad in her pool. She was overcome by lust for the boy, and tried to seduce him, but was rejected. When he thought her to be gone, Hermaphroditus undressed and entered the waters of the empty pool. Salmacis sprang out from behind a tree and jumped into the pool. She wrapped herself around the boy, forcibly kissing him and touching his breast. While he struggled, she called out to the gods that they should never part. Her wish was granted, and their bodies blended into one hermaphrodite form."... Hellenica Mythos

Look for the woman in man and the man in woman and you will find the Truth of both.

This idea of containing both yet being one is also found in the need to think in pairs. Another fitting symbol for Hod would be the Caduseus, the basili or serpents entwined on staff (the Middle Pillar) . Each serpent crossing, intersecting and drawing upwards with it the information contained and germinated at each intersecting point. Until, finally reaching the uppermost point (Kether) the two become the one of Divine Inspiration- Imminent Thought and the Singular Mind.

Personal Study: The Living Tree, Journaling and Meditative Focus

The suggestions in this section are meant to open your awareness and understanding of the particular sphere in ways that are physical in action and viable in result. This month, as we focus on the sphere of Hod this set of exercises is intended to make you more aware of your mental processes and the creative flow from intellect.

Opening to The Mind:

As you move through your day, take a few minutes in the morning, at lunchtime and before bed to check in with your thinking self. Try to be aware of where some of these perceptions and thoughts have originated. Were they the products of interaction with others? Were they the products of you sitting quietly and mindfully "brainstorming" the solution to a problem? Were they the products of inspired reading or did they seem to flow from the muses themselves?

Although we use the faculty of thought regularly throughout the day, the quality and receptivity of that process are often the results of being on autopilot, without much attention to what is actually happening. Try to set aside some time each day (15minutes is a good starting point) to sit quietly and be fully engaged in what thoughts, ideas and inspirations are moving through you. Write down these ideas. They are often the seeds of a great idea or even potential answers to something that at a subconscious level may have been of concern. By establishing a routine time to simply "be" with your thoughts, you are facilitating a greater opening to the Universal and Cosmic ideology that surrounds us. And, once that connection is made, you are then opening to the Divine.


1. Analyzing a Goal
2. Pick a simple goal
3. Record each step necessary towards completion of that goal
4. Analyze each step, look more closely and see how much further you can organize the process into the most effective means of manifestation

Meditative Focus

Observing Your Thoughts: Mindful Meditation
As you sit in a meditative state, allow whatever thoughts that wish to present themselves to flow. As each thought comes into your realm of awareness, take a moment to acknowledge it. Give attention to the nature of the thought and what action or response it may provoke. Do not judge or give inner dialogue around this thought, just simply observe it and then let it pass, if another presents its self. Repeat this process for each thought that arises. Giving it attention, making note of its qualities and centering awareness in your present state of mind.


Robin Fennelly

Location: Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania


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