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Magick >> Qabalah
physical manifestation, astral energy, chokmah, netzach

Hod & Netzach

Author: Ivory Cat

Just as the previous pairs of Sephiroth, (Binah - Chokmah, Chessed -
Gedulah), needed to be explained together to be fully understood, (Binah
depends on that of Chokmah, and Chessed relies on Geburah, visa versa), so it
is with Hod and Netzach. Hod is form and Netzach is force, together they form
function and represent the force and form aspect of astral consciousness.
Netzach and Hod are really reflections of Binah and Chokmah, "as above, so
below". Chokmah is the Divine force and Binah is the Divine path to form,
together they perpetuated function, which travels all the way down the Tree.
Hod and Netazch are the astral energy catalyst to transcend the Divine
processes into physical manifestation.

Just like the Tree needs Chokmah (katabolism) working in tandem with
Gebruah (anabolism) to created the function "metabolism" to breath life into
the form that was created by Chokmah and Binah. Netzach and Hod are now
manifesting on our physical plane, and their "function" aspect is found in
Yesod. They are analogous to Binah, concentrating all the energies of
Chokmah, for without this restraining order, the energies of Chokmah, no
matter how dynamic they are, will shoot off in all directions and finally
dissipate and loose all potential. It is this molding and directing of energy
that labels The Pillar of Severity, (or maybe it should be called
Discipline), where Binah is at the top, Geburah in the middle, and then the
sephiroth Hod at the base, where the intellect deciphers the intuition.

Hod is represented by the 8's, swiftness, abandoned success, shortened
force, prudence. Hod is the sphere of magic, for it is the sphere of
formation and is situated at the foot of the pillar of severity. It is the
Sephrioth where the forces of nature, found in Netzach, take on sensible
form. Netzach is the Life Force of Nature and is represented by the 7's,
Valor, Illusory Success, Unstable effort, Success unfulfilled. It is the
embodiment of intuition and emotions as they are filtered down from Tipareth,
the sphere where the Divine is on the threshold of form in the physical. All
that has ever existed has it roots in nature, and like wise, all that is
brought into manifestation has it roots formed in Netzach.

Dion Fortunes writes in her book The Mystical Quabalah "Tiphareth is the
Meditating Intelligence that breaks up the White Light of the One Life as in
a prism so that it becomes the Refulgent Splendor of many-rayed hues in
Netzach. Here we have not force, but forces; not life, but lives. The One has
been reduced to the Many for the purposes of manifestation in form." As this
energy transverses the tree it enters Hod where the many are singled out and
further formed individually." Netzach represents the Instincts, the
inspiration and emotions they give rise to, and Hod represents the concrete
mind. The Netzach force is relatively free-moving, expressing itself in
fluidic and ever shifting shapes, and in Hod taking on for the first time
definite and permanent tenuous form. Netzach is the artist and Hod, the
scientist. They must be explained together to truly understand each one

These two along with Yesod form the lower triangle referred to as the
Lower Triad. Hod and Netzach as form and force on the astral plane, leading
to Yesod, the basis of etheric substance, Akasha, or sometimes called the
astral light. As per Fortune, "for the full understanding of the philosophy
of magic we must remember that single Sephiroth are never fully functional;
for function one must have the Pair of Opposites in balanced equilibrium,
resulting in an equilibrated Third which is functional. The Pair of
Opposites, by themselves, are not functional because they are mutually
neutralizing; it is only when they unite in balanced force to flow forth as a
third. It is very important that we should realize that these lower Sephiroth
of the Plane of Illusion are densely populated by though-forms; that
everything which the human imagination has been able to conceive, has a form
built about it out of the astral light, (Yesod), and that the more the human
imagination has dwelt upon it to idealize it, the more definite that form
becomes (Hod). Consequently, subsequent generations of seers, when they seek
to discern the spiritual nature and innermost essence of any form of life,
are met by these images, and will be deceived thereby, mistaking them for the
abstract essence itself, which is not to be found upon any plane that yields
images to psychic vision, but only upon those that are discerned by pure
intuition" (Netzach).

Netazch is intuition and Hod is the intellect. The intuition and
imagination are powerful tools, but one must use their intellect to bring
what they imagine to fruitation. Netzach is called the group mind, because
this is where we find the collective consciousness, and the collective
consciousness is accessed by our intuition. In Hod, the individual is created
by focusing the collected energies of Netzach, forming individuality, and
ecologically, Netzach, the collective consciousness, is fed by Hod, the many
individuals sharing the same thoughts and beliefs. Per Fortune, "Hod is
especially the sphere of magic, because it is the sphere of the formulation
of forms, and is therefore the sphere in which the magician actually works,
for it is his mind that formulates the forms, and his will that makes the
link with the natural forces of the Sphere of Netzach that ensoul them.
However every celestial being or thought form that has been conceived by
humans has it's basis in a natural force. As primitive man worshiped the
images of nature, he established a sort of connection or link with the great
natural forces and the forces represented poured into his soul. As we
progressed in civilization the nature forces took on stronger, more potent
images. The image formed in the mind of man is just a representation for it's
convenience, but the force that the image represents and ensouls, is very
real and can be exceedingly powerful. As more people concentrate on the same
image for the same force, the Netzach force increases. As was described
about Yesod in the previous essay, it has no words of power to thoroughly
control the etheric forms. In Hod we find the images, symbols, words if you
may, to influence the formless substance in Yesod, and all the magical
workings of Hod work upon a basis of the tenuous life-forms of Netzach. Be it
noted, however, that without the contacts of Netzach, the force aspect of the
astral, there could be no ensouling; and with Netzach, being the Sphere of
emotions, the contacts are made through sympathy and "feeling with". The
power of the will projects the magician out of Hod, but only the power of
sympathy can take him into Netazch. The power of the concentrated will is
necessary to enable the magician to gather himself together for his work, but
the power of imaginative sympathy is essential to enable him to make his
contacts. For it is only through our power to enter imaginatively into the
life of types of existence different to our own that we can pick up our
contacts with the forces of Nature."

Hod is the sphere of ceremonial magic and high magic, Yesod being the
sphere of low magic. As previously stated, Hod is the sephrioth where we
find the names with which to control the forces of Yesod. We use our
intellect to evoke deities; forces that have been established by the
collective consciousness. Because of the build up of the collective
consciousness through time, we may utilize certain special energies by
tapping into this energy source. This can be done with meditations or chants,
where one repeats either a single name or names, or phrases to access the
energy associated to it. But it doesn't have to be solely words, it can be
symbols, or visuals. Take for example the healing technique Reiki. To be able
to access the reiki energy source an attuned practitioner visualizes a
symbol, sometimes tracing it in the air over the patient, and reciting the
name of the symbol. When this is done energy flows from the source through
the reiki practitioner. The action we take (in Hod) connects us to the
collected consciousness of reiki (in Netzach) that has been established by
everyone who has performed reiki before us and the collected consciousness of
reiki expands through everybody working with the symbols and names today.
Also, the more frequently the practitioner works with the symbols the faster
they will be able to plug into that vast astral field of reiki.

One charges an amulet or talisman through Hod. Any talisman we construct,
any object or concept that we charge with our own energy and intent, becomes
empowered in Hod, and the more you build up the power for the image, the more
it is nourished in Netzach where it continues to grow.

In relation to the deity aspect found in Hod, particular Divinities are
evoked or invoked by ceremonies focusing on specific Goddesses and Gods. The
Egyptian Pantheon is immensely powerful because not only have their images
been around for so long nurishing their collective energies, but their
potency has been compounded by the high magical energies that have been
performed and directed toward them over the centuries. In Egyptian ceremonies
one sometimes assumes the stance and the personification of the particular
Goddess or God they are invoking to make their connections with their
energies. One should strive to reach up through Netzach, the intuition, for
the guidance from these deities. We can call upon the energy instilled within
the collective consciousness (Netzach) by calling upon the energy with an
associated power name or power symbol or ceremonial act (Hod).

There is a book which I always recommend for reading and it's called "You Can Have It All" by Arnold M. Patent. It's a guide of how to bring abundance
into ones life. It explains how to bring forth manifestation and strangely
enough seems to explain how to work with Hod and Netzach. using the meta-scientific laws of correspondence and cause and
effect. He explains the need to trust your intuition (Netzach) and writes
that what ever you think about expands. If you dwell on what's bad in your
life, it may remain that way. But if you use your intellect to focus on what
is good in your life, the good will expand. One of the reasons that magic
works is that energy follows consciousness, so it stands to reason that what
ever we fill our thoughts with, our energy will follow.

Netzach rules "feeling", the emotions. It also rules the arts. Artists
create a masterpiece through their motivation to act not only upon their
imagination, but their intuitive feeling for the "right touch", the most
appropriate way to inject into their piece what they want to convey to their
audience. Of course one must work in accordance with Hod for anything to be
accomplished, so in Hod we bring these feelings through the intellectual
process to manifest the idea. The difference between working in Hod versus
Netzach may be found in these examples. Two composers create a sonata.
Although both are outstanding in their technique and music scores, one writes
with feeling. Two artists paint the same picture. Both are rendered with
equally professional technique, but one is more dramatic, it has more flavor.
All are working in Hod, but only the two who were able to bring their pieces
alive were working from Netzach.

I really believe that to be a proficient occultist, it's an asset to
cultivate some sort of talent on a regular basis, be it music, studio art,
writing, etc. These activities not only stimulate and activate the
imagination, the physical act itself diversifies ones capabilities. These
expand the capacity to visualize, conceptualize, and create. For a huge part
of performing magic is being able to form an image or emotion in our core
essence and mind (Netzach and Hod) and bring it back down the Tree of Life
into manifestation in Malkuth. The stronger the visualization skills, the
better chance for results.

Netzach is the core of nature, and to ascend to this sephrioth one must
emanate the aspects of the natural forces and formations. To embody the force
of Netzach one must not only recall the force or formation, but to lucidity
relive the feeling of the particular event. We've all been caught out in a
tremendous thunderstorm downpour at one time or another. We can remember
being rained on, what the downpour sounded like over our heads, the thickness
of the air and the peculiar electrical twinge to the atmosphere, the wicked
crack of lightening. We can remember what it "felt" like. Part of reaching up
into Netzach is being able to visualize and connect with the feeling of that
moment in time as accurately as you can with all your senses. When casting a
circle and calling on the elements, the direction could be made much more
potent by recalling a past experience associated with the particular element
to evoke its sensation and essence into physical presence.

These forces and forms serve to humble us as well as inspire us to the
majesty of Nature. There's a special place south of San Diego, a little town
way up in the mountains called Julian. I have had the unique privilege of
unexpectedly visiting this town twice. As you drive through the mountains,
the curves are 90 degree turns, you can't see around them, and around each
bend is a scene totally unique onto itself and completely different than the
one before it. The mountains are so high, so close and we are so small, it's
claustrophobic. There are no road railings on the valley side of the road and
it drops straight down. After snaking around for a bit, you finally come
around the last bend where the eye looks out over open miles and miles of the
flat cactus riddled Ansa Borego Desert. The beauty is overwhelming. In the
realm of mind (Hod) the ethic is Truth; on the astral plane, the sphere of
the emotions and instincts (Netzach), the ethic is beauty.

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