Hod X Netzach

Today has been one of those days that has brimmed over with synchronicities surrounding my spiritual work. I’m still a touch punchy and this post may follow suit. Be kind. Hopefully, it will become more clear over time as I dwell upon its contents. Some of this only makes sense if you follow the links.

Do you ever feel the urge to say something and then discover a message for yourself from spirit within it? Of course you have; it’s just the spiritual side of the Freudian slip. So, in response to Gordon’s post about neotheosophy I caught clear sight of the relationship between Hod and sattva. Despite the fact that we put Hod on the pillar of severity, it has profound ties to the pillar of mercy, in a way that mirrors the ties between Netzach and the pillar of severity.

If we overlay our handy-dandy tricolore of black/tamas, red/rajas, and white/sattva, the pillars above Tifaret align nicely with tamas and sattva. The weighty and destructive Binah and Geburah give stability and freedom to the brightness and rejuvenating force of Chokmah and Chesed. The lower half, beneath Tifaret, turns red. However, each of those red sefirot favor the black or the white.

Hod-Hermes arrives with the good news of the starry sphere and Jupiter, while Netzach-Venus works with Saturn and Mars to weave us into the world that will, though we love it, rip us to pieces. Ishtar on one side, Ereshkigal on the other. I’m thinking, too, of Frisvold’s careful work in his description of the Exus, and I’m considering the difference between two sorts of devils. The sort, like Lucifer, who bring forth the light and reveal the hole in the roof and sort like Astaroth whose work rests in the ties to the world.

St. Bartholomew, his skin flayed and draped around his body, a knife in one hand and the Good Book in the other
St. Bartholomew (notice, no pins in the head)

Know your devils so you can know your saints, right? Or vice versa, if you prefer.

That criss-crossing seems part of the basic nature of creation, and I wonder how much it relies on the moon’s reflective inversion and how much the moon’s reflective properties derive from this inversion. (Oh, who am I kidding? It’s both, just depends on which way you look at it–are we going up or down? Can we tell?)

The pairing of saint and devil (or angel and devil) gets us back to the Yeatses again, too, because they represent a kind of higher scale expression of the daemon-person pairing, between which lies the kernel of something eternal manifesting in the dyad with (our) temporal dimensions.

That sort of pairing isn’t just some early modern mess, either. Take a look at the Zoroastrians. There the daevas (including ‘Indar,’ i.e., Indra) whose ‘wickedness’ opposes Ahura Mazda’s goodness. Hinduism reverses the relationship but preserves the polarity–they favor the Devas over the Asuras. Still, it takes both to churn the ocean. (Or, perhaps in reverse, it takes both to contain the great mountain so that the churning is not too great.)

An image of Hindu devas and asuras churning the ocean by means of a giant snake wrapped around a mountain

For which you might also want a dragon or two that you can really grab onto, one that is fairly often red.

Two horned birdlike creatures flanking two serpents winding up a central pillar

That image is from a vessel dedicated to Ningishzida, whose praise names include “[he] who brings together giant snakes and dragons” and “lord of the good tree.” As this nice fellow observes:

if the combination of fertility, a magical tree, the Fertile Crescent, and a serpent do not seem immediately familiar to you, perhaps you should peruse the book which comes free with the hotel room (you don’t even have to read very far).

Which gets us back to the tree of life, with the red dragon/serpent at its base and the angels and devils, saints and demons, at its sides, and God/Reality/Brahman at its crown. That criss-crossing? What if it results from the back and forth motion of the serpents at its base, at the movement they make possible or restrain, and through which both heaven and hell are synchronized through the medium of creation?

That burning fire at the center of Tifaret the friction of the temporal against the eternal, a burning sun or a smoking mirror. That does make the tree something buzzing and alive…

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2 thoughts on “Hod X Netzach

  1. Pingback: The Coils that turn the Axel | Disrupt & Repair

  2. Pingback: Exit Strategies | Disrupt & Repair

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