Magical Image: A king, a child, a sacrificed god. Name of Power: Yahveh Eloah Va Daath (God/Goddess made manifest in the Sphere of the Mind) Archangel: Raphael, Michael. Angels: Malachim, the kings. Planetary Attribution: The Sun. Virtue: Devotion to the Great Work. Vice: False pride. Titles: The Lesser Countenance. Spiritual Experience: Vision of the harmony of things, understanding the mysteries of sacrifice. Deity Colour: Clear rose-pink. Archangel Colour: Yellow. Angel Colour: Rich salmon-pink. Planetary Colour: Golden amber. Symbols: The red cross, the Calvary cross, the truncated pyramid, the lamen, the cube.
Deities: Sun deities, holy children, healers, sacrificed kings, illuminators: Osiris, Apollo, Attis, Adonis, Tammuz, Balder, Bran, Llew, Lugh, Gwern, Jesus, Dionysus, Balin, Ogma, Bride, Nonens, Shamas, Mot, Dozhbog, Parva, Huare-Khasaeta, Sura, Amaterasu, Koodjanuk, Shakuru, Shakuru, Tezcatlipoca, Inti, Apu, Panchai, Ra,
Precious Stone: Topaz, yellow diamond. Plant: Acacia, bay laurel, vine. Perfume: Olibanum (frankincense). Animals: Phoenix, lion, pelican in piety. Illusion: Identification. Obligation: Integrity. Briatic Correspondence: Centrality, wholeness. Tarot Suit Number: The Sixes.
Tiphareth, the central sphere of the Tree, is the heart and pivotal point of the Qabalah.
Its name means beauty, harmony; it is the sphere of equilibrium and the epitome of balance. Tiphareth sits in the balance between mercy and severity, between active and passive and between force and form. Here is the child of the God and Goddess. With its planetary attribution of the Sun at the centre of our solar system, all things revolve around it. It is an unusual standing point to take when we consider that the Sun was attributed here long before it was considered to be the centre of the Universe. Esoteric tradition states that the power of our Sun comes in fact from another sun and this is reflected in Tiphareth which is called the Lesser Countenance and reflects to true power of the Greater Countenance of Kether.
Since Tiphareth has a dual aspect of death and rebirth its likes to Pagan mythology are many. We may place here sacrificed kings like Dionysus, Balder and Llew. Also sacred children like Jesus, Lugh and Horus. Due to its solar attribution we may place healing gods and sun gods such as Ra and Apollo, as well as illuminators like Krishna and Buddha. This is a truly multi faceted sphere. We could even extend the attributions to King Arthur as he was a sacrificial king. According to legend he behaved in life in a Geburic way with his "might for right" principles but what he lay down as chivalrous law gave birth to a rich moral code. He also lay down his life as a sacrifice to his land and will come again when the need is greatest or so the legends say. Of men who can be placed in this sphere we must think of the likes of Gandhi who definitely offered new ways of thinking. Dr Martin Luther King was also a new ideal bringer. Of the names I have given all were murdered but theirs was a life given of sacrifice.
Just as Tiphareth has a duality, so does it have a dual spiritual experience? The vision of the harmony of things is the awareness that the Universe is ever unfolding. It is akin to the Tao, those who have truly experienced this are often extraordinary people.
Freed from the ordinary irritations and worries of everyday life, they have seen ultimate harmony; they view the big picture and understand that there is a reason for everything. The understanding of the mysteries of sacrifice is gained through the true understanding of karma. Everything happens for a reason, we get from life what we earn. There is a misconception that if bad things happen to you then you must have been bad in a former life. This is as I say a misconception. If your wallet is stolen it does not indicate that you were a thief in a former life, it may not even be a lesson for you to learn. Consider it more that it is a sacrifice that you must make in order for the thief to learn a lesson he has yet too. From a Qabalists point of view it is possible to see what lessons people have learnt and where they are in reference to the Tree. There is a lesson to be learnt in each sphere, the pathways between them give us an idea of how best to travel. Of historic figures I think both Gandhi and Jesus are probably the perfect examples of the understanding of the mysteries of sacrifice. Jesus gave up his life for his beliefs and because he understood that many people would learn from his example. Gandhi also sacrificed much in order that people would learn by his example.
For us to experience the true sacrifice called for here as Pagans we must move away from the blood sacrifice of older days. I doubt a god or goddess would be pleased when a follower appears at their feet dragging a lifeless body that once contained the life of their god or goddess. Nor can we expect them to be pleased if we take our own lives in their name. As a Pagan we are called upon to give our lives over to the gods and goddesses but not to give up our lives. When we embark as a second Degree practitioner we give our lives over to the Gods to do with as they will. From that point on our lives are dedicated to their service. This does not however mean that we do not have everyday lives; it simply means that the Gods come first. Only by making this sacrifice can we ever hope to be guided to the end of our spiritual paths and rejoin once more with the source of life. A willing sacrifice indicates that everything we do is with the Gods in mind. We wish that they be proud and pleased with us. The very word sacrifice means "to make holy". When it comes to the Third Degree initiations many return to Tiphareth. Just as the second degree represents ritual death where the initiate dies to their old life and is reborn to a new life of service to the Gods, when this period is over the Third Degree is invoked to celebrate the rebirth of the High
Being on the middle pillar which is the pillar of Air Tiphareth is given the association of Raphael as its Archangel, but thanks to its duality and it's associations with fire from the Sun, it is also given Michael as the Archangel of Fire. Which you work with is dependent on what you are using or how best you visualise this sphere. The virtue and vice of this sphere are easily understood but the illusion may be difficult to understand. The illusion of identification is best defined by identifying yourself by what you do, not what you are. When asked the question "who are you?" What are the first three things that come to mind? The first thing is usually your name but what after that. Do you think about your job, your religion, and your political affiliations? What if those things just suddenly went away how would you identify yourself then? Only if you have a sense of self-worth can you survive such things and self-worth can be found by giving over ourselves to the Gods and experiencing the pleasures they gain through us. The obligation of Tiphareth can guide us here. Integrity, honest application of ones self to the cause and to the Great Work.
Chesed, Geburah and Tiphareth form the next triangle on the Tree of Life. This has been given a few different names McGregor Mathers refers to it as the Moral World, Dion Fortune refers to it as the Ethical Triangle, and how you refer to them is up to you. As long as you understand how one and one become three you will be able to relate to this set of spheres and their workings.
Originally Posted by Shatril This triangle consists of Chesed (Gedulah) , Geburah and Tiphareth. This is a pair of opposites that find equalibrium in the third. Where as the Supernal Triangle derives its significance from what lies behind it (Kether), the second triangle called the Ethical Triangle derives its significance from what issue from it Tiphareth.
You can read Dion Fortune's representation of this triangle in her book the Mystical Qabalah, for further input. Bethra has included the link in her post on the Recommended Reading Thread. However, I would like to include this observation of this triangle, as I made a few connections to this today while meditating. It seems germane to this forum somehow.
In studying the Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune, I connected some dots. I once read in the Hiram Key by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, that "there was a traditional requirement for there to be two messiahs, who would work hand-in-hand to achieve the final victory of Yahweh and His chosen people. A kingly messiah from the tribe of Judah, the royal line of David, would be joined by a priestly messiah from the tribe of Levi." Page 52 in the trade paperback of the Hiram Key.
When you look at Fortune's and others explanation of Chesed, you see that he is called the wise king, the father of his people, organizing the realm, fostering learning, and bringing the gifts of civilization. Then you come to Geburah and we find a warrior king, leading his people in battle. Then you look at the result of this union, and you find Tiphareth means Beauty; but also relates to the sacrificed Gods; it is also related with the fact that the two messiahs were to join together to give Yahweh the victory and establish a Jewish kingdom/rule. Jesus, the warrior king (house of David) and John the Baptist, (the priestly king (house of Levi), who were both sacrificed by the Roman's, but at the behest of the Jewish leaders. They were the two messiah's that were alive at the same time and people often called John the Baptist the messiah, and he kept telling them that they must wait for another. The other arrived in the form of Jesus who was baptized by John, and clearly announced as the one that he waited for.
Now I just can't help, but think that this is an important part of my belief here. I believe that John and Jesus were connected. I believe that the etherical triangle of the Tree of Life is a representation of this dual messiah thing. I would even go so far as to change my description of Chesed to that of the priestly king. I would certainly relate Jesus Geburah and the warrior king. However, the wheels fell off the messiah wagon when John was beheaded and Jesus crucified. The Tiphareth sphere which represents the victory seems to have been fulfilled in the death of John and Jesus, and opened the veil of Paroketh behind Tiphareth which allows humans to travel beyond the veil (hummmm maybe like open the gates of heaven). I guess this is going to take some more meditation, but by golly this all fits so nicely that I'm really excited.
Thank you for your time
Here I have let one of my students from the last class cover the Ethical triangle from a biblical sense. I look forward to seeing how you guys cover it.
Magical Image: A beautiful naked woman. Name of Power: Yahveh Tzabaoth (Lord of Hosts). Archangel: Haniel. Angels: Elohim. Planetary Attribution: Venus.
Virtue: Unselfish. Vice: Unchastely, lust for power. Spiritual Experience: Firmness, valour. Deity Colour: Amber. Archangel Colour: Emerald. Angel Colour: Bright yellowish-green. Planetary Colour: Olive flecked with gold. Symbols: Lamp, girdle, the rose. Deities: All love deities: Venus, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Hathor, Rhiannon, Niamh, Olwen,
Cerridwen (for inspiration). Precious Stone: Emerald. Plant: Rose. Perfume: Rose, benzoin, red sandalwood. Animals: Lynx. Illusion: Projection. Obligation: Responsibility. Briatic Correspondence: Nurture. Tarot Suit Number: The Sevens.
When the energy branches off from Tiphareth it flows once more to the Pillar of Force and enters the sphere of Netzach. From the point of view of most coven students the name of this sphere is understandable since much work has been done to reach this position and a real sense of victory or achievement is gained here. Netzach is a very emotive sphere crammed full of emotions and feeling so it's links to the likes of Venus and Aphrodite are perfectly understandable. This connection to the emotions makes Netzach appear to be an easy to understand sphere but this is not always the case. Take for example the Archangel Haniel whose Angels are called Elohim. The name Elohim translates to both God and Goddess. How then can the gods and goddesses also be angels? Of course they are not, what is really being represented here is the energy of the image we have given each deity in our own minds. In Netzach the pure deity energy is broken into different aspects of the Lord and Lady with which Pagans are familiar, this is the energy however not the actual forms we are familiar with. Netzach behaves much like a prism that divides light into rainbows of colours. It divides all things from the whole so that the one may become many individual things. If we believe that this is one God and one Goddess this doesn't make much sense. Likewise if we think that each deity is a separate individual is also makes little sense. However if we consider the whole thing makes up a Oneness, that is everything, gods, goddesses, planets, trees, worms, birds, humankind and everything else, we begin to understand the separation involved in Netzach.
The vision of Netzach is a glory to behold. Can you imagine what it must be to view that beauty that is Tiphareth? To glimpse that infinite wonder must be truly heart stopping in its entirety. The name of power for Netzach "Yahveh Tzabaoth" means "out of the one, many", all the facets of the God and Goddess as seen in all their glorious ways. Netzach lies at the foot of the Masculine Pillar and is full of goodness and beauty. It is the creative energy we put into rituals to make them effective. It is the creative force which drives the artist to make beautiful images. It is the spark of genius that touches the inventor. It is this spark that can bring about the illusion of this sphere since an artist or poet may often express the feelings of another person, on realising this, the truly creative ones may come to believe they share the feelings of everyone and so projection as an illusion comes into play. Equally if we project our negative feelings onto another it is easy to transfer our thoughts and make them that of another. "He is the one who hates me", "She doesn't understand me", these are all classic examples of projecting our own negative thoughts on another. The virtue of Netzach is unselfishness, natural love, and true love. The vice of this sphere can be the misunderstanding of natural love and can show in impure motives as well as the more obvious sexual realm. To over come this we must first cast off the idea that we are made either good or evil. We are responsible for everything we do, there is no one else to blame for our misdeeds and no one to take the credit for our virtues but ourselves.
As children we can have a much better concept of Netzach since we are free in our creative energy. We paint, write stories, play and day dream. Eventually we have to create quality of our creativity rather than just enjoying the fun of it. We worry if our poems are good enough, if others will like our pictures. If our creative expression does not live up to whatever set of ideals we set ourselves we stop creating and cut ourselves off from the glory of Netzach's pure energy. To develop a better connection with this sphere get out those finger paints and paint a picture just for fun. To buy some modelling clay and make a pot. It makes no difference if someone else likes it the point is that you have fun and enjoy it. In doing this you are touching and being touched by Netzach. These energies are part of all of us; to not use them would be like chopping off your own foot. Using them will touch every part of your life with a warm creative glow and fill your life with joy and happiness. Once you begin to let Netzach into your life you will find your life richer and more fulfilling. Just as your body needs food to survive so you soul needs Netzach to help it soar.
Magical Image: A hermaphrodite. Name of Power: Elohim Tzabaoth (God/Goddess of Hosts). Archangel: Michael, Raphael. Angels: Beni Elohim (God/Goddess of Hosts). Planetary Attribution: Mercury.
Virtue: Truthfulness. Vice: Falsehood, dishonesty. Spiritual Experience: Vision of Splendour. Deity Colour: Violet, purple. Archangel Colour: Orange. Angel Colour: Russet red. Planetary Colour: Yellowish-black, flecked with white. Symbols: Names, mantras, caduceus. Deities: Messengers and teachers: Tehuti (Thoth), Hermes, Mercury, Tautes, Anubis,
Ogma. Precious Stone: Opal. Plant: Moly. Perfume: Storax (liquidambar gum). Animals: Jakal, twin serpents. Illusion: Order. Obligation: Learning. Briatic Correspondence: Nurture. Tarot Suit Number: The Eights.
Hod the glory and splendour of the intellect. This is the sphere of the teacher, of the scientist and all teacher gods and messengers find their home here. This is the sphere of the intellectual mind, books, communications, esoteric teachings; puzzles and the text of rituals all find their place here. Mercury is the planet of the mind and also finds its home here. Work in Hod can stimulate the mind to new levels of rationality and logic. It is in this that we can understand the vice of this sphere. When we work with a principle enough we can create our own logic for it, we can in effect create our own truths which in actuality may be false but we may not see that. It is important to remember to take on board what others may think in order that we don't become guilty of this falsehood. Though we may believe that there is order, logical or otherwise to our thinking it is often far from the truth this is the illusion of Hod. We believe there is perfect order because we can see the order to it but others may not see it that way at all. It is the obligation of Hod to continue to learn, continually question what we know and continue to ask questions of that which we don't. In doing this we are saved from the vice and the illusion of this sphere and we come closer to the virtue of this sphere which is truthfulness. This is not just honesty with others but also truthfulness with ones self. We can't know it all, we can't always be right, this is a hard lesson to learn but learn it we must and only by questioning ourselves can we come close to this. It is important to be truthful in all ways not just the negatives but also in the positives.
The two Archangels who are attributed to Hod are Raphael the healer of the psychic wounds and the represented of the intellect, and Michael defender of the wronged and protector of the weak. Michael also defends on a psychic level. The Angels of this sphere are the Beni Elohim the Children of the God and Goddess and they are the forms the divided energy from Netzach takes. When working with this energy we must give it a form we can recognise and so we create an image that suits us best.
The vision of splendour in this sphere does not always refer to the splendour of beauty. It does not have to be experienced by the emotions but is experienced by the mind. The awe that is experienced when viewing the pyramids or when you see a vast desert might not be one of beauty but it is still splendid. The magical image of the Hermaphrodite might seem odd given that this sphere is on the feminine pillar but since both Netzach and Hod are both so far down the Tree and so close to manifestation both spheres carry a strong mix of both sexes. The Hermaphrodite symbolizes this quite well. As a man fertilizes a woman on the physical plane so does a woman fertilize the man on the spiritual plane. This mixture of cross genderising is the reason for the magical image of the Hermaphrodite.
Once again we can best understand the two spheres of Netzach and Hod when we look at them together as a pair. Books and studies come under the jurisdiction of Hod but we need the creative energy of Netzach to put that knowledge to work for us. Netzach is sound; Hod is words, sound in patterns. Between Hod and Netzach can also be found the Great Rite and with both of them we can work towards the Great
Magical Image: A beautiful naked man, very strong. Name of Power: Shaddai El Chai, Almighty Living One. Archangel: Gabriel. Angels: Aishim, the Souls of Fire. Planetary Attribution: The Moon. Virtue: Independence. Vice: Idleness.
Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe. Deity Colour: Indigo. Archangel Colour: Violet. Angel Colour: Violet. Planetary Colour: Very dark purple. Symbols: The perfumes and the sandals, the mirror. Deities: All Moon deities: Goda, Diana, Thoth, Ganesha, Hecate, Sin, Myestats, Kuu, Mah, Varuna, Soma, Chango, Hengo, Tsuki-yomie, Pah, Coyolxauhqui, Quilla,
Auchimalgen. Precious Stone: Quartz. Plant: Mandrake, banyan, damiana. Perfume: Jasmine, ginseng, all fragrant roots. Animals: Elephant, tortoise, toad. Illusion: Security. Obligation: Trust. Briatic Correspondence: Receptivity, perception. Tarot Suit Number: The Nines.
Yesod, the sphere of foundation the furthest, other than actual manifestation, from Kether. On the return journey it is the most easily reached of all the spheres being only one step up from physical manifestation. This is reflected in the planetary attribution of the Moon being the heavenly body being most easily reached from the Earth. As we live in a physical sense in Malkuth so do we live in Yesod, as Yesod gives life to matter. All Moon deities find their home here from Luna and Hecate to Hathor and Ganesha. The phases of the Moon are reflected in the Triple Goddesses who find their home here, Waxing is the Maiden, Full the Mother and Waning the Crone it neither truly grows no more than it really shrinks. Night after night from her New Moon state, Lady Luna reveals more of herself to us. The whole of her may not always be visible but it is always there just not illuminated. So is the knowledge we learn from the Lady. During the waning cycle more of the Moon becomes hidden and yet the physical Moon does not change during these phases. It simple shows different aspects or faces. The phases are thus an illusion and so does Yesod get its name as the sphere of illusion.
Yesod is the Akasha, Astral or Etheric, Plane. Here we build thought forms and when imbued with enough energy so do those thought forms become stronger by drawing more energy from the spheres above Yesod. We must however remember that the images are just that images nothing more. A thought form can be nothing more until enough energy enters them so as to make them more. The Moon and the mirror are good images for this sphere as both reflect light and images. One of Yesod's titles is in fact the Treasure house of Images and this can make it a very misleading sphere. The uniformed are warned to be wary of being led astray by accepting illusions and images for real things and reality. It is for this reason, among others, that the use of the Qabalah can be very useful. Here is a map, once we know where Yesod is situated on that map, and once we understand the sphere itself, with the aid of the Qabalah we can easily see that this is most defiantly not an end or even for that matter a beginning. The training we get from learning about the Qabalah also teaches us to use deeper levels of our minds and the use of the same symbols as that of the conscious mind helps us to guard against misinterpretation in the metaphysical mind. Further knowledge teaches us that the images we see only symbolize that which is in fact much greater. There is more to the "beyond" than just the Astral Plane and this is revealed in the map of the Tree.
Yesod is a fertile plane and as such it is a sexual plane also. Here the soul enters the body created for it. This is where the Angels, Aishim or "Souls of Fire" find their homes. W. G. Gray attributed the Kerubim to this sphere and the Aishim to the next but I feel that they fit better this way. This will be explained deeper in Malkuth. Just for your information if you disagree with me and find it better the way Gray did it feel free to swap them around. Qabalists views often differ so we must use that which we can relate to the best. This is probably most evident in the placing of the major arcana upon the pathways of the Tree. Most often it is in the lower part of the Tree that these differences of opinion begin to show the most. Take for example the pathway between Netzach and Hod and the pathway between Tiphareth and Yesod. Many people believe that temperance sits on the first and the Tower sits on the other but I know of many who disagree and place them the other way around. I agree with both placements but tend towards the first since it fits better for some reason. Also if you are a follower of Crowley you will find that he also likes to move these attributations around somewhat so I say play with it find what fits the best for you and use it.
There are a few reasons for Gabriel being the archangel of this sphere. One as his role of the blower of the trumpet on Judgment Day, Gabriel stands over the graves from which the dead will arise on this day he stands just above actual manifestation just as
Yesod does on the Tree. He and his angels guide the souls to and from physical manifestation. Though the matter itself is Malkuth the force which holds it together and gives it life are Yesodic forces. I do not see Yesod as the end of life rather I see it as a new incarnation.
When considering the vice of Yesod is probably best explained in the example that many teachers will come across. A student who has worked very hard for sometime may suddenly refuse to put forth any further effort. Sometimes this phase passes and the student will advance once again other times the student remains there and will not advance further. In this case it is often that they are bemused by the treasure house of images that they think is truth. They maybe convinced they know it all and there is no need for further study. It is not for them the hard work and uphill slog of soul searching and the struggle to self growth. They become idle as the vice of this sphere is idleness but not because of inherent laziness but rather because they believe they have reached where they wanted to go. The illusion of security fits quite well with this attitude also. To grow we must change and change can often be frightening. It is possible at this stage we may believe that we are secure, that we have a good firm foundation and that we have achieved all that is needed. Of course in this we are quite wrong for security is an illusion. Yesod though being the foundation is not the buildings foundation. Look up the meaning of the word foundation in a dictionary it will often give something along the lines of "the basis on which something stands or is supported". It is not only solid ground that supports you; the sea will support you if you float on it. It is also the foundation of life on this planet and yet it is ever changing and moving. When you consider this side you can see that the illusion of standing on a rock solid foundation is just that. You would be better realising that you actually stand on a raft upon the sea and that at any moment a storm could hit. Dispel these illusions and over come the vice and you will learn the obligation of this sphere which is Trust. When we think we are secure in ourselves there is no need to trust anyone but when we realise that our security is really in the hands of the fates we must trust to the fates if nothing else if we are to carry on. Also we must work at the virtue of this sphere to have independence we must first truly know ourselves if we ever are to achieve full governance over ourselves. You won't achieve this if you subscribe to the vice of this sphere.
There is much more I could write upon this sphere but it would mean I would be doing all the work for you and this would be counter productive and only encourage you to the vice of this sphere so for now I will leave it at this and let you give me some of your feelings on this sphere.
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