[From the Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang: page 104]
"The beams of Geburah and Tiphareth meet in Hod and thence arises in Hod a brilliant pure and flashing orange tawny. And the Sphere of its Operation is that of Kochab, the stellar light, bestowing elegance, swiftness, scientific knowledge and art, and constancy of speech, and it ruleth the sphere of the action of the planet Mercury. And Elohim Tzabaoth is also a God of Hosts and Armies, of Mercy and Agreement, of Praise and Honor, ruling the Universe in Wisdom and Harmony. And its Archangel is Michael, the Prince of Splendor and of Wisdom, and the Name of its order of Angels is Beni Elohim, or Sons of the God, who are also called the Order of Archangels." [Illustration from the Qabalistic Tarot, by Robert Wang]
Basically, #8 - Hod is the concrete mind and is the sphere of Mercury, thus to Hod are attributed all that is intellectual and systematized, such as the magical arts, literature, science and commerce. As a Qabalist, it is the Sphere of Conscious energy, that I speak and write from. The color orange is also the Color of Mental ambition, passion mixed with intellect. When considering Hod, we must also consider Netzach, for at the base of the Pillar of Form, beneath Binah, Hod (splendor) resides. And at the base of the Pillar of Force, beneath Chokma, resides Netzack (Victory). Both linked together by the Path of the Tower.
The Same balance of Force and Form that is seen in the Supernal Triangle, is seen between these Two Sephiroth. But there is a difference is this lower pattern of Force and Form as it is expressible in conceptualized forms and understood by our reasoning minds. There are no objects to examine in the Supernal. For Chokma is the "idea of outpouring Force": and Binah is "the idea of Form that restricts force":, terms most subjective and displaying no object.
With the union of Hod and Netzach, we are now dealing with concepts that can immediately be understood in terms of individual Personality construction and architecture; in other words, objectively. In the human personality the Fire of Netzach is animal intuition and the Water of Hod is the concrete personal and rational mind.
The Book of Thoth, is another name for the Tarot and is refereed to Hod. To reiterate, Thoth is an Egyptian name, who is Hermes in Greek and Mercury in Roman language. Each of these are presented in each cultural mythology as messengers, a patron of teaching and learning; teacher of the Mysteries. All language is the messenger of knowledge, a carrier of messages and relates to Hod. Words of Power, are a Magus tool, and the well practice instrument of any practitioner of the Mysteries. The "movement with in the Motion" of words, is subjective, but that doesn't affect its power to transform the listening object!
Names and Versicle relate to Hod, but without the fiery passion of Netzach, they are dull and empty. The effect of "feelings" in a word are obvious, either by saying "I love you" or "I hate You", with focused passion, this effects our inner world. To say these same phrases with monotones of logic, makes them ineffectual, and dead.
The Inner Word is a World of Vibration that only the intense energy of Netzach can reach. So power speakers, know to bring the dynamic energy of Netzach to the environment through "living' words. Many fail at ritual, because they chant by wrote and not by the dynamics of Vital Force (Sexual energy). As Robert Wang states. Those who approach the esoteric studies with great vitality and enthusiasm but lack the discipline of Hod are wasting their time. And those who fail to bring the intuition of Netzach to bear on the many words written about the inner sciences will quickly decide that the "Hermetic Mysteries" are pedantic and lifeless."
The Qaballah, names many attributes of the One, each of which requires a different learning experience (Paths) to "pronounce" the God name. Thus, the names of the system are of Hod, but the beginning of the system to properly use the words is in Netzach whose God encompasses the whole Tree of Life.
There is a reason why the Hermaphrodite, is the magical image of Hod.That reason comes from the fact that form requires force in restriction, force is symbolize as Phallic, and form is symbolized as Ovum, or Womb. Thus, in Hod are the dynamic qualities of the force of Netzach, which are limited in order that they can be dealt with through our normal process of thought. We know these limits as the Form of both language and visual image. Both are comprehensible symbols agreed upon by societies for the transmission of messages. Sure, language and images are both artificial and have no intrinsic qualities of their own,they are merely carriers of idea, neutral in themselves but the "feelings" of Netzach, our inner-passion, makes them seem alive.
The symbol for Hod is not only Names and vesicles, but also the Apron, which also refers to the Moon, as does Thoth himself in one aspect. Being a traditional Masonic symbol, the Apron symbolizes the builder who is the craftsman of the Mysteries, and when worn, covers the sexual organs attributed to Yesod. Those who understand Yesod, see the extent to which the manipulation of sexual energy is the foundation of all practical work.
When in returning our consciousness to the God head, from its material condition, Hod becomes the primary point of conceptual transfer. Here, in Hod, the Masters contact their chosen disciples, clothing themselves in forms comprehensible to the human mind; presenting to the student the formal tools of the Hermetic path. The Sephiroth Netzach is the presentation point of the Orphic Path, and the Middle Pillar is the Devotional Path.
Now the initiate knows that by projecting oneself into any Sephiroth, by meditative means, immerses the student in the Qualities of that Energy Consciousness. But we use the forces of Hod, by approaching things intellectual or by just studying the Mysteries. All The Sephiroth, on the Tree of Life, are integral parts of Our Whole Self, in a constant state of dynamic activity. The Principle of Practical Qaballah is that we turn our conscious observation toward a particular aspect of ourselves, and thereby gain access to the corresponding part of the Universal Mind.
What is of note, the God Mercury is also known a the god of deceit and trickery and words are also vessels of these vices. This suggest the aspect of "adaptability" required for esoteric work. which is conferred by the Hod Energy. Now the student knows that the whole Astral realm seeks to deceive but this deception is because of our perceptual vulnerability when viewing astral images. Our human minds are particularly susceptible to perceptual folly, in the alternatively bright and murky Sephiroth of Yesod. And it is in Hod that we begin to understand the mechanisms of our perceptions.
The eights are of Hod, here the eights generally show solitary success in the matter for the time being. but not leading to much result-- apart from the thing itself. Next blog deals with Hod, and the Eight of Wands-Swiftness.
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!