Go here to see my post on the Three Negative Veils of Existence.
Go here to see my post on Kether.
Go here to see my post on Hod and Tiphareth.
So the two Sephira I painted today are Yesod (below) and Netzach (above).
At first I had a lot of trouble understanding what Netzach really meant. Of course into English the title of this Sephira means “Victory” but I didn’t quite understand what kind of victory it was talking about, or why it was Hod’s opposite. I think I have a much firmer grasp on what Netzach means and I also think its planet and deity have a lot to say for it as well.
Netzach is associated with the color green, and Venus, both symbols of fertility and sexuality. But anyone who studies Hermeticism in great detail (or really any branch of ceremonial magick) understands that it is not sex actually, but what sex represents, that is important. Hathor, represented here by a cow, was the Egyptian equivalent of Venus and Aphrodite. All three of these goddesses however are associated with love. And love, quite simply, is a metaphor for union. In the Western Mystery tradition, we understand that the main mode of thought is that humanity has fallen from perfection and must restore itself to the breast of God in order to be whole again. Paraphrased from Aleister Crowley, we are divided so that we might have a chance of union. This is the “victory” of which Netzach speaks—the victory of wholeness, as opposed to Hod’s intellectual tendency to “deconstruct” to understand. Netzach understands through union.
It’s for this reason I chose the symbol Eta for Netzach, which has its Mithraic correspondence to the Tarot card The Lovers. Even the letter looks like two people united horizontally by a bond. It is the perfect symbol of victory, the victory of the Great Work: union with God.
Now to Yesod. Although the coloring of the Sephira from the picture is hard to make out (I had a hell of a time trying to get it an angle that would be photogenic) it is definitely purple. Yesod means “The Foundation”, and I like to think of it as sort of a vent we can use to escape Malkuth (“The Kingdom”). Yesod is a watery, chaotic place, full of romance, hiddenness, dreams, and all of those other wonderful lunar associations. For this Sephira I chose the Egyptian moon god Aah, who is often depicted with a single lock of braided hair. In ancient Egypt, this was a fashionable style amongst young boys and adolescents. I tried to capture the wonderful weaving pattern of the braid in my depiction of Aah.
Aah was primarily an Old Kingdom god, before Tehuti became the primary deity associated with the moon. As a result Aah is also associated with Tehuti.
The Greek letter by Aah’s head, the letter Rho, has a long and proud history not only in Neoplatonism and the Greek language but in early Christianity as well. According to the Mithraic correspondence, Rho is the Tarot equivalent of The Moon, or the divine feminine. (Yesod has so far been the hardest Sephira to paint.)