Hod (Kabbalah)

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The Sephirot in Jewish Kabbalah
Keter Binah Chokhmah Da'at Gevurah Chesed Tiferet Hod Netzach Yesod MalkuthThe Sefirot in Jewish Kabbalah

Hod

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This article is about the kabbalistic sephira. For other meanings, see Hod (disambiguation).

Hod ("Majesty"; הוד) in the Kabbalah of Judaism is the eighth sephira of the Kabbalistic tree of life. It is derived from hod הוד in the Hebrew language meaning "majesty" or "splendor" and denoting "praise" as well as "submission".

Hod sits below Gevurah and across from Netzach in the tree of life; Yesod is to the south-east of Hod. It has four paths, which lead to Gevurah, Tiphereth, Netzach, and Yesod.

All the sephirot are likened to different parts of the body, and netzach and hod are likened to the two feet of a person: right foot and left foot. Feet are usually only the means for a person's activity. While the hands are the main instrument of action, the feet bring a person to the place where he wishes to execute that action.

Hasidic Judaism's view of Hod is that it is connected with Jewish prayer. Prayer is seen as form of "submission"; Hod is explained as an analogy - that instead of "conquering" an obstacle in one's way, (which is the idea of Netzach), subduing oneself to that "obstacle" is related to the quality of Hod.

In a mystical sense, in which the Tree of Life is supposed to be a roadmap to "consciousness", Hod is where form is given by language in its widest sense, being the key to the mystery of form. (Perhaps this may be an adopting of a point of view of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan), our unconscious desires come from Netzach, and are given form in the symbolic realm by Hod, manifesting unconsciously through Yesod to Malkuth.

Non-Jewish occult associations[edit]

Hod is described as being a force that breaks down energy into different, distinguishable forms, and it is associated with intellectuality, learning and ritual, as opposed to Netzach, Victory, which is the power of energy to overcome all barriers and limitations, and is associated with emotion and passion, music and dancing.

Both these forces find balance in Yesod, foundation, the world of the unconscious, where the different energies created await expression in the lowest world of Malkuth, the Kingdom.

The archangel of this sphere is Michael, and the Bene Elohim is the Angelic order.

Hod is said to be the sphere in which the magician mostly works. An example is given by Dion Fortune. Imagine primitive man is meditating in the wilderness, and comes in contact, begins to understand, some energy that surrounds him. So he can grasp it better, he creates some form, perhaps the form of a god or a symbol, so he has something he can relate to. He then uses that statue or that symbol in future ceremonies to contact that intangible energy once again. This is the role that Hod plays in magic, while the music and dance that may be present in such a ceremony is the role that Netzach might play, providing the raw energy to reach the higher levels of consciousness.

In comparing with Eastern systems, both Hod and Netzach are sometimes associated with the Manipura chakra, which is associated with the breaking down and releasing of energy, anabolism and catabolism.

In 777, Aleister Crowley associates Hod to the Four Eights of occult tarot, Anubis, Thoth, Hanuman, Loki, Hermes, Mercury, Jackal. Hermaphrodite, Opal, Storax, and quicksilver (Not a complete list)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Jewish[edit]

Non-Jewish[edit]