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Christian Khabbalah: Hod

by Joumana Medlej

Hod is Glory, the glory of the forms conceived by the intellectual mind. The aspect of pure logic of this Sphere is best understood when compared to its opposing Sphere, Netzach, that is by contrast a creative Sphere based on unconscious instincts and inspirations. The god forms, in other words the way we imagine God, are situated at the level of Hod, whereas the force behind the form is higher up in Netzach. Hod and Netzach must be balanced at all times, for excess or lack of either leads to a serious imbalance. Our times can be said to suffer from an excess of Hod, as most of the scientific world is intent on eliminating such "inaccurate" notions as faith and mysticism. The 8th Sphere is associated with the sacrament of Confirmation.

The magical image of Hod is the Hermaphrodite. To represent the two polarities united in one human being, I chose the figure of Siamese, male and female, in a stance reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. I found this drawing to be uniquely appropriate: the purpose of it was to study the mathematical proportions behind the human anatomy, and indeed Hod is the Sphere where the logical structures behind all things are made. Moreover, a characteristic of the Renaissance of which Leonardo was a beacon, was its scientific spirit - science and calculation applied to all things, even and especially art. In contrast to other Spheres, Hod is not gendered nor does gender play a part in its attributes, for which reason the figures are prevents the focus of the image to go where it is not meant to. It serves a second purpose, a reminiscence of ancient priests who traditionally had their heads shaved. The guarding of knowledge and the worship of God or the gods were then closely associated: Hod should be a reminder that today's utter separation between spirituality and science is no reflection of truth.

As the intellectual mind is such an objective and emotionless tool in its pure form, I also removed the eyebrows to keep the figures expressionless. The combination of a gesture typical of Siamese twins of this type (mutual hugging) and Leonardo's sketch expresses the actions of reaching within and without at the same time to acquire "the full pictures", untainted knowledge. The latter is the privilege of abstract thinking (think mathematics), which is also represented here by the Mercury attribution. The figures wear an apron, another symbol of Hod: the attribute of the craftsman/creator.

Hod's four scales of color are violet purple (dominant), orange, red russet and yellowish black flecked white. Hod's element is Water, represented in the background texture.

Five paths issue from/arrive to Hod: Shin to Malkuth, Resh to Yesod, Peh to Netzach, Ayin to Tiphareth, and Mem to Geburah.

 

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