In Qabalistic thought, the universe and all dimensions are comprised of what is known as THE FOUR WORLDS or levels of existence and being. The top layer or level is that of Atziluth, which is the Archetypal World, the World of Pure Spirit which initiates and activates all the other worlds. Atziluth corresponds with the first sound of Yod in Tetragrammaton, the secret Four Fold Name of God. Atziluth is the level of Supreme God Force, the Primal Fire which initiates the thought of creation and is associated with Kether, the top-most Sephira.

It is in the 2nd world or level of Briah where the Creative World begins to take the concept or seed of Creation conceived in Atziluth and prepares it to make the journey into physical creation. This is the realm of the Archangels, the overseers of the workings of the Universe. Briah is the Heh of Tetragrammaton and is the Primal Water, where life begins to gather for manifestation.

The 3rd World or level is called Yetzirah and it is known as the Formative World where the subtle patterns behind actual physical matter are organized. This is the realm of the Choirs of Angels who are set to various tasks by the Archangels and is the Primal Air. Yetzirah is symbolized by the letter Vau of the Four-Fold Name and is the main level where one travels during astral projection and where the energy of ideas, art and magick gather their form prior to physical manifestation.

The 4th World or level is where we exist daily and is called Assiah. It is the Active World, the physical realm of sensation and manifestation and the unseen yet manifest energies of matter and physics. Assiah is Primal Earth, and the Final Heh of the Divine Name.

In previous articles, we have explored the Sephiroth of Malkuth and Yesod. Let's continue our examination of the Tree of Life by taking a look at the 8th Sephira - HOD.

Hod is primarily associated with the ways that the concrete mind works - intellectual functioning and conscious reason. The God Name in Hod is Elohim Tzaboath meaning the Gods and Goddesses of the Hosts. Elohim has both plurality and polarity implicit in it as it comprises both male and female gender. Hod is the sphere where logical structures are made in the process of finding and understanding a coherent unity in diverse aspects,

This relates to the Magical Image of Hod which is the Hermaphrodite, true duality and polarity implicit in one form. The Hermaphrodite was the Child of Hermes (intellect and reason) and Aphrodite (beauty and feeling).

The planetary energy associated with Hod is that of the planet Mercury which corresponds to the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth-Tehuti the God of writing and learning. Here at Hod is the foundation of Hermetic Philosophy. Hermetic Philosophy is basically teaching through the Mind, through the intellect rather than associative or intuitive learning. This is known as the Orange ray of Magical and Occult Philosophy, as compared to the Green Ray of Nature mysticism and art, and the Purple Ray of Devotional Mysticism.

The Intellect or Reason at its highest level unlocks and interprets the Higher Aspects of Intuition. "Genius" there is the point of "Realization" - the Lightning Flash, often pictured as the light bulb going off over your head. Here in Hod is where we reach intellectual Knowledge of the Divine.

The Virtue and Vice of Hod are Truth and Falsity. Consider the way that Reason can work from any assumption - what we strive for is that our assumptions are based in Truth.

The Spiritual Experience of Hod is the Vision of Splendor, the splendor of the order and workings of the Universe. And the symbols of Hod are The Names of God and the Versicles by which we praise and connect with Him/Her.

Exercises for Hod:

  1. Create prose or a poem designed to describe the Divine.
  2. Work on learning the myriad correspondences and symbols of the planets, the Sephiroth and the faces (Gods and Goddesses) of the Divine.