□ The Astral Light
□ The Storehouse of Images
□ The Cyclic Energies underlying Matter
Symbols: The Perfume and Sandals
Planet: The Moon Color: Violet
The beams of Chesed and Geburah meet in Yesod, and thence ariseth in Yesod a brilliant deep violet-purple or puce, and thus is the third Triad completed. And the sphere of its operation is that of Levanah, the Lunar beam, bestowing change, increase and decrease upon created things and it ruleth the Sphere of Action of the Moon and the nature of mankind. And Shaddai is a God who sheddeth benefits, Omnipotent and Satisfying, and A1 Chai is the God of Life, the Living One. Its Archangel is Gabriel, the Prince of Change and Alteration. And the name of the Order of Angels is Kerubim or Kerubic Ones who are also called the Order of Angels.
As we approach the ninth Sephira what has previously been considered theoretically may become very practical. In Yesod are those energies, directly underlying the material world, which are manipulated in various forms of meditation and in what is called "Magic." These currents are known as the Astral Light or Akashic Fluid. In the mid-nineteenth century Von Reichenbach, one of the first scientific investigators of psychic phenomenon, described this as the Odic Force,81 a term still occasionally employed. Whatever this energy is called, it is an energy which each person has the capacity to experience within himself and to profoundly develop. Everyone feels the presence of the Astral Light, though most dismiss it as a generalized neurological stimulation, attributable to some vague physical cause. It may be felt as an overall tingling sensation, or as a pervasive warmth often resulting from prayer or sexual stimulation. A few discover that this feeling can be intensified, and the energy made to move around the body at will.
This force is sexual, and it is seen that in Microprosopus Yesod covers the generative organs. Those who excite this force through meditation, prayer, sexual stimulation or ritual methods, do so using precisely the same mental mechanisms. It has been said that God is sex, and the records of ecstatic union made by those such as Saint Theresa are highly erotic. When the Astral Light of Yesod, the sexual forces, are directed consciously, and circulated throughout the body as in the Qabalistic Exercise of the Middle Pillar, the effect can be overwhelming.
The Astral Light has often been described as an electrical, or magnetic current. Indeed, as one "brings down the Light," the effect is of one's body being highly charged. Yet this is an energy which is plastic. It is mentally maleable. Not only can it be circulated throughout the body, or projected in certain spiritual operations, but it is the raw material from which visual images are built on the Astral Plane.
Each individual has an Etheric Body (which leaves the physical body naturally in sleep, or is consciously projected by the adept), formed of the Astral Light. Thus, Yesod is termed the Foundation. It is that which activates the Four Elements of Malkuth, repeating a pattern seen throughout the entire Tree, beginning at Kether: four elements which are rooted in a fifth.
The energy of the Astral Light is, in the east, called Kundalini (the Serpent) and it is declared by Qabalistis that "Kundalini is coiled in Yesod." It is not a difficult stretch of mind to the correct esoteric interpretation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, or to the meaning of the Serpent shown on the Tree of Life touching each and every Path. This is the same serpent of Wisdom which holds its tail in its mouth.
One particularly appropriate aspect of the symbolism of the Serpent here is that the reptile moves by undulations. In the same way, the Astral Light weaves back and forth. It follows distinct cycles which underlie and activate the cycles of our physical existence. The phases of Yesod cause a continual motion of charge and discharge on the physical plane, expressed as light and dark, waking and sleeping, etc. Thus, it is truly said that one cannot deal with Malkuth without first understanding Yesod. And of course, by extention of this idea, one cannot deal with Yesod without first understanding Hod.
Parenthetically, it is to Yesod that parapsychological research is directed, since it is possible to use some of the current tools of science to quantify its effect on the sensory plane. Those who work in this area of research have found it necessary to at least postulate the existence of some force like the Astral Light, as an explantion of the ways in which wonders such as psychokinesis (the ability to move objects mentally) are accomplished.
The Moon is the "Planet" (so described by ancient astronomy) attributed to Yesod. As it waxes and wanes, it is said to control the motion of the tides. And the supposed disorienting effect of the full Moon on some is reflected in our very term lunatic. Yet we conceptualize the Moon as belonging not only to the insane, but to lovers. The psychologist may find a common root in both conditions (which is the point), but one is ugly and the other beautiful. Such is the typical dichotomy of the symbols attached to the Moon. It is both the Witch Goddess Hecate, in its darkness, and the Moon Goddess Diana in its brightness. It is on the latter aspect that the esotericist concentrates, for with the increase of the Moon there is a concomitant increase in the Astral Light underlying our plane, which may be turned to practical use.
A relationship between Yesod and Binah is suggested by the Moon's control of the waters. Yesod is actually Air, which moves the water. Binah is the Great Sea, and is Isis. This is the Universal Unconscious from which all form ultimately develops. As Binah is the will to form, so Yesod is the storehouse of formal images directly behind our conscious experience.
As the lowest level of the Astral World, Yesod is the realm of images cast off by mankind, bright and dark. It contains the Akashic Record, which is both the history of races and of each individual mental act of man. Blavatsky claimed that much of her extraordinarily detailed writing was gleaned psychically from this record, a flamboyant claim at least.
The images of Yesod are fabulous in their beauty and seductiveness; they can also be hideous and frightening. These are the dreams and fears of humanity, built up since the beginning of time (note, again, the relationship with Binah). It is, in fact, a great ocean, into which every pebble of thought is thrown, producing a wave which continues eternally. However, these Yesod forms are illusive. They are not real in the sense that the term would be applied to the experience of Tiphareth. Recall that the Moon has no light of its own; Yesod can only reflect the light of the Christ-Osiris-Buddha center of Tiphareth.
Yet this reflection is of the greatest importance for the developing individual, since one cannot look directly into the Sun, and must learn about that force by considering its image reflected in the waters of the Moon.
The lower Astral is also called Maya or illusion. The powers of the Astral plane are pleased to let us believe whatever amuses us. They will provide visions to corroborate the most absurd of notions while at the same time inflating our egos, a very dangerous and common result of work at this level. This is a maze for the unsuspecting which can be effectively negotiated only by those whose sights are unfaltering set on Tiphareth. The vision of Yesod, that of the "Machinery of the Universe," may be hard won by those tightly locked into the framework of their personalities.
It should be clear, by this point, that an understanding of the cosmic tides of Yesod's Astral Light, and its use, confers power. And, contrary to popular belief, and to the numerous systems of enlightenment preaching firm moral values, understanding of, and ability to manipulate, the Astral Light has nothing whatsoever to do with virtue. It is acquired purely and simply by meditative discipline. There are some exceedingly unpleasant people walking the earth today who may rightly lay claim to real understanding of the workings of the universe.
The symbols of Yesod are the Sandals and the Perfumes, both relating to practical magic. The consecrated sandals worn within the mystic circle, affirm that one stands on sacred ground and (in their neutrality) allow for the transfer of energies between the Earth below and the Sun above. Yesod is the intermediary between Malkuth and Tiphareth (a two sided-mirror). Perfumes suggest its fluid and etheric qualities: Incense floats through a church or temple, subtly affecting the minds of the participants. Its qualities are suggestive, yet fleeting and illusory, which is the nature of Yesod.
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