The Four Sevens
□ Feelings and Instincts
Symbols: The Girdle, The Rose, the Lamp. Planet: Venus Color: Green
The beams of Chesed and Geburah meet in Netzach and thence in Netzach arises a green, pure, brilliant, liquid and gleaming like an emerald. And the Sphere of its operations is that of Nogah or External Splendour, producing zeal, love, harmony, and it ruleth the Sphere of Action of the Planet Venus and the nature of the Vegetable World. And Jehovah Tzabaoth is a God of Hosts and of Armies, of Triumph and of Victory, ruling the universe in Justice and Eternity. And its Archangel Hanial is the Prince of Love and Harmony, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Elohim, or Gods who are also called the Order of Principalities.
Each of the Sephiroth on the Pillar of Mercy begins a sequence. Chokmah is the primary force toward manifestation in the Supernal Triangle. Chesed is the organizing idea behind the first form, and the first Sephira of the Ethical Triangle, Netzach begins the Astral Triangle, and is the first of the Sephiroth making up the Personality.
The Personality is viewed as being composed of four Elements, each of which is represented by one of the lower Sephiroth. In this is a reflection of the familiar mn> formula, and of the familiar sequence of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. These are the Astral Elements. Netzach is Fire, a lower form of the Yod-Fire of Chokmah, reflected from Geburah through Tiphareth. Hod is Water, a lower form of the Heh-Water of Binah, reflected from Chesed through Tiphareth. Yesod is Air and Malkuth is Earth. It will be noted that the final Heh of the Divine Name is attributed to Malkuth in every instance, for this final Heh is the result of the "Fall."
The attribution of the four Elements to these lower Sephiroth may appear to add one more frustrating complication to the Qabalistic system. But, in fact, we have now reached the point on the Tree of Life where normal waking consciousness may apply. It is with the Astral Triangle and the component parts of the Personality, that any serious student may deal. The Order of the Golden Dawn introduced its members to the Inner Planes through a system of
Tattva exercises, a sort of controlled "day dream" intended to bring the individual into direct contact with the subtle Elemental realms immediately underlying the material sphere of sensation. This method was considered preparatory to the more advanced techniques of skrying with the Tarot cards, and to the most advanced and dangerous techniques of skrying with the squares of the Enochian Tablets. Suffice it to say here that the astral realm, begun with Netzach, is the realm of illusion (maya).
Netzach cannot be considered without Hod, its balance and opposite. For as Netzach represents the instincts and emotions, Hod represents the intellect. Feelings unchecked by reason, and reason unchecked by feelings, can be very destructive. It is through the proper balance of feeling and reason that one is able to rise, on the Middle Pillar, to the higher consciousness of Tiphareth.
Netzach is a particularly difficult Sephira to understand. This is partly because it represents the first undifferentiated projections of Tiphareth, and partly because it must be approached from the standpoints of both the Macrocosm and the Microcosm. When we deal with the Tree of Life, we are dealing with the patterns of the race of mankind, and with the patterns of the individual. But one of the lessons of the Mysteries is the extent to which this dichotomy is, in itself, an illusion.
On the one hand, Netzach is the undifferentiated Soul of Mankind, often described as the "Group Mind." The spark of the individual mind (appreciating again that this is described as & fiery Sephira) is a part of that group which, as it becomes self-comprehending, also comprehends the whole. For example, Netzach is the area on the Tree of Life to which the arts, music, painting, poetry, etc., are attributed. Every artist uses the qualities of Netzach, drawing his creative imagination from it (although to produce a serious work, that feeling must be tempered by the discipline of Hod-Reason). As the artist increasingly develops the ability to "create," and to understand the nature of his own creative act, he also develops an understanding of the nature of the arts in general. The same may be said for a scientist, who functions through Hod, the Sephira where the general becomes specific.
The balance of Netzach and Hod may be shown in a simple diagram:
In view of this balance, it will be easily appreciated that Netzach is the Sephira to which the forces of Nature are attributed, its angels being the Elohim. They are also called Gods in that they are so for the Personality in incarnation and for mankind as a race. They are the Gods of the lower sequence of the Tetragrammaton. Netzach is also the sphere of Venus-Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. And as the title of the Sephira is Victory, it is to be understood that the Victory is in love.
Feelings and Instincts Undifferentiated — Group Mind-
•>•Beginnings of Individual Mind
What is called "love," particularly as it relates to Gods and religious systems, is often misunderstood. The misunderstanding has to do with the very nature of the Gods themselves. It has been said that "The Gods are the Creations of the Created. . . the Gods are emanations of the Group Mind of Races; they are not emanations of Eheieh, the One and Eternal." The reference to the Group Mind states, in essence, that the Gods are of Netzach. This idea is graphically summed up in the diagram of the symbol of Venus, which encompasses the entire Tree of Life (Figure 17). It will also be recalled that the Order of the Golden Dawn declared itself to be under the rulership of Venus.
The point here is that there are no Gods, save those potent forces which we have formed in our own image, to serve our needs. There is nothing but us. We are the above and the below of the Emerald Tablet. We are at once, the many and the One. We are all that is, though we draw our strength from the Divine Unmanifest which is not. Thus, the manner in which we behave toward one another is of far greater import than is generally appreciated. The love of one's fellow man, the love of God, any sexual relationship which is a psychic balance and, in fact, any balanced exchange of energy between individuals assists the race in the "Great Work" of returning to the Primal state from which itevolved. It is for this reason that Netzach is described as a Sephira of polarities.
In Netzach we are considering a Sephira on the masculine pillar with a female goddess attached to it. However, the attribution of specific sexual characteristics labeled "male" and "female" is appropriate only to our own sphere of sensation. What is found in Netzach is the interplay of Mars and Venus. As was previously discussed, Geburah has certain Venus qualities, symbolized by the Rose; Netzach has certain Mars qualities, indicated by the attribution of Fire. Moreover, n 1 iT Tzabaoth is the God of Hosts and of Armies.
The relationship between Netzach and Geburah, and that of Hod and Chesed may be slightly confusing when considered in terms of the emanation of the Sephiroth on the Path of the Flaming Sword. That Path is important in that it indicates both the sequence in which the Universe evolved, and the course by which the Seeker (save those who choose the devotional Path of the Middle Pillar) may return. However, this does not represent the balance and interrelationships of energies on the completed Tree of Life.
There are three key symbols related to Netzach. These are the Rose, the Girdle and the Lamp. The Rose is the most perfect of flowers, an attribute of Venus often associated with love. The Girdle, also, is a traditional Venus attribute. To learn the secret of the knot in her girdle, means to direct the Venus forces of nature, to tie them up, or to release them at will. The final symbol is the Lamp, the bearer of Fire, relating Netzach to Geburah and the powerful, warring, forces of Mars. At another level, it is the ever-burning light of the Temple of the Lower Self.
Continue reading here: The Sevens
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