Each crevice is etched deeply
And each tells the greater
Story of my many years.
Water has moved through
Insects have burrowed deep
And found shelter from
Weather’s piercing bite.
I stand tall and strong
Because of the many
Segments that make up
The core of my being.
My bark is roughened
And my branches spread
In a canopy of grace
Each reaching back into
The furrows of my
As we enter the Temple of the Sun, Qabalistically we are entering into connection with the central sphere on the Tree of Life, Tiphareth. The name given this sphere is Beauty and the energy is one of synthesis through sacrifice and integration through refinement of the sum of all of its parts. This is much the same energy that we experience in the course of a Solar year. The energy of each of the Zodiacal signs, their element and modality are modified and expressed through the brilliance of the Sun. And, in keeping with the evolutionary process of movement from one sign to the next, each is informed by the previous sign’s energy and contributes a part of its dynamic into the sign that follows. Please see the end of this post for recommendations about learning more about the Tree of Life.
Virgo and Mercury on the Tree
Astrologically, we have learned that Virgo is ruled by the master communicator- Mercury. Every interaction we have, every thought and idea, and every act of creative expression is a form of Mercury’s endeavors to inform, share and interconnect.
Within the Qabalistic Tree, Virgo and Mercury hold sway in the Sphere of Hod and the Paths of the Tree – 12th and 2oth. When we speak of the energy of Virgo as offering the details of the Tree we are considering the primary directive of Virgo to establish detailed and concise energy that can be effectively communicated and used to create in a concrete and physical way. This energy is expressed in the details of each of the spheres energies and the synthesized action of the connecting paths in processing this pure essence. We find this informed action expressed in the pure mind of the Qabalistic sphere of Hod.
Tiphareth and the Sun
Each of the Sephiroth and connecting Paths of the Tree of Life holds correspondence with a planetary and/or zodiacal energy. The physical Sun stands centrally within our solar system, providing light and heat. Tiphareth provides the space of transformation and the full force generator that distributes what is processed so it may be utilized and transmuted by whatever it emanates its energy into. This is the sacrificial aspect of this sphere. This is the action of enlivening within its own source to ensure the continuation of the creative process begun within the other components of the Tree. So we begin in this central hub of universal energy and move out towards the flow of energy represented by the essence of Pure Mind that is the sphere of Hod.
Hod: The Sphere of Pure Mind
Scintillating mind of reason and intellect
Whose course is drawn from
The halls of libraries’ tomes.
Echoes of the One emanate down
Into the hollow of conductivity.
The blueprint of electric charge and
Inspiration’s whim creating the
Alchemical tube to hold the elixir of
Teachings and truths spun together
And finally issued forth flow on
The currents of communication
And Hermes sets in stone the power
Of mind and word.
Hod is the eighth (8th) Sphere. Within the energy of the number 8 is great power and the sacrifice of contraction and expansion. The holding and funneling of what wishes to expand and then the ultimate release into a great circle of expansive formlessness. It is also the doubling of the stability and foundation expressed by the number four. It is the mirroring of two bases of four sides that reflect back to one another in perfect symmetry. The union of Higher and Lower Mind, the duality and polarity of pairs that have been elevated upon a strong and durable foundation.
Hod is assigned the element of Water. This water is typified as the flow of mind in constant and continual movement. It is the constant stream of download that runs a pure and unspoiled course with the singular goal of informing whatever is in receipt of its inspiration. Some of this channel will be collected and brought further down into the filters that will determine final manifestation, but most will remain in constant movement of flow until one droplet of viable potential ripples outward in its effect.
The Sphere of Communication
The Planetary ruler of Hod is Mercury, so it is fitting that this sphere is considered the sphere of communication. Within its rationale and reasoning are the tools that may be used in discovering the deeper mystery contained within information. It is through the crystal clarity of pristine thinking that enables a better and more efficient means of communicating what knowledge has been extracted. It is also this modality that makes Hod the ideal energetic support for ritual work. Effective ritual and devotional practice are honed from clear and purposeful intent. If that intent is not objectively informed the resulting product of that ritual will not be as strong or as durable in form and focus. If, however, objective thought and clear Higher Mind is working in accord with focused intent, the results become the inroads and precursors to future successful magick, devotional or spiritual practice.
To read more about Mercury’s energies, review the posts in:
The 20th Path: Virgo and Mercury
My physical form glows from
The discipline of my practice.
My body of light revealed in
The actions and will of my
Greater work upon the path.
I fuel its light with the devotion
Of service and the breath of the
Divine flows in response to the
Circuit of light held within.
The 20th Path is one of tempering will. The energy of the connecting spheres is powerful and both have risk of overwhelming the other. The pure essence of merciful and right action held within Chesed and the willingness to sacrifice and act as catalytic force held within Tiphareth are best used when collaboratively informed. The lesson of their coalesce energy is one of achieving a state of grace that has been cultivated through accountability and justifiable action.
This path expresses the power of reclaiming control of the will and reaching up towards a more balanced way of expressing that will. Without the conscience as guide will can exert itself aggressively and become the tool of tyrants and manipulators. If conscience guides the way, merciful action may step in to lead the misguided will towards a state of grace. Chesed has the broader perspective and the experience of Geburah’s might as resource.
The Planetary/Zodiacal Energy
Mercury is the ruling planet of the astrological sign of Virgo. In its expression of interaction with Virgo, communication is a result of careful analysis and applied categorization of its effects in manifest form.
Virgo is of the element Earth and provides the foundation strength that is the base of the highest mountain or the deep reaching roots of the tallest tree. It maintains the structure based upon planning and exacting only what is needed in the precise amounts so that all is orderly.
These energies placed upon the 20th Path provide the tools of anchoring necessary to insure unwavering determination that can receive the expansive energy of broader vision. The nature of duality that is inherent within Mercury enables flexibility and adaptability as the potency of expansion is exacted upon Tiphareth’s state of refining process. The preciseness of Virgoan energy presents as knowing when to stop providing air to the balloon so it will not burst under the force of overdone expansion.
Another Path of Expression: Mercury on the 12th Path
The 12th Path: A Supernal of Communication
The silence breathed and life
For a moment paused
Waiting for lengthy
Exhale towards Mother’s womb
Life still un-quickened takes form
And from pain and suffering
Comes the gentle hand of
Father’s great love and grace.
The 12th Path, just as the 11th Path, serves as the beginning of opening the vessel that will become the incubator of what the Divine desires to manifest. Here we have the connection to the feminine principle of collective form and the place from which the combination of seed and ovum can emerge in descent towards final manifest form. This act of conception is the dividing of the cells of the singular whole in order to prepare the waters of quickening.
The Planetary Energy
The planet Mercury is typified by its communicative style, duality and adaptable persona. This energy is dynamic and profound in what it can draw to itself and what it can ultimately create from the information gathered. Placed upon the 12th Path, Mercury presents as the informant, ready to adapt to what is needed as the creative process takes hold within Binah’s womb as the Godhead of Kether oversees and modifies to insure the viable continuation of its emanation.
Note: Each of the Paths of the Qabalistic Tree has the assignation of a Tarot key placed upon it as further correspondence to its energy. The Paths 11-32 are represented using the Major Arcana cards.
Tarot Key I – The Magician is the conduit of wielding the flow of universal energy from the ephemeral realms of the Divine and the manifest foundations of the Physical world. We see within the Magician the ability and knowledge to effectively create drawing from the universal laws that govern the magickal and the mundane. There is composure and assuredness in this power, yet the realization that he as well is subject to the transformative energies he is choosing to be vessel for. This is a state of control that has been finely honed and exacted with just the precise amount of force and form to produce the product of power and magick. The Magician is the interface that we hold within that contains all that is needed to produce new life and new form of Being. But, its energy may only be accessed when the all of the tools (parts of self) are acquired and mastered.
I Love this image of the magician. It has the feel of manifestation being brought into the realm of concrete reality. Sorting, analyzing and organizing very carefully planned actions. And, when all has been appropriately identified there is a pause of reflection as the master of magick contemplates the paradox of his/her work.
As we consider the attributes of Virgo and its ruling planet Mercury and their impact on the Tree of Life the prominent focus is one of creative expression of all of the finer aspects of the Tree. The key lay in the detail and when time is given to seeking those details a deeper perspective of the Tree can be developed. When we breathe into the space of what lay between what is overt we are opening to the mystery of communication that courses through our physical being in resonance to the many layers of our subtle and spiritual selves.
The stable foundation provided by Virgo’s grounding in what has been learned by diligence, hard work and truly looking at every aspect of the equation is of no value if never shared and made useable. Its seeking and outreaching style flows through the Tree reaching up towards the realms of the creative source, seeking the answers to questions of purpose and Soul’s intent. And, this stream of palpable inquiry continues in downward emanation, standing the further testing of Yesod and in the act of ultimate analysis and refinement makes its way into the manifest realm of Malkuth.
As the light of Tiphareth (Sun) shines brightly and radiates its vision of magnetic attraction throughout the multilayered branches of a tree that reaches far and wide in its expanse and impact we are reminded that in this light of curiosity and the inquisitive seeker bringing the light of newly informed foundation to all who will step upon its broad base of knowledge.
If you are not familiar with the Qabalistic Tree of Life, I would recommend reading through the article posted in my other blog, The Magickal Pen entitled “Geburah’s Might” to give you the necessary overview for an introductory base of working knowledge about the Tree. It can be found here:
The Inner Chamber Series. R. Fennelly
Volume One: It’s Written in the Stars (2013)
Volume Two: Poetry of the Spheres (2013)
Volume Three: Awakening the Paths (2014)
Order at author’s website: Robin Fennelly