The Temple of Mercury-The Glory of Hod


This week we will take a look at the expression of Mercury through its attribution on the Qabalistic tree of Life.  Mercury is the Planetary energy of the sphere of Hod. In order to fully understand the nature of this sphere you must have a bit of knowledge about the Tree of Life, itself and the other spheres that form the greater whole.  Although this may not seem to directly relate to the Temple of Mercury it is an important piece of this dynamic planets energetic signature.  The lesson to be gained from this exploration is an affirmation of the flexibility of Mercury’s mind and style of communication. In other words, replace the name of Hod with that of Mercury wherever you see it used! 

Applying this overlay of a mystical system that expands and easily maps in accord with its topic of application just as fluidly as Mercury’s movement, opens new doors of experience and interconnectedness found within all of the planetary temples.  The inherent wisdom of these energies permeates all levels of understanding, philosophy and teachings.  The semantics may differ, but if you have the basics down, you can easily identify Mercury’s (or any of the planets) place in the equation.  So, in the spirit of drilling deeper into what Mercury looks like in another of its forms, take a journey into the Tree of Life.

Qabalah Boot Camp – Just the Basics

The subject matter of the Qabalah is one that many people do not easily gravitate towards; either deterred by the sheer mass of its scope or feeling that this particular overlay of system has no reference to the purely magickal systems.  Although, rooted in the Judaic mystical system the Kabbalah (spelling is Judaic form)/Qabalah (spelling used to distinguish as Western Hermetic overlay) this construct of energy, thought and working is a suitable companion to any magickal and spiritual system. The sheer fact that a statement such as that can be made offers testament to the enduring scope and permanence of its application over a broad and diverse spectrum.  Within the Tradition to which I belong, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, the principles of the Qabalah are strongly and consistently used throughout all of our covens and the enhancement to the magickal workings and rituals is undeniable and the change evoked through its deeper exploration is palpable among those who incorporate it into their lives.

The Qabalistic Tree of Life describes the descent of the divine into the manifest world, and methods by which divine union may be attained in this life. It can be viewed as a map of the human psyche and of the workings of creation, both manifest and un-manifest. Some of its components are:

10 Sephiroth (Spheres) each having their own specific energetic signature and action.

22 Paths that connect the spheres and act as the synthesizing conduits of connection

3 Pillars of Application of that energy. The Pillar of Severity (Hod-Geburah-Binah), The Pillar of Mercy (Netzach-Chesed-Chokmah)- The Middle Pillar (Malkuth-Yesod-Tiphareth-Kether)

4 Worlds of Action– Each of the spheres exists in each of the four worlds and has a slightly different emphasis of intent depending on which of the worlds is acting upon it.

The Qabalistic story of the creative action of manifestation from the Source of All/Godhead down to the realm of physical and manifest form can be described in this way:

In the beginning there was nothingness- the absence of substance and form (Ain); and as the nothing became aware of itself it also realized the limitlessness nature (Ain Soph) of its being. This realization expanded and with more awareness came the birthing of limitless light (Ain Soph Aur). This limitless light felt the urge to create- and from it emanated Divine Intelligence – Kether. All things needing balance- in its wisdom Kether split and from this source of being the remaining nine (9) spheres became emanations of the varied permutations of Wisdom, Understanding, Mercy, Severity, Beauty, Victory, Glory, Foundation and finally coming to rest in the Kingdom of Earth- Malkuth.

10 Sephiroth (Spheres) of Emanation

The Sephiroth are States of Being and act as vessels to contain the Divine energy that spills forth from the God-Head or Crown of Kether (being the highest expression of the Divine) down into Malkuth, the densest and manifest physical world of Man. The spheres at the top of the tree are more refined in energy – more transparent and expressive of pure Light. As we descend down the tree each sphere gains more density- less clarity of brilliance of light until we come to rest in the earth plane of Malkuth. Each sphere has both an English and Hebrew name and countless correspondences attributed to each. These are keywords only to a larger tome of mystery.  The pictures below show the diagrams of :

Fig. 1– The Tree, the names of the spheres, the number in order on the Tree

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Fig. 2- The Planetary Correspondences to Each Sphere

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Sphere 1-Kether – The Crown- The Crown of Attainment- the ‘Cause of causes”- the unknowable- The Mystical Consciousness- (Modern- Uranus)

Sphere 2-Chokmah– Wisdom- The Word of God- true Will untainted by the material nature- The Radiant Consciousness- The Zodiac (Modern- Neptune)

Sphere 3-Binah– Understanding- The Great Sea- absolute belief- The Sanctified Consciousness- Saturn

Sphere 4-Chesed– Mercy- Majesty- The place of greater awareness and pure compassion-The Settled Consciousness- Jupiter

Sphere 5-Geburah– Might – Strength and Justice- excision and the necessary cutting away- The Rooted Consciousness – Mars

Sphere 6-Tiphareth– Beauty- Sacrifice- the receptive place of the flow of emanations from Kether- The Transcendental Influx Consciousness- The Sun

Sphere 7-Netzach– Victory- The Beauty of Nature- The Hidden Consciousness – Venus

Sphere 8-HodGlory- Splendor- the sphere of science and craft- the analytical nature and communicative learning- The Perfect Consciousness – This is the place of Mercury

Sphere 9-Yesod– The Foundation- sphere of the subconscious- the Lunar Gates- dreams and illusion – the astral – The Pure Consciousness – The Moon

Sphere 10-Malkuth– The Kingdom- the plane of physical existence and manifest reality- the elements and all of manifest Life- The Scintillating Consciousness – Earth

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 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.

The Element of Water

The sphere of Hod is assigned to the element of water; despite the appearance that its should be a sphere of Air given the pure thought, reasoning power and intellect. Simply put this is the action of Water of Air.  The watery aspect insures fluidity and movement as well as the eroding and smoothing away of what is presenting obstacle. This is the breath of mind that is carried on the varied and great streams of consciousness that diverge and reunite again as new tributaries and channels are opened.  Regardless of the route they all resynthesize and become part of the One as the destination of return to Source is achieved.

Capacity of the Mind

Hod is the first sphere on the ascent of the Tree that has multiple paths of connection including the place of sitting at the base of the Pillar of Severity. It is also connected via a Path to Tiphareth (the central sphere of the Tree) to the left of Netzach (the base sphere of the Pillar of Mercy) and reaching upwards out of the Moon sphere of Yesod. Just as the mind and brain have many chambers, corridors and paths contained within, Hod offers many routes of emanation from its core to be opened and awakened as the place where structure, order, categorization, analysis and making sense of it all. Hod also serves as the distributor of what work has been accomplished in the manifest realm of Malkuth and the discernment of Yesod upwards towards its more refined spheres. 

The Illusion of the Sphere: Falsehood, Dishonesty

The Illusion of Hod is false ego based on faulty knowledge. It is the allowance of what is subjective and personality-filtered information to fill the coffers of our minds disguised as unbiased thought. Furthermore, claiming credit for those brilliant seeds of inspiration when they are nothing more than the over inflated toutings of one craving acknowledgement for being wise, breeds the dishonesty of validation that is not merit based, nor is it sound in its reasoning.

As the time honored thought on this matter goes- true wisdom cannot be found within the knowledge of book learning and course study. True wisdom is what is the result of experiencing at the level of connection to a Higher Consciousness what has been learned through books and study and transforming it into an enlivened part of oneself that cannot be disputed, argued, reasoned away or often even explained to others who have not also had similar experience on the path towards Wisdom.

Connecting to Mercury Through Its Expression in Hod

Many of the modalities we use to establish connection to the greater and lesser worlds, inner and outer worlds are directed through the energy of Mercury as its core component.  We desire the ability to understand and comprehend what we perceive by way of information and we act to recreate those moments when we experience clear, palpable and penetrable communication from a Divine source.  We evoke and invoke Deity by way of fusing mind and heart with desire and will and establish sacred space through communication of movement, action, intent and the power of the word and breath.

As example, Mindfulness Meditation is an expression of Mercury’s mental prowess. The premise is simple in the goal of simply offering acknowledgement to each thought that presents itself in the continuous stream of consciousness; and by so doing allowing them to flow easily beyond the field of distraction.  As simple as the premise is, the difficulty in wrangling the mind to “think” in this highly organized and methodical way is one of determination and dedicated discipline. I think this is Mercury in its pure essence of form.  Speed that must be directed in order to slow the cognitive functions in alignment with what the desired product of manifestation hopes to become. 

An Exercise in Opening to The Mind

As you move through your day, take a few minutes in the morning, at lunchtime and before bed to check in with your thinking self. Try to be aware of where some of these perceptions and thoughts have originated. Were they the products of interaction with others? Were they the products of you sitting quietly and mindfully “brainstorming” the solution to a problem? Were they the products of inspired reading or did they seem to flow from the muses themselves?

Although we use the faculty of thought regularly throughout the day, the quality and receptivity of that process are often the results of being on autopilot, without much attention to what is actually happening. Try to set aside some time each day (15 minutes is a good starting point) to sit quietly and be fully engaged in what thoughts, ideas and inspirations are moving through you. Write down these ideas. They are often the seeds of a great idea or even potential answers to something that at a subconscious level may have been of concern. By establishing a routine time to simply “be” with your thoughts, you are facilitating a greater opening to the Universal and Cosmic ideology that surrounds us. And, once that connection is made, you are then opening to the Divine.

Next week: Mercury Goes Retrograde on October 21@6:29am (EDT) What does this mean and how to navigate its influence?



13 Keys: The Glory of Hod

Thirteeen Keys to the Qabalistic Tree of Life: Over view

On-line course of study:

A Year Within the Tree of Life: 


The Inner Chamber Volume Two: Poetry of the Spheres-Qabalah
By R. Fennelly.Serpent’s Gate.2012

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