The Magic Of Golden Dawn









    Netzach is situated on the tree at the base of the Pillar of Mercy, which as we have seen shows the Force aspect of the process of evolution. If Chokmah is the principle of pure dynamism, positive male force and Chesed represents the organisation aspect of what is in principle one force, then Netzach at the base is the breaking up of this force into the many forces, which are behind the lower Sephiroth – the astral planes and the physical world.

    The sunlight of Tiphareth is broken up through a prism to produce the many coloured rays of Netzach. In this sphere we are dealing with forces rather than one particular force and we are now concerned with the drifting, ghostly “formless” forms that form part of the astral plane. Viewed with normal consciousness from the physical world these forms are invisible. However, by raising our consciousness to the astral plane these forms and worlds may be perceived and experienced. This is easier said than done! But with the use of our imagination and by developing our powers of concentration and visualisation results may be accomplished. For the completely sceptical and materialistic individuals amongst us – and there are still many – signs and indications may happen to weaken this wall of disbelief when the individual is ready for this spiritual development.

    In this phase of evolution Netzach is the first sphere of the lower four spheres on the Tree of Life which together may be perceived and experienced as the astral plane and physical world in their varying stages and also representing the Incarnationary Personality of individual beings. A human being is comprised of four Bodies: the Physical, the Astral, the Mental and the Spirit.

    Each of the four lower Sephiroth contains a primary element in their characteristics. Netzach is Fire (with the Lamp as one of its magical symbols), Hod is Air, Yesod is Water and Malkuth is Earth (although Malkuth, being the physical plane contains all the elements in their physical manifestation!). This may be understood by thinking of a fractal, which repeats patterns continually or a wheels within wheels within wheels image. All of this again indicates the importance of viewing all the Sephiroth as mixtures of characteristics and qualities, and the lower we travel down the Tree, the more this will occur with the increasing differentiation of the manifestation in the process of evolution.

    The Girdle is another of Netzach’s symbols. This represents the part of the physical body where Netzach is situated when working with the Sphere microcosmically around the loins, hips and legs, although not the reproductive organs which are the microcosmic symbol of Yesod. This symbol naturally leads one into the sexual and polarity forces of the lower Sephiroth and considering the Magical Image allocated to Netzach: A beautiful naked woman. However, to avoid misunderstandings in this day and age when issues of sexuality do cause problems we need to state also the Magical Image of Hod: an hermaphrodite and of Yesod, “a beautiful naked man, very strong”. The first thing we notice in considering these images is that there is a polarity/sexual balance of some kind. Netzach is Nature the children of Binah, the Ancient Mother principle. It might now be observed that the images of Hod and Yesod might be switched – Hod as the man and Yesod as an hermaphrodite representing the bisexual nature of the soul. Looked at another way though Yesod consisting of element Water, one might say it should be female and indeed the Moon is also seen primarily as female. So depending on the way one views the Tree, the polarity may look and feel right or wrong. I think in the end we need to bear in mind the Tree is a fluid and flexible framework to work with, that incongruous issues will naturally crop up with any philosophical system which attempts to fit onto it life, the universe and everything else, especially in time and different cultural climates, and that each individual uses it as best he can!

    Netzach is the sphere of instincts and emotions, which individuals feel and which are projected into, consciously or subconsciously, thus colouring the astral plane. The forms created there are very tenuous, numerous and devoid of intelligence if not filtered through the sphere of Hod, the mind of the individual. Emotion without thought and likewise thought without emotion lead to imbalance; Netzach and Hod need to be viewed as complementary to each other on the Tree of Life like Chokmah and Binah, and Chesed and Geburah on the higher planes.


The Spiritual Experience of Netzach

   The spiritual experience of Netzach is Beauty Triumphant. Beauty as we have seen is a key feature of Tiphareth and can be defined as being that which is in “due and just proportion, whatever the beautiful thing may be, whether moral or material” (I think also I would add ideas or imagination to this statement). The beauty of Tiphareth would be morality indicating its own spiritual experience of harmony and balance in spirit and mind. The beauty of Netzach would then be the material, the physical world, Nature and both man-made objects and imagined constructs, these latter in conjunction with Hod. If the creation in Nature or in the mind succeeds and fulfils one’s criteria of what beauty is then we have triumphed, hence the phrase Beauty Triumphant. The actual Spiritual Experience of Netzach will in fact be just one of many experiences that may be classified under Netzach. It might be just seeing a beautiful place and appreciating the beauty of Nature, the fragrant scent of a flower, beautiful music or it seeing a work of art which evokes the feeling of beauty within oneself, it might be visualising in one’s mind the image of one’s God or Goddess, it might be a feeling in dancing that one’s movements are beautiful and flowing and hopefully pleasing to others if anyone is watching. The experiences are many! Netzach is very much a subjective Sphere and one where it is difficult to be objective about because of its nature (different people like different kinds of music). The definition of beauty as given above is not necessarily the only one. Others may have a different definition of beauty formulated in their minds and through their own past experiences and the Spiritual Experience may then be very much different than our own.


Quotes from Dion Fortune's "The Mystical Qabalah".

    In Netzach force is still relatively free-moving, being bound only into exceedingly fluidic and ever-shifting shapes, and in Hod taking on for the first time definite and permanent form, though of an exceedingly tenuous nature.

    It is very important that we should realise that these lower Sephiroth of the Plane of Illusion are densely populated by thought-forms; that everything which the human imagination has been able to conceive, however dimly, has a form built about it out of astral light, and that the more the human imagination has dwelt upon it to idealise it, the more definite that form becomes.

    The great point we need to realise is that in the microcosmic Tree there is a flow down and up the positive and negative aspects of our own subjective levels of consciousness, whereby spirit inspires mind, and mind directs the emotions, and emotions form the etheric double, and the etheric double moulds the physical vehicle, which is the “earth” of the circuit.

    In Chokmah, then, we get the tremendous drive of life, which is the great male potency of the universe; in Chesed we get the organisation of forces into interacting wholes; and in Netzach we get a sphere wherein evolution, ascending from Malkuth as organised force ensouling vivified form, is able to contact essential force once more.

    The true secret of natural goodness lies in the recognition of the contending rights of the Pairs of Opposites; there is no such antimony as between Good and Evil, but only balance between two extremes, each of which is evil when carried to excess, both of which give rise to evil if insufficient for equipoise.

    The Kether forces of the Macrocosm are picked up by the Tiphareth-centre in the Microcosm, to use the Qabalistic terminology; the elemental forces are picked up by the Yesod-centre, but, and this is the important point, they are directed and controlled by the manner in which the equilibrium is maintained between Netzach and Hod.

    Perhaps I shall be understood better if I substitute the terminology of physics for that of the more appropriate psychology, and say that life will only flow in circuit; insulate, and it becomes inert.


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