As the attentive reader has noticed, I accidentally chose the wrong direction for my journey through the Tree of Life as I restarted on it after halting in June, which means that this Sunday brought me straight into Hod, sphere number Eight.

Eight is my favourite number – my initials form an 8 (SS), and I have always been fascinated by its shape and glory. I never knew why, and when I grew older and started to read about different religions and traditions, I was very understanding towards why they chose 8 to represent so many holy things. It just feels sacred.

Hod is coloured in orange and purple hues and will welcome Bene Elohim to fly around – the Sons of God. Hod celebrates intellectual power, and ties in well with magic and anything that requires intelligence and order. It is governed by Mercury. 

The last  ten days I spent in Netzach, which in Kabbalah is the sephiroth which channels unconscious desires through Yesod to manifest in Malkuth. In Hod, the desires become words – we are able to communicate what we want and need, our thoughts become language. Hod gives form to the ideas that come from Netzach.

In Hod, we meet Thoth and Hermes; we encounter Loki as the Magician and utter Abracadabra into thin air. Hod is where the magic happens.

When we look at Tarot, we see how different elements affect us as they react with Hod. Crowley sees Air and Hod as interference – we are incapable to focus our mind, there are things (thoughts) running in. In the RWS, we see a blindfolded woman surrounded by swords – an image copied in several decks, reflects self-limitations.

Here is the blindfolded woman, unable to move in the web she wove for herself, from Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Yes, overthinking is the ultimate cause to all of our problems. One of my favourite depictions of this concept is in the Mary-El Tarot: a simple painting of a gate, behind which lay green pastures and (assumingly) everlasting happiness. Why, oh why is there a gate which stops us from going to paradise! we cry.

But look closer, the gate has no lock.

What an amazing depiction of how strong our mind is at creating limitations. What was the first thought that crossed your mind when seeing this card?

In the 8 of Cups, Marie White quotes one of my favourite prayers, about which I have written in my Hundred Prayers project. This card comes up a lot in my readings for the app that I work for, especially in relationship readings. We are instructed to keep it positive, so while this card talks of disappointment, abandoning success and leaving things behind, there truly is a positive note: we are leaving behind that which makes us unhappy to find what makes us whole.

“No More”, the woman from the 8 of Cups in Dark Grimoire Tarot seems to be saying, as she leaves her painful past behind.

And look here, in the Shadowscapes deck, how Stephanie Pui-Mun Law shows swiftness in the 8 of Wands, by letting the figure in this card blow some dandelion seeds into the air. Creation! Will! Release. Is this not what magic is ultimately about? Blowing your seeds into the air and hoping for the best.

During my journey in Hod, I’m going to just let the magic happen!