Netzach is the next sphere we encounter on our ascent back up the Tree of Life. Netzach is associated with the Element of Fire, the Planet Venus, the number 7, the Solar Plexus Chakra (with Hod), and the Astral Plane (with Yesod and Hod). While Hod is all about thoughts, reasoning, and logic, Netzach rules feelings, emotions, and instincts, particularly at the gut level. It represents the instinctive, emotional side of our nature – the artist as opposed to the scientist. Netzach also represents the Life Force of the One as it is split into the many, like white light passing through a prism to create a rainbow. From Netzach comes the Power or Force, which animates sex, art, ritual magic or any endeavor, which requires energy and creativity. Netzach provides the spark that gives the thoughtforms of Hod life – it is the fuel that fires manifestation.
The Fire of Desire
Netzach’s position on the Tree of Life makes it the last step in the transmutation of the personality, the Lower Self, to allow for the direction of the Higher Self. Netzach deals with all of our wants, needs, drives, and motives, of which we have many, all warring with each other for dominance. Another name for Netzach is Victory. A key test of Netzach is to let go of past pleasures if they are no longer serving us in our present life in order to create a better life. For example, say you want/need to lose weight but in this moment, you also want to eat candy/pizza/cake. You have two wants at war with each other. Which one will be victorious? Whichever is the strongest, whichever has the most desire and energy behind it. Imagine what we can create when the wants and desires that are for our highest good are the most powerful within ourselves! We do not need to renounce pleasure – that would lead to an unbalanced Netzach – but We can choose what pleasures we indulge in – those that lift us up rather than lower us in vibration.
The Lessons of Netzach
The Vice of Netzach is Selfishness or Unchastity. This is the attitude that our needs come before anyone else’s, no matter if pursuing them hurt others. Netzach is ruled by Venus, so love and sex fall under its purview. Consensual, loving sex used as a way to connect and please one another is celebrated in this sphere, but using sex as a weapon or a way to show domination and exert power, in pursuit of your own desires over the other person’s, is not. This Vice, however, is not limited to sex, but pertains to all relationships with others. It is in Netzach that we begin to look beyond the self and begin to put the group first. We are all One, and when we seek to always consider the needs and desires of others, then we become channels through which loving, creative energy can flow freely. When we recognize the needs of others and base our actions on pure motives, honor, integrity, love, and compassion, then we are exhibiting the Virtue of Netzach, Unselfishness.
The Illusion of Netzach is Projection. Projection is the act of attributing our own repressed, subconscious feelings, needs, desires, and motives on others. By projecting our own negative feelings on others, we can abdicate responsibility for our behavior and use it to justify our actions. We aren’t the ones being irrational, angry, prejudiced, etc. – they are, and so they are the problem, not us. Projection is actually a way of lying to oneself, so one of the ways to identify and overcome Projection is to know ourselves. Allow ourselves to feel our feelings – don’t deny or repress them. We can then learn to consciously control our emotions, rather than allowing them to unconsciously control us. When we do this, we can then express the Obligation of Netzach – Responsibility. We take responsibility for our feelings and actions, and realize that all actions have consequences. You did not make me angry, I allowed myself to become angry. One of the most important lessons of Netzach is learning that we have the power to choose our emotions according to our Higher Self. We can learn to act out of Love rather than react out of Fear.
The Spiritual Experience of Netzach is the Vision of Beauty Triumphant. If you have ever had a moment when you saw something so beautiful that your breath caught, your eyes welled, and you felt connected with the All, with such an immense feeling of loving All and being loved by All in return, then you have glimpsed this Vision. In this moment, we touch the Divine. Our Soul needs Beauty like our Body needs food. The Vision of Beauty Triumphant is the beauty of nature, of art, of music, of love, of two souls joining in a moment of pure ecstasy. In these experiences, we feel the Divine expressing itself in the perfection and beauty of Matter.
Connecting to the Energy of Netzach
Netzach is the sphere of emotions, relationships, love, and creativity. There are many ways we can increase the influence of this sphere within our lives. Engage in creative acts such as painting, sculpting, writing a story or poem, making music. Go out in nature and feel how every living and non-living thing is connected and vital to each other, forming a synergistic community. Then also go out in your own community and unselfishly volunteer to do some form of service work that will help others and bring beauty to your community. Spend several leisurely hours with a loving partner exploring Tantra. Tell the important people in your life that you love them. Heck, tell strangers that you love them!