Yesod is the next sphere after Malkuth that we encounter on our climb up the Tree of Life. Its Element is Water, its planet is the Moon, and its chakra is the Sacral Chakra. Yesod is associated with the Etheric Plane and, with Netzach and Hod, the Astral Plane. It is between Yesod and Malkuth where Souls enter their physical bodies and leave them. Yesod is the last step before physical manifestation and the first step after manifestation. While matter itself is in Malkuth, the forces which hold matter together and give it life are in Yesod. Yesod is the Foundation, but one that is flexible and ever changing. Yesod contains the blueprint of the manifest world as thoughtforms or images. Yesod receives all of the energies of the higher spheres, gathers these energies, and imbues the thoughtforms with these energies in creative generation to become manifest in Malkuth. In this way, Yesod is also associated with sexual energy, reproduction, and fertility. However, it is important to realize that the images we see in Yesod are only symbols of that which is greater – there is more beyond the Astral Plane, and so Yesod is also known as the Sphere of Illusion.
The Power of the Subconscious
At the personal level, Yesod represents our subconscious, our memories, our past, our repressed emotions, and our conditioned thoughts and beliefs. These things make up our own personal story, our blueprint, and as such holds us within a pattern that we repeat over and over again, mostly unconsciously. Behavior precipitates out of our hidden subconscious dynamics. It is the work of Yesod to bring to light and clear out these repressed energies, releasing us from our unconscious actions and habits. Once we do this, then we can begin to act consciously and in alignment with our Higher Self. Yesod’s duty in the macrocosm is to purify and correct the emanations from the higher spheres before projecting them down into Malkuth for manifestation. At the level of you, the microcosm, this needs to happen also. Once we are aware of our unconscious motivations and conditioned beliefs, and therefore are no longer controlled by them, we can then consciously choose which beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions to “put on” that are in alignment with our Higher Self and that best serve us in that moment. “The King (or Queen) may choose his garments at will; a beggar has no choice.” We can consciously choose how we live our lives, or we can let our lower instincts, past conditioning, and unconscious habits do it for us.
The Lessons of Yesod
The Illusion of Yesod is Security. Even though these unconscious patterns are not truly serving us, we feel safe in our well-worn grooves. This is the Ego and all of its dogma and drama. We are comfortable with the images we have built up and so we relax into the Vice of Yesod- Idleness. It is uncomfortable to break the pattern, or we are enamored with the Illusion, and so we stay stuck in place, with no impetus to keep searching, learning, and growing. However, the Obligation of Yesod is Trust – trust that there is more behind the Illusion, namely our True Self, and that all we have to do is reach for it. Take the leap of faith. Trust that the challenges in life, while necessary for our growth, are also temporary, and that Change is Stability. Trust removes Fear and leaves Love.
The Spiritual Experience of Yesod is the Vision of the Machinery of the Universe, the knowledge that there is more than just the physical world, that there is a Divine plan, that there is rhythms and cycles to things, and that there is a reason for everything, even if you do not know what that is yet. The wheel is rolling, not spinning – there are ups and downs, but each time you reach bottom, you are further ahead than the time before. This Vision helps us to realize the Obligation of Yesod, to Trust, and will sustain us through the inevitable Dark Nights of the Soul. Once we realize the workings of the universal energies and that everything is connected, and Trust in the Divine Plan, then we can feel true Security. We can then experience the Virtue of Yesod – Independence. The true work of Yesod is to clear out the repressed energies and integrate them into their correct sphere, releasing ourselves from the ties that bind. By bringing the unconscious to light and breaking free from these conditioned and ingrain beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we break down the Ego and then rebuild ourselves in the image of our True Self. We can then know true Independence because we will be truly Self-governing – living consciously rather than unconsciously.
Connecting to the Energy of Yesod
Yesod is ruled by the Moon and its element is water, and as such, it is the realm of imagination, dreams, and intuition. By working with the energies of Yesod we can stimulate latent psychic abilities and bring them more to the forefront of our consciousness, where we can use them more directly. Other areas of study that fall under Yesod include magic and witchcraft, the cycles and rhythms of nature, divination, dream work and keeping a dream diary, creative visualization, shamanic journeying, focused meditation (such as on Tarot cards and symbols), astral projection, study of myths and symbols, scrying with mirrors and mirror work, building up our etheric body by balancing and clearing our chakras, study of transpersonal psychology, Tantra and sex magic, quantum physics, and the four 9’s of the tarot. Moon goddesses such as Diana and phallic gods of potent beauty such as Adonis are also associated with Yesod.