Netzach (endurance), Hod (glory), Yesod (foundation).
When the sephirot are arrayed in the form of a human body, netzach and hod are its hips; yesod is its pelvis. They make forward motion possible, turning ideas into actions.
Medieval Kabbalist Azriel of Gerona (1160-1238) described netzach-hod-yesod as an integrated mechanical system. Netzach is a simple check valve, allowing energy to flow from above. Hod is a control valve, managing quantity of flow. Yesod is a multi-function valve, algorithmically directing flow through different shaped pipelines.
Azriel’s image evokes Freud’s three-part model of the human psyche. Id overflows with raw psychic energy. Ego regulates the flow, balancing social life with personal drives. Superego repeats the rules that structure behaviour.
Netzach seems to be the id, a torrent of desires for self, others, and the world. Unlimited psychic fuel for projects. Nothing curbs it; everything feeds it. (I’m terrible at moderating it.)
No wonder Joseph Gikatilla (1248-1305) associates netzach with the divine name Adonai Tzevaot: Lord of Hosts. The power to call on crowds of angels, assistants turning ideas into action. How else could desire be actualized?
Perhaps through a series of moderating valves. A netzach-hod-yesod system of discernment. Where netzach is not id, but a first gateway for using its energy.
A gateway that can open with sound. I say the word netzach. Note its vowel sounds. Ehh — Ahh. Breathe out ehh from my chest and ahh from my belly. Again. And again. Until the breath becomes a valve that quiets my thoughts, calms my feelings.
And I see the path to hod and yesod: what is feasible, and what form it might take.
Inspiration: Sanford Drob, Sigmund Freud, B.K.S. Iyengar. Images: pinterest/illustrating, ejmmm2007.blogspot. ca