Tuesday 15 May 2012

Radiance - Behind the scenes 3

Hod/Splendour and Netzach/Victory are up, so I thought it was time for a third Behind the Scenes (you can read catchup with the first and the second). Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions about Radiance so far - I really want to hear your feedback. While at the beginning of the project I was 5 weeks ahead of posting, with the tidal wave of work that hit me towards the end of the semester I ended up way behind. I'm now clawing ahead again but this means that there has never been a better time to give me feedback on where the story is going and what you want to see.

Netzach and Hod
These two sefirot are probably the hardest to pin down of any of the ten, and are not much discussed in the Zohar. My general impression of them is that they are like the sefirot above them (Chessed and Gevurah respectively) but more tangible, closer to the physical world. They are also almost always treated together rather than alone. That's why I decided to almost combine these two sefirot into the same section of the novel. While each has its own verses, they only combine to 4 chapters, the same as the other sections.

Netzach vs. Hod  
Given what I just said, how are Netzach and Hod different? For this my main source has actually been a comicbook - specifically Promethea by Alan Moore. In Vol II the main character, Promethea, goes on an extended journey up through the sefirot. While Promethea is a more Christian/New Agey kind of kabbalah than my own, Alan Moore's depiction of Netzach and Hod were very useful. He shows Hod to be about logic and the intellect, while Netzach is about memory and emotion. This formed the basis of my chapters. While Hod shows physical combats in the 'real' world, in Netzach Asher has to overcome the Dybbuk inside his own memories.

Ezekiel 2
While each section got its own verses, if you look you'll see that the verses are actually sequential, covering the whole of Ezekiel 2. This chapter shows Ezekiel receiving prophecy in the form of a scroll that he has to consume. While it seems bitter, chapter 3 reveals that it tastes sweet inside his mouth. Will the same thing happen to Asher? Wait and see.

The Body of the Sefirot
In classical kabbalah, the sefirot are often laid out in the form of the human body. In that model, Netzach and Hod are the legs of this divine form. You will notice that these 4 chapters mention legs quite a lot of times. How many can you find?

The logic game
The words that are in Mercury's category are: magic, augury, tarot, legwork, division, shade and Mercury. Words not in the category are: witchcraft and firework. So what is Mercury's category? Can you work it out?

Look out for a recap of parts 3 and 4 before the end of the week. On Monday we begin Tiferet/Adornment.

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