eternity and glory in lovingkindness

Today was represented by the energy of Netzach (Reverberation, Endurance, Eternity) in Chesed (Lovingkindness), with the suggested focus phrase from Rabbi Ted, "...There are no limits to the energies now available. Today I honor the new possibilities for self and for the world."

And tonight -- which is not the fourth, and not the sixth, day of the counting of the Omer (the curious custom is that you don't count the day till after you have said the blessing) -- begins the day of Hod in Chesed. Hod means Glory, and Splendor, and according to some teachers is also associated with devotion and humility.

Jay Michaelson writes,
"Netzach means 'eternity;' it is the aspect of revelation which stretches horizontally for all time, and the attribute of endurance within the Divine — in the sense both of "God's mercy endures forever" and the more common usage of endurance through difficult times. Hod, its complement, means 'splendor.' It is the aspect of revelation which exists vertically, as a peak experience, or contact with that which is transcendence. It is the source of what Heschel called the experience of radical amazement: the shattering encounter with the numinous that engenders the birth of wonder.

"On the more mundane planes, we can (borrowing from Thomas Edison) understand hod as inspiration, and netzach as perspiration. Hod are those moments of insight at which we sing and shout "awwww!" Netzach are the rest of the times. Hod are, in relationship, those perfect evenings on tropical islands, where the sun sets over the water and the night is filled with love. Netzach are the times you pick your lover up at the airport. To paraphrase Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, hod is like a Ferrari; netzach like a Jeep. To paraphrase Jack Kornfield, hod is the ecstasy; netzach is the laundry."

Rabbi Ted offers this focus for meditation: "My sensations embody Lovingkindness. Through every sensation this Lovingkindness manifests. Today I perceive this Lovingkindness reflected in every perception, and know the blessing of the One Who gives all life its beauty and its glory."

(Kabbalistic Tree of Life above, silkscreen print by David Friedman in Safed, Israel)