Qabalistic Magick Lesson 7: Chesed - The Sphere of Mercy

© Copyright 2023 Karen Charboneau-Harrison and Jeff Harrison, All Rights Reserved.

Chesed is Greatness, Magnificence and Divine Love and its energies are more Human than the supernal father of Chockmah, a sphere higher on the Tree which shares energy patterns with Chesed.

Chesed is anabolic and up-building in contradistinction to Geburah which is katabolic and down-breaking.

Magical Image of Chesed: The Crowned and Throned King - this image is extremely important for Chesed is the Law giver, taking the raw forces of Chockmah that have now come through the Mother of Forms, Binah. Chesed is that which emanates the archetypal pattern, building them up as they are readied for manifestation lower in the Tree of Life. Chesed is the Concretion of the Abstract as we have crossed the Abyss of the Supernals. Binah is more the potential of physical form, Chesed is more concrete as it provides the archetypal patterns, the blue-prints for manifestation. This is the sphere of planning, the Divine Blueprints.

Chesed is ordered and merciful law as the central sphere of the Pillar of Mercy.

Chesed again has to do with planning and vision, seeing the subtle conditions, the archetypal patterns on which detail can be overlaid.

Understanding Chesed is important when working on the Astral, for when encountering inner plane energies, any image represents a higher function or energy which emanates originally from Chesed.

Chesed is the sphere of the formulation of the archetypal idea; the apprehension by consciousness of an abstract concept which is subsequently brought down the planes or levels of being and concretized.

Scientists believe that the only abstract concepts are those formulated by the human mind, but Qabalists say that the Divine Mind formulated archetypal ideas in order that substance might take form, and that without such archetypal ideas substance was formless and void. Jung talked about the archetypes as being the invisible crystalline structure, the lines of tension which allows formation to occur.

God Name: El (root word for All, Allah)

Archangel: Tzadkiel; Meaning Righteous of God, Tzaddik is the Hebrew for Holy Person or Saint, the Archangel of Right Doing, in balance with the Divine Patterns or Laws if you will.

Order of Angels: Chasmalim, Brilliant Ones, again the idea of royal splendour portrayed in their name, they have been called the flames of fusion, welding creation together at its seams.

Mundane Chakra (Planet): Jupiter, the Great Benign One

Virtue: Obedience, he or she who rules must be obedient to the Divine Law

Vice: Bigotry, hypocrisy, gluttony, tyranny, inability to relate to the True Archetypal Divine Patterns. Gluttony being the overemphasis of the energy of Chesed without the Balance of Geburah - too much of a good thing.

Spiritual Experience: The Vision of Love

From the Sepher Yetzirah: "The Fourth Path (Chesed) is called the Cohesive Consciousness" And further that Chesed "Contains all the Holy Powers, and from it emanate all the Spiritual Virtues with the Most exalted essences."

Chesed has been called the sphere of the Archetypes so it contains all the potential powers.

It is important to consider Chesed and Geburah together because together they balance the Tree of Life. Chesed and Geburah are often worked with together because they represent the extremes of either polarity. Together they complement and balance one another very well to encourage manifestation on this physical level of existence. Their balancing aspects are shown by their respective titles: Mercy (Chesed) and Severity (Geburah).

Chesed is the beneficent Father - encouraging, providing guidelines and more opportunities. Geburah limits and enforces those guidelines and brings needed discipline. Chesed is the crowned King who oversees the land and his subjects, giving, expanding and nurturing growth. Geburah, the Warrior in his chariot, provides the enforcement of the laws both spiritual and natural (as in cycles of the seasons) and brings lessons in the need to limit growth. We could see population growth as an example of their roles: Chesed is the potential to be fertile, both in crops and in human reproduction; Geburah sets and enforces the limits of what can be sustained in a healthy manner. If we continue to grow population-wise in a Chesedian way, we will outgrow our resources. Geburah provides natural catyclism, infertility and illness in an effort to slow down this growth so that the earth can be sustained.

Chesed is the first Sephira below the Abyss and brings into being the energies of the Supernal Triad, externalizing the combined potencies of them. It is the first impulse toward structure and is the administrator of the Laws given by Binah. Chesed is Chokmah on a lower arc and Hod on a higher arc. Geburah further limits the energies of the Supernals, allowing them to reach a frequency or density which can be expressed in the material world. Geburah is Binah on a lower arc, Netzach on a higher arc.

El is the Godname of Chesed. This is the root of Allah, Baal and Bel. Allah means The God, Bel and Baal are titles of the heads of tribes who manifest Godhead thru the living chieftain. The Godname of Geburah is Elohim Gibor. We have dissected Elohim before as the Gods and Goddesses. Coupled with Gibor (Strength) we have the Gods and Goddesses acting with strength and severity.

Tzadkiel is the archangel of Chesed and it is the duty of this entity to inform the soul of his/her work during an incarnation, the pitfalls and the pinnacles. Tzadkiel's work is to transform imbalance into balance, wrongs into rights. Khamael, the archangel of Geburah, transforms (limits) divine energy into energy that can be used in a denser form. S/he dispenses divine justice and karma; s/he destroys in order to refine.

Jupiter, the planet of expansion and opportunity belongs to Chesed. Mars, the planet of discipline, will power and might corresponds to Geburah.

The Vision of Love is that of Chesed - all encompassing, unconditional love. The Vision of Power is Geburah's - right use of power and of the Will.

Geburah is the Sphere of adjustment and assessment; Chesed is the Sphere of creative idealism and potential. One could take the statement of Crowley: Love is the Law; Love under Will and see this as a statement of balancing the forces of these two Sephiroths. The will of God is the love of God. The Law of Love is given in Chesed, Love under Will is the self-discipline to give it rightly in Geburah. Tough love?

Obedience is the virtue of Chesed - this is obedience to one's higher or deeper Self, following one's true path which will naturally follow divine law. Courage is the virtue of Geburah - the courage to do what is right, let go of imbalance and the courage to follow one's true will, whether supported by the status quo or not. Hypocrisy (do as I say, not as I do) and gluttony are the vices of Chesed. As Chesed is the sphere of expansion, wanting everything can lead to greed if over emphasized. Cruelty is the vice of Geburah - power over, rather than power with.

Symbols of rulership belong to Chesed - the wand and sceptre. As Chesed brings Divine Law into a form that can be utilized mundanely, we associate the cube for manifestation. The sword and scourge belong to Geburah as ways of enforcing these laws - through destruction of what is not working and of enforcing discipline. The Pentacle also belongs to Geburah, showing Spirit overseeing the 4 elements that make up matter.

Deities of Chesed include Zeus, Jupiter, Athena & all law giving Gods. Deities of Geburah include Kali, the Morrigan, Athena, Ares and all warrior Gods.


Title: Mercy
Image: Crowned, Enthroned King
GodName: El
Archangel: Tzadkiel
Planet: Jupiter
Experience: Vision of Love
Virtue: Obedience
Vice: Hypocrisy, Gluttony
Symbols: Wand, Sceptre, Cube
Bringing Together


Title: Severity
Image: Warrior King
GodName: Elohim Gibor
Archangel: Khameal
Planet: Mars
Experience: Vision of Power
Virtue: Courage
Vice: Cruelty
Symbols: Sword, Scourge
Breaking Apart

Suggestions to understand and experience the energies of Chesed and Geburah:

  1. If you find that your self discipline is lax, pick one thing that for the next two weeks you will work to enforce - each time you are tempted to do whatever you've decided to limit, dialogue with yourself about why.
  2. If you typically deny yourself pleasurable things, determine what you will give yourself. When you encounter resistance, ask what the resistance is about.
  3. Go through a day not judging & giving love to everything you encounter.
  4. Practice saying 'no'.
  5. Study the Chesed deities and/or the Geburah deities.
  6. Read about the 19th Path. This is the path that links and balances Chesed & Geburah. Use the works of Gareth Knight, Robert Wang or Israel Regardie.

Recommended Products
Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford Mystical Qabalah
Godwins Cabalistic Encyclopedia Witches Qabala
Chesed Incense Chesed Oil

Go to Lesson 1: Malkuth
Go to Lesson 2: Yesod
Go to Lesson 3: Hod
Go to Lesson 4: Netzach
Go to Lesson 5: Tiphareth
Go to Lesson 6: Geburah
Go to Lesson 8: Daath
Go to Lesson 9: Binah
Go to Lesson 10: Chokmah
Go to Lesson 11: Kether
Go to Lesson 12: A Qabalistic Meditation, Journey Through the Spheres of the Tree of Life
Go to Lesson 13: History and Differences Between Orthodox Hebrew Qabalah and Western Esoteric Qabalah

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