create from integrity
embody your truth
Today marks the start of Week 6 of the 7-week period of counting of the Omer, and the journey through the Kabbalistic Tree of Life framework.
So far, we have refined the following attributes:
- Chesed: loving-kindness and presence
- Gevurah: restraint, boundaries, and structure that creates space
- Tiferet: harmony and balance
- Netzach: sustainable endurance
- Hod: humility, gratitude, and surrender
Yesod: Where Everything Starts to Come Together
This week is devoted to refining the element of Yesod. In our journey toward mastery and sovereignty, this is where things start to come together.
The literal translation of Yesod is “foundation.” That said, as with the other sephirot, the translation can be limiting.
Yesod also implies connection and bonding.
This is based on its position in the Tree of Life.
Like Tiferet, Yesod sits in the middle column of the Tree of Life. In the same way that Tiferet mediates between Chesed and Gevurah, giving and receiving, Yesod mediates between Netzach and Hod, persistence and surrender.
Yesod sits just above Malchut, the final sphere.
Yesod is said to absorb the energies from the first five of the sephirot. It synthesizes and integrates them, and channels them to Malchut, which sits below it at the base of the Tree of Life. Malchut represents bringing things into form.
For this reason, I associate Yesod with the concept of integration, which is crucial to the learning process. This is the week where we integrate the previous five elements so that we can achieve mastery.
Integration happens through embodiment, literally walking your talk, acting your values, living your truth. In order to master these realms, we must embody them. When we integrate them, then we live in integrity.
Yesod in the Body
In the body, Yesod corresponds to the reproductive organs. Specifically, Yesod represents the masculine, which channels and feeds into the feminine. The feminine then incubates and creates life.
This process is the model for the creative process and the learning process:
- gather the raw materials
- integrate them
- transmit them to something or someone else
- create something new with them
Whenever we’re diving into the esoteric, the lingering question is:
What does this all mean in practice? How can I use this?
Nowhere is that more important than in Yesod, which is all about integration.
The best place to apply this is in relationships.
According to Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder, healthy Yesod is a balanced experience of giving and receiving nourishment and pleasure. When Yesod is aligned and healthy, both partners are satisfied, respected, and feel seen and heard. Each person’s needs are acknowledged and honored. The covenant, or contract, between the partners — whether implicit or explicit — is clear and honored.
On the flip side, when Yesod is not healthy, it may look like one or both partners
- using the other for selfish purposes
- sacrificing their own needs to please the other
The idea of a healthy or broken covenant show up in every realm of relationships, most obviously in sexuality and speech. Thus, Yesod is also the sphere in which we examine these two elements.
Yesod invites us to explore the core issues that is at the root of all relationships:
- How do I exist together as one (the quality of bonding), while ensuring that both of our needs get met?
- How do we honor the relationship and each others’ needs without sacrificing our own needs?
Yesod also asks us to examine whether we are walking our talk, living our values, and acting with integrity.