The Hermit Yod
Teth to the Tree Kaph

Yod (י)

Yod, the twentieth path, connects Chesed and Tiphareth. It is the character "Y", "I", or "J".

Yod is one of the twelve simple letters, which represent astrological signs. The simple letters are secondary directions, the edges of the box, connecting its faces. Its attributions are:

Directionnorth below
Number י‎ = 10
MeaningHand[1] (the creative force; sperm)
Tarot trumpThe Hermit
Yetsiratic Attribution[2] Intelligence of Will (consciousness of will, Sekhel HaRatzon, שכל הרצון), because it is the means of preparation of all and each created being, and by this intelligence the existence of the Primordial Wisdom becomes known.

Yod is the source of the Alef-Bet. There is a saying: G-d gave man the Yod; the rest he had to invent for himself.

As the first letter of the Tetragrammaton, Yod represent Ain (Negativity), the ineffable Source from which the Light springs. It is the place where what is willed must be, the active, generative, principle whose Will is to bestow and which cannot be apprehended unless it is contained, limited, by Ain Soph. It is the Infinite, that which cannot be comprehended except through apprehending that which it is Not. It is the ultimate void, the Platonic ideal of Zero.[3] Modern quantum gravitational theory has shown us this Yod, this Ain: it is the space between two energy states of the electron, a distance that must be bridged but which cannot be apprehended by any experiment of our devising.

YHV About the Tetragrammaton: I personally find it interesting to contemplate the arrangment of the letters of the Tetragrammaton on the Tree. It is of course entirely an accident (or is it?) based on the ordering of the Hebrew alphabet and the pattern used to lay the letters on the paths, but they form a triangle between Chesed, Tiphareth, and Chokmah: Chesed -> Tiphareth (Yod), Chokmah -> Tiphareth (Heh), Chokmah -> Chesed (Vau). Mercy, Wisdom, Beauty. Thus, along with the ascending and descending triads that we are normally taught to find in the Tree, there is this fourth triad whose existence we only discover here, in this chance arrangement of the paths and the letters.

That is true only in Hermetic Qabalah. The Ari and the Gra teach different arrangements of the letters for their Kabbalah. For them, ה and ו radiate from Kether, which thus associates with י, and the Divine Name thus illuminates the Supernal Triad.

[1]יד, Yad, means hand.
[2]From the 32 Paths of Wisdom, often printed as an appendix to Sepher Yetzirah. However, see this article for additional (and contradictory) information on these Paths.
[3]Which thing, we might note, the Greeks feared so much that they refused to postulate it.
[1]יד, Yad, means hand.
[2]From the 32 Paths of Wisdom, often printed as an appendix to Sepher Yetzirah. However, see this article for additional (and contradictory) information on these Paths.
[3]Which thing, we might note, the Greeks feared so much that they refused to postulate it.
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An Interactive QabalahThe Mother lettersSeven of Swords A Brief Introduction to QabalahNepheshSix of Swords Kether, the CrownNeshamahFive of Swords Chokmah, WisdomThe Veil of ParokethFour of Swords Binah, UnderstandingPermutations of the NameThree of Swords Daath, KnowledgeThe Three PillarsTwo of Swords QliphothThe ProfaneAce of Disks Chesed, MercyReflectionKnight of Disks Geburah, StrengthRuachQueen of Disks Tiphareth, BeautySefer Yetzirah, the Book of FormationPrince of Disks Netzach, VictorySeverityPrincess of Disks Hod, SplendorThe simple lettersTen of Disks Yesod, FoundationWhat is a Soul?Nine of Disks Malkuth, KingdomThe SoulsEight of Disks AlefThe Supernal TriadSeven of Disks BetThe FoolSix of Disks GimelThe MagusFive of Disks DalethThe PriestessFour of Disks HehThe EmpressThree of Disks VauThe EmperorTwo of Disks ZainThe HierophantAdjustment ChethThe LoversAeon TethThe ChariotArt YodAdjustmentThe Chariot KaphThe HermitDeath LamedFortuneDevil MemLustThe Emperor NunThe Hanged ManThe Empress SamekhDeathThe Fool AyinArtFortune PehThe DevilThe Hanged Man TzaddiThe TowerThe Hermit QophThe StarThe Hierophant ReshThe MoonThe Lovers ShinThe SunLust TauThe AeonThe Magus The Qabalistic WorldsThe UniverseThe Moon Atziluth, ArchetypesAce of WandsThe Priestess Briah, the CreativeKnight of WandsThe Star Yetzirah, the FormativeQueen of WandsThe Sun Assiah, the ActivePrince of WandsThe Tower The court cardsPrincess of WandsThe Universe The AcesTen of WandsHebrew alphabet transliterations The KnightsNine of WandsThe Triads The QueensEight of WandsThe Qabalistic Veils The PrincesSeven of WandsThe Name of Names, YHVH The PrincessesSix of WandsAlef The TensFive of WandsAyin The NinesFour of WandsBet The EightsThree of WandsCheth The SevensTwo of WandsDaleth The SixesAce of CupsThe double letters The FivesKnight of CupsGimel The FoursQueen of CupsHeh The ThreesPrince of CupsKaph The TwosPrincess of CupsLamed The 32 Paths of WisdomTen of CupsMem The AbyssNine of CupsThe mother letters Adam Kadmon, the Body of GodEight of CupsNun AlchemySeven of CupsPeh The Alef-Bet in Space and TimeSix of CupsQoph The Ari TreeFive of CupsResh The Astral TriadFour of CupsSamekh BalanceThree of CupsShin The double lettersTwo of CupsThe simple letters The Ethical TriadAce of SwordsTau the Flash of LightKnight of SwordsTeth The Gra TreeQueen of SwordsThe Tree of Life The 72 Hidden Names of GodPrince of SwordsTzaddi The Tree of LifePrincess of SwordsVau The Hebrew alef-bet letter classesTen of SwordsYod MercyNine of SwordsZain The Presence of the Most HighEight of Swords