I retrieved a bunch of magical equipment from my other appartment for the commencement of my 231 Gates of Intelligence project in Kelley's Tower. After a bit of an audit I figured out that my components indicated an Earth altar would be most appropriate. The room where I built this Earth Altar I eventually want to dedicate to the 7 planets and I appreciate that Earth is not one of them. More on this later.
My finished altar is a brown wooden bookcase with a small desk attached to the front of it. The books are sorted into categories according to the ''land'' of their origin and the bookends are stones from the courtyard on two of the shelves. The third and topmost shelf is occupied by crystals lit by candles. On top of the altar are my dual spiral candle holders which simulate DNA, Buddha, the Raven of Enlil as ''Adonai ha Aretz'', a plant and a globe*.
|THE WATER CYCLE|
It is interesting to me that I now have an Earth Altar as it reminds me of something in the Sefer Yetzirah study which I had quite forgotten but which is, I think, useful to point out now. As most of you are aware the Earth is not considered one of the 7 sacred planets. Nor is Earth an element in the system of the Sefer Yetzirah (there being only Air, Water and Fire). During the study, in fact at the beginning of the work we did on the Kingships, we studied the word Aretz. It was perculiar in that it is not part of the 231 gates (the 22 letters joined to each other). It appears in the text at ''with Fire create the Heavens, with Water create the Earth, and with Air (Atmosphere) decide between them''**.
My research on this word and the other word Dam (DM) provided insights as to why ''Earth'' is not included. Earth is not an element (or elementary) it is a compound (or derivative). Similarly Earth is not a sacred planet but it is where all of the influences of the planets meet and join - again a compound. Earth (Aretz) is the meeting place of the 22 letters, it is the domain of the 231 gates and their interplay.
The word ''Aretz'' here rightly means ''Land'' which of course has political and geographical connotations as well as being associated with the soil which is of course more appropriately associated with the word Dam. The word DM is Dalet (Mars - Kingship Seed/Desolation) and Mem (Water), in the Torah it is called the red earth (again witness the correctness of the Saadia associations in linking Mars with the red earth) which indicates that it is rich in iron oxide***. Indeed Adam or ADM (the addition of the Alef to the DM), to me suggests the oxygenated soil, the life-breath connected with the iron, or oxyhaemoglobin - the Blood is the Life. The idea of turning the soil, an process often performed by the ox, not only mixes important gases and lets the earth breathe, but also to my mind indicates the nature of space time in its furrows - the Earth then, or the World, is also the Universe in the sense of the word ''Olam''.
Aretz is a slightly different word - Alef, Resh, Tzaddi - Air, Mercury - Kingship Peace/War, Aquarius, evocative more of the ''Game of Thrones'' aspect of Kingdom management perhaps and the water cycle. For one to manage the land, one must understand the atmosphere and the winds - be there faire or foule - Enlil is ''Lord of the Wind'' and the word means Kingship - that Mercury in the middle indicates the Logos properties of Enlil but also speaks to me of the importance of diplomacy. Aquarius, as the stately progression of the clouds, and their cargo of rain is also hugely important in successful kingdom management and the lightning also ensures the fertility of the soil. Also the Saturnian yet humanitarian angle on Aquarius is also important in looking after one's subjects in other ways.
|THE NITROGEN CYCLE|
This all said, the Earth Altar will remain then in the Tower but as the central point of focus of the other 22 objects, not as an element, planet or sign in particular, but as a concertation of all the 22 celestial forces.
*This globe is a plastic affair from the 80s showing the USSR. I have acquired a more ''esoteric'' globe which is a 16th century map of the Earth with a starmap on the inside. I am picking it up later this week.
**Aysh nivroo shamayeem, mayim nivroo aretz ve ruakh makraya bayntayeem.
***See earlier post on this http://hermeticlessons.blogspot.cz/2013/02/theory-of-knowledge-and-demonslayers.html - QBListic extension.