Astrological Equations: Kawkab : Mercury

Kawkab / Mercury
2 20 6 20
Gematria: 48
Formative: 200 Raysh
Sephira: 9 Yesod
Direction: South
Contrary: Z'ar-Shemama
Betolah Teomaim

Kawkab (Mercury) formed by Raysh unpointed and pointed is South, the flowing out through the right hand of the energy we receive through the left hand. Its name means, traditionally, the messenger of the gods and expresses (Kaf-Waw-Kaf-Bayt) a dual action of self-fertilisation, thus justifying the epithet "messenger": an action towards an action, carrying the message, brought unconsciously by Venus, into conscious activity. By pointed Raysh, Kawkab is Zar' (a seed) in Betolah (Virgo) and by pointed Raysh it is Shememah (waste) in Teomaim (Gemini)..

    Suares, The Sepher Yetsira (Yetzirah), p.133


Traditional Meaning:   Mental function and processes, ability to perceive and communicate. Interchange, association, relatedness. Intellect, reason.
Formative Meaning:   Cognitive-perceptual response to sensory input; mental activity both inward and outward. The response of stimulus-response. Thought as container/action. Duality: Seed-Selection (Waste).
Autiot: Kaf-Waw-Kaf-Bayt, "Messenger": an action towards an action, carrying the message, brought unconsciously by Venus, into conscious activity.

Sephira 10 Malkut   Sephira 9 Yesod
Nogah / Venus   Kawkab / Mercury
Phay/80   Raysh/200
5 3 6 50   2 20 6 20
Gematria: 64   Gematria: 48
Gematria: 112
Gematria: YHWH+ Elohim = 112

With Kawkab/Mercury and Nogah/Venus, we have another opportunity to see the depth of integration and levels of semantic linkage that become available when the formative letters and planets are rectified to their original -- as specified in the oldest sources of the Sepher Yetsira -- positions in the Cube of Space and its 2-D mapping, the Tree of Life. Post-medieval kabbalah and its non-Hebrew derivatives form other planets (Moon, Saturn) at the 9th sephira, in seemingly arbitrary systems of correspondences, and usually sterilize Malkut of formative or planetary status. In general, the precise formative-astrological encoding of the Sepher Yetsira is replaced with the metaphysical and theosophical-anthropomorphic speculation and system-building of the Zohar.

The pre-medieval versions of the Sepher Yetsira all specify the six extremities as the sephirot 5-10, and assign a planet to 10th sephira, Malkut in the Zohar. There are only 3 elements in the Sepher Yetsira, and earth is not one of them, since it is known by another name.

All the planets are kawkabim, messengers, in that they carry energy into and through the psyche. Kawkab/Mercury is the essence of this process, defined as an action (Kaf/20) towards (Waw/6) an action (Kaf/20) which carries the message into consciousness (Bayt/2). In the original sources, Kawkab is formed by Raysh/200, cosmic container or universal consciousness. The logic of 200- should be clear as a description of interpenetration (6) through all levels (2.20.200) of consciousness, from the Cosmic Mind to the individual. The similarity of (Kawkab in reverse) to suggests containers for the YHWH process.

In the Cube of Space, Kawkab is on the right at the 9th Sephira and Nogah is on the left at the 10th. The left-right axis is sealed with Waw/6, union or interpenetration. The binomial Nogah-Kawkab is defined as an interpenetration of energies, flowing from Phay/80 unconsciousness or unstructured energy on the left to Raysh/200 (super)consciousness on the right.

The "message" or "information" carried by Mercury into consciousness has its origin in the unconscious, defined as (levels of) unconscious/unstructured energy and totalized as sensory input and unconscious processing. The 9th sephira is this "action towards an action," a union or interlocking of energies seen as "Foundation" or "Formation." The message itself comes from the 10th Sephira, known to formative qabala as Existence and by the Zohar as Malkut, the Kingdom, "where the events of life, death and existence are inscribed."

Unstructured, unconscious energy enters us symbolically though our left hand as passive input; "it has no reason to be other than it is until it meets the psyche," where sensuous reality is processed and structured as experience. The energy flows out through our right hands, as active response and activity.

Tarot Autiot:
Awareness Action Towards Action

Kaf/20 , formative of Hhamah, the Sun, represents the generalized concept of containers or supports for life; it is the projection of Bayt in existence and all the actions we perform to stay alive, consciously and unconsciously. Two variations of the Ryder-Waite Tarot card the Sun are used here. The obvious connotations of containment of physical energy and support for life is present in both depictions of the Sun, garden and wall.

The Sun, source of all energy and life on earth, is the archetype of physical support: it provides all the material energy for life, but only after being transformed by the biosphere: Hhayt-Mem-Hay, 8.40.5.

The horse as a support for the new life of the child and the Kaf-like banner emphasize the material supports. The two children emphasize the two lives -- Hhayt and Hay -- of Hhamah, the Sun. Non-Hebrew tradition seems to believe that Kaf forms Jupiter and the Wheel.


The 9th Sephira is the completion of the basic archetypal structural cycle that begins with 1/Aleph and end with 9/Tayt, a cell or formation capable of containing and replicating the energy of Aleph.

The 9th sephira is named Tesha, Tav-Sheen-Ayn, in the Sepher Yetsira. Aleph and Tav make their appearance together in the first sephira, Ehat (Aleph-Hayt-Tav), (generalized equation of cosmic consciousness) but Tav doesn't occur again in the Hebrew Numbers until the 30th or 36th letter, depending on feminine or masculine spellings, at the beginning of the 9th number, Tesha.

Tesha is the completion of the expansion of Aleph into Tav in the numbers. It's spelling, Tayt-Sheen-Ayn, 9.300.70, shows that it is a formation designed to replicate the cosmic Breath, Ruahh Elohim, into reality: this is the "Foundation."

It has only to mate with sensuous, material, reality at the 10th sephira to realize Existence and union with Malkut.

9 Tesha Yesod Oomq Darom Yamin
Nine Foundation Depth of South Right

Yesod establishes the existence (Yod) of female (Sammkeh) and male (Waw) elements and projects them into physical reality (Dallet). Yamin is a biological pattern (Mem) with a double existence (Yod) (corresponding to the double kaf of Kawkab) projected into indetermination (final Noun). Darom begins in physical reality and builds consciousness in biological patterns. All these related categories show the 9th sephira's function in the world of structuration and formation as the last step before and intermediary with actual existence or physical reality.

Kawkab/Mercury is formed at the 9th sephira because it is the connecting agent between the world of formation and the world of actuality. It is the only planet capable of doing the job.

Seal:   The North/South, left/right axis is sealed by Waw, union/interpenetration. This is the union of the existential (Yod, up/down) and life (Hay, front/back) axes: the sensual experience and mental response that characterizes our experience of identity developing in time (flowing from future/front to past/back). The South/9th Sephira is sealed by Waw-Hay-Yod: Our mental response/outward activity is our experience (Yod/10) of the life brought to us by the North and 10th sephira.
Formative:   Raysh/200, the cosmic container or universal mind. Again, the symbolism is clear. Raysh forms Kawkab/Mercury, the messenger, at the 9th sephira, Yesod, which connects the upper and lower worlds. Note the Magician's arms. In the central column sephirot -- Yod/Kether + Hay/Tipheret + Waw/Yesod + Hay/Malkut = 26 -- Yesod, the 9th sephira, connects the two lives of YHWH with Waw.

Non-Hebrew theorists often claim that the Magician/Mercury is formed by Bayt, not Raysh and that the 9th sephira is solar in the Cube and lunar in the Tree. On the other hand, the Lurianists say Saturn in the Cube and Moon in the Tree. Kircher seems to have accidentally got it right.

Triad:   8/Sun-9/Mercury-10/Venus complete the secondary triad of physical energy.


Opposite sephirot on the axes of the Cube of Space can be considered as two aspects of the same energy, because they are opposities and they are sealed with the same initial letter of YHWH: WYH and WHY in the case of the 9th and 10th Sephirot. The energy is a one-way flow which appears two-fold to us according to our orientation to the flow and resistance/acceptance of the planetary energies. The primary seal by Waw indicates that the 9th and 10th sephirot form the axis of union or interpenetration.

The Kawkab/Mercury-Nogah/Venus binomial describes a double flow of life (Noun-Waw-Ghimel-Hay) entering from the left and being met by a double response (Kaf-Waw-Kaf-Bayt) on the right.

Nogah / Venus   Kawkab / Mercury
Phay   Raysh
80   5 3 6 50   2 20 6 20   200

Here, at the bottom of the Tree of Life, we find the culimination of the process of structuralization of infinite energy that began with Keter. There have been many interpretations of the meaning of Yesod and Malkut in traditional and westernized kabbalah; few of them involve Mercury and Yesod and none a planetary connection with Malkut, which has been sterilized of its fertility.

No one seems to have noticed where the Magician is pointing and that of the 22 Tarot, only the Empress represents the natural world. Before the anti-rationalistic romantic revolt of medieval kabbalah, ancient geocentric astrology and cosmology ordered the celestial spheres from Saturn to the Moon, and grouped the first six in pairs, ending with Mercury and Venus. This is the cosmology of the unredacted Sepher Yetsira, and it places Mercury on the 9th and Venus on the 10th Sephira.


Again, we see complementary energy flows. Darom, Dallet-Raysh-Waw-Mem, begins in archetypal resistance, Dallet/4, builds the cosmic container (Raysh/200) and joins (Waw/6) with biological structures (Mem/40). Tsafon goes in the opposite direction: starting in the definite structure of Tsadde/90, it projects into unstructured energy (Phay/80) and proliferates (Waw/6) in Cosmic Indetermination (Noun/700). Note that Raysh/200 (daRom) forms the Ninth Sephira and Phay/80 (tsaFon) the Tenth.

North   South
226/876 50/700 6 80 90   40/600 6 200 4 250/810
Tsafon   Darom
Subjective Direction:

       Yamin (the right): Yod-Mem-Yod-Noun, with its two existential Yod, is the side where the action takes place in the physical world: it receives the 9th Sephira, Yassod, signifying, as we have seen, the foundations which support the Autiot.

       Schmol (the left): Sheen-Mem-Aleph-Lammed, is none other than Schem-El, the name of Elohim. It is directed towards the last Sephira which is numbered Yod, existnece, and is called Melkat, the realm of infinite power infinitely magnified, endowed with the name of the first Sephira, Keter, crown.

       Thus, by Schem-El,, integrated man loops the circumference of the Sephirot, uniting the end to the beginning and the beginning to the end. (In this language, Schem-El becomes Semol, left, by a substitution of Sheen in Seen.

Carlo Suares, Sepher Yetsira, p.88

Left   Right
371 30 1 40 300   50/700 10 40 10 110/760
Semol/Schem-El   Yamin
Contrary Quality:
Kawkab and Lavanah revive the whole initial theme of the cosmic sphere: the universe's reply to the breath which animates it. Kawkab unpointed is Zar' (7.200.70): it produces all seed corn. Let us remember that in its name,, two states of being, 20 and 20, fertilise one another.         Suares, SY, 160

Kawkab, formed by Raysh/200 and Lavanah, formed by Tav/400, are the only two formative double letters in the cosmic (100's) register. These energies are our entrance to cosmic life: mind and psyche.

In Teomaim, Kawkab, formed by pointed Raysh, project : the Sheen of the eternal breath in the sub-soil (Mem and Mem) of matter: such must the intellect achieve through Raysh.         Suares, SY, 161

5 40 40 300    70 200 7
385    277
Gematria: 662
Zodiacal Environment: Betolah/Virgo and Teomaim/Gemini are the zodiacal homes of Kawkab/Mercury
In Betolah Kawkab comes upon the cosmic 400 (Bayt-Tav) and an organic movement (Lammed-Hay). Its intelligent and wholly earthy perception sees its cosmic significance and becomes active.

In Teomaim Kawkab makes the two facets of this twinned sign very lively: in the very core of Teomaim it incites an intense dialogue.  

In Meoznaim Kawkab is the very agent of YHWH. Khaf-Waw-Khaf is the actualisation of the Hay-Waw-Hay. Here the individual deep within herself, can find her "second birth."

In Ghedi, Deli and Daghim Kawkab awards these signs the "breath of life" granted to man in Genesis.

SY, 170-171 Contents