[V] wrote:In the evocation of the intelligence of Mercury I see that part of the operation involves utilizing the color scales. Can someone please explain to me why we incorporate the color scales specific to the path of "Beth" rather than the scales of "Hod"?
You could theoretically use either Hod or Beyth for different kinds of Mercury rituals. The pure essence of the planets, though, are in the Paths, and the planetary intelligences aren't technically even in the hierarchies of the s'fiyroth.
When working with a planetary force, what is the practical difference between incorporating the sephiroth vs. one of the 7 double letter paths?
This requires a small essay, but I'll try to hit the key bullet points.
First, in very broad terms
(meaning, please allow me to cut a few corners, and allow for the fact that any statement is sometimes contextually false), s'fiyroth represent states
and paths represent forces
. For example, in the progress of initiation, s'fiyroth are new, stable plateaus that give a resting place and new context for the next stage of work, whereas paths are processes-in-motion, transitions, and flows. The former, therefore, is more static, and the latter more dynamic.
Although both both paths and s'fiyroth have many attributions, primarily the paths are the pure, energetic expressions of forces, whereas the s'fiyroth are combinations of more complex ideas. For example, Hod is every bit as much Water as it is Mercury (and, for those below T'fereth, is arguably more
Water than it is Mercury).
S'fiyroth have their own hierarchies that, beginning in Y'tzirah, vary from those of the paths. They even vary at a higher level if you integrate the elemental attributions, e.g.,
for a balanced invocation of Hod one might (depending on the occasion and the particular working) invoke El
(for Water) equally with Elohiym Tz'baoth
for Mercury, and call on Gabriel equally with Mikhael; though that would only usually be done in very rounded, balanced expressions of the s'fiyroth, as in an initiation rite (for example).
But it gets clearer in Y'tzirah, where the expression in Hod is Beni Elohim,
but Beyth doesn't connect to that Choir at all, but through a different path involving an angel, intelligence, and spirit.