Archive for October, 2006

Bechirah Chofshit, Unspellbound

October 31, 2006

I dreamt.

A witch was carrying me like a mother bird [1] in her arms, flying through the air, taking me someplace. She was trying to lull me to sleep with the peacefulness of the flight. But, I only pretended to fall asleep as she carried me to some mysterious place – to see where she was taking me and to see what her intention was.

When she thought I was asleep, she entered a big mansion of a house [2] and deposited me on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. It was daylight outside. She was going to steal a drop of my blood [3] via a finger pinprick while I slept unaware (she thought)! Like hell! I thought.

I stopped pretending to be asleep and asked her what she was doing. “Oh,” she said, discombobulated by my sudden wakefulness, “I just want a little drop of blood,” she faltered. “For tests,” she lied. I knew what she was really thinking. She thought that by getting a drop of my blood, she could bind [4], control and put spells on me.

“No,” I said, “I’m not going to give you a drop of blood.”

She dropped her friendly facade and told me to get out of the house since I wouldn’t give her any of my blood. She didn’t think I’d make it back safely to civilization, as she had astrally flown me through the air to the magical place. Walking, the monsters outside on the house grounds would get me, she thought with unfounded certainty.

Ha! I made it back. And the only creature who dared approach me as I walked back to civilization fled from me when I made a snarling face at it.

There’s a Jewitch on the loose! was the news I heard flying through town, when the witch realized I hadn’t been “taken care of” by the estate’s guard monsters.

I woke up.

Footnotes:

[1] Tzaftzaf צפצף can be interpreted to mean “chirp like a bird” and in the context of meditation, has been likened to the forbidden practice of necromancy (Meditation & The Bible, R’ Aryeh Kaplan) . In other words, through “repetition” of some sound or action, the witch sought to cast a sleep spell. צפצף is also related to prophetic vision and tzofeh צופה, meaning “seer”. The midrash and Talmud speak of a person near death whose soul “presses” (tzaftzaf) to leave the body and ascend. Redemption is also written to “break forth” (tzaftzaf, Shir Hashirim Rabbah on 6:10).

[2] Pharaoh comes from the word per-aä, which literally means the big house, i.e. the palace.

[3] The witch in this dream, who initially acted “motherly” but ended up wanting to steal a drop of blood, represents the epitome of galut (spiritual exile). R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh teaches: “The blood relates to the sefirah of binah, the mother-principle–‘the mother gives her child the red [the blood].’ The final and most extended exile, that exile referred to by the prophet as ‘the sick exile is the exile of Edom’, from the word ‘red’ (adom) and ‘blood’ (dam).” In other words, a true “mother” gives her blood to her children, she does not take blood from them.

[4] She was trying to bind my lifeforce to her will through a drop of blood. This may be one reason why Torah law forbids tatoos.

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The Transformation Of Pharaoh’s Arrow

October 31, 2006

In my previous entry, I wrote about the arrow which killed King Yoshiyahu in battle with Pharaoh Necoh [1]. Having survived pharaoh’s arrow [2], I have captured it and transformed it into a witch’s mystical tool, my athame.

An athame is a ritual black handled double-edged magnetized blade used to direct metaphysical energy, kavanah and divine shefa during the mystical workings of a witch. It is never used to draw blood. It is a sacred ritual tool associated with the element of air (avir kadmon) [3] and balance.

It can never be “used” by anyone else. Once a witch has obtained and consecrated her athame, it can never be “deconsecrated”. It is a witch’s tool for the duration of her life. It is used to cast a ritual circle, to invoke, summon, consecrate, bind, banish, awaken, charge and enliven.

The word athame can be etymologically translated as “arrow”. Consequently, pharaoh’s arrow, meant to cripple and kill, has unwittingly provided me with the material from which I have crafted a witch’s most prized possession – a metaphysical athame.

I am truly an initiated Jewitch (as in Jewish witch, not Wiccan) now.

Footnotes:

[1] R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh, The Hebrew Letters, on the letter shin (p. 320)

[2] See fn.3 in previous entry (link above) regarding chemah/chomah and davah/hod.

[3] R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh on avir kadmon: “The word avir–“atmosphere” or “air”– is composed of the three letters which spell or–“light”–together with a fourth letter, the letter yud. In Kabbalah we are taught that the or within avir represents the “impression” (reshimu) of the infinite light which shined before the primordial plan of creation (that light in which God “engraved” the plan). The yud represents the “impression” of the Divine plan itself.”

The Essence Of Teshuvah In The House Of David

October 30, 2006

Tzedek, tzedek we have pursued … Devarim 16:20

In my previous entry, I wrote:

In the first dream “half” in the karmelis, the deathly-white spider was ripped in half. In this dream “half”, in our private domain, the “baby”, where the value of baby in hebrew is equivalent to “the shadow of death” [1], irretrievably disappears. Consequently, the two “halves” of the dream represent a progression whereby “death is removed” from our experience together.

The hebrew word for “half” is חץ, from the root חצץ, meaning to “separate” and “walling off”.

This morning’s dream ח-לום was split into halves [2] צ-צ. The first half of the dream was likewise internally split in half by the presence of a thin “dividing wall” which protectively [3] “walled off” ח-ומה the space of the karmelis (where we were) from the reshut harabim (where others were). So, here I have a “halves within halves” – like a holograph containing the essence of the idea of “two halves”.

In kabbalah, we come across the idea of “halves” in analyses of the letter shin. With a gematria of 300, the letter shin represents 300 arrows, where in battle with Pharaoh Necoh [4], one “sharpened arrow” (חץ שנון) killed King Yoshiyahu, a righteous mashiach from the House of David.

From this data, we can see that the idea of “half” is connected and pivotal to the House of David and to mashiach ben David. In other words, one must pass the test of the splitting the shin to survive as an anointed one of the House of David. Moreover, splitting the shin into “halves” is the critical assay regarding fitness with respect to the transition from ben Yosef (Yesod) to ben David (Malchut). In other words, if the “halving” is successful, mashiach ben David from the House of David lives. If not, he dies.

In my dream, the shadow of death (in the baby symbolism) is dealt death forever (irretrievably). Not my bashert, who lives.

Footnotes:

[1] The gematria of baby תינוק is 566, the same gematria as “shadow of death” צלמות (Tehilim 23:4).

[2] Tzedek elyon and tzedek tachton (Sha’are Orah, R’ Yosef Gikatilla); and the “bodies” of tzadik and tzedeket in the Presence of the Shechinah.

[3] See Chozeret B’Teshuvah (fn. 3) regarding chemah/chomah and davah/hod. The dream immediately followed anger arising from being within a public place.

[4] R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh, The Hebrew Letters, on the letter shin (p. 320)

Nesi’at Hafachim

October 30, 2006

Dealing Death To The Shadow Of Death

There is no reshus harabim in this world, but there will be in the future to come … Resh Lakish

In the next half of the previous dream, my bashert and I were in our private home, a reshut hayachid [1], together. I was washing the dishes in the kitchen sink. He was wandering about the house doing other things.

While I was washing the dishes, a baby old enough to hold a bottle of milk on its own, was sitting in a baby seat on the floor behind me, nursing on a bottle of milk. (I didn’t bottle feed any of my kids in real life.)

My bashert wandered into the kitchen. I was finished with the dishes and turned around to see the baby seat overturned, and the “stuff” that had been with the baby (blanket, bottle, etc.) scattered in the corner. The baby had disappeared irretrievably into thin air.

Oh well. We can always make a different baby [2].

In the first dream “half” in the karmelis, the deathly-white spider was ripped in half. In this dream “half”, in our private domain, the “baby”, where the value of baby in hebrew is equivalent to “the shadow of death” [3], irretrievably disappears. Consequently, the two “halves” of the dream represent a progression whereby “death is removed” from our experience together. A progression from reshut harabim to karmelis to reshut hayachid is also evident in the dream. The dream was distinctly separated into two “halves”; the first half having both the reshut harabim and the karmelis in it, and the second half only having the reshut hayachid in it. I’m still thinking about what this detail might mean.

Footnotes:

[1] Interestingly, in the previous dream, there was a thin wall which separated the “karmelis” (located on my left) from the community home (located on my right), which in my mind, was a reshut harabim. The idea formed in my mind that it was a reshut harabim. This article helps me to understand why I saw it that way (as a reshut harabim). A detail of my dream which I didn’t mention previously, but which was nevertheless present, is that the main room was open on both ends (Resh Lakish). The main room in the previous dream was mefulash – open at the “up” and “down” (Netzach and Hod, Sefer Yetzirah 1:13) positions in space (relative to me).

[2] kruv, “is from Aramaic and means “as a baby.”

[3] The gematria of baby תינוק is 566, the same gematria as “shadow of death” צלמות (Tehilim 23:4).

Cosmic Rendezvous

October 30, 2006

Part of my dream this morning:

I was with my bashert. I can’t recall seeing his face, but I knew that he was my bashert.

We were in a side storage area off the “main place” where the other people were located in the dream. The storage place was also like an alternative reality [1].

The area was somewhat “secret” in that it wasn’t in a public area. It was more private, separated from, yet adjacent to, the main area. The main area wasn’t our private home. It was more like a community home, making the storage area something of a karmelis [1].

My bashert and I were sneaking some time together there, away from people. But, there was a huge white spider עכביש the color of death [1] in the place. I couldn’t relax, even though the spider was not seemingly “after me”. But, I wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t after me. I kept thinking – if I let it out of my sight, it will jump on me. The thought made me nervous, very nervous. I couldn’t concentrate with it lurking around.

Ok. My bashert grabbed the huge deathly-white spider and tried to flush it down a toilet. But, the spider kept escaping the bowl and jumping out. I just couldn’t deal with a huge deathly-white spider roaming about. I couldn’t concentrate on having a rendezvous with it around.

Ok. My bashert grabbed the spider for the last time and ripped it in half with his bare hands. Then he flushed it down the toilet and out of my world.

Now, I could concentrate on our rendezvous together. Ok, now.

Footnotes:

[1] Samhain (sundown October 31 – November 1) marks the time when the veil between worlds is the thinnest. Thus, this dream notes the “adjacent reality” (the karmelis) separated from “primary reality” by a thin wall.

[2] Interestingly, spiders eat each other when grown in the same environment. For this reason, spiders are not “farmed” for mass manufacturing of silk even though a fiber of spider silk can remarkably be stretched 4-6 times its length without breaking. (see link above)

Raising The Cup Of Redemption

October 28, 2006

ואין ים אלא תורה
Sefer HaBahir, verse 3 excerpt

Traditional interpretation: “The sea is nothing other than Torah.”

“From whose womb came the ice?” Hashem famously challenges Iyov (38:29) with this question. In fact, Hashem rants quite a bit in perek 38 and in the next one as well. Sheesh.

And naturally, Iyov, unable to answer Hashem’s challenging queries, puts his hand over his mouth (40:4) and basically “shuts up.” Let’s get one thing straight right now. This is not Liorah’s style, ok?

I’ll answer Hashem with an answer. Hashem can save the power display for someone who might be impressed. Give an ear Hashem, and listen.

The phrase – מבטן מי, יצא הקרח (from whose womb formed the ice) – has a combined total gematria of 555. The numerals of this gematria are 3 letters hei ה. In other words, the essence of the question and its solution rests within the realm of the completely feminine.

The realm of the completely feminine is in the left emanation. Consequently, the 3 letters hei represent Binah (of the completely feminine “left” pillar) in the 3 universes of Assiyah, Yetzirah and Beriyah.

Importantly, the ice “formed” (יצא) in my drinking vessel (cup of redemption, Tehilim 116:13) and remained stable in my dream this shabbat morning in consequence to complete rectification of Binah throughout all previously “broken” levels of existence (Assiyah, Yetzirah and Beriyah). In my dream, the sodapop represented a water (Torah wisdom) blend of the 3 lower universes. Similarly, in my dream, the pure water represented Torah wisdom of Atzilut. Taken together, the Torah I am being given to drink originates in Atzilut, as opposed to in any of the lower universes.

From my womb came the ice capable of absorbing the wisdom of Atzilutic Torah. And, from my bashert comes the water.

Rectified Binah & My Sephardic Connection

October 28, 2006

I dreamt.

I was in a cafeteria line (seder) gathering up a meal (shulchan oruch). There was a cauldron [1] of beef [2] and noodles [3]. I tried to dip with the cauldron’s ladle [4] to get a portion of mostly noodles for myself. I tried to get mostly noodles (since I like noodles) and just a little bit of meat (since I’m not a big meat-eater).

Everytime I attempted to do it, nearly all of the noodles would fall off the ladle spoon and alot of meat would somehow manage to work itself up onto the ladle spoon. I would dump the spoon and retry again. This would happen each time I tried, so that I each time I ended up with mostly meat and very few or no noodles on the ladle spoon. That meat had kavanah! by golly!

The people behind me in the line were getting impatient. Ok, fine! I dumped the next ladle full of meat onto my thin paper [5] plate. It looks like I’m going to have to eat meat.

Next, I came to the soda fountain. I filled my large styrofoam cup up with ice, then with cola. As I started to put my cup of sodapop onto my cafeteria tray, all of the cola in my cup disappeared. The ice [6] remained. Only the cola vanished. I filled my cup up again with sodapop. Again, the cola disappeared. Ok, fine! I’ll drink water.

I filled up my cup with water. The water didn’t disappear. I moved on down the line and found a seat at a table in the cafeteria.

I woke up.

Footnotes:

[1] The cauldron symbolizes the Divine Feminine principle, the power of transformation and the “place” where Divine Knowledge and Inspiration (Hashra’ah) are brewed. See Samhain as the Scholars’ Festival for women.

[2] Ashkenazi custom (Vilna Gaon) prohibits roasted meat at a seder, but Sephardi custom does not necessarily prohibit it. This detail of my dream suggests that I may also have some Sephardic ancestry (through my paternal Native American ancestry perhaps, or even through my maternal Jewish-British family line, the Grunwalds, since I’ve only assumed the entire Grunwald clan to be Ashkenazi because they came from England). It could also mean that my bashert has some Sephardic ancestry as well.

[3] Noodles are usually found in kugel dishes over pesach and shabbat. Also, lokshen (noodles) is a Yiddish term, where Yiddish is an Ashkenazic phenomenon. Consequently, given the “pot roasting meat” over “noodles”, the dream is deliberately pointing out a Sephardic connection to me (see fn. 2).

[4] A ladle is likened to a Torah scholar. Sanhedrin 52b, perek dalet mitot. (see fn. 1 above)

[5] Samhain (sundown October 31 – November 1) marks the time when the veil between worlds is the thinnest.

[6] See Zohar #301. “If water is poured on them (the ice, like in my dream), the ice absorbs it. By the waters turning into ice, they have become a vessel to receive additional waters.” In my dream, the ice remained as a vessel upon which water was accepted, but the sodapop was rejected and disappeared. Consequently, this detail of the dream speaks to the purity of my “ice vessel” to accept only pure water (of Atzilutic Torah and shefa) and to discern correctly (as ice “originates” from Binah). In other words, the dream is confirming that the Binah acting within my dreams is rectified Binah.

Celebrating The Sacred Feminine

October 28, 2006

Samhain, the holy day of the Ancestors, is observed from sundown October 31 through November 1. Samhain honors the dark Divine Feminine, the “dark half” of the year, marks the onset of winter, and is the Celtic New Year.

As a time when one cycle ends and a new one begins, Celtic tradition teaches that the veil separating the manifest world from the supernal realms is particularly thin and open during Samhain. In consequence to the “break” in the flow of time, Samhain is an opportunity for profound mystical transformation. Like Lag B’Omer, mystical bonfires have a role in the observance of Samhain.

The word Samhain derives from the Proto-Celtic word samani, which means “assembly” (cognate to Sanskrit sámana). [1] The Hebrew equivalent to Samhain is the word כינוס from the root כנס meaning “assembling”, “gathering” and “bringing together”. This root is found in Tehilim 147:2

“The L-rd rebuilds Jerusalem; She gathers in the exiles of Israel.”

:בונה ירושלם יהוה; נדחי ישראל יכנס

The first word in this pasuk is “boneh” בונה from the same root as Binah, a feminine sefirah of the “dark” left emanantion. Literally, the first part of this pasuk reads like a command “build Jerusalem Hashem!” The Divine She is She who commands it be done.

Thus, the secret of Samhain, a holy day of proto-Celtic origin, is mystically connected to the commands to rebuild Jerusalem and to ingather the exiles. Moreover, these commands are directly related to the “dark” Divine Feminine principle, which indeed, Samhain celebrates.

Also, given the bonfire connection to both Lag B’Omer and Samhain, and where Lag B’Omer is called the “Scholars’ Festival” (pertaining to men), I hereby dedicate Samhain to be the “Scholars’ Festival” (pertaining to women).

Footnote:

[1] W. Stokes in KZ 40:245 (1907), see here

On My Own

October 28, 2006

Ok, I have my witchy necklaces now, a book about designing rituals, and the will to do it. I am going to design my own unique shabbat rituals.

I’m going to pick and choose, using elements from traditional mystical Judaism, jewitchery and shamanism.

This is going to be fun. First, I need to outline a general plan which I can develop as I go.

Intention:

To honor sacred time within the sacred space of my domain, to put behind the past, to create a new beginning which respects my Divine Image and the sacred feminine, and to recreate the path of my life as a solitary traveler in devekut with the Divine.

Crafted & Consecrated Tools:

tzedakah box
ritual wash cup & basin
black candles
5 candlesticks
consecrated flame source
alter
alter cloth
incense & censer
spices
fish, foods & challah
challah tray & cover
wine
kiddush cup
clothing
ritual jewelry
witch’s robe
tallit
seforim
book of shadows, grimoires, dream diary
music
sigils and symbols
bachall (witch’s wand)
athame
boline (use as a challah knife)
pentacle & hexagram intertwined
kosher rock salt & container
handmade marzipan bowl
almonds
essential oil
consecrated ritual water container
staff
cords
dream pillow
seashells
stones with ogham & hebrew letter inscriptions
small cauldron
green living plant
mystical mirror
havdalah candle

Basic Ritual Elements:

ritual bath
statement of intent
letting go
meditation music
water & salt sprinkling
casting a ritual circle & banishing
establishing the gates of the elements
welcoming shabbat
candlelighting
blessings
kiddush
hamotzi
ritual meal
contemplation & meditation
torah study
blessing
shabbat morning kiddush, etc.
study & meditation
havdalah
statement of release
completion, integration & grounding

Now, I have a the beginnings of a plan. Many of the items I already have, but some I still need to purchase and/or craft myself. I think I’m going to handcraft some the items I already have too. It may take me awhile, given my longstanding and deplorable economic situation, but all will indeed be truly sacred when I’ve accomplished it.

The Immutable Promise

October 27, 2006

ואין ים אלא תורה
Sefer HaBahir, verse 3 excerpt

Traditional interpretation: “The sea is nothing other than Torah.”

The 4 words of this excerpt have a combined gematria of 760, the same gematria as the single word שנית, meaning ” a second time” and “again”. One finds the word שנית in Bereshit 22:15, where the malach calls to Avraham “a second time” to bless him from place Avraham named Hashem Yirah, following the ordeal of akeidah.

I can’t help but link this “second time blessing” with the “blessing of a second time” given to me as I “came down” from my G-d encounter in 1967. A promise given to me. And no one, no one, absolutely no one, can take it from me. Not a prophet. Not a judge. Not a great tzadik. Not a malach. Not even G-d. It’s an immutable decree already spoken. You can’t destroy my life and rip it from my destiny.

Deal with it. Or not.