Archive for the ‘Women’s Mitzvot’ Category

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.

Dabar

October 6, 2006

ומאי תהו דבר המתהא בני אדם
Sefer HaBahir, verse 2 excerpt

Traditional interpretation: “What is tohu (chaos)? Something that confounds (taha) people.”

Liorah’s second interpretation: “And how is tohu (chaos) a leader who confounds (taha) people?”

The word traditionally translated here in verse 2 of Sefer HaBahir as “something” is the Hebrew word דבּר dabar. An alternative and equally legitimate translation of this word, is “leader“.

And how is tohu a leader who confounds people? Because tohu is a feminine energy, just as the letter configuration דבּר is associated with the feminine sefirah Gevurah [1]. Utterly female. A woman. Like the biblical prophetess (neviah) and judge (shoftah), Deborah.

Tradition teaches that the tikun of tohu is the mitzvah of a woman. Specifically, the tikun of tohu is associated with the mitzvah of challah. A woman’s mitzvah.

Interestingly, Deborah is described in Shoftim 4:4 as both a woman (isha אשה as opposed to itta אתתא) and she (היא as opposed to הוא). Both, אשה and היא are associated with unrectified femininity. In contradistinction, both אתתא and הוא are associated with rectifed femininity, as I’ve discussed elsewhere (most notably here and here). Consequently, tohu is a leader who confounds people when the woman, she, has not rectified her portion (challah) of tohu.

Shoftim 4:7 The rulers ceased in Israel, they ceased, until that thou didst arise, Deborah, that thou didst arise a mother in Israel.

Shoftim 4:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates …

War in the gates arose on account of the prophetic leader, Deborah, who had not rectified her portion of tohu. Leading one’s people to war does not an ideal leader make. Leading one’s people to peace does an ideal leader make.

Don’t think the course of history is unaffected by the generation’s prophets and tzadikim, both directly and indirectly. Both by what they do and by what is done to them.

Footnote:

[1] Sha’are Orah, R’ Yosef Gikatilla, the first gate, the tenth sphere

Chalal HaPanui & Taharat Hamishpacha

October 3, 2006

This definition comes via lil_tike_oon (thanks!) – Chalal HaPanui @ jewishpregnancy.org:

Kabbalistic and Chassidic texts are full of the image of the Chalal HaPanui (Vacated Space)—the “primordial vacuum” that existed before the Creation. It is the space that left room for Creation to come into being, in which G–d creates the illusion that He is absent. It is from this illusion, this apparent vacuum, that heresy draws its life–force. G–d, however, is indeed in that space, since “there is no place devoid of Him.”[1] The womb is the physical manifestation of that place, and birth becomes the gateway through which we find G–d in all the places where He seems to hide from us.

The chalal hapanui is “a no man’s land” [2]. “No man’s land” fits perfectly with my experience of the “dark completely feminine” force. In other words, the chalal hapanui is completely feminine.

The completely feminine correlates to a woman “unyoked” to a man via pregnancy, marriage, cohabitation, or any other influence which “intimately binds”. This may be one of the reasons men (both religious and nonreligious) historically have liked to keep women “barefoot and pregnant” (so to speak) – to temper the “dark completely feminine” force which is ours alone.

And this is also why, I think, a woman cannot rectify the “dark completely feminine” force except that she be “on her own” for some time, away from the influence of “being yoked” to a man. The Jewish niddah laws (taharat hamishpacha), which limit male-female contact on a monthly basis support this thinking – as niddah time allows opportunity (if such opportunities are seized by the woman) for small tikkunim of the dark feminine in very small manageable doses – for both the woman and the man. Nevertheless, the full power of the dark completely feminine force can only be rectified by an unyoked woman – this is the message of the parah adumah (BaMidbar 19:2).

From experience, I can also say that the womb with child is not a “completely” feminine force. In my memories of being “in the womb”, I am not alone there, and “He” (the one truly bound to me, soul to soul) is perceivably esentially with me (there in the womb).

Footnotes:

[1] Sha’arei HaLeshem II:14, “Mishnat Chochmat HaEmet”

[2] R’ Aryeh Kaplan, Inner Space