Wheat – From Galut To Geulah

February 3, 2007


ו’ שבט ה’תשס”ז

One of the traditional foods we eat on Tu B’Shevat is wheat (חיטה). However, in Devarim 8:8, the pasuk from which the tradition is derived, the word is not חיטה, it is חטה. In it’s native state, the root חטה implies being “removed from the source of life”, “sinning extensively” and “deviating from the path” [1].

Nevertheless, most chumashim translate the word חטה, as it in its native state, as wheat. What can we learn from this?

First, the reason the root implies being removed from the source of life, is because the root חטה lacks the letter yod (י) which the word wheat contains. With the letter yod included, the entire meaning of the root is transformed. The yod becomes reconnected to the source of life. In other words, from the perspective of the pintele yid (the aspect of the soul hardwired into the Divine and represented by the yod), it is disconnected from life (represented by the letter chet ח) in the root חטה.

When the yod and the chet are reunited in the word wheat, we form the word chai חי (representing both the chayah and yechidah soul levels and life). Moreover, kabbalistically, חי represents one’s messianic soul.

The remaining letters of the word חיטה are tet (ט) and hey (ה), each representing the feminine yesod and malchut (aretz), respectively. Tet (a feminine vessel letter) functions to receive messianic awareness, while hey (a feminine letter of expressive bestowal) functions to express and distribute it.

Thus, by pronouncing חטה as חיטה we are infusing our “native state of awareness” (katnut consciousness) with the kavanah to drive us toward a “messianic state of awareness” (gadlut consciousness). We are making it a reality by pronouncing it the way we want reality to be, by recognizing that at some level, it already is.

This year, Monday January 29, is a Jewish observance called Yod Shevat (the tenth of Shevat). It is, before we celebrate either Imbolg or Tu B’Shevat.

Footnote:

[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R’ Matityahu Clark

Tu B’Shevat – Fruit Of The Land

February 3, 2007


ו’ שבט ה’תשס”ז

The very next day following Imbolg, celebrating She Who Heals, on February 3 this year, is the Jewish celebration of Tu B’Shevat, celebrating the New Year for Trees. It is customary on Tu B’Shevat to eat “native fruits” of The Land. Called Eretz Yisrael in Torah, “the land” here refers to the Land of the Divine Feminine.

It is quite appropriate then to connect these two sacred days – Imbolg and Tu B’Shevat. First, during Imbolg, She heals the land. Then, during Tu B’Shevat, He eats of Her fruits.

The time will come when the feminine will have greater access to transcendental consciousness than the masculine; and in that time, she will bestow and man will receive from her. R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Tefilat LaKhal HaShana

Imbolg – Celebrating She Who Heals

February 3, 2007

ו’ שבט ה’תשס”ז

Imbolg (also called Imbolc) is one of the four Greater Sabbats of Celtic witchcraft. The Welsh name for Imbolg is Gwyl Ffraed. Typically, Imbolg is observed February 1/February 2 in the northern hemisphere. Purification, healing and recovery, prophetic poetry and smithcraft are linked with the Divine Feminine power ruling this sacred time.

Transliterating the word Imbolg into the mystical alphabet I am familiar with, that is Hebrew, we have the letters: אם בלג

The first two letters “im” (אם) spell “mother”. “Mother” is from the 3-letter root אמה which means “pillar” and “support” [1]. Significantly, the word and the root begin with the letter aleph (א). Aleph symbolizes air and the central pillar of the sefirotic array. It also is bound specifically to the feminine sefirah Malchut (kingship/queenship), the sefirah through “which all other sefirot (divine emanations) are expressed” [2]. Consequently, the root implies balance, a quality of hishtavut (mystical equanimity), and Divine rulership.

The final three letters form the root BLG (בלג), meaning “strengthening”, “supporting” and “recovering” [1]. The meanings in this root fit well with the healing message of Imbolg.

Taken together, we can see that Imbolg is a Celtic Sabbat celebrating the divine She Who Heals, where She Who Heals goes by the Celtic name Brigid, by the Welsh name Ceridwen, and by the Hebrew designation, the Shechinah.

Footnotes:

[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R’ Matityahu Clark

[2] Sefer Yetzirah, R’ Aryeh Kaplan translation (p.153)

The Bridge

February 3, 2007

The sages say: da’at kanita ma chasarta, da’at chasarta ma kanita – “if you have gained da’at you lack nothing, if you lack da’at what have you gained?”

The ogham letters in my new masthead on my Walking On Fire beta-blogger site are my circle name Lleucu. There are 14 vertical lines above the horizontal and 14 vertical lines below the horizontal. The ratio of the digit sums of these two numbers is 5/5, representing Binah and Malchut, respectively. The ratio itself reduces to 1/1 and further, to 1 (echad).

Also note, there are 6 “sets” of letters, representing the vav of connection and transformation, da’at, Torah and Truth.

Thus, my circle name Lleucu represents the bridge connecting immanence (Malchut), transcendence (Binah) and Aur Ein Sof as revealed in the Malchut of Echad.

Deosil & The Left Emanation

February 3, 2007

In my previous entry, I discussed the awesome feminine power to “draw out” Divine Energy from Ein Sof during the ritual of circlecasting to create a sacred space in time, in which the entire sefirotic array and all the Hebrew letters of creation are included in the process. The simple act by which the witch does this is via moving deosil, beginning and ending in the north.

Deosil is typically pronounced jess-el. Other pronunciations include jess-il, d’yesh-il and jesh-il.

Deosil means to “turn right”. Many think this means it is a right-handed turn, since one “turns” toward one’s right hand. But this is not true. On the contrary, deosil is a left-handed turn.

If the witch extends only the thumb of her right hand and points upward with it (toward the spirit point of the pentacle), the fingers of her right hand curl around moving to the left. In other words, the fingers of the right hand turn left which is counterclockwise (widdershins).

Similarly, if the witch extends only the thumb of her left hand and points upward with it (toward the spirit point of the pentacle), the fingers of her left hand curl around moving to the right. In other words, the fingers of the left hand turn right which is clockwise (deosil).

Thumb in Hebrew is agudal (אגודל). Two shorashim (3-letter roots) form the word. One is אגד meaning “combine”, “tie together”, “bundling” and “encircling wall”. This is a good root for circlecasting.

The second root is גדל meaning to “increase”, “expand” and “being great”. Casting a circle which surrounds from Keter in Atzilut to Malchut in Assiyah is indeed a great circle. This root compliments the natural “negative” energy of the left hand which shapes and directs the Divine Energy which is increasing and expanding as it is drawn out.

The central letter of the entire word agudal is the letter vav (ו), representing the force of connection, the power of transformation, Torah and Truth.

Thus, we can now understand how the mystical magick of moving deosil is a power of the left hand, and of the Left Emanation.

Kabbalah Of Deosil & Widdershins

February 3, 2007

A witch casts a circle to create a sacred space in time, acting as a conduit of Divine Energies in its making. To cast a circle, her ritual actions are performed moving deosil (clockwise) beginning from the north. To release a circle, her ritual actions are performed moving widdershins (counterclockwise), also beginning from the north.

To move deosil, one moves from north to east to south to west to north. To move widdershins one moves from north to west to south to east to north. What can the Hebrew words for these directions reveal to us about these movements?

North = tzafon = צפון

Tzafon has a total gematria of 226, a digit sum of 10, and a final digit sum of 1.

Two hundred and twenty six [1] equals King David’s 221 Gates of Creation plus 5; where 5 is the value of the letter hei (ה) and corresponds to the feminine power of creative expression in thought, speech and action.

The value ten refers to 10 sefirot in totality generally, and to the sefirah Keter specifically (where “the encircling” begins”, using the Hebrew root סבב as opposed to the root עגל to cast the circle). The value one refers to Unity among the sefirot generally, and to the sefirah Malchut specifically (where “the encircling” ends).

East = mizrach = מזרח

Mizrach has a total gematria of 255, a digit sum of 12, and a final digit sum of 3.

The value twelve refers to 12 diagonals of the sefirotic array, represented by the 12 “elemental” Hebrew letters (הוז חטי לנס עצק). The twelve diagonals are the twelve metaphysical boundaries (gevulim) of the entire Universe [2] which actually extend beyond space and time. Inside these boundaries dwells the Tree of Life [3]. The twelve boundaries also correspond to the twelve permutations of the tetragrammaton [4]. “The permutations beginning with Y (yod י) correspond to the east; those beginning with the first H (hei ה) correspond to the south; those beginning with V (vav ו) correspond to the west; and those beginning with the second H (hei ה) correspond to the north.”

The value 3 refers to the 3 transcendent sefirot of Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Da’at (knowledge). Three also corresponds to the three mother letters [5] mem (מ thesis), shin (ש antithesis) and alef (א synthesis). Additionally, the mother letters correspond to water (mem), fire (shin) and air (alef); each (male and female) in the Universe (space), Year (time) and Soul (spirit); each (male and female) in the head (shin), chest (alef) and belly (mem). The mother letters are the roots of the letters of the tetragrammaton YHV (יהו).

South = darom = דרום

Darom has a total gematria of 250 and a digit sum of 7.

Now we have arrived at the seven immanent lower sefirot establishing intellectual, emotional and physical reality. The value seven refers to the seven double letters (בגד כפרת) of the Hebrew alphabet, the seven days of the week, seven universes (air), seven firmaments (fire), seven lands (earth), seven seas (water), etc. While in the eastern values, where only the elements of water, fire and air were represented, here we have the element of the earth additionally included.

West = ma’arav = מערב

Ma’arav has a total gematria of 312 and a digit sum of 6.

Three hundred twelve equals 12 times 26, where 12 is the number of the boundaries of the Universe and 26 is the value of the tetragrammaton (the Essential Divine Name). Here is the key to “choosing life” and the Divine Power to “create and appoint time” for a purpose.

The value of six refers to the 6 basic directions of physical space [5] – north, east, south,west, up and down; and to the 6 rings which seal physicality. The letter vav (ו), with a value of 6, has the power to “connect and interrelate all 22 individual powers of Creation” [6] that came before in the 12 elemental, the 3 mother and the 7 double letters of the mystical Hebrew alphabet. This type of vav is called a vav hachibur, the “vav of connection”. Vav hahipuch, the “conversive vav” has the power to transform reality. It is a vav of radical transformation responsible for bringing forth light from darkness – a kabbalistic process known as ithapcha chashocha lenehora (אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא).

Thus we can see a complex dynamic in the simple act of bringing forth Divine Energy via moving deosil. Likewise, we return it to the Source in Ein Sof (infinite One) via moving widdershins.

Footnotes:

[1] Sefer Yetzirah, R’ Aryeh Kaplan translation (p. 118)

[1] Ibid (chapter 5)

[2] Bahir 95

[3] Sefer Yetzirah, R’ Aryeh Kaplan translation (p. 205)

[4] Ibid (chapters 2 and 3)

[5] Ibid (p. 81, 142)

[6] The Hebrew Letters, R’ Yitzchak Binsburgh (p. 94)

Jewitchery & Jewishness

February 3, 2007

JN at Jewesses With Attitude wrote:

Jewitches and Jew-U’s also shatter the assumption that those who do not identify with the status-quo are Jewishly unaffiliated.

But here’s a question to consider: would a Jewitch or a Jew-U walk into a synagogue and identify herself as Jewish? Or is her Jewish “self” only manifest in those spaces populated by those who share the same kind of pluralistic faith identity? Is there a chance that many of these Jewitches and Jew-U’s could, in fact, fully express themselves and find fulfillment in liberal Jewish spaces but are under the assumption that such spaces don’t exist? Just how compatible or congruent are these blended identities? Are the Jewitch and Jew-U communities a socio-cultural-spiritual phenomenon, or are they, in fact, transforming religion entirely?

JN asks if a Jewitch would go into a synagogue and identify herself as Jewish – and the answer is, for most of us, including myself – absolutely. In fact, my interest in Jewitchery naturally evolved from my traditional study of Jewish kabbalah from a Chassidic perspective.

Not all Jewitches practice traditional Wicca divorced from traditional Judaism. I don’t. I do however, incorporate elements of Celtic witchcraft and Native American shamanism (both also among my natural ancestries along with my Jewish ancestry) into my traditional Jewish kabbalistic practice and study. I love being a Jewitch! It’s a life-enhancing blend of all that I am.

Could I be “fulfilled” in a liberal Jewish space? Maybe. Maybe not. In some ways, clearly I am liberal and reconstructionist. On the other hand, I am quite Chassidic in outlook. Most of my kabbalistic study and understanding is based in Chassidic teachings. I also don’t “dress” very liberal. For example, I wear long (usually black or dark) skirts peculiar to a more traditional approach. I also wear a Jewitch pentacle and/or a Jewish star along with a witch’s pentacle – neither liberal nor orthodox. Consequently, in some ways, my Jewish practice is distinct from both liberal and orthodox practice.

Are Jewitches changing religion entirely? I don’t think so. My evolving interest in Jewitchery is in no way a threat to my Judaism. Jewitchery does, however, define for me what it means to be a Jew seriously fulfilling the mitzvah to elevate the sparks of holiness dwelling within my charge. I see Jewitchery as an individuating development and evolution of the Divine Feminine element within the Shechinah. Transforming religion? No. Transformative of feminine consciousness? Yes.

Palm Of Devorah, The Dragon Tree

January 11, 2007

והיא יושבת תחת-תמר דבורה, בין הרמה ובין בית-אל–בהר אפרים; ויעלו אליה בני ישראל, למשפט

And she sat under the palm-tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in the hill-country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Shoftim 4:5

The name of neviah (prophetess) Devorah (דבורה), who sat under (in the place of) a palm tree [1], comes from the shoresh (3-letter Hebrew root) DBR (דבר) meaning: collecting, gathering, combining separate items into one, connecting words with coherent speech, word, something, on account of or because of, commandment, judicial regulation, temple interior, raft of lashed planks, bees, and plague or epidemic [2]. This shoresh is associated with the sefirah Gevurah [3]. The dragon is the mythic animal corresponding to the sefirah Gevurah [4].

The name Devorah is comprised of 5 Hebrew letters. These 5 letters represent the 5 unrectified feminine judgments (dinim) in Malchut, where Malchut is represented by the second hei (ה) of the tetragrammaton. This hei corresponds to the power of expression (אמר). Consequently, Dragon’s Blood is a botanical representing “slaying the dragon”. In other words, it represents the rectified feminine power of expression.

Dragon’s Blood is a resinous substance harvested from a Sumatran tree from the palm family. The mature fruit of the Dragon’s Blood palm is reddish resin covered berries the size of cherries which end in points.

see here

The Dragon Tree of the Canary Islands (shown below) is (like the baobob tree) the “oldest living representative of the vegetable kingdom” (see link).

Footnotes:

[1] The word in the pasuk for “beneath” a palm tree is תחת , which can also be translated (see [2]) as “in place of” or “instead of“. As a judge, the implication here is that Devorah sat making judgments. In other words, she could adjudicate the terms of justice, determining the sentence according (in the place of) the crime or violation.

[2] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R’ Matityahu Clark (p. 46)

[3] Sha’are Orah, R’ Yosef Gikatilla (pp. 48-49)

[4] Grimoire For The Apprentice Wizard, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (p. 138)

Jewitch Shabbat Ritual

January 11, 2007

Here is the first formal Friday evening shabbat ritual I have written for the solitary Jewitch. It may tweaked and refined as time goes by. This is the basic format from which I will build:

1. Take a bath or shower. Visualize washing away physical, emotional and spiritual impurity, letting all negativity flow down the drain with the water. Dress in ritual attire. Put on Jewitch pentacle (pentacle + magen David), saying:

Blessed is this Unity. Her Glorious Name is One. So mote it be.

2. “Sweep” (counterclockwise-“widdershins” and out) ritual space with besom. Visualize removing all negative energy from it, saying:

From this place, I banish all negativity and evil. So mote it be.

3. Perform ritual bath. Add herbs and oil of choice [1] to ritual bowl containing warm water.

Relax. Breathe. Stand facing north (Gevurah, fire) in front of bath bowl. Purify and consecrate the water mixture, placing tip of athame into the water, saying:

Out from you I cast all that is impure and unclean. Blessed are you, with the heart of the Shechinah. You are Holy. So mote it be.

Lay athame upon empty altar “place” (where altar will be or is permanently located). Face north/ritual bath bowl. Hold palms facing upward, saying:

Shechinah, fierce and intense, gentle and mild, blessed are You, and I am Your beloved child.

Dip finger of choice [2] in bath, close eyes. Anoint eyelids by drawing a small pentagram (invoking air [3]) on each with your finger, saying:

Open my eyes to see, my mind to understand and my perception to clarity.

Open your eyes. Dip finger of choice in bath, anointing lips in same fashion, saying:

Open my lips to speak the truth.

Similarly, anoint your breast, saying:

Open my heart to beat with compassion.

Similarly, anoint the palms of your hands, saying:

Open the strength of my hands to do rightly.

Similarly, anoint your loins, saying:

Open my lifeforce to flow with the Source of Peace.

Similarly, anoint your knees, saying:

Open me to be a revealed blessing.

Similarly, anoint the tops of both feet, saying:

Open the path to all good and guard my way upon it.

4. Cleanse the ritual space.

Sprinkle salt-herb water from ritual bowl, starting from the north and turning clockwise (“deosil”, pronounced “jess-el”, also called “sunwise” and the “holy round”); i.e. north to east to south to west. Repeat by carrying a representative of each of the four elements [4, 5], working with one element at a time.

5. Set up your altar.

Faced north, located on the eastern side of the room/space. Sprinkle salt-herb water over altar area. Set up table or other surface. Cover with black altar cloth. Individualize set up of altar space. Place candle trays upon the altar cloth now if you are going to use them. Place “circle” quarter candle (black anointed and consecrated tea candles in clear crystal circle holders) on each side of the altar north to east to south to west.

Generally, and in this order [3], place fire element (main illuminator black candle anointed, consecrated and inscribed using athame) and athame on the northern side of the altar. Place air element (incense in cauldron censor) and witch’s wand (symbolizes “order from chaos”) on the eastern side. Place water element (bowl of water) and chalice/kiddush cup on the southern side. Place earth element (stone or piece of wood) and pentacle on the western side.

Place besom on eastern corner (on or near the altar). Place other objects pertaining to your ritual intent upon the altar if desired [6]. Note, the only steel or iron item upon your altar should be your athame.

6. Call the quarters or watchtowers.

Pick up athame. With projecting hand (right), hold it point up parallel to your heart. Face north, raise up athame, drawing a pentagram in space with your athame in the manner invoking fire [3], saying:

Blessed is She, the Eternal Flame and the Essence of Truth.Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the north, element of the fire, I, (your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite, and to protect this sacred space and time. Welcome to my circle. Stand in strength. Blessed be in joy, love and light. So mote it be.

Point athame into (toward) the earth, walk/turn the circle clockwise (deosil), then return athame to the altar. Face the east, light incense, raising it and drawing a pentagram in space in the manner invoking air [3], saying:

Blessed is She, Mistress of the mysteries of spices and perfumes, the One over Death, and She who loves me.Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the east, element of the air. I, (your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite, and to protect this sacred space and time. Welcome to my circle. Stand in strength. Blessed be in joy, love and light. So mote it be. [7]

Holding censor, turning a complete circle (or walk the circle) deosil, reface the altar. Return censor to the eastern quarter of the altar. Pick up water bowl on the southern quarter.

Repeat with south-water, west-earth.

Blessing over water element:

Blessed is She who bestows Wisdom.

Blessing over earth element:

Blessed is She who sustains Life.

7. Cast your circle, pick up athame, extend it outward and down toward the earth, walking deosil starting from the north, saying:

I conjure you, O Circle, to establish in this place sacred ground, with the Brilliance of the Shechinah surround, Her Power within it found.No place or time or barrier may there be, between Her, my word and me. So mote it be.

Baruch shem kevod malchutah leolam va’ed, amen.

ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד, אמן
Translation: Blessed is the Glorious Name, Her Kingdom stands forever and ever, amen.

8. Light the illuminator-shabbat candle(s), (covering eyes) saying:

Blessed are You Shabbat, Goddess of all life, Who transforms darkness into light.

Uncover eyes and circle flame 3 times with hands (starting and ending over your heart), each time drawing light toward you.

9. Pour and bless wine, saying:

Blessed are You Shechinah, Goddess of all life, Who guides me to wise understanding, proper compassion and right action.

Take a drink.

10. Blessing over bread:

Blessed are You Shechinah, Who nourishes me with all goodness.

Take a bite.

11. Perform other specific observances, shabbat spellwork, meditative study, etc.

12. Release quarters and open circle [8] following havdalah.

Footnotes:

[1] Dragon’s blood, frankincence, myrhh, pinch of salt, drop of vanilla oil, drop of olive oil, drop of red wine (may vary according to intent of ritualwork). Ritual bath general reference: The Craft (Dorothy Morrison).

[2] See Ari’s chiromancy correspondences.

[3] Pentagram invocations and banishings according to correspondences of the Zohar (hat-tip to Jack Nathanson for Zohar reference).


[4] Examples of elemental representatives: earth (stone, small piece of wood, bowl of salt, pentacle), fire (small lit candle, athame), air (lit incense stick or feather, wand), water (bowl of water, seashell, chalice).

[5] Elemental correspondences according to the Zohar: north-fire, east-air, south-water, west-earth.

[6] Book of Shadows (BOS), cauldron, tarot cards, dream journal, ritual jewelry, cakes/cookies/challah, kosher wine or grapejuice.

[7] “Hail, Guardians … so mote it be” – standard quarter call revised from Solitary Witch (Silver RavenWolf).

[8] Walking and moving widdershins (counterclockwise), using pentagram “banishing” formations at the quarters to return the energies from whence they came.

Recognition, Syncretism & Jewish Diversity

January 11, 2007

For the record, for all practical purposes, I feel I have been put into cherem ever since I returned to Judaism. Even though I haven’t been under a ban (to my knowledge), I am basically a pariah left to survive at the mercy of the world. This is likely due to a confluence of many reasons, of which I am left to merely speculate as to what they might be.

My teshuvah experience has not at all been pleasant, and sometimes I wonder how I have survived at all. It has not been via any help from the Jewish community. In my early thirties my life fell apart, and still today, at nearly forty-six, I have not been allowed nor enabled to recover in those areas beyond my control. I am surviving basically.

I imagine my difficult path back to Torah (which has evolved into being a Jewitch) has had the side benefit of augmenting the tendency of my natural INTJ personality not to allow myself to be “told what to do” by Rabbis who would like me to “get with the program” (now, although for many years, Rabbis would have preferred that I “just die” or something). Clearly, they have found, I am not one to get with any program just to fit in or “just die”. I am not going away no matter to what remote corner of the universe they may fling me.

I am what I am and that includes being of Jewish, Celtic and Native American American ancestry. There is no one on the face of this planet or in heaven above with the power to take away my Jewish soul just because I won’t “get with the program”. Nor will I cut off the Celtic or Native American aspects of my neshamah just because some Rabbis want me to and their automata parrot the call. I will be Jewish my way, in a manner which respects the integrity of my neshamah, and that includes being a shamanic Jewitch. I so wish I’d have realized I was a witch much earlier in my life.

Nevertheless, now that I have recovered this part of me, I fully embrace it. There is no way I legitimately couldn’t embrace it anyway. I am a witch. I am a Jewish witch. The world, Jewish and non-Jewish, can accept me or not, but what I am is not (nor ever was) determined by that acceptance or lack thereof.

Further, for the record, most of my kabbalistic learning is chassidut-based. If I had to point to a primary teacher, that would be Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh of The Inner Dimension. Many of my kabbalistic ideas have a foundation in the Hebrew letters as he has taught about them. I have little knowledge of the Kabbalah Center although I have visited and linked to various pages on its website on occasion as a reference to support various ideas. I am not averse to doing this despite the nearly universal disparagement of it among the orthodox. Likewise, I don’t recognize the ban against Sabbatean kabbalah (or any similar ones against Jewitches) and have incorporated some of those kabbalistic teachings when they resonate with my experience and religious or spiritual ideas.

If I learn something from someone, the fact that the orthodox world does not accept him or her, matters not. I am going to link to the source for that learning or reference. So, I’m not sure exactly where I fall on the spectrum of Jewish belief. I have some Reconstructionist leanings as well. My secular education is rather scientific-focused, and I find intellectual Reconstructionism a welcome balance to kabbalistic Chassidut.

Yes, I am syncretic, but only in ways particular to my own “portion” of Torah. I don’t blend into my practice another tradition just for the sake of doing it. The syncretism must be born of my own netivot (personal soulpaths), otherwise it would be disrespectful to the integrity of both the path I was seeking to incorporate illegitimately and to the purpose in creation for my own unique soul.

At this point in my journey, the flavors of Torah in my soul are the Jewish tradition, Celtic witchcraft and Native American shamanism. Consequently, my “syncretic” focus exists there. Clearly, no one else is like me. We are all unique and I have no doubt that there exist Jews who should embrace the Arabic ancestries which they may have. I think Sephardic Jews do this to some degree. I love Sephardic meditation music BTW, it’s beautifully congruent with the shamanic aspects in my soul (so maybe there is a hidden Sephardi ancestry or soul connection in me as well).

As I’ve posted before, I practice a unique form of Abulafian kabbalah and I know Abulafia held Sufism in very high regard, incorporating some of its teachings into his teachings just as I incorporate some of the teachings of Celtic witchcraft and Native American shamanism into mine. Clearly then, focused syncretism is not without precedent among the sages and has a place among the netivot of Klal Yisrael.

Many may or may not like my ideas or me and that’s every person’s right to decide. But one thing is surely certain – no one can tell me who or what I am or am not.