What if the Bible was originally a Shamanic textbook?
What if Eve was the hero of the Garden of Eden?
What if the Bible provides a roadmap to tasting knowledge, breathing in wisdom, experiencing divine vibration?
Beginning to unravel the mystery of the serpent in the Bible: It must be remembered that the serpent is responsible for Adam and Eve leaving the garden. According to the Bible it is the “fault” of the serpent that Adam and Eve ate the fruit which causes their expulsion. But think about this? The tree is Eve’s tree. The tree is named after her. It is the tree of life. The name Eve means life, making it in actuality the tree of Eve. She doesn’t need the permission of the serpent, a deity or anyone to eat from her own tree. It is her right. It is more than her right, it is an expression of her essence. In fact, if she doesn’t eat from the tree, she would never leave the garden of Eden bringing herself/ her life essence to fruition here on Earth. If it is the serpent who midwifed this process, then the serpent as well is responsible for bringing/birthing life here on Earth as we know it today. This is not a curse at all, but a precious blessing.
The way that the serpent is best known in the Bible is as the cunning traitor who convinces Eve to eat the “forbidden fruit.” But there are other representations that are less well known. There are serpent priests, a feathered serpent, a healing serpent and a wise serpent. (Chapter 13 in 21 Secrets of the Bible). The serpent priests are the Levites, the feathered serpent is a seraph (Isaiah 30:6), the healing serpent is the fiery serpent that Moses carries on a pole (Numbers 21:8) and the wise serpent appears in Matthew 10:16 “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Why, then, is the serpent so reviled? Could the image of the serpent be a Biblical reversal of even more ancient teachings?
The name Eve, in Hebrew means “life.” There is a tree in the Garden of Eden also named “life.” In fact, its name is the “Tree of Life.” Rather than forbidden fruit, this tree is the Tree of Eve. It was only later in translation that humankind in general and Eve specifically was forbidden access to Her Tree. (Discussed in 21 Secrets chapter 14, and in more depth in ONE GODS, chapters 10 and 11).
Eve is the Hero of the Garden of Eden (chapter 3 from 21 Secrets of the Bible): The Hebrew name of Eve is Hawwah. This word means both life and breath. Without Eve there would not be any life (with its precious breath) here on our Earth.
The Bible as we know it today is actually a mishmash of translations, from ancient Hebrew into Greek and Latin and, from there, into English and a host of other languages. What began as oral lore became written verse, which in turn became holy text.
Much has been lost over the course of these translations—sometimes unintentionally, sometimes deliberately by religious authorities pursuing their own agendas. The earliest earth-based spiritual teachings found in the Bible were actually driven underground, their messages hidden and virtually inaccessible.
In 21 Secrets of the Bible, shamanic practitioner and author Janet Rudolph applies spiritual forensics to scripture and Hebrew hieroglyphics, working backward to their original intent. Join her on a quest to explore long-obscured wisdom and mysteries buried for millennia.
From the mystery that is the story of Adam and Eve, to the breathtaking journey that is Exodus, Rudolph reminds us of the Bible’s multi-layered nature, one that allows for a variety of interpretations —and offers a treasure map to passages between heaven and earth.
Spiritual seekers, shamanic journeyers, and those with an interest in cross-cultural mythology will find Rudolph’s work invaluable as readers look back in order to look forward.
Last week the Supreme Court legalized marriage for gay couples with all the rights of hetero couples. HOO-RAH! It is well past time. In some “religious” strongholds people are resisting saying that the tradition of marriage between one man and one woman goes back to the Bible. Adam and Eve, they say, created the template which makes only hetero marriage acceptable. Actually, this is not the case. The name Adam means “red earth” and the name Eve mean “life.” So the template of marriage is actually between the earth and life itself. In other words creation.
In ancient times there was the teaching of hieros gamos which meant sacred marriage. These teachings often occurred within the ancient mystery schools. This was not an external marriage but an internal one that each human – each human with a divine spirit – needed to experience to live a complete life. It is the marriage of opposites within ourselves. The marriage of the aspects of ourselves which we identify as feminine with the aspects of ourselves which we identify as masculine. The marriage of the light and dark WITHIN ourselves. The marriage of heaven and earth WITHIN ourselves. The marriage of spirit and matter WITHIN ourselves.
The secret sacred lesson is that all things which may appear to be opposites are in truth, different aspects of ONENESS.
The serpent is an excellent symbol of oneness because it can be seen as both earthly and heavenly, as well as male and female.
Notice that in the sacred marriage there is not the dysfunctional focus that we stress in our own culture of the shape of one’s genitals and the performance of the sexual act. True, sex is the foundation of human creation, the coming together of opposites. But the true lessons is that the coming together of opposites has many forms and functions and that is part of the Great Mystery of our lives.
Bet the Supreme Court didn’t take any of that into consideration in their decision!
The serpent is probably one of the most complicated and difficult spiritual symbols to understand and incorporate into one’s own spiritual life in all its multi-faceted elements. In some stories a serpent – say a behemoth or a leviathan – is a monster which needs to be slain. In others, the serpent is a sign of rising energy, such as qi, kundalini, or chi. On the emblematic staff of the physician there are two serpents climbing rising the central rod as a symbol of healing. There is always a serpent coiled under the tree of life, not only in the Bible but in world-wide mythologies. The serpent took the blame for the the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden. Was this a fair assessment?
Serpent energy has been connected with ley lines of the earth. Lightning in the sky has been likened to serpentine energy. Our umbilical cord has also been compared to a serpent.
Another world-wide cultural symbol is the feathered serpent, perhaps most well-known as Quetzalcoatl of Meso-America. The feathered serpent also appears in Egyptian lore and perhaps most surprisingly, in the Bible. The image above is from Egypt.
All of these elements of the serpent will be explored in upcoming blog posts.
From my book:
ONE GODS: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible is a shamanic exploration of the Bible’s great journeys, struggles, quests, heroes, and heroines. Janet Rudolph’s ground-breaking book is an extra-ordinary look at Biblical mysticism and mystery. In her telling, it was Eve’s birthright to eat the fruit from the Tree of Life for it bears her name – Eve in Hebrew means life.
Drawing on spiritual forensics, she traces the footsteps of legends such as Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Moses across cultures and time. The enigmas of healing serpents, burning bushes, heavenly ladders and more are traced from the ancient mystery schools of Egypt and MesoAmerica to the standing stones of the Celts and beyond.
The Bible is represented as a dynamic, living document, guiding the reader in a quest to discover personal answers to age-old questions: Who am I? What is my personal relationship to divinity? Why am I alive? Why will I die?
Unveiling new revelations on the Bible’s earliest teachings, ONE GODS provides inspiration and knowledge as well as concrete tools for readers to embark upon, add a touch of magic to and deepen their own spiritual journeys.
You can get copies at:
The cost is $14.95. At this site you can read a description and get an inside view of the book. ENJOY!
My book can also be found at Amazon.
This post is a partial review of my last several posts: It is a passage from my book ONE GODS: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible
Now that we’ve seen goddesses inhabiting trees in the two cultures closest to ancient Israel, wouldn’t it make sense for there to be a tree in the Bible named after a goddess?
There is just such a woman in the bible, although without the designation “goddess;” Eve, chavah or hawwah as seen in Chapter 2. In Hebrew, the “tree of Life” is the tree of ha-hay-yim.
Ha-hay-yim is a variation of hawwah (with masculine plural “eem” or “yim”). The tree of life, literally translated, means the tree of Eve (transcendent of gender) in its grandest, most powerful aspect. This is the same aspect of the “eem” plural seen in Elohim in Chapter 8. Ha–hay–yim is LIFE/EVE writ large in the fullness of all mystery.
Among the many languages deriving from the same source, called Central Semitic,[i] are Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew. Comparative etymology shows that it is not just the tree that is a namesake to Eve. As Walker points out, “In Arabic, the words for ‘snake,’ ‘life’ and ‘teaching’ are all related to the name of Eve – the biblical versions of the Goddess with her serpent form, who gave the food of enlightenment to the first man.”[ii] In Arabic and Aramaic the word for serpent is hayyat. The letters “w” and “y” are interchangeable.
Eve (hawwah) was encouraged by an aspect of herself (hayyat) to eat the fruit from another aspect of herself, the tree of life (ha-hay-yim). The three elements; tree of life, Eve, and serpent are one and the same, a unity of symbols, the Great Goddess in three aspects.
[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Semitic_languages; consulted February 214. Also in Jean; 53-55. He calls the common root the “Phoenician alphabet.”
[ii] Walker, Barbara G., The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects Harper SanFrancisco, 1988; 388.