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 When Eve Was a Goddess chapter 14, and in more depth in ONE GODS, chapters 10 and 11).
Miriam Robbins Dexter, PhD in linguistics, author of the book Whence the Goddess graciously took the time to read my book and offer notes on the etymologies I used. Her knowledge is not only vast (she found mistakes that only a true expert would have noticed) but she was extremely generous in her sharing of that knowledge. Thank you Miriam. (Whence the Goddess, as well as her other books, can be found on the links page above.) Below are a list of her corrections and clarifications.
pg 86: Clarification: The original city of Ugarit may date to 3000, but the texts themselves date to about 1400 BCE.
Pg 87: Clarification: Ashroterth and Astarte are the same goddess. Ashtoreth is the plural. Miriam Robbins Dexter notes “that the Indo-European words for star — including modern English “star” — seems to have the same root.”
Pg 110. The brother who killed Osiris was Set.
Footnote pg 114: Golan’s actual quote is: “The Sanskrit name for the twins is Asvinau which means ‘possessing horses’ or ‘originating from a horse.’” In other words, Asvinau doesn’t mean “twins,” it is the name of the twins.
Pg. 162. Lilith does not come from the water words but rather they derive from her name. Golan’s quote: “The name of Lilith presumably does not originate from the words for ‘water, pour, rain,’ but conversely, these words derive from the goddess’ name ‘l+t the feminine form of the god’s name ‘l.”
I used the following two etymologies in ONE GODS. Miriam Dexter Robbins noted that they are not correct as far as their etymological connection. It is an interesting conundrum. Are their similarities a co-incidence or something else entirely?
148: In the best-accepted etymology, the Germanic word Hel (hell) is not related to the Greek word Helios; Hel (Hell) means “the hidden place.”
p. 149: Labyrinth is not related to labia; labyrinth was borrowed into Greek from an Old European language spoken on Crete. There would be an unexplained -r- if one tried to explain the two words. Labia (sg. labium) is a Latin word meaning “lip(s)”.
Janet Rudolph, One Gods, The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible
Janet Rudolph’s insightful interpretation of the Tanakh, the Bible also known as the Old Testament, draws on comparative linguistics, comparative religion, cross-cultural myths, and archaeology, as well as a wholesome world view perceived in the course of her religious training, life experience, travels, and observation of nature. This world view is one of “functional harmony,” or “inter-arching oneness,” uncovered in literal translations of passages from Genesis, presented in Chapter 1. The theme of “inter-arching oneness” influences discussions of ancient Hebrew letters as well as sounds and syllables of the names of God; the life of the prophet Moses, founder of Judaism; the burning bush, symbolic of the interpenetration of spirit and matter; the many-named Venus, morning and evening star; and mythological twins, one mortal and one immortal, for example, Jacob and Esau. Chapter 7 clarifies the concept of “oneness” in terms of related and opposite (dualistic) perspectives, in the process of consolidating the theme with references to poetry and physics. This chapter abounds in summary passages, for instance,
Although the Bible speaks of a “one god”, it is my belief that
Moses’ primary message was the oneness of all creation. Divinities such
as Isis, Venus, and Quetzalcóatl are actually depictions of creation’s one-
ness, appearing as we are able to see them–in the full glory of diversity,
a mystical tapestry with its various threads come to life (p. 117).
Such bridging prepares readers for ensuing adventure: exploration of the divine origin of alphabets; the labyrinth, pilgrimage, and quest; the world tree, with birds in its branches and serpent at its root, pertaining to the feathered serpent shown on the cover of the book; marvelous myths of goddesses inhabiting the tree, and more. The book offers “to Do’s”—activities such as breathing, chanting, and visualization—for those who opt for palpable experiences of oneness.
As Rudolph states at the outset, her theme of inter-arching oneness is both radically old and radically new. Why so? The concept of “oneness” is old, for it is based on ancient spiritual knowledge, for example, the dictate of Hermes Tablet, “as above, so below,” and it is implicit in the Bible, as Rudolph demonstrates. The concept is new because dualistic philosophy and traditional readings of the Bible have obscured “oneness” over the centuries, and scholars are presently referring to the notion “as above, so below” as they attempt to explain dark matter or “nothingness,” which is invisible yet certainly related to human experience.” For example, at a recent conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California, titled “Climates of Change and the Therapy of Ideas” (April 2016), one lecture recurrently referred to the dictum “as above, so below”; another presented research on dark matter while relating macrocosm to microcosm in various ways. Thus, in reading Janet Rudolph’s One Gods, we not only gain better understanding of the Bible and a spectrum of related topics, but also acquire important background for notions explored in depth psychology (as well as biology, physics, cosmology, et al.) today.
Ph.D., Comparative Literature
Rachel Pollack wrote the following about ONE GODS
A fascinating book. Janet Rudolph has done some strong research, much deeper than the usual deconstruction of patriarchal myths and Bible passages. I really like the respect and awareness she brings to the Hebrew scriptures, along with a strong cross-cultural approach.
Rachel Pollock is a maven-extraordinaire of the Tarot, creator of The Shining Tribe Tarot and author of many books including The Child Eater and Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot.
In doing research for my book ONE GODS: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible I have noticed that many symbols of deep religious meaning are multi-faceted and have several layers of meaning. For some the layers of meaning go deeper as one becomes more adept but for some, the multi-layers are an indication of their depth and importance. The Zohar makes this same point: “Just as God is infinite, so is the word of God infinite, imbued with meanings that transcend any one particular interpretation. It is upon us to drink from the word not as limited from a chalice but as from an eternal wellspring, and to find everfresh meaning in it for each of our life situations.”
This quote comes from The Way of the Boundary Crosser by Gershon Winkler. The reference is Sefer HaZohar (Bamidbar 152a).
Ancient Hebrew was written with pictographs much like (and sometimes the same as) Egyptian hieroglyphs. Hieroglyph literally means sacred script. Glyph means writing and hiero means sacred or holy. In this and my next few posts I am going to look at three letters which form a very important word in the Bible. It is a word we are all familiar with but in common translations appears very different than its pictographic meaning. I will reveal the word and its importance when all three letters have been presented.
Ancient letters put together form a rebus or a word puzzle which helps us to understand its original meaning. These meanings are frequently lost when the text is translated into English.
The pictograph of B is considered by many to be the inside layout of a tent from the time period. The entrance to the dwelling or home is in the upper left corner and there is a separation between the men’s and women’s sections (with the women’s section being the interior). There is, however, another meaning to this pictograph. It can be seen as the very center of a labyrinth. Labyrinths and spirals have long been considered to be the womb of the great mother goddess. What is born through such a pathway? Life here on earth. In fact throughout Neolithic Europe, figurines of goddesses can be found which have the symbol of the ancient B inscribed on Her belly, Her womb. (Note: I have several of these images in my book ONE GODS: The Mystic Pagan’s Guide to the Bible.)
So the letter B can mean all that is quintessentially Earth material. All that has been birthed from the Great Goddess. It represents our home here on the Earth which includes us in our mortal bodies.
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: Amazon.