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.
When the world is created at the beginning of Genesis, God begins by separating out apparent opposites. Heaven/Earth Light/Dark Day/Night Male/Female. The word used is the Hebrew word BEDEL. The root letter for this word are the three letters examined in the previous three blogs: B-D-L.
B or Beit, Beis or Beyt is all that is quintessentially earth, manifest, humanity. L or Lam or Lamed is all that is quintessentially divinity. What is between the two letters? The D which is Dal or Dalet and means door as in a door that swings in either direction.
Traditionally people have come to think of the separation of creation as an iron clad barrier which allows no further contact or communication. But this is not what the word indicates. As a word rebus, it is easy to see that between earth (B) and heaven (L) there is a door which is freely swinging allowing continued movement in both directions.
How does this paradigm shift change our thinking? What repercussions can it have for how we live our lives?
This older glyph of dal is an image of a door hanging downward, like a curtain, able to swing in any direction. The door as symbol has a long and sacred history of representing thresholds and transitions between states of being or otherworlds. To help one move between realms, magic rituals would be performed and talismans would be placed within the threshold. The Jewish mezuzah, containing scripture passages, placed on doorways is based upon this same magic. Doors, gateways, and thresholds are considered sacred in many cultures.
Ariel Golan posits that the door represents transition, especially between the realms of the heavens and the underworld. Doors, or their equivalents, gateways, are found at places of thresholds. Golan discusses the worldwide prevalence of door/gates: “The Hittites built special gates to mark the boundary between sacral and secular areas . . . The Druids attached mystic significance to an entrance, to gates. Pagan Germanic tribes erected ritual gates. The ancient Egyptian temples and medieval Muslim mosques had hypertrophied façade walls whose forms emphasized the entrance . . . In Buddhism, there are free-standing gates of a religious significance. Symbolic gates were constructed in pre-Columbian America.”[i]
[i] Ariel Golan, Prehistoric Religion; 263.
Lam or lamed is the twelfth of twenty-two letters meaning that it sits squarely in the center of the aleph-beis. As others have pointed out, this makes lam the heart of the aleph-beis just as our human heart is the center of our own bodies. Lam is also the largest letter, physically, making it the Supreme King.
Lam, as one of the two letters of the name of god, EL, connects it to concepts of supremacy and power.
Fabre d’Olivet in his opus, “The Hebrew Tongue Restored” written in 1921 writes about a beautiful dimension of lam (pg 377): “As a symbolic image, it represents the arm of man, the wing of a bird that which extends, raises and unfolds itself. As a grammatical sign, it is expansive movement and is applied to all ideas of extension, elevation, occupation, possession.”
Lam is the staff of authority, the heart of hearts, the supreme king, the principle of expansion, and not uncoincidentally, the second letter of the two letter name of god – El. It is, in summation the quintessential letter which stands for divinity and the stuff of the heavens.
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.
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Jerusalem, focal point of the world’s three major patriarchal religions was named for a Goddess. It is a city dedicated to Venus in Her aspect as the evening star.
As viewed from Earth, the planet Venus is special in the heavens because she exists in her twin aspects – morning star and evening star. Deities related to Venus are significant gatekeepers of thresholds. Because Venus appears in the sky at dawn and dusk when the light and dark are visibly blending.
In the land to the north of Israel, Canaan, there is a mythological traditions of divine twins who represent dawn (morning star) and dusk (evening star). Their names were Sahar and Salim. Their three letter roots are Šĥr and Šlm. (Š is pronounced “sh.”)
The modern-day equivalent of Salim, is the Hebrew shalom or Arabic salam meaning “peace.”
Genesis 14:18 has the first extant reference of Salem, a city that is to become vital to each of the three major patriarchal religions on Earth today.And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God
In this passage Melchizedek is meeting with Abram in the city that is to become Jerusalem.
Historian, John Day confirms the name derivation; “It is generally accepted that in origin this denoted ‘the foundation of [the god] Shalem,’ Shalem being the god of dusk. . .” (John Day, Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan; pg 180.)