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.