Last month, I wrote about a new project I have been playing with which is to re-write biblical verses as spiritual poetry rather than follow along with stricter translations (although truth be told, my translations have never been strict). My main goal is to strip away the layers of patriarchy that grew up around universal, earth-based, mystical lessons. In my last blogpost I wrote about why I translate El (god in English versions) as All-Potential Powers. You can read it here: https://feminismandreligion.com/2021/04/15/biblical-poetry-by-janet-maikai-rudolph/
I have written before about my translation of YHVH as mother/father creator. You can read that here: https://feminismandreligion.com/2019/03/05/eve-by-any-other-name-by-janet-rudolph/
YHVH, the sacred 4 letter tetragrammaton, is always translated as LORD in the bible. It is truly a wondrous name with many layers of meaning which the English one-word term LORD doesn’t capture. I find that the English translations of these two words – LORD and god – are dull and without sacred energetic aspects. In ancient times, the words used to depict divinity in general, and YHVH specifically, were meant to be intoned and chanted.
As I have continued to play with these concepts, I have been changing my translations. When YHVH stands alone, I still use “mother/father creator.” In many passages, the bible uses the two forms of deity together YHVH and El. This combination is traditionally translated as “LORD god.” When that usage occurs, I have begun tapping into a different aspect of that sacred name. The vibrational aspects of intoning the 4 sacred vowels or syllables of YHVH create a sound vibration that is excellent for chanting (I will write more about such chanting in a future post). Chanting sacred or power syllables is transformational, perhaps to be thought of as a verbal bridge between heaven and earth.
Another wonderful aspect of this holy name is that it is a composite of the verb “to be” in different tenses; past, present and future.[i] Not only does YHVH transcend gender by representing opposing aspects of what we have come to consider as male and female, but it also transcends time. In recognition of this, I use the translation of Vibration.Being when it is paired with “god.” “LORD god” becomes “Vibration.Being of All-Potential Powers.”
Below are some more verses from Genesis. The first of each passage is the King James Version (KJV) for familiarity, the second is Benner’s version (Benner)[ii] for the original word meanings and the 3rd is my version or Mystic Pagan Version (MPV)
And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.
and “Elohiym [Powers]” saw the light given
that it was functional
and “Elohim [Powers]” made a separation
between the light and the darkness
And All-Potential Powers bathed in the light
And made manifest the dance between light and darkness.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass,
the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,
whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And “Elohiym [Powers]” said, the land will make grass sprout,
herbs making a sowing of seeds, trees of produce making produce to his kind
which his seed is in him upon the land,
and he existed so.
And All-Potential Powers vibrated, releasing the earth’s rising energy to awaken seeds
In diversity and in the service of life enduring
That fruits from seeds bear seeds
And they exist so
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them.
And “Elohiym [Powers]” fattened the human
in his image, in the image of “Elohiym [Powers]”
he fattened him, male and female he fattened them,
And All-Potential Powers quickened humanity
with All-Potential Powers own spirit seeding
Roaring with air male, roaring with air female, vibrating with air Human.being
And from the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree
that was pleasing to the sight and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,
and the tree of knowledge of good and bad.
and “YHWH [He exists]” of “Elohiym [Powers]”
made all of the trees spring up from the ground
being a craving to appearance and functional for nourishment
and a tree of life in the midst of the garden
and a tree of the discernment of function and dysfunction.
Vibration.Being of All-Potential Powers
Ignited and awakened life
Thrusting for beauty and fruits of wholeness
The grand Exist.Life tree at the core of the garden
And a tree of the growing into duality
[i] Hanson, Kenneth, Kabbalah: The Untold Story of the Mystic Tradition, Council Oak, 2004; 25. Hanson notes the combinations: YHVH: Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. Past tense of “to be”, “was”: Hey-Yud-Hey. Present tense of “to be”: Hey-Vav-Vav-Hey. Future tense: Hey-Yod-Hey-Yod.
To read this on feminism and religion blog post along with discussion, click here: FAR