Saturday, December 09, 2006

Throne Of The Shechinah

On the Idra:

The Idra, which means threshing floor in Aramaic, is a Kabbalistic work included in printings of the Zohar.

There are actually two texts in Zoharic literature called Idra: the first being the Idra Rabba, or “greater Idra”, and the second being the Idra Zuta, or “lesser Idra”, with these two texts being intimately connected to each other.

The story of the Idroth is as follows:

Idra Rabba: R. Shim‘on b. Yohai convenes with nine other scholars, and they gather in the sacred אִדְרָא, or threshing field, where they thresh out secrets. Each scholar expounds various configurations of the partsufin, and three of them die in ecstasy while doing so.

Idra Zuta: Years later, at RASHB"I’s deathbed, the seven still-living scholars come to his deathbed, along with the whole heavenly host. He alone explains the configurations of the partsufin, so this work is more unified. RASHB"I wavers between this world and the next.

Even as Idra Zuta gathers into a more unified prophetic experience which wavers (yesodically) between worlds, there exists in Welsh mythology a story which ties it all together and (malchutically) brings it down.

Among the mystical teachings of Welsh witchcraft, the story of Cadair Idris (throne of Idris) tells of the seeker's vision quest upon the King's mountain, which can result in one of three ways - in death, in madness or in shamanic-prophetic experience. The difference between the seekers of the Zoharic Idrot and the shamanic seeker of the Welsh myth is like the difference between merkavah mysticism and the mysticism of Sar HaTorah [1] in that the mysticism of the Welsh myth and Sar HaTorah are directly concerned that the prophetic experience be sought with the kavanah of service to the community at large as opposed to serving a select group of seekers acting to share mystical secrets only among themselves. The Zoharic mystical group is less overtly concerned with service to the community, although the Divine force may be drawn down to the level of yesod. In this manner, the Zoharic mystics are conduits of Divine force. The mystic of the Welsh myth is more shamanic, where the Divine force is brought down to the level of malchut and bestowed prophetically upon the community.

The Celtic (throne of) Idra-s is a circle gathering which actualizes an iterating cycle of receiving and bestowing. Consequently, it epitomizes a shamanic vision quest worthy to be called reishit.

Cadair Idris is both a mountain in northern Wales and the Welsh myth inhered within the universe-world tarot card [2] - the tarot card which described me here.

According to Welsh mythology:

Cadair Idris is imbued with numerous legends; some nearby lakes are supposed to be bottomless, and anyone who sleeps on its slopes will supposedly awaken either a madman or a poet.

As mentioned above, the mountain's name refers to the giant Idris (meaning ardent lord) of Welsh mythology. The name is sometimes translated as Arthur's Seat, presumably with reference to King Arthur (a Celtic messianic figure).

The poets awakened upon the mountain are transformed by the visionary experience into prophetic seer-poets called awenyddion (Divinely Inspired ones), infused with the hashra'ah of the Shechinah.

The Idrot of the Zohar concludes with RASHB"I wavering between worlds. The Welsh awenydd, clothed with the prophetic mantle of the Shechinah (אדר-אתתא) while sitting upon the throne of Idris, concludes with the "Sinaitic" descent of the Shechinah, filling all worlds with immersive hashra'ah.

the Holy One makes a circle dance ... Yishayahu 25:9

m'Awenydd, The Prophetic Poetry of Walking On Fire
the symbolism of the Awen


[1] The Ancient Jewish Mysticism, R' Joseph Dan, pp. 139-167

[2] Llewellyn Tarot Card Companion, Anna-Marie Ferguson, pp.169-173 (I received my purchase of these tarot cards and companion manual based upon Welsh mythology yesterday afternoon.)

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