Thursday, February 15, 2007

Avoiding The Plague

כ"ח בשבט תשס"ז

In a previous entry I mentioned among the uses of garlic, one magickal use is to "avoid the plague". At the time of writing, my natural assumption was that the "plague" the text was referring to was the black death [1] of the middle ages.

However, later in the day, I discovered that weird hail fell in Jerusalem this morning. So, of course, I thought of the plague of hail of the exodus - and of all the other plagues of the exodus as well. Consequently, now my thinking is that garlic may be good for avoiding all kinds of plagues, including the black death.

But, since hail is this week's plague in Jerusalem, what kabbalistically does hail signify? From the Ascent Of Safed website, Yosef Y. Jacobson writes:

Hail - Frozen Love

The seventh plague, in which produce-destroying hail descended upon Egypt, is symbolic of selfish love. If fire symbolizes rejection, water, naturally descending from a higher plane to a lower plane, embodies the qualities of generosity and loving-kindness. In Kabbala, the flow of love is compared to a flow of water, irrigating and nourishing a human soul with its refreshing vibrancy.

Yet, a man who finds himself in "Egyptian" bondage (historically symbolic of the psychic state of "mitzrayim") knows only an icy love, a love that is based entirely on self-seeking motives and self-centered considerations.

This person's rain-like flow of love becomes cold and frozen like hail, harming his loved ones instead of nurturing them.

[This explains the mystical significance behind the fact that the hail that fell in Egypt had burning flames within it (Ex. 9:24). The cold and icy individual is also aflame - he is fired with self-love and ablaze with egotistical passions. Indeed, it is his excess of inner heat that is the cause of his icy exterior. Thus, the hail that fell in Egypt, icy without and fiery within, reflected the nature of "Egyptian" love: coldness displayed toward other people coupled with warmth displayed toward one's self.]

It did snow alot here earlier this week. So, what does snow mean kabbalistically?

According to Sefer Yetzirah (1:11) snow represents chochmah consciousness in a state of permanence. In other words, it represents memory and permanence of wisdom.


[1] The black death of the middle ages came in 3 forms - bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic. The latter form - septicemic plague - though the rarest of the forms - involves poisoning of the blood. It's mortality is essentially 100%. Even today, there is no viable treatment for septicemic plague.

"Antibiotic treatment is essential for treating plague. Without treatment, mortality is 60% for bubonic plague and 100% for septicemic plague." UAB Bioterrorism

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