Saturday, October 04, 2008

Days Of Awe


Witch's Shofar, Days Of Awe

ה' תשרי התשס"ט
Blodlessing 6

The fifth shaman stone (from the yard outside my bedroom window) in my Temple Collection is represented by the Celtic goddess Blodeuwedd in the form of an owl (as opposed to her fair flower form as discussed in a previous entry, Relentlessly Faithful And True). It is in this form that she is definitively known as a Dark Goddess.

The short chapter in the book Doorways To The Otherworld (Catrin James), which discusses Blodeuwedd in her owl form, is introduced with the picture of a feather. Not with an owl, but with a feather. Interestingly, right before my Rosh Hashanah encounter with the cricket (קריקט), searching purposefully around in the grass for stones, I came across a single very small feather. I picked the feather up, gathered it into the folds of my skirt with two stones I had found (side by side) just moments before, and continued walking. A few seconds later, I encountered the cricket (a totem of "finding light within the dark", אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא).

I wasn't looking for a feather, but I found one and kept it, knowing that its purpose would come to me later. What indeed is the connection between Blodeuwedd in her owl form, a feather and a cricket? The thread of connection is active release from a ritual binding and subsequent resurrection.

Catrin James writes of Blodeuwedd in the form of an owl:

It is through becoming an owl that Blodeuwedd escapes the manipulations of men who seek to confine her. Also (in the myth under discussion) Blodeuwedd as flower woman and owl is the only one not to be drowned ... And even as Blodeuwedd does not drown in the lake, so too you will find that in holding on to your truths at this time of transformation, you too will not drown ... In swimming in the ocean of the mystical, others may drown by listening to the wrong words, or identifying with ego, but in holding things lightly yet at the same time paradoxically realizing the sanctity of these messages, these visions, you are coming to a greater wisdom ... The owl dreamstone is to do with silence, stillness, and if you find anything belonging to owl, or indeed any other gifts of the sacred creatures such as feathers, these too can be added to your collection, amongst your most sacred things ... it is a visitation of the goddess, it is the unseen and she has put her hand upon you for a reason that you may not know right now but in the fullness of time will develop, even as darkness gives way to light.

Finding Blodeuwedd's feather on the second day of Rosh Hashanah is yet another amazing "coincidence", just like with my encounter with the deer on Erev Rosh Hashanah (as described in Witch's Shofar).

Taking the feather symbolism further into elucidating the thread of connection, a feather is used in preparation for Pesach (Passover) during the ritual called Bedikat Chametz (a ritual search for chametz, a substance which spiritually is that which can sour the outcome of spiritual development or mystical work). The important idea, especially within the unique context here with regard to Rosh Hashanah and the entire High Holy Day period, is that the sacred point of bedikat chametz is not to find chametz, but is to resolve all doubts. The existence of doubts implies the existence Amalek (collective negative energies which seek to destroy a person or people). Bedikat chametz therefore symbolizes the ritual destruction of Amalek (which in my case, would be all the negative energies which seek to destroy me and that which I am).

Rabbi Wein writes of Amalek's success as a destructive force throughout history in an article pertaining to Rosh Hashanah:

The centerpiece of our Rosh Hashanah observance, prayers, and sounding of the shofar is the remembrance of the akeidah – the binding of Yitzchak to the altar and Avraham’s apparent willingness to sacrifice him as worship to God. The akeidah has followed us throughout our long history. There have been millions of akeidot in Jewish history and most of them ended in the death of the victim and not in him or her being spared.

Yitzchak emerged from his experience of the akeidah (a wizard's binding ritual) alive (symbolized by the shofar), just as I emerged from my akeidah alive (symbolized by the appearance of the antlerless deer by the roadside). As Yitzchak was not slaughtered by knife, neither was I slaughtered by becoming involved in a fatal collision of my car with a deer. Finding Blodeuwedd's feather destroys all doubt that I am spared. And, as Yitzchak was resurrected from the Rosh Hashanah altar of Avraham, so too am I resurrected from the Rosh Hashanah altar of the Sacred Earth, through my encounter with the cricket subsequent to finding Blodeuwedd's feather. As a totem creature, cricket "is about resurrection. Awesome!

Thank Goddess, She has released the bound. Of course, upon my fifth shaman stone shall be written matir assurim (מתיר אסורים) in Hebrew, Ogham and Bardic runes. Interestingly, the shoresh-root (תור) of the word matir (meaning 'who releases') can, among its many meanings [1], mean "purposeful searching" (like I was doing, looking for stones) and "foraging for grass" (like the cricket was doing when I, looking for stones, saw her).

My Torah is Her Torah.

Footnote:

[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, Matityahu Clark

1 comment:

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Dare to be true to yourself.