Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Focus For Craftwork - Practical Jewitchery

Soon, within the next week or so, I am planning to update and redesign Craftwork Of A Jewitch toward a closer, more concise focus on the practical aspects of Jewitchery. The blog will be less a personal blog (although I will still draw upon my own experience) and more a basic teaching tool. Learn along with me.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tool Of Da'at Torah

The only tool a witch absolutely needs to work effectively is herself. Tools do add the energy invested into them by the witch and her Divine connection into workings, but don't think that in the event of widescale persecution (may it never be so!), and in the event that a witch was ever denied her tools (may it never be so!), that she (or he) would be incapacitated. It isn't true. There have been times when all I've had to use was my essence, soul, mind and some small physical action.

I don't think it's a good idea to cultivate the idea that a witch needs her tools to be effective. A witch needs to destroy that idea. I love my tools, but in the end, if they were stolen or taken from me, the energy I've invested in them would immediately return to me. I also think a witch does need to cultivate this latter idea - that the power invested in her tools belongs to her and can never be stolen or taken away.

If a witch lacks some prescribed ingredient, invest another ingredient with the kavanah to carry out the purpose of the ritual. The soul and essence of a witch is empowered to do this.

In Judaism, the power to do this is called Da'at Torah.

As a witch, create the reality which surrounds your tools.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Raisin Circle - Key To Achdut

י"א בשבט תשס"ז

Raisin is one key fruit eaten and shared among both Celtic Imbolg (February 2) and Jewish Tu B'Shevat (February 3 this year) sacred days. The Hebrew word for raisin [1] is צימוק.

The shoresh (3 letter root) of raisin (צמק) means "shrinking", "drying" and "shriveling" [2]. The word raisin is found in Torah in 1 Shmuel (Samuel) 25:18 in the form צמוקים. This form, though seemingly plural, is translated as raisin, singular (yachid). Moreover, the form צמוקים follows the Masoretic tradition - the text used by R. Shmuel Raphael Hirsch, from whose commentaries the etymological source dictionary I use was compiled. In other words, צמוקים is the way the word appears according to the Aleppo Codex (כתר ארם צובה).

However, in most printed and online Hebrew texts of Torah, the word in 1 Shmuel 25:18 isn't spelled this way. It is spelled צמקים. Neither the letter yod (י) nor the letter vav (ו) as found in the normative word for raisin (צימוק) is found in commonly available Hebrew texts of Torah (the Bible).

There seems to be some confusion about whether raisin is singular or plural (where ים is a plural ending), and whether or not it is spelled with a yod and a vav added into the root. Normatively, raisin is spelled with a letter yod following the letter tzadi (צ), and then a letter vav following the letter mem in its open form (מ). However, in the Aleppo Codex, singular raisin is spelled with a plural form, and with a letter vav (as opposed to a letter qof ק) after the letter mem. There is no letter yod in the root in the Aleppo Codex concerning 1 Shmuel 25:18 - but there is a letter yod in the plural form preceding a closed letter mem (ים) in its final form in the Aleppo Codex.

What can all this quasi-confusion mean?

First, the root implies dry because there is no water (מים) in it. Raisin, as found in the Aleppo Codex changes the entire meaning of the root - because (written in the plural form), singular raisin indeed has water in it (צמוקים). The open mem pertains to wisdom of the revealed world, while the closed mem pertains to wisdom of the hidden world. Consequently, the masoretic form contains both kinds of wisdom - concealed and revealed. In the normative Hebrew form of raisin, hidden wisdom is not present.

The root letter yod (in distinction to the yod of the plural ending), missing in most (if not all) printed and online versions of Torah and Tanakh, is also not present in the Aleppo Codex. Yet, the letter is present in the mundane sense, in the normative spelling of the Hebrew word raisin. This means that we have to find this letter in our everyday material world of action. It's not somewhere "out there", far from us. It is close, very close to us. It is even within our own souls, each and every one of us. It's not in the exclusive domain of the learned and mystically pious. It's ours, every one! Yod, in the soul, represents the feminine power of the left hand. Thus, what brings revealed and hidden mysteries to unified expression is the feminine power of the left hand.

Taking all this together, we can see that sharing is key to uncovering, partaking of, and bringing to revelation, the hidden mysteries. It is for this reason that singular raisin is written in the plural form - written plural yet pronounced singularly - the essence of achdut (egregore) is perfect unity in the presence of multiplicity.


[1] New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary

[2] Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matutyahu Clark

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pomegranate - Return To Holiness

ט' שבט ה'תשס"ז

The fifth product of the Land of the Divine Feminine eaten during Tu B'Shevat is the pomegranate (rimon, רימון). Thought to be the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, rimon can mean either the pomegranate fruit or shell.

In Jewish kabbalah, a shell is a kelipah. A kelipah is "the outer shell which conceals the godly light within all creation; hence, it is the unholy side of the universe."

As the epitome of unholiness, the root from which rimon is derived is RMM (רמם), meaning "exalting", "raise from a low level", "elevating" and "bringing to life" [1]. Moreover, Ramchal [2] teaches in Secrets Of The Redemption:

At present the shell is in an impure state, but it is needed - its role is to protect the inside. However (in the era of redemption), then the shell itself will be on a holy level.

Thus, the pomegranate contains within its symbolism the holy seeds of "unholiness" and through the meaning of the root, elevates and transforms the impure to the pure. In other words, by eating of this fruit, we are raising the shell which is our material animal nature, elevating it to a holy nature, and bringing vitalized holiness into our life. We are returning our physical nature, not to innocence, but to experienced holiness.


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahi Clark (p. 245)

[2] Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Secrets Of The Redemption (p. 102)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fig - Cell Of A Song

ח' שבט ה'תשס"ז

The fourth product of the Land of the Divine Feminine eaten during Tu B'Shevat is the fig. Again, as with the last two "foodstuffs", the word (in Devarim 8:8) for fig (ותאנה) is prefaced with a connecting vav. The root is תאנ and the final letter hey (ה) is a feminine ending.

Significantly, the gate (2-letter root, sha'ar in Hebrew) to the shoresh (3 letter root) consists of the word "ta" (תא), a "completely dark" cell of the Holy Temple [1] corresponding to midat hadin (the attribute of justice) [2]. Normally, humankind cannot endure strict midat hadin. Yet, this attribute forms the foundation of each feminine cell of the Holy Temple.

Moreover, King Solomon recognized that the essence of the Divine Spirit is contained within the "order of justice" (midat hadin) [2] and prayed for it to be made understandable to man. Understanding (corresponding to the sefirah Binah), as is a Temple cell (corresponding to the sefirah Malchut), is a feminine quality. The feminine quality of Understanding corresponds to the letter nun (נ), the third letter in the shoresh following the gate "ta". Importantly, the letter nun symbolizes the messianic soul [1]. Thus, it is here, hidden in the symbolism of the fig, where a woman may access her messianic soul spark.

Like King Solomon, the ancient Celts recognized the Presence of the Divine Spirit in the complete darkness of a cell.
In Ireland, Wales and Scotland, bardic colleges would use a technique for incubating tehilim (psalms, songs of prophetic poetry) called the cell of a song. A bard-psalmist would be laid on a wattle bed in a closed, windowless cell ...after 24 hours, the bard would emerge from the darkness and write of that revealed there.

Ancient Celtic bards, like ancient Hebrew psalmists and Welsh awenyddion, were prophetic poets whose prophecies were oftentimes accompanied by song or music.

Taking all this together, we can understand that the fourth product of the Land we eat during Tu B'Shevat symbolizes the experience of the complete darkness found in the cell of the Holy Temple. Evidence that we have truly "eaten" of it, and thus internalized its message, is the poetry and artistry that such an experience itself produces in the one who has experienced it.

The musical poetry of Walking On Fire.

Bringing light from darkness and cells of the Temple.


[1] The Hebrew Letters, R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh (p. 325 and p. 216)

[2] Wisdom In The Hebrew Alphabet, R' Michael Munk (p. 229)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

V'Gefen - A Winding, Intertwining Path

Celtic tapestry with a Jewish magen David in its design.

ז' שבט ה'תשס"ז

The third product of the Land we eat during Tu B'Shevat is v'gefen (וגפן). As discussed in my previous entry, the first letter vav is connective. V'gefen is typically translated as grape, and grapes are indeed the "product of the land" on most Tu B'Shevat seder plates. However, the word in Devarim 8:8 is not grape. In Hebrew, the word for grape is enav (ענב).

The root of v'gefen is גפף meaning "winding", "curving", "twisting", "intertwining vine", "raised edges" and "body/limb". The word gefen גפן can mean vine. Grapes are fruits of the vine. Nevertheless, Torah didn't say "grape", it used the root implying something that is winding, twisting and intertwining. Why?

The first product we internalize (eat) of the Land, is the kavanah (mystical intention) to reconnect each and collectively to our Divine soul. This was characterized by the wheat. The second product we internalize is the realization of reconnection, characterized by the barley. With gefen, the third product of the Land, we begin a long and winding journey toward self-discovery, while at the same time, we are intertwining our natural nature with our Divine nature.

Thus, we can see that the fruits we eat during Tu B'Shevat contain within them a mystical message for us. That message is a recipe for reunifying our natural nature and our godly nature, and for drawing the power of that reunification out into our living reality.

The Subterranean Temple - on the long and winding nature of the path to the hidden ark.

Ancient Spell Oldest Semitic Text Yet Discovered

Ancient Snake Spell Reveals Surprising Find

JERUSALEM (Jan. 24) - "A magic spell to keep snakes away from the tombs of Egyptian kings, adopted from the Canaanites almost 5,000 years ago, could be the oldest Semitic text yet discovered, experts said Tuesday.

The phrases, interspersed throughout religious texts in Egyptian characters in the underground chambers of a pyramid south of Cairo, stumped Egyptian experts for about a century, until the Semitic connection was found.

In 2002 one of the Egyptologists e-mailed the undeciphered part of the inscription to Richard Steiner, a professor of Semitic languages at Yeshiva University in New York. Steiner discovered that the phrases are the transcription of a language used by Canaanites at some point in the period from 25th to the 30th centuries B.C.

The text includes words that have the same meaning as in Hebrew, like "yad" for hand, "ari" for lion, and "beit" for house, he said."

Read more of the article here.

Read more about the snake spell:
Ancient Semitic Snake Spells Deciphered in Egyptian Pyramid

Barley - Evidence Of Reconnection

ז' שבט ה'תשס"ז

Note that today's Hebrew date rests like a double shabbat, a shabbat shabbaton, and like the double edges of a witch's athame, between two letters zayin (ז ... ז).

The second product of the Land that we traditionally eat during Tu B'Shevat is barley. The word in Devarim 8:8 is ושׂערה meaning "and barley", where the first [1] letter is a vav (ו) of connection called a vav hachibur. This is the vav which reconnects the letter yod to the letter chet in the word wheat (חיטה) as discussed in my previous entry, Wheat - From Galut To Geulah (from exile to redemption).

Evidence for this reconnection is found in the root שׂער of the word for barley, which implies a strong movement from within [2]. The first letter of the root is sin ("s" sound) as opposed to shin ("sh" sound), with a nikud (dot) over the left pillar as opposed to the right pillar. Consequently, we can see that the movement manifests through action of the feminine left emanation.

What is this movement? It is the movement described in Sefer Yetzirah 1:6 and 6:1 as a stormwind, the se'arah. Ruach se'arah [3] is a klipah (as I've distinguished previously here, Sufah and Se'arah), in contradistinction to ruach hakodesh or divine inspiration. Like its ezer knegdo, the shoresh "against it" (שרע), it implies stretching and extending in response to a strong inner movement. In other words, it is deliberate, measured, active work. This klipah gives the soul something to push and pull against enabling growth. As a yetziratic "agitating wind" meant to loosen distorted complexes in the soul for removal and/or reconstruction, ruach se'arah is neither as powerful nor as potentially destructive as Ruach HaShem. Ruach se'arah results when the human moves toward the divine. Ruach HaShem results when the divine bestows upon the human. Consequently, the powerful presence of the "chaotic dynamic" described here is evidence that the reconnection has been established.

In my own life, this dynamic is discussed most notably here (Soul Of A Bat Kohen) and here (Modah Ani).


[1] Hebrew is read right to left, as opposed to from left to right as with English.

[2] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark

[3] Inner Space, R' Aryeh Kaplan

Wheat - From Galut To Geulah

ו' שבט ה'תשס"ז

One of the traditional foods we eat on Tu B'Shevat is wheat (חיטה). However, in Devarim 8:8, the pasuk from which the tradition is derived, the word is not חיטה, it is חטה. In it's native state, the root חטה implies being "removed from the source of life", "sinning extensively" and "deviating from the path" [1].

Nevertheless, most chumashim translate the word חטה, as it in its native state, as wheat. What can we learn from this?

First, the reason the root implies being removed from the source of life, is because the root חטה lacks the letter yod (י) which the word wheat contains. With the letter yod included, the entire meaning of the root is transformed. The yod becomes reconnected to the source of life. In other words, from the perspective of the pintele yid (the aspect of the soul hardwired into the Divine and represented by the yod), it is disconnected from life (represented by the letter chet ח) in the root חטה.

When the yod and the chet are reunited in the word wheat, we form the word chai חי (representing both the chayah and yechidah soul levels and life). Moreover, kabbalistically, חי represents one's messianic soul.

The remaining letters of the word חיטה are tet (ט) and hey (ה), each representing the feminine yesod and malchut (aretz), respectively. Tet (a feminine vessel letter) functions to receive messianic awareness, while hey (a feminine letter of expressive bestowal) functions to express and distribute it.

Thus, by pronouncing חטה as חיטה we are infusing our "native state of awareness" (katnut consciousness) with the kavanah to drive us toward a "messianic state of awareness" (gadlut consciousness). We are making it a reality by pronouncing it the way we want reality to be, by recognizing that at some level, it already is.

This year, Monday January 29, is a Jewish observance called Yod Shevat (the tenth of Shevat). It is, before we celebrate either Imbolg or Tu B'Shevat.


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tu B'Shevat - Fruit From The Land

ו' שבט ה'תשס"ז

The very next day following Imbolg, celebrating She Who Heals, on February 3 this year, is the Jewish celebration of Tu B'Shevat, celebrating the New Year for Trees. It is customary on Tu B'Shevat to eat "native fruits" of The Land. Called Eretz Yisrael in Torah, "the land" here refers to the Land of the Divine Feminine.

It is quite appropriate then to connect these two sacred days - Imbolg and Tu B'Shevat. First, during Imbolg, She heals the land. Then, during Tu B'Shevat, He eats of Her fruits.

The time will come when the feminine will have greater access to transcendental consciousness than the masculine; and in that time, she will bestow and man will receive from her. R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Tefilat LaKhal HaShana

Imbolg - Celebrating She Who Heals

ו' שבט ה'תשס"ז

Imbolg (also called Imbolc) is one of the four Greater Sabbats of Celtic witchcraft. The Welsh name for Imbolg is Gwyl Ffraed. Typically, Imbolg is observed February 1/February 2 in the northern hemisphere. Purification, healing and recovery, prophetic poetry and smithcraft are linked with the Divine Feminine power ruling this sacred time.

Transliterating the word Imbolg into the mystical alphabet I am familiar with, that is Hebrew, we have the letters: אם בלג

The first two letters "im" (אם) spell "mother". "Mother" is from the 3-letter root אמה which means "pillar" and "support" [1]. Significantly, the word and the root begin with the letter aleph (א). Aleph symbolizes air and the central pillar of the sefirotic array. It also is bound specifically to the feminine sefirah Malchut (kingship/queenship), the sefirah through "which all other sefirot (divine emanations) are expressed" [2]. Consequently, the root implies balance, a quality of hishtavut (mystical equanimity), and Divine rulership.

The final three letters form the root BLG (בלג), meaning "strengthening", "supporting" and "recovering" [1]. The meanings in this root fit well with the healing message of Imbolg.

Taken together, we can see that Imbolg is a Celtic Sabbat celebrating the divine She Who Heals, where She Who Heals goes by the Celtic name Brigid, by the Welsh name Ceridwen, and by the Hebrew designation, the Shechinah.


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark

[2] Sefer Yetzirah, R' Aryeh Kaplan translation (p.153)

Nataf - A Blend From Within

ה' שבט ה'תשס"ז

Three substances in Torah allude to the entire 11-component blend of the Temple incense. They are nataf (storax, commonly known as benzoin), shechelet (onycha) and chelbenah (galbanum). Significantly, each one has a unique feature - making the Temple incense a blend of uniqueness, like my 3-name blend is unique to me. Nataf (נטף) flows from within [1]. Shechelet (שחלת) grows from the earth (malchut). Chelbenah (חלבנה) is seemingly evil (reflected in the 11 original components of tohu [2]), but in truth, is holy (reflected in the 16 rectified and elevated components of b'yad ramah).


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark

[2] Inner Space, R' Aryeh Kaplan (p. 86)

3-Fold Circle Of Har Karkom

Circle Of Stones at Har Karkom

ה' שבט ה'תשס"ז

Saffron (karkom כרכם) is noted to be among the ingredients of a blend constituting my "3-name incense". Karkom is specifically a contribution of my name, Lleucu - where Lleucu is my circle (craft) name within the title Lleucu HaMasovevet.

Karkom is derived from the shoresh (root) כרך, which means "envelop" and "permeate" [1]. This fits well with and further supports the concept that Lleucu is a name which encircles, surrounds and envelops completely.

Har Karkom is also hypothesized to be Har Sinai, the site of the epiphany. Interestingly, there are several circles of stones associated with the "burned platforms" of site HK 301. As my 3-name incense will be burned over 3 consecutive full moon esbats, so too, are there 3 theophanies associated with matan Torah at Har Sinai:

The Lord came from Sinai and rose up from Seir to them; and shone forth from Mount Paran (Devarim 33:2).


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R. Matityahu Clark

Chelbenah-Kapet & B'Yad Ramah


ה' שבט ה'תשס"ז

During the same first Dark Moon on which I will prepare the first reversal candle as described earlier, I will ritually prepare my "name" incense. This is one recipe for my names Liorah Chanah (לֵיאורהּ חנה ) and Lleucu (ללאכי).

5 parts chelbenah (galbanum) - 3 lameds, 2 alephs
2 parts daffodil (shin kokonoe) - 2 yods
2 parts dragon's blood - 2 heys
1 part storax - 1 vav
1 part saffron (כרכם karkom) - 1 kaf
1 part onycha (labdanum, שחלת shechelet) - 1 chet
1/2 part olibanum (frankincense) - 1 resh
1/2 part cinnamon - 1 resh
1/2 part siamese benzoin - 1 nun
1/2 part opononax - 1 nun
9 drops olive oil
8 drops red wine
7 raisins
6 drops honey
5 drops vanilla oil
1 drop Night Queen oil

midnight mortar and pestle

One night preceding the Dark Moon, in an earthenware vessel, completely cover raisins with red wine and soak until the Dark Moon. Cover loosely while soaking.

To the sound of Native American drumming (on CD):

On the night of the Dark Moon, before midnight, add chelbenah to midnight mortar and grind into a nearly fine powder with pestle. Add the other resins and dry herbs or spices to the ground chelbenah and grind all into a fine powder.

Add drops of olive oil, mix. Add drops of red wine (used to soak raisins), mix. Add raisins, mix and grind. Add drops of honey, mix. Add drops of vanilla, mix. Add drop of Night Queen oil, mix.

Allow to dry loosely covered within the mortar overnight. The next afternoon as the sun sets, place the incense into a glass jar and seal until use (during reversal and protection ritual during full moon esbats).


There are 10 primary dry ingredients and 6 adorning moist ingredients in this unique chelbenah-kapet incense blend - for a total of 16 (ביד) unique components - which when burned, whose smoke will rise (רמה).

Monday, January 22, 2007

Into Mitzrayim, Breaking The Curse

ג' שבט ה'תשס"ז

In my previous posts regarding preparing a reversal candle and performing the reversal and protection ritual, I didn't mention the trial run I performed of this rite saturday evening. I didn't mention it because when I was placing the prepared reversal candle into the holder, the candle broke cleanly in half a few inches up from the base (the original top). The place for the candle in the candle holder was too narrow for the candle to fit into easily.

It was at this point I decided that saturday's rite would be The Trial, and that the ritual proper would be performed over 3 consecutive dark (preparation) and full (implementation) moons. It became clear to me, with the sudden snap of the wax, that I was working with powerful forces. What I was doing was no game. Any lingering doubt suggesting that magick is all foolishness vanished.

Yet, I was not perturbed against seeing the ritualwork through to completion. The unanticipated breaking event did, however, heighten my awareness and infuse greater seriousness into what I was doing. My kavanah is fully alert and engaged toward completing what I have started.

I decided to wait before publically writing of it. To protect its purpose. Now, I feel it is safe to add this account of what transpired during the trial ritual to my public blog BOS/grimoires.

I splinted the wick, which was still intact, and the wax, which still fit together nicely, with silver masking tape. Then I more gently worked the candle into the holder that I had already begun to use, deciding that I would use a larger candle holder for the final 3-part ritual over 3 full moons following the next dark moon. But, for some reason, using this particular narrow candle holder at this particular time was important. Perhaps it is because the holder is a "narrow space" the reversal candle must enter, like mitzrayim - and we are in Shemot [1], the book of the Exodus, in the Torah cycle.

After splinting the candle and saying some unique blessings, I lit the candle. It burned cleanly and evenly. I allowed the candle to burn down to the edge of the tape. At that point, I snuffed it out, allowing it to cool. Sunday evening after working in the nursing home, I removed a portion of the tape down to right above the break, lit it, and allowed the flame to burn past the edge of the tape into the break, where I again snuffed it out and allowed it to cool.

This afternoon, I removed the final portion of tape and lit the candle. It's burning it's last inch or so right beside me on the desktop where my computer is located as I type this entry. The flame is straight and moves little. It's not deviating to any side, dipping or guttering at all. The flame does reshape the outer edges of its form, but that's about it. It's a quiet peaceful flame. Good. This is good.

The curse was completely broken in the supernal realms before I even lit the candle. The rituals I have and will complete will bring it completely down.


[1] Last saturday evening, and the Torah portion for this week is Bo (Shemot 10:1-13:16), which includes light amidst the the plague of darkness and redemption of the firstborn.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Altar Pentacle

ב' שבט ה'תשס"ז

I purchased this 6 3/4" altar pentacle of sterling silver over brass. The interior design is of twining grapevines, leaves and grapes - finished on the outside edge with knotwork. It will look absolutely stunning in the center of my entirely black altar cloth! It's gorgeous.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reversal & Protection Ritual

ב' שבט ה'תשס"ז

Reversal & Protection Full Moon Esbat Ritual

  1. Take bath or shower. Put on Jewitch pentacle with blessing.

  2. Perform ritual bath with blessings.

  3. Set up altar.

  4. Carefully unwrap prepared reversal candle and place original top into holder.

  5. In the center of the altar, on a round mirrored surface (upon which a pentacle has been made with thin strips of black tape or inscribed with an inscribing tool) place a slip of paper upon which has been written: May the curses cast upon me by my enemies return midah kneged midah, measure for measure, back to those who have cast them.

  6. Place the reversal candle on top of the piece of paper.

  7. Call quarters [1] (athame-N, light black quarter candles; light charcoal for incense-E; water-S; wood-W) and cast circle [1].

  8. Perform incense offering ritual.

  9. Inscribe marks to distinguish 13 portions of the candle.

  10. Light prepared ritual reversal candle.

  11. Recite entire 91st Psalm [2].

  12. Recite blessing – Beruchah shem kevod malchutah le-olam va’ed. Amen. (ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד, אמן) So mote it be.

  13. Let candle burn out over 13 days, 1 portion per day [3].

  14. Save any wax remnants and scatter in a wooded area.

Repeat ritual for 3 consecutive months, each time with the reversal candle prepared on the dark moon and the ritual performed on the full moon surrounding midnight.


[1] calling quarters and circlecasting procedure (basic, may be adapted)

[2] In Hoodoo, the 37th Psalm is recited. Given my intimate connection to Psalm 91, I will recite this Psalm instead.

[3] use candle snuffer or pinch between fingers to extinguish, do not blow out candle

Reversing Curses, Candle Preparation

ב' שבט ה'תשס"ז

Given the dramatic change in nature of my circumstances since my return to Torah over a decade ago and this vision last week of diverting a metaphysical attack, I've decided to create a ritual to reverse curses and to return them back to sender, whomever that may be. While my circle indeed protects me now from being psycho-spiritually struck, the new ritual is more than protection, it is an active defense. I have resisted doing this for years, but clearly, my enemies have chosen to persist. I am left with no alternative. To follow in the next two posts are the candle preparation and the ritual itself which others may individualize and incorporate into their own protection rituals.

Prepare Reversal Candle On Night Of Dark Moon

  1. Use 10 inch black Bella Candella candle with white musk scent.

  2. Butt candle [1]. Cut off the original top flat end (approximately 1/8 inch of wax).

  3. Carve a second flat tip on the bottom end. Save cut wax in sealable container.

  4. From original top, inscribe down (in 2 lines) Tehillim 37:1-2 (aleph-א) in Ivrit (Hebrew) preferrably [2] using block script. The word MHRH (מהרה) ends the first line. Do not “shake off” any wax clinging to the candle as you inscribe.

  5. From the new created top, inscribe down (in 2 lines) Tehillim 37:39-40 (tav-ת) in Ivrit using block script with the following changes if you are female: tzadikim (צדיקים) to tzedeket (צדייקת) with 2 letters yod, YHVH (יהוה) to YHYH (יהיה). YHYH ends the first line. [3]

  6. On the top of the original end, inscribe a 3-headed shin (flames pointing away from the wick, with central point proximal to the wick).

  7. On the new created end, inscribe a 4-headed shin (flames pointing away from the wick, with central point proximal to the wick).

  8. Dress the candle. Using each finger beginning with the left hand thumb, anoint the entire surface of the candle by rubbing pure virgin olive oil from old top to new top stroking away from yourself, saying – Baruch dayyan ha’emet (ברוך דיין האמת). Repeat using the right hand.

  9. Sprinkle oiled candle with trace ashes of incense used for Shabbat.

  10. Cover surface of oiled candle with “absorb negativity” incense blend.

  11. Pass entire surface of candle through smoke of a lit smudge stick (containing sage).

  12. Take hold of candle by wicks at both end, the original end with your right hand and the new created end with your left hand, and hold it horizontally opposite your heart.

  13. Recite the following: I hereby dedicate, consecrate, charge and empower you to fulfill that for which you were created.

  14. Recite the following: Beruchah shem kevod malchutah le-olam va’ed. Amen. (ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד, אמן) So mote it be.

  15. Kiss the candle.

  16. Wrap in clear saran wrap and silver foil. Store within altar chest until the next full moon.

  17. Perform reversal and protection ritual on next full moon esbat.


[1] using boline or small ritual inscribing knife dedicated to the purpose of preparing and inscribing ritual candles

[2] may substitute English or other magickal language if unfamiliar with Hebrew

[3] the taper candle itself represents the conversive vav of the tetragrammaton

Friday, January 19, 2007

Empowering Consciousness Of The Divine

Djeichiro asked me on one of my blogs to expound on my previous entry, Traditional Blessings & Energy Transfer. So, here is a bit of expansion:

When we "bless Hashem" we are generating kavanah to incorporate the energy we derive from the food we eat (or power from some other act or observation) toward achieving God/Goddess-consciousness. There really is no distinction between the person saying the blessing and the "godly" aspect of his or her own essence.

Also, Hashem is not "a name" of the Divine, it is shorthand for experiential essential God/Goddess consciousness. Traditionally, people say "Adonai" in place of the tetragrammaton (as implied within a traditional blessing), but this too is not the Shem HaMeforash and is merely a code of consciousness, signifying the Shechinah and/or Malchut of Atzilut.

Traditional Blessings & Energy Transfer

כ"ט טבת ה'תשס"ז
27 Beith 2007

Sivan @ jewstalk3 (message 22522) wrote:

No rabbi would ever do anything so Popish as "blessing food." Even when we bentch we THANK Hashem for what we eat. No self respecting, Torah abiding Jew would ever ask Hashem to "Bless his food." If he is observant, he only eats what Hashem has already approved anyway!

I'm not sure where he gets the idea that blessings are "thanking Hashem". The "operative" word of a bracha (blessing) itself does not suggest a motive of acknowledgement.

When a traditional "blessing" is recited, the word employed is "baruch" (ברוך). "Baruch" is derived from the shoresh ברך which generally means "power growth", to "spur prosperity" and "blessing" [1]. In other words, within the context of reciting traditional brachot, we are asking Hashem to infuse us (bless us) with the power inherent in whatever we are partaking of or observing or deriving benefit from. The word "baruch" itself suggest thats we are asking Hashem to transfer the "growth energy" of what we are eating (for example) over to us. There is no word of "thanks" (toda, for example) in a blessing.

When we say a bracha traditionally, we are asking Hashem to empower an energy transfer from that partaken (or observed or enjoyed) to us.


[1] Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark (p. 31)

Embraced By The Night

כ"ט טבת ה'תשס"ז
27 Beith 2007

artist unknown

The athame consecration ritual was completely awesome! During it, as I stood outside in the Dark of Night, the cold breeze penetrated my clothes to touch every inch of my body. The cold was alive! It embraced me wholeheartedly! With my athame raised, the entire Universe stood still with rapt attention as the hosts of heaven and earth smiled down the soothing Voice of the Gentle Wind. The moment the blade entered the earth - ohmygawd! - if I could only tell you what I felt! But, I cannot. There are no words.

There are just no words.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lamed-Vav Of The Ogham

כ"ט טבת ה'תשס"ז

In the previous entry discussing Dark Moon consecration of my athame, the (tips of the) index and middle fingers of the right hand will be used in tonight's ritual. Luis and Fearn are the two letters of the Ogham which correspond to the two ritual fingers.

Celtic luis (L) and fearn (F) correspond to Hebrew (ל) lamed and (ו) vav [1], respectively. The combined gematria of lamed-vav (לו) is 36. Thus, the two fingers of the right hand used in the ritual represent the completely righteous "revealed 36", while these two fingers of the left hand represent the completely righteous "concealed 36", for a total of 72.

Ogham stave alphabet:


[1] Mysteries Of The Alphabet, R' Marc-Alain Ouaknin (p. 172)

Consecrating My Athame

כ"ח טבת ה'תשס"ז

Tonight is the esbat of the Dark Moon. In contrast to Rosh Chodesh, which notes the first sliver of silvery light sighted each month, the Dark Moon is fully within the Shadow of Night. Light represents activity. Darkness represents rest. In other words, while Rosh Chodesh celebrates rebirth, the Dark Moon rests symbolically as a tzelem Elohim within the Dark Essence of Ein Sof.

Consequently, with the Light resting within the completely Dark Essence of Ein Sof, the Dark Moon esbat represents a shabbat of the moon. The moon generally corresponds to soul power of Emet (אמת truth) and to the sefirah Yesod (יסוד foundation). Thus, this esbat of Tevet, my athame will be infused with the Essential Foundation of Truth and the power of shabbat consciousness.

The esbat nocturnal ritual (performed surrounding midnight):

Complete steps 1, and 3 as found in Jewitch Shabbat Ritual.

Set up altar to basically include a central black taper candle standing upon a pentagram tile, a red pomegranate votive candle, and an incense blend [2] prepared with a teardrop within cauldron censer.

Light black taper (projective energy), saying:

Beruchah at Shechinah HaShem Chai, malchat shel Shabbat v'Esbat b'laylah, who transforms darkness into brilliance.

Use flame from the taper to light pomegranate votive (receptive energy) candle, saying:

Beruchah at Shechinah HaShem Chai, ruach shel Shabbat v'Esbat b'laylah, move through the Shadow of Night and be One with the Light.

Use flame from the taper to light the incense, saying:

Blessed are You Shechinah Acknowledger of Life, ruler of the universe, who has gifted me with a portion of Truth.

Beruchah at Shechinah HaShem Chai, malkat ha'olam, she'natnah li chemdat emet.

Wipe down both sides of the blade of the athame with a magnet.

Rinse with consecrated water [1]. Don't wipe dry.

Pass athame through incense smoke, saying:

ישמך אלהים השם חיי כאמת וחנה
Y'simech Elohim HaShem Chai k'Emet v'Chanah.

May the Goddess who acknowledges life make you as truth and favor.

Go outside and under the Dark Moon, cast the circle (step 7 here) using the index and middle fingers of the right hand.

Hold athame straight up with both hands directly over the crown of the head, saying:

With the Dance of Holy Darkness, I dedicate, consecrate, awaken, charge and infuse you.

Encircling the tip deosil overhead 8 times, saying each time:

ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד
Baruch shem kevod malchutah le'olam va'ed.

Blessed is the Glorious Name, Her Kingdom stands forever and ever.

Following the eighth blessing, bring the athame parallel to the heart, point up, saying:


Turning athame, point down, saying:

So mote it be.

Draw a pentagram invoking earth into the soil. Wipe off any dirt from the tip of the blade with the middle fingers, using the left middle finger for one side and the right middle finger for the other.

Kiss both sides of the blade near the middle and the hilt.

Bring the athame inside and place on the altar, saying:

With the Divine Shadow be embraced. So mote it be.

Allow candles and incense to burn themselves out. Leave up circle of protection. Wrap athame in black cloth and store with altar tools after the flames and incense have become dark.


[1] Banished of negativity and blessed.

[2] Dragon's blood, frankincence, myrrh, pinch of salt, drop of vanilla oil, drop of olive oil, drop of red wine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Bridge

The sages say: da’at kanita ma chasarta, da’at chasarta ma kanita – “if you have gained da’at you lack nothing, if you lack da’at what have you gained?”

The ogham letters in my new masthead are my circle name Lleucu. There are 14 vertical lines above the horizontal and 14 vertical lines below the horizontal. The ratio of the digit sums of these two numbers is 5/5, representing Binah and Malchut, respectively. The ratio itself reduces to 1/1 and further, to 1 (echad).

Also note, there are 6 "sets" of letters, representing the vav of connection and transformation, da'at, Torah and Truth.

Thus, my circle name Lleucu represents the bridge connecting immanence (Malchut), transcendence (Binah) and Aur Ein Sof as revealed in the Malchut of Echad.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mishkan, Circle Of Protection

Ashnistrike commented regarding my entry Athame & Mezuzah (also posted on my blogs), writing:

I'll just say that as someone who uses both an athame and a mezuzah, I'm interested in the possible connections that can be drawn between them. Do you integrate this connection into any of your practices?

In practice, I only use the athame presently. My mezuzot are stored away in a chest. When I became a ba'alat teshuvah over a decade ago, my professional livelihood was deliberately destroyed. I've stayed with relatives for the past several years. I can't put up a mezuzah.

Of course, I'm sure my enemies are quite pleased with the fact that I can't put up a mezuzah. Nevertheless, I don't need it. It's like all the other rituals tools - the only real tool a witch needs is herself. I truly know this now.

A few days ago I had a vision of a metaphysical fist being flung toward me, and of it being deflected by an invisible shield around me. I was only able to "see" the shielding force by the "reverberations" in spacetime and shapeshifting coming off the dark light (which the shield was made of) as the striking fist impacted against the field which surrounded me. I never take my circle down. It goes with me wherever I go.

And every shabbat and with every ritual, I reinforce it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Deosil & The Left Emanation

In my previous entry, I discussed the awesome feminine power to "draw out" Divine Energy from Ein Sof during the ritual of circlecasting to create a sacred space in time, in which the entire sefirotic array and all the Hebrew letters of creation are included in the process. The simple act by which the witch does this is via moving deosil, beginning and ending in the north.

Deosil is typically pronounced jess-el. Other pronunciations include jess-il, d'yesh-il and jesh-il.

Deosil means to "turn right". Many think this means it is a right-handed turn, since one "turns" toward one's right hand. But this is not true. On the contrary, deosil is a left-handed turn.

If the witch extends only the thumb of her right hand and points upward with it (toward the spirit point of the pentacle), the fingers of her right hand curl around moving to the left. In other words, the fingers of the right hand turn left which is counterclockwise (widdershins).

Similarly, if the witch extends only the thumb of her left hand and points upward with it (toward the spirit point of the pentacle), the fingers of her left hand curl around moving to the right. In other words, the fingers of the left hand turn right which is clockwise (deosil).

Thumb in Hebrew is agudal (אגודל). Two shorashim (3-letter roots) form the word. One is אגד meaning "combine", "tie together", "bundling" and "encircling wall". This is a good root for circlecasting.

The second root is גדל meaning to "increase", "expand" and "being great". Casting a circle which surrounds from Keter in Atzilut to Malchut in Assiyah is indeed a great circle. This root compliments the natural "negative" energy of the left hand which shapes and directs the Divine Energy which is increasing and expanding as it is drawn out.

The central letter of the entire word agudal is the letter vav (ו), representing the force of connection, the power of transformation, Torah and Truth.

Thus, we can now understand how the mystical magick of moving deosil is a power of the left hand, and of the Left Emanation.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Kabbalah Of Deosil & Widdershins

A witch casts a circle to create a sacred space in time, acting as a conduit of Divine Energies in its making. To cast a circle, her ritual actions are performed moving deosil (clockwise) beginning from the north. To release a circle, her ritual actions are performed moving widdershins (counterclockwise), also beginning from the north.

To move deosil, one moves from north to east to south to west to north. To move widdershins one moves from north to west to south to east to north. What can the Hebrew words for these directions reveal to us about these movements?

North = tzafon = צפון

Tzafon has a total gematria of 226, a digit sum of 10, and a final digit sum of 1.

Two hundred and twenty six [1] equals King David's 221 Gates of Creation plus 5; where 5 is the value of the letter hei (ה) and corresponds to the feminine power of creative expression in thought, speech and action.

The value ten refers to 10 sefirot in totality generally, and to the sefirah Keter specifically (where "the encircling" begins", using the Hebrew root סבב as opposed to the root עגל to cast the circle). The value one refers to Unity among the sefirot generally, and to the sefirah Malchut specifically (where "the encircling" ends).

East = mizrach = מזרח

Mizrach has a total gematria of 255, a digit sum of 12, and a final digit sum of 3.

The value twelve refers to 12 diagonals of the sefirotic array, represented by the 12 "elemental" Hebrew letters (הוז חטי לנס עצק). The twelve diagonals are the twelve metaphysical boundaries (gevulim) of the entire Universe [2] which actually extend beyond space and time. Inside these boundaries dwells the Tree of Life [3]. The twelve boundaries also correspond to the twelve permutations of the tetragrammaton [4]. "The permutations beginning with Y (yod י) correspond to the east; those beginning with the first H (hei ה) correspond to the south; those beginning with V (vav ו) correspond to the west; and those beginning with the second H (hei ה) correspond to the north."

The value 3 refers to the 3 transcendent sefirot of Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Da'at (knowledge). Three also corresponds to the three mother letters [5] mem (מ thesis), shin (ש antithesis) and alef (א synthesis). Additionally, the mother letters correspond to water (mem), fire (shin) and air (alef); each (male and female) in the Universe (space), Year (time) and Soul (spirit); each (male and female) in the head (shin), chest (alef) and belly (mem). The mother letters are the roots of the letters of the tetragrammaton YHV (יהו).

South = darom = דרום

Darom has a total gematria of 250 and a digit sum of 7.

Now we have arrived at the seven immanent lower sefirot establishing intellectual, emotional and physical reality. The value seven refers to the seven double letters (בגד כפרת) of the Hebrew alphabet, the seven days of the week, seven universes (air), seven firmaments (fire), seven lands (earth), seven seas (water), etc. While in the eastern values, where only the elements of water, fire and air were represented, here we have the element of the earth additionally included.

West = ma'arav = מערב

Ma'arav has a total gematria of 312 and a digit sum of 6.

Three hundred twelve equals 12 times 26, where 12 is the number of the boundaries of the Universe and 26 is the value of the tetragrammaton (the Essential Divine Name). Here is the key to "choosing life" and the Divine Power to "create and appoint time" for a purpose.

The value of six refers to the 6 basic directions of physical space [5] - north, east, south,west, up and down; and to the 6 rings which seal physicality. The letter vav (ו), with a value of 6, has the power to "connect and interrelate all 22 individual powers of Creation" [6] that came before in the 12 elemental, the 3 mother and the 7 double letters of the mystical Hebrew alphabet. This type of vav is called a vav hachibur, the "vav of connection". Vav hahipuch, the "conversive vav" has the power to transform reality. It is a vav of radical transformation responsible for bringing forth light from darkness - a kabbalistic process known as ithapcha chashocha lenehora (אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא).

Thus we can see a complex dynamic in the simple act of bringing forth Divine Energy via moving deosil. Likewise, we return it to the Source in Ein Sof (infinite One) via moving widdershins.


[1] Sefer Yetzirah, R' Aryeh Kaplan translation (p. 118)

[1] Ibid (chapter 5)

[2] Bahir 95

[3] Sefer Yetzirah, R' Aryeh Kaplan translation (p. 205)

[4] Ibid (chapters 2 and 3)

[5] Ibid (p. 81, 142)

[6] The Hebrew Letters, R' Yitzchak Binsburgh (p. 94)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Requesting Hebrew Blessing Help

I have created a unique shabbat ritual and have written some blessings for it in English. I need help to write them correctly in Hebrew. Could someone write these in grammatically correct Hebrew for me and provide a correct Hebrew transliteration (so that I pronounce the Hebrew blessing corresponding to the English blessing correctly)? Thank you in advance for your help.

These are the most important blessings I'd like to be able to say in Hebrew as well in in English:

Blessed is this Unity. Her Glorious Name is One.

Blessed is She, the Eternal Flame and the Essence of Truth.

Blessed are You Shabbat, Goddess of all life, Who transforms darkness into light.

Blessed is She, Mistress of the mysteries of spices and perfumes, the One over Death, and She who loves me.

Blessed are You Shechinah, Goddess of all life, Who guides me to wise understanding, proper compassion and right action.

Blessed are You Shechinah, Who nourishes me with all goodness.

Blessed is She who bestows Wisdom.

Blessed is She who sustains Life.

Shechinah, fierce and intense, gentle and mild, blessed are You, and I am Your beloved child.

I'd also like to be able to say this in Hebrew if anyone can help me out:

I conjure you, O Circle, to establish in this place sacred ground, with the Brilliance of the Shechinah surround, Her Power within it found.

No place or time or barrier may there be, between Her, my word and me.

... and these things too (if anyone is so inclined to do this great mitzvah for me), it would be excellent!

Open my eyes to see, my mind to understand and my perception to clarity.

Open my lips to speak the truth.

Open my heart to beat with compassion.

Open the strength of my hands to do rightly.

Open my lifeforce to flow with the Source of Peace.

Open me to be a revealed blessing.

Open the path to all good and guard my way upon it.

I realize this is alot, but it would really mean a great deal to me to be able to say these blessings/lines in Hebrew too.

Jewitchery & Jewishness

JN at Jewesses With Attitude wrote:

Jewitches and Jew-U's also shatter the assumption that those who do not identify with the status-quo are Jewishly unaffiliated.

But here's a question to consider: would a Jewitch or a Jew-U walk into a synagogue and identify herself as Jewish? Or is her Jewish "self" only manifest in those spaces populated by those who share the same kind of pluralistic faith identity? Is there a chance that many of these Jewitches and Jew-U's could, in fact, fully express themselves and find fulfillment in liberal Jewish spaces but are under the assumption that such spaces don't exist? Just how compatible or congruent are these blended identities? Are the Jewitch and Jew-U communities a socio-cultural-spiritual phenomenon, or are they, in fact, transforming religion entirely?

JN asks if a Jewitch would go into a synagogue and identify herself as Jewish - and the answer is, for most of us, including myself - absolutely. In fact, my interest in Jewitchery naturally evolved from my traditional study of Jewish kabbalah from a Chassidic perspective.

Not all Jewitches practice traditional Wicca divorced from traditional Judaism. I don't. I do however, incorporate elements of Celtic witchcraft and Native American shamanism (both also among my natural ancestries along with my Jewish ancestry) into my traditional Jewish kabbalistic practice and study. I love being a Jewitch! It's a life-enhancing blend of all that I am.

Could I be "fulfilled" in a liberal Jewish space? Maybe. Maybe not. In some ways, clearly I am liberal and reconstructionist. On the other hand, I am quite Chassidic in outlook. Most of my kabbalistic study and understanding is based in Chassidic teachings. I also don't "dress" very liberal. For example, I wear long (usually black or dark) skirts peculiar to a more traditional approach. I also wear a Jewitch pentacle and/or a Jewish star along with a witch's pentacle - neither liberal nor orthodox. Consequently, in some ways, my Jewish practice is distinct from both liberal and orthodox practice.

Are Jewitches changing religion entirely? I don't think so. My evolving interest in Jewitchery is in no way a threat to my Judaism. Jewitchery does, however, define for me what it means to be a Jew seriously fulfilling the mitzvah to elevate the sparks of holiness dwelling within my charge. I see Jewitchery as an individuating development and evolution of the Divine Feminine element within the Shechinah. Transforming religion? No. Transformative of feminine consciousness? Yes.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Athame Of Iron On The Altar Of The Temple

The iron blade of a witch's athame upon her altar is a perfect symbol for the rectification of evil and its elevation back into the realm of kedushah (holiness, sacredness). In the Jewish tradition, this rectification and re-elevation is called tikun olam (repair of the world).

The iron of knives and swords have historically been used to shorten life, making them typically antithetical for use upon a sacred altar, whose purpose is to enhance and lengthen life. However, in the "future world" (in Hebrew "leatid lavo" לעתיד לבא, a code for the transcendent rectified feminine sefirah Binah and her parzufim), our Sages teach that the Temple will be built using iron. Normally, it is forbidden to use tools of iron to cut stones for the Temple altar.

Kabbalistically, iron, one of the seven metals [1] corresponding to the seven mystical attributes of the heart, corresponds to the attribute of Malchut and the element of the heart most "vulnerable to negativity and egocentricity". Malchut symbolizes the feminine Kingdom of the world of action and expression (see sefirotic array here). It also symbolizes the Indwelling Divine Feminine, the Shechinah. In the supernal world of Atzilut, in Judaism, Malchut is called Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel). Other spiritual traditions have other names for it, but the message is similar - it represents the Land of the Divine Feminine.

Consequently, we can see that Jewish tradition teaches that iron found in the Land of the Divine Feminine is completely holy and invulnerable to the negativity normally associated with iron. This makes the iron blade of a witch's athame a perfect symbol for the completely holy Divine Feminine.


[1] Seven metal correspondences according to the Zohar, Shemot, Va'Era (hat-tip to Jack Nathanson):

silver - chesed (lovingkindness)
gold - gevurah (strength)
copper - tiferet (compassion)
lead - netzach (endurance)
iron pyrite - hod (empathy)
tin - yesod (foundation)
iron - malchut (kingdom)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kabbalistic Mysteries Of The Incense 1

In a previous post describing a ritual I've written for Shabbat, incorporating into it elements of witchcraft, the blessing over incense is:

Blessed is She, Mistress of the mysteries of spices and perfumes, the One over Death, and She who loves me.

Ritually, the smoke of incense represents the element of air. Unlike the other elements, in both Celtic witchcraft and Zohar (an ancient kabbalistic text of the Jewish mystical-magickal tradition), the element of air corresponds to the eastern quarter-watchtower. Among the kabbalistic sefirotic correspondences, the east likewise corresponds to the sefirah Tiferet located along the central (air) axis of the sefirotic array.

If we look at the 3-letter root TVL (תבל) for the Hebrew word for "spice", tevel (e.g., incense spices used during Temple service), we see a connection to both the transcendent feminine sefirah Binah (Understanding, the Higher Shechinah) operating above the 7 lower sefirot of normal consciousness and the most immanent feminine sefirah Malchut (Kingdom, the Lower Shechinah) operating within the domain of the 7 lower sefirot of normal consciousness.

From a Hebrew Lesson in the root T-V-L:

Then there is the fact that two distinct words use the three letters of our root ת-ב-ל (tav, vet, lamed). We have תבל (tevel, accent on the first syllable), a masculine noun meaning "spice," and תבל (tevel, accent on the second syllable), a feminine noun meaning "the world." The first meaning probably derives from an older, primary root, ב-ל-ל (bet, lamed, lamed), meaning "to mix." When you add spices to food you are creating a savory mixture; alternatively, many spices added to foods are in fact mixtures of different spices. As to the second use, the word (tevel), world, comes from the root י-ב-ל (yod, vet, lamed), to be fruitful, that also gives us the noun יבול(yevul), "produce."

Linguistically, first we can see that the feminine form of tevel pertaining to the "world" corresponds to Malchut (the Kingdom of the world - in other words, the physical world of action). Second, we can see that the primary root י-ב-ל of tevel is also the root of the word yovel, meaning (the) redemptive Jubilee (of the 50th year) . Sha'are Orah (Gates Of Light, R' Yosef Gikatilla) teaches us that yovel יובל corresponds to both the sefirah Binah and to redemptive mystical consciousness - in other words to Goddess/God-consciousness.

Thus, we can see that ritual incense "spices" (using the masculine emphasis) serves to connect the Higher Shechinah (Binah) with the Lower Shechinah (Malchut) through Tiferet, the sefirah "focused" in the east but which is kabbalistically symbolic of all 6 spacial directions in the physical world - north, south, east, west, up and down.

Taken together, the sefirotic correspondences are:

the elemental spices of the incense itself -> Malchut
the smoke - Tiferet
the smell of the incense as it burns - Binah

Note: Din is also called Gevurah and Shechinah is also called Malchut.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Keys To Secrets, Voces Mysticae

The mystical teachings of many traditions contain words or phrases called voces mysticae which seemingly make no sense in the language of the times. To mystics and witches, they are "words of power", "spiritual language", "mystical utterances" or even the "language of the angels". To scholars, they are "gibberish".

An example of a "mystical utterance" in Judaism is the phrase kuzu bemukhsaz kuzu on the mezuzah. The Lesser Hekhalot literature and Sefer HaRazim reportedly contain many such phrases of "gibberish" as well. An example from The Craft is the phrase eko eko azarak, eko eko zomalack.

Many of the ancient voces mysticae are words borrowed from other real ancient languages. Some hide sacred keys to a mystical craftworking.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Jewitch Shabbat Ritual

Here is the first formal Friday evening shabbat ritual I have written for the solitary Jewitch. It may tweaked and refined as time goes by. This is the basic format from which I will build:

1. Take a bath or shower. Visualize washing away physical, emotional and spiritual impurity, letting all negativity flow down the drain with the water. Dress in ritual attire. Put on Jewitch pentacle (pentacle + magen David), saying:

Blessed is this Unity. Her Glorious Name is One. So mote it be.

2. "Sweep" (counterclockwise-"widdershins" and out) ritual space with besom. Visualize removing all negative energy from it, saying:

From this place, I banish all negativity and evil. So mote it be.

3. Perform ritual bath. Add herbs and oil of choice [1] to ritual bowl containing warm water.

Relax. Breathe. Stand facing north (Gevurah, fire) in front of bath bowl. Purify and consecrate the water mixture, placing tip of athame into the water, saying:

Out from you I cast all that is impure and unclean. Blessed are you, with the heart of the Shechinah. You are Holy. So mote it be.

Lay athame upon empty altar "place" (where altar will be or is permanently located). Face north/ritual bath bowl. Hold palms facing upward, saying:

Shechinah, fierce and intense, gentle and mild, blessed are You, and I am Your beloved child.

Dip finger of choice [2] in bath, close eyes. Anoint eyelids by drawing a small pentagram (invoking air [3]) on each with your finger, saying:

Open my eyes to see, my mind to understand and my perception to clarity.

Open your eyes. Dip finger of choice in bath, anointing lips in same fashion, saying:

Open my lips to speak the truth.

Similarly, anoint your breast, saying:

Open my heart to beat with compassion.

Similarly, anoint the palms of your hands, saying:

Open the strength of my hands to do rightly.

Similarly, anoint your loins, saying:

Open my lifeforce to flow with the Source of Peace.

Similarly, anoint your knees, saying:

Open me to be a revealed blessing.

Similarly, anoint the tops of both feet, saying:

Open the path to all good and guard my way upon it.

4. Cleanse the ritual space.

Sprinkle salt-herb water from ritual bowl, starting from the north and turning clockwise ("deosil", pronounced "jess-el", also called "sunwise" and the "holy round"); i.e. north to east to south to west. Repeat by carrying a representative of each of the four elements [4, 5], working with one element at a time.

5. Set up your altar.

Faced north, located on the eastern side of the room/space. Sprinkle salt-herb water over altar area. Set up table or other surface. Cover with black altar cloth. Individualize set up of altar space. Place candle trays upon the altar cloth now if you are going to use them. Place "circle" quarter candle (black anointed and consecrated tea candles in clear crystal circle holders) on each side of the altar north to east to south to west.

Generally, and in this order [3], place fire element (main illuminator black candle anointed, consecrated and inscribed using athame) and athame on the northern side of the altar. Place air element (incense in cauldron censor) and witch's wand (symbolizes "order from chaos") on the eastern side. Place water element (bowl of water) and chalice/kiddush cup on the southern side. Place earth element (stone or piece of wood) and pentacle on the western side.

Place besom on eastern corner (on or near the altar). Place other objects pertaining to your ritual intent upon the altar if desired [6]. Note, the only steel or iron item upon your altar should be your athame.

6. Call the quarters or watchtowers.

Pick up athame. With projecting hand (right), hold it point up parallel to your heart. Face north, raise up athame, drawing a pentagram in space with your athame in the manner invoking fire [3], saying:

Blessed is She, the Eternal Flame and the Essence of Truth.

Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the north, element of the fire, I, (your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite, and to protect this sacred space and time. Welcome to my circle. Stand in strength. Blessed be in joy, love and light. So mote it be.

Point athame into (toward) the earth, walk/turn the circle clockwise (deosil), then return athame to the altar. Face the east, light incense, raising it and drawing a pentagram in space in the manner invoking air [3], saying:

Blessed is She, Mistress of the mysteries of spices and perfumes, the One over Death, and She who loves me.

Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the east, element of the air. I, (your name), do summon, stir and call you forth to witness this rite, and to protect this sacred space and time. Welcome to my circle. Stand in strength. Blessed be in joy, love and light. So mote it be.

Holding censor, turning a complete circle (or walk the circle) deosil, reface the altar. Return censor to the eastern quarter of the altar. Pick up water bowl on the southern quarter.

Repeat with south-water, west-earth.

Blessing over water element:

Blessed is She who bestows Wisdom.

Blessing over earth element:

Blessed is She who sustains Life.

7. Cast your circle, pick up athame, extend it outward and down toward the earth, walking deosil starting from the north, saying:

I conjure you, O Circle, to establish in this place sacred ground, with the Brilliance of the Shechinah surround, Her Power within it found.

No place or time or barrier may there be, between Her, my word and me. So mote it be.

Baruch shem kevod malchutah leolam va'ed, amen.

ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד, אמן
Translation: Blessed is the Glorious Name, Her Kingdom stands forever and ever, amen.

8. Light the illuminator-shabbat candle(s), (covering eyes) saying:

Blessed are You Shabbat, Goddess of all life, Who transforms darkness into light.

Uncover eyes and circle flame 3 times with hands (starting and ending over your heart), each time drawing light toward you.

9. Pour and bless wine, saying:

Blessed are You Shechinah, Goddess of all life, Who guides me to wise understanding, proper compassion and right action.

Take a drink.

10. Blessing over bread:

Blessed are You Shechinah, Who nourishes me with all goodness.

Take a bite.

11. Perform other specific observances, shabbat spellwork, meditative study, etc.

12. Release quarters and open circle [8] following havdalah.


[1] Dragon's blood, frankincence, myrrh, pinch of salt, drop of vanilla oil, drop of olive oil, drop of red wine (may vary according to intent of ritualwork). Ritual bath general reference: The Craft (Dorothy Morrison).

[2] See Ari's chiromancy correspondences.

[3] Pentagram invocations and banishings according to correspondences of the Zohar (hat-tip to Jack Nathanson for Zohar reference).

[4] Examples of elemental representatives: earth (stone, small piece of wood, bowl of salt, pentacle), fire (small lit candle, athame), air (lit incense stick or feather, wand), water (bowl of water, seashell, chalice).

[5] Elemental correspondences according to the Zohar: north-fire, east-air, south-water, west-earth.

[6] Book of Shadows (BOS), cauldron, tarot cards, dream journal, ritual jewelry, cakes/cookies/challah, kosher wine or grapejuice.

[7] "Hail, Guardians ... so mote it be" - standard quarter call revised from Solitary Witch (Silver RavenWolf).

[8] Walking and moving widdershins (counterclockwise), using pentagram "banishing" formations at the quarters to return the energies from whence they came.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Open Mysteries Of Vayechi & Filling The Athame

I engraved my athame this evening. Among the inscriptions are:

statement of intention: אתהפכא חשוכא לנהורא
my Jewitch craft name Lleucu in ogham letters
my Hebrew name in Hebrew letters לֵיאורהּ חנה
a pentacle
a magen David
mezuzah inscriptions as discussed here
a cauldron spiral triskelion
seals: so mote it be and ברוך שם כבוד מלכותה לעולם ועד, אמן
a unique alef
a 3-headed and a 4-headed shin
YHYH יהיה

The engravements look, well, handmade. Ok, this tool is definitely mine now.

AMaR - EMeT - AMeN

This shabbat (Friday night) of parashah Vayechi, I am going to dedicate my engraved athame. אמר. On the next Dark Moon (Thursday night, January 18), I am going to consecrate it. אמת. On Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Shevat (Friday night, January 19), I am going to "empower" it - prepared for Shevat as discussed here. אמן.

According to my Artscroll chumash (p. 268, Stone Edition):

In the entire Torah Scroll, Vayechi is unique in that there is no extra space between it and the preceding parashah, in contrast to the general rule that a Sidra begins on a new line or that it is separated from the previous one by at least a nine-letter space.

In other words, having no extra space, here in parashah Vayechi whose mysteries are open to the Dark Feminine "End of Days", it is filled with double blessings and brilliance. אמר אמת אמן

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mashiach's Brew

In my previous entry I "engraved YaH", the letters of the tetragrammton pertaining the the higher unification of The Name and brought down how this higher unification was naturally evident in the Venus Transit. In follow-up to this idea, we note that the 11th of Shevat reveals the secret to the lower unification of VH (the secret of messianic consciousness) [1]. To raise up the lower unification into revelation, I've created a recipe for the following brew:

2 parts frankincense (olibanum) לבונה
1 part myrrh המור הטוב
1 part dragon's blood דם-תנין (spell in Hebrew?)
1 drop olive oil שמן-זית
1 drop vanilla וניל
1 drop red wine אודם יין

With the onset of the full moon which began this morning, through this month until rosh chodesh Shevat, I will be burning black candles rolled in the above brew I'll name Mashiach's Blend. What is the symbolism here?

First, frankincense in Hebrew (לבונה) clearly corresponds to the sefirah Binah בינה, the feminine Left Emanation, and also to the sefirah Malchut through the ASMaB expansion ben בן. Both correspondences are connected via the 2-letter root (sha'ar) BN, and its shorashim, BVN and BNH. Within these roots is the feminine power to perceive, build and bring down understanding to the level of action. Frankincense resin is white.

Second, regarding myrrh, through the Hebrew words המור הטוב comprising this botanical exists the power to transform and raise up the bitterness into The Good - in other words, into the ultimate good which is redemptive revelation of Torah. Myrhh resin is reddish-brown, like soil of the earth.

Dragon's Blood has been discussed previously, notably here and here. This botanical puts the power of rectified feminine expressive energy (mashpia) into the cauldron.

Olive oil anoints and infuses the ritual with the power of transcendent miraculous transformation. Vanilla represents a feminine organ of reception. And wine reveals the secret.

Initiated with the full moon, this small ritual is empowered to work toward complete accomplishment. As the moon wanes, bitterness is transformed and raised. With the dark moon comes the month of Shevat, an empty vessel, a pail. A watercarrier.

The Ba'al Shem Tov said that when one meets a water-carrier carrying pitchers full of water, it is a sign of blessing. On Shevat


[1] Studies In Ecstatic Kabbalah, Moshe Idel

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pentacle & Engraving Yah

In my previous post I discussed the teaching of Sefer Yetzirah 1:1:

The Creator used (these) 32 paths (of Chochmah) to "engrave" so as to create His universe.

Also previously, I discussed how the planet Venus forms a pentacle in the vault of the heavens as it moves with the earth over an 8 year period. Well, almost 8 years. It is either 8 years plus 22 hours or 8 years minus 22 hours [1], depending on whether one is calculating from the vantage of earth or of Venus.

Nick Anthony Fiorenza writes regarding the Venus Transit:

Because the Earth moves 584 Earth days, (about 1.6 years around the ecliptic) before the two planets align, each alignment occurs about 215.6° further than the previous one (about seven astrological signs apart). As this process continues, five unique Venus-Earth locations are created in the ecliptic. The result is a pentagonal synodic series that takes about eight years and which consists of five synodic cycles (shown below). This near perfect pattern (also called a grand quintile) occurs because five cycles occur in an even number of Earth years--almost.

The sixth alignment, which begins the next synodic series, occurs near the same place as the first one, but it is shifted slightly west from the first one by about 2 to 3 degrees. This slight drift occurs because each synodic series actually occurs in 7.997 years, slightly less than eight years. This causes the entire synodic pentagonal series to continually drift westward around the ecliptic in approximately 2° increments.

The digit sum of 7.997 = 7 + 9 + 9 + 7 = 32. Thus, the time shared "between" (beyn בין, a function of Binah-Understanding) the earth and Venus in the design of the heavenly pentacle is exactly equal to the 32 paths of Chochmah (Wisdom) with which the universe is created. This implies an astronomically observable Unity of Chochmah and Binah (the G-d Name YaH) in the formation of this heavenly pentacle.

With 32 mystical paths of Chochmah, engrave Yah ...
Sefer Yetzirah 1:1


[1] The time difference of 22 hours is the same as the number of letters in the Hebrew aleph-beit (alphabet).

where x = the time Venus "arrives" and y = the time earth "arrives"
x + 22 = y
x = y - 22 (so 7.997 is the x value, when Venus arrives)

Chakak & Creation Making

I purchased a Dremel engraver today (like the one shown on the left) with a versa-tip as discussed by the manufacturer:

The Dremel Engraver is ideal for identifying and personalizing your valuables as well as decorative engraving. At 7,200 strokes per minute, the 115 volt motor and carbide point do more than just scratch the surface. Stroke adjustment dial on tool regulates engraving depth, from fine lines to deep grooves. Get the performance you need to engrave on metal, plastic, glass, ceramic, wood and even leather.

This is the tool I will be using to engrave my athame as posted previously. It really has a nice grip too. Boy oh boy! the things I am going to engrave! My kiddush cup is scheduled for witchy personalization too. I have so many projects in my head - I hope I am good at this. I've never "literally" engraved before in my life.

Sefer Yetzirah (R' Aryeh Kaplan translation) 1:1 teaches about engraving:

The Creator used (these) 32 paths to "engrave" so as to create His universe. The Hebrew word here is chakak (חקק). This usually has the connotation of removing material, as in the verse, "Engrave (chakak) yourself a dwelling in a rock" (Yishayahu 22:16). Derived from this root are the words chok (חוק) and chukah (חוקה), meaning "rule" and "decree", since rules and laws serve to remove some of the individual's freedom of action. Thus, the word chakak is closely related to ma-chak (מחק), meaning "to erase" as well as to the root la-kach (לקח), meaning "to remove" or "take" [1].

The word chakak is very closely related to the concept of writing. The main difference between engraving (chakak) and writing is that when one writes, one adds material such as ink to the writing surface, while when one engraves, one removes material. When the Bible uses the word chakak to designate writing, it is referring to such systems as cuneiform, where the text was written by removing wedges of clay from a tablet.

To understand why the author uses the term "engraved" here, we must understand the idea of creation. Before a universe could be created, empty space had to exist in which it could be made. But initially, only G-d existed, and all existence was filled with the Divine Essence, the Light of the Infinite (Aur Ein Sof). It was out of this undifferentiated Essence that a Vacated Space had to be engraved. The process, known to the kabbalists as the tzimtzum (constriction), is clearly described in the Zohar:

In the beginning of the King's authority
The Lamp of Darkness
Engraved a hollow in the Supernal Luminescence ...

The hollow engraved in the Supernal Luminescence was the Vacated Space, in which all creation subsequently occurred.

The undifferentiated Light of the Infinite which existed before the constriction is on the level of Chochmah (Wisdom), which is pure undelineated Mind. The power of constriction is that of Binah (Understanding), this being what the Zohar calls the Lamp of Darkness. It is negative Light, or negative existence, which can engrave a hollow in the Divine Essence.

Thus, my engraving endeavors begin.

A witch's brew:


[1] The root la-kach (לקח) also means "receiving" (like mekubal), "learning", "assuming a right to oneself", "knowledge", and "tongs". Etymological Dictionary Of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityahu Clark (p. 133).

original tongs, for tongs must be made with tongs ...
Pirkei Avot 5:6

Monday, January 01, 2007

Pentacle, Time & Geulah

The number eight figures significantly in Jewish tradition. On the eighth day, a baby boy is circumcized. The eight days of Chanukah transform darkness to light. Eight, the value of the letter chet (ח), is associated with the soul of mashiach and messianic consciousness.

Interestingly, the witch's pentacle is also associated with the number eight:

The pentagram is actually the geometric design depicting how the planet Venus moves in the heavens, and it is from this design that they believe the people of the Euphrates-Tigris region drew the first pentagram 8000 years ago. The pentacle is reflective of Venus' pattern in the sky from our point of view and the circular motion of Venus around the sun.

If we chart Venus synodic orbital time in the zodiac, we find she moves through 5 positions as the Morning Star, which takes exactly 8 years plus 1 day [1] - and forms the design of the pentacle in the vault of the heavens. [2, quote]

In Jewish kabbalah, the planet Venus planet corresponds with both the power to actualize potential and the archetype of Moshe Rabbeinu, the first and the final redeemer.

Taking all these ideas together, we can see within the pentacle symbolism the mystical dynamic - from 8 (assiyah) to 8000 (atzilut) - of brit milah, transformation, messianic consciousness and geulah.


[1] suggests a day of "im hakolel" surrounding the 8 years

[2] Solitary Witch, Silver RavenWolf (p. 309)