My life, with increasing frequency, simply amazes me. As far as I can recall, until this morning I had never heard the word Shekinah.
It’s an obscure word and I learned a bit about it when I wrote the “Shock and Awe” post below. A while after completing that post, I decided to take a relaxing bath and catch up on some reading.
As a writer and someone deeply interested in mythology, I like to study symbols. And, in connection with one of my other blogs – A Dowser’s Diary – I’ve been reading up on the intuitive arts, including the Tarot. I’ve read a couple of books on it and, on my way to the bathtub, picked up one I’ve neglected because its pretty old and obscure, A Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite.
You know where this story is going.
I settled into the warm bath and flipped open the book to page 79 and found the word Shekinah staring back at me in stark black ink. Waite was writing about the Tarot card called The High Priestess, and here in part is what he said about her in his century-old mystical language:
She is the Queen of the borrowed light, but this is the light of all. She is the Moon nourished by the milk of the Supernal Mother.
In a manner, she is also the Supernal Mother herself – that is to say, she is the bright reflection. It is in this sense of reflection that her truest and highest name is Shekinah – the cohabiting glory. According to Kabalism, there is a Shekinah both above and below. In the superior world it is called Binah, the Supernal Understanding which reflection to the emanations that are beneath. In the lower world, it is Malkutch – that world being, for this purpose, understood as a blessed Kingdom – that which it is made blessed being the Indwelling Glory. Mystically speaking, the Shekinah is the Sprititual Bridge of the just man, and when he reads the Law she gives the Divine meaning.
He says she represents symbolically both the Egyptian Isis and the Christian Mary.
Reading this, I was struck by two things.
One was the synchronicity of encountering Shekinah for the first time in my life, twice in the same day. The second was seeing again how war-mongers can take the loftiest and holiest of concepts and make them murderous.