Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ketoret Samim And Ketoret Zarah


~ The difference between men and women. ~

On it Aaron shall burn aromatic incense of sweet spices ... Shemot 30:7
קְטֹרֶת סַמִּים

(Aaron) shall not offer strange incense on it ... Shemot 30:9
קְטֹרֶת זָרָה

The difference between the two incenses is this:

Ketoret Samim (aromatic incense of sweet spices). The word used for 'aromatic sweet spices' is סמים, from the two-letter gate סם. From this gate come the shorashim (roots):

סמך - support, be close, clinging, laying hands on (as in ordination)
סמל - forming, set form (solidify, in opposition to disintegrate form)
סמם - concentrate substance (to bring into materiality), potent spice
סמן - designate, marking (as in simanim meelta, significant omens)

Ketoret Zarah (strange incense). The word used for 'strange' is זרה, from the two-letter gate זר. From this gate come the shorashim (roots):

זרב - flow (loosen form, as opposed to solidify), combine/separate
זרה - scatter, winnowing out, generating wind, set apart
זרח - east (direction and elemental), open seed, radiate light
זרע - arm or limb that sets in motion

Considering the gates which distinguish the two incenses, we can understand that ketoret samim function to support steams of power that incarnate or materialize existence, while ketoret zarah functions to disintegrate, move and recombine those streams of power.

Thus, upon the altar of the tabernacle, Aaron may not offer incense designed to evoke the powers of disintegration, dematerialization, scattering or winnowing. In Torah, Aaron as the high priest of the Divine Masculine is to function as an agent of pure chesed (lovingkindness) to support integration, materialization and bringing together.

The functions of disintegration, loosening, winnowing and recombining rightfully belong to high priestess of the Black Goddess. Only the high priestess of the Divine Feminine is authorized to function as an agent of pure gevurah (strength), and to offer ketoret zarah upon the altar of the tabernacle.

Related entry - Messengers of the Black Goddess