Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Witch's Staves


with the staves ... Shemot 40:20

We saw in last week's commentary (The Witch's Mask) that the Hebrew word et (את) invokes from a core Unity the evolutionary consciousness necessary for ritually summoned magical power to be utilized and wholly expressed into a world of multiplicity. Et may also be indirectly translated as 'with'.

The Hebrew word הבדים, meaning 'the staves', is derived from the shoresh (3-letter root) בדד which means to 'be secure being alone.' Mystically, the root corresponds to the magical solitude experienced by many solitary witches, who are secure in the practice of the craft while being alone. In terms of kabbalistic meditation, the practice of this kind of magical solitude (especially out in nature) is called hitbodedut (התבודדות), a word also derived from the shoresh בדד.

Prophetic Staves

Interestingly, as taught in the practical kabbalah characteristic of many ancient Jewish mystics, the magical aim of hitbodedut is the attainment of prophecy. Correspondingly, divinatory ogham staves aim to provide the witch with practical prophetic knowledge.

Taking all this together, we can see then that with the staves, solitary witches particularly may attain practical prophetic knowledge from the world of Unity and wholly express it into a world of multiplicity.

My handmade Ogham staves.