Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Sacred Land's Green Mantle


וַיְהִי, כַּאֲשֶׁר-בָּא יוֹסֵף אֶל-אֶחָיו; וַיַּפְשִׁיטוּ אֶת-יוֹסֵף אֶת-כֻּתָּנְתּוֹ, אֶת-כְּתֹנֶת הַפַּסִּים אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו
And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colours that was on him ... Bereshit 37:23

Joseph's father gave him a mantle of many colors. Joseph was stripped naked of this mantle by his brothers.

Excerpt from the Ballad of Tam Lin -

"And then I'll be your ain true-love,
I'll turn a naked knight,
Then cover me wi your green mantle,
And hide me out o sight."

As I wrote in Seven Measures and the Magical Eight, in Celtic Traditional Witchcraft, the sacred number seven represents the standard metaphysical Otherworld measure marking the transformation period from one state into another, from death to regeneration, and from dwelling in the Underworld Faery Land to re-emergence and mystical merging with the Mystery of the Sacred Land Itself. Seven encodes the Otherworld mystery of total Regeneration.

After spending "seven measures" in the Underworld Faery Land, one is said to re-emerge "coated or dressed in green," like Tam Lin re-emerged wearing a Lady's green mantle in the mythic Ballad of Tam Lin and as Queen Esther (of the Biblical book of Esther) was said to have had green skin in Hebrew mythology (as recorded in Midrash).

While patriarchy may give a man a mantle of many colors, it must be stripped from him, leaving him a naked knight to be covered by the green mantle of his true wife. This is a Mystery of the Sacred Land.