Biblical Poetry, Part 2 by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph

Last month, I wrote about a new project I have been playing with which is to re-write biblical verses as spiritual poetry rather than follow along with stricter translations (although truth be told, my translations have never been strict). My main goal is to strip away the layers of patriarchy that grew up around universal, earth-based, mystical lessons. In my last blogpost I wrote about why I translate El (god in English versions) as All-Potential Powers. You can read it here: https://feminismandreligion.com/2021/04/15/biblical-poetry-by-janet-maikai-rudolph/

I have written before about my translation of YHVH as mother/father creator. You can read that here: https://feminismandreligion.com/2019/03/05/eve-by-any-other-name-by-janet-rudolph/ 

YHVH, the sacred 4 letter tetragrammaton, is always translated as LORD in the bible. It is truly a wondrous name with many layers of meaning which the English one-word term LORD doesn’t capture. I find that the English translations of these two words – LORD and god – are dull and without sacred energetic aspects. In ancient times, the words used to depict divinity in general, and YHVH specifically, were meant to be intoned and chanted.

As I have continued to play with these concepts, I have been changing my translations. When YHVH stands alone, I still use “mother/father creator.” In many passages, the bible uses the two forms of deity together YHVH and El. This combination is traditionally translated as “LORD god.” When that usage occurs, I have begun tapping into a different aspect of that sacred name. The vibrational aspects of intoning the 4 sacred vowels or syllables of YHVH create a sound vibration that is excellent for chanting (I will write more about such chanting in a future post). Chanting sacred or power syllables is transformational, perhaps to be thought of as a verbal bridge between heaven and earth.

Another wonderful aspect of this holy name is that it is a composite of the verb “to be” in different tenses; past, present and future.[i] Not only does YHVH transcend gender by representing opposing aspects of what we have come to consider as male and female, but it also transcends time. In recognition of this, I use the translation of Vibration.Being when it is paired with “god.” “LORD god” becomes “Vibration.Being of All-Potential Powers.”

Below are some more verses from Genesis. The first of each passage is the King James Version (KJV) for familiarity, the second is Benner’s version (Benner)[ii] for the original word meanings and the 3rd is my version or Mystic Pagan Version (MPV)

Genesis 1-4

And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.
KJV

and “Elohiym [Powers]” saw the light given
that it was functional
and “Elohim [Powers]” made a separation
between the light and the darkness
Benner

And All-Potential Powers bathed in the light
And made manifest the dance between light and darkness.
MPV

Genesis 1:11

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass,
the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,
whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
KJV

And “Elohiym [Powers]” said, the land will make grass sprout,
herbs making a sowing of seeds, trees of produce making produce to his kind
which his seed is in him upon the land,
and he existed so.
Benner

And All-Potential Powers vibrated, releasing the earth’s rising energy to awaken seeds
In diversity and in the service of life enduring
That fruits from seeds bear seeds
And they exist so
MPV

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them.
KJV

And “Elohiym [Powers]” fattened the human
in his image, in the image of “Elohiym [Powers]”
he fattened him, male and female he fattened them,
Benner

And All-Potential Powers quickened humanity
with All-Potential Powers own spirit seeding
Roaring with air male, roaring with air female, vibrating with air Human.being
MPV

Genesis 2:8

And from the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree
that was pleasing to the sight and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden,
and the tree of knowledge of good and bad.
KJV

and “YHWH [He exists]” of “Elohiym [Powers]”
made all of the trees spring up from the ground
being a craving to appearance and functional for nourishment
and a tree of life in the midst of the garden
and a tree of the discernment of function and dysfunction. 
Benner

Vibration.Being of All-Potential Powers
Ignited and awakened life
Thrusting for beauty and fruits of wholeness
The grand Exist.Life tree at the core of the garden
And a tree of the growing into duality
MPV


[i] Hanson, Kenneth, Kabbalah: The Untold Story of the Mystic Tradition, Council Oak, 2004; 25. Hanson notes the combinations: YHVH: Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. Past tense of “to be”, “was”: Hey-Yud-Hey. Present tense of “to be”: Hey-Vav-Vav-Hey. Future tense: Hey-Yod-Hey-Yod. 

[ii] Benner has a brilliant project of translating biblical words according to their original meanings. For more information about how he does this, see his website: https://www.ancient-hebrew.org/

Bio

Janet Maika’i Rudolph. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUEST.” I have walked the spirit path for over 25 years traveling to sacred sites around the world including Israel to do an Ulpan (Hebrew language studies while working on a Kibbutz), Eleusis and Delphi in Greece, Avebury and Glastonbury in England, Brodgar in Scotland, Machu Picchu in Peru, Teotihuacan in Mexico, and Giza in Egypt. Within these travels, I have participated in numerous shamanic rites and rituals, attended a mystery school based on the ancient Greek model, and studied with shamans around the world. I am twice initiated. The first as a shaman practitioner of a pathway known as Divine Humanity. The second ordination in 2016 was as an Alaka’i (a Hawaiian spiritual guide with Aloha International). I have written three books: When Moses Was a ShamanWhen Eve Was a Goddess, (now available in Spanish, Cuando Eva era una Diosa), and One Gods. In Ardor and Adventure, Janet.now available in Spanish. Cuando Eva era una Diosa



Categories: Bible, Earth-based spirituality, Ecofeminism, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Paganism, Poetry, Shamanism, Spirituality

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Well, one reason the words Lord and God are such dull words, as you say, is that they’re the words chosen by a bunch of Jacobean scholars working for a really dull king, James I of England. Yes, many of the Jacobean playwrights were brilliant–and there’s only one Shakespeare–but that era was filled with men filled with dogma. And self-importance. Big-time. Women weren’t allowed to go near any man doing scholarly work except to “entertain” him. Your poetry is vastly better. It’s too bad that in this currently dogmatic (what other adjectives can we choose??) world too few people will read your work. It’s too good to remain unread by the dogmatics who refuse to read anything that might make them blink. (I’m editing a book by such a fellow.) Everybody should be reading it. Bright blessings! And keep working and writing and enlivening that so-called holy book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Barbara for your support encouragement. Perhaps would you be willing to change that “too few people will read your work” into “it is a challenge to get people to read your work.” I am laughing, you know, hope springs eternal so I just have to keep that door open a bit or it becomes too hard and too isolating to continue.
      And thank you for saying that everybody should be reading it, that strengthens my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for another amazing post! I love that YHVH transcends not just gender but time. What a fantastic concept and one that is so needed in our own era that is so transfixed by our own small moment. Your MVP poetry is beautiful and illuminates aspects of the biblical texts that have been hidden for so long. I can’t want to read more!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Carolyn, as I just wrote to Barbara, it does get isolating to do this work and so I particularly appreciate your encouragement. Yes yes yes, I have also found that part particularly fascinating – that YHVH transcends gender and time.

      Like

  3. Thank you for this post and for your books. How interesting that the 4 syllables in YHVH create a sound vibration that is excellent for chanting. I now have the Beach Boys’ song, “Good Vibrations” running through my head. :)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Janet Rudolph Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: