One of my primary purposes of doing this work is to strip away patriarchal veneers that have been layered upon original teachings. I reach into ancient pagan knowledge in order to reclaim what I believe to have been lost.
Below is each verse in 3 versions. First is the King James Version (KJV) for familiarity, the second is Jeff Benner’s Mechanical Translation (Benner) which uses a consistent translation for each word. I use his translations to get a better sense of how the words originally fit together.[i]
The third translation is my own (Mystic Pagan Version or MPV).
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth,
and every herb of the field before it grew:
for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth,
and there was not a man to till the ground.
and all the shrubs of the field before existing
in the land and all the herbs of the field
before springing up given that “YHVH” [He exists] of “Elohiym [Powers]”
did not make it precipitate upon the land
and without a human to serve the ground
And all potential seedlings existed as life.vibration
And every sapling of the land existed as life.vibration
Given that Vibration.Being of All-Potential Powers
Had not yet coalesced into earth water
And without yet a mindful human.being to circulate seeds.
But there went up a mist from the earth,
and watered the whole face of the ground.
and a mist will go up from the land
and he made all of the face of
the ground drink.
And the goddess’s cauldron[ii] boiled, overflowed and mixed with the air
A blessing of the waters to relieve the thirst of the land.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living soul.
and “YHVH [He exists}” of “Elohiym [Powers]” molded the human
of powder from the ground
and he exhaled in his nostrils a breath of life
and the human existed from a being of life.
And Vibration.Being of All-Potential Powers crafted shapes from earth,
and inspired life with breath
so that living consciousness
would breathe deeply the bestowal of existing.life
There are many words used to represent divinity in the bible. YHVH (yud-hey-vav-hey) and El (along with its variations) are the most common. Below are brief notes about their translations.
- YHVH (yud-hey-vav-hey):
KJV always translates YHVH as “LORD.” Benner translates it as “he exists.” I do love Benner’s concept of a divine entity as “existing,” but when divinity is gendered as in “he” then the grand mystical mystery of creation is reduced to half its potential. And that, to my mind, is a great tragedy which has sundered our world for thousands of years and lessened the role of women by tagging divinity as male.
I take a different tack for YHVH and use “Vibration.Being.”
I believe that YHVH is a compilation of vibrational sounds that are power syllables. By chanting the syllables, doorways are opened so that we are able to feel the connection and vibrational aspect of our bodies in relation to the greatness of creation.
There is historical precedence. Greek historian Josephus wrote about the syllables in his 78 CE work about the destruction of Jerusalem (which occurred in 586 BCE.) Even though he wrote centuries after the event, he likely had access to historical materials that were later destroyed at the Alexandria library. Josephus includes an interesting description of the headgear of the high priests; “A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraven the sacred name [of God]: it consists of four vowels.”[iii]
Because Josephus did not specify which four vowels he was referring to, this line has been the topic of much scholarly debate (and, as usual, argument). Because he cites “the sacred name,” one of the most common arguments is that he was speaking about YHVH. [The letters themselves, even in Hebrew, can be used for consonants or vowels much the same way that the letter “Y” in English can be both.]
I wanted my translation to recognize the vibrational aspect of the syllables and how important that concept is in the processes of creation. Vibration.Being also sets up a counterpoint to we humans, in fact all of humanity[iv], as a reflection of divinity – Human.Being.
As I discussed in more detail in my first blogpost of this series (link above), the KJV uses “god” for EL. Benner uses “powers.” I use “all-potential powers” in recognition of the coming together of opposites which gives rise to life.
[ii] Although not used in this specific passage, Tehom is used in the bible to describe the watery depths from which mists arise. This a variation of the name of the Sumerian goddess Tiamat.
[iii] http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/war-5.htm; consulted November 2012. [Bolding my own.]
[iv] In shamanic terms, humanity refers to all of manifest existence. “Hu” is also a power syllable which I wrote about here: https://feminismandreligion.com/2020/06/15/the-sacred-hu-by-janet-maikai-rudolph/
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 Shaman, When 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