A Mystical Journey: Psalm 93 by Janet Rudolph MaiKa’i

Sometimes I’m asked where I get my inspirations for verses to explore. In this case it was from the God Squad’s Rabbi Marc Gellman who discussed Psalm 93 in a recent column. In his analysis, he used Psalm 93 to wax poetic about how powerful god is outside of nature. In fact, he declared that the worship of nature is idolatry because it only points toward God but can’t completely match God’s majesty. Ahem and Excuse me! With my ire raised, I had to go and look at the Hebrew from my own Mystic Pagan perspective. Rabbi Gelman looks at these verses and his take-away is that “God is more powerful than even the most powerful storm.” Ahem and Excuse me again!  

After delving into the Hebrew words, I see a whole other side to this powerful Psalm. I see the “power of God” [as he would say] or the “beauty of the divine [as I would say],” is that most awesome ability to midwife creation and birth. In other words, to make love manifest. I see in Psalm 93, an esoteric poem bursting with motion that begins by creating a place (Earth) for life to exist. This poem is filled with sound vibrations, thunderous surf, the movement of water and descriptions of thresholds. As the motion unfolds, one is invited to participate in the energies [powers] of the divine pouring out through these threshold gateways.

Below are two translations: the KJV (King James Version); and then my own MPV (Mystic Pagan Version). I want to note how much fun this Psalm has been to translate. I have loved playing with all the allegories of seeds and the constant movement that is the dance of creation. I love the concept of seeds as the root (pun intended) of life here on Earth.

At the end of this post, I have included notes about key words to better understand the basis of my translations. If you remember from my past posts, I translate YHVH or LORD as Being.Vibration.

If anyone wants a deeper dive in how I came to this translation, feel free to contact me at /arteagle5ATaol.com/.

93:1

The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength,
wherewith he hath girded himself:
the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
KJV

Vibration.Being danceth
uniting the divine and the earthly in generative vigor adorned by skin and stars.
The abundant flow of seeds is set in perpetual cyclic motion.
MPV

93:2

Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
KJV

Vibration.Being floweth into the space of time
allowing time-laden seed.beings eternal blessings in their boundless cycles
MPV

93:3

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, The floods have lifted up their voice;
The floods lift up their waves.
KJV

The seed.beings of light dance oh Vibration.being,
the seed.beings of light roar thunder,
the seed.beings of light sparkle on the crests of the waters.
MPV

93:4

The LORD on high is mightier Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea.
KJV

Vibration.Being bringeth forth roaring sound,
infusing the waters that gush forth through the thresholds.
Midwifing creation from heaven, midwifing creation from earth,
midwifing creation from heaven/earth.
MPV

93:5

Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house,
O LORD, for ever.
KJV

Witness of faith, holiness of indwelling,
Vibration.Being of time blending with timelessness.
MPV

Notes

Verse 1:

The KJV word for “strength” is oz. Fabre d’Olivet uses this wonderfully descriptive phrase; “generative vigor.”

The word for “established” is kun. Benner refers to the root of kun as the “opening of a seed.” I call it “blessing of the seeds.” I adore this concept of seeds being the foundation of the establishment of the Earth.

The word for “world” is tebel which can also mean abundance, fertility, spirituality, the human soul. This layered meanings of tebel give wonderful descriptions of the type of world that is being created.

Verse 2:

The root of the word used for “throne,” kisaka, also has such meanings of emigrating or changing the place. It has a sense of movement to it.

There are two words that refer to time, making time a prominent theme of this passage that describes flowing movement amidst points of time.

Verse 3:

Nasah, the word meaning “have lifted up” is related to the word for gift. d’Olivet describes its meaning as vacillation and that which imitates the movement of waters.

Nahar, the word for “floods” also means stream but can mean seed beginning, light, radiance. It is a wonderful description of the kind of “flow” that is being lifted up or gifted.

To me the concept “voice” is reminiscent of the beginning of Genesis when Elohim speaks as the unfolding of creation.

Waves are interesting as they operate in places of thresholds, the meeting of land and water where the two meet and interact.  

Verse 4:

 As it so often occurs, noise sets up the vibration that solidifies into the manifestation of life. The noise is associated with water or mayim, the great mysterious mother waters.

The word for “many” is just too wonderful. It is rab or rabbim and here is its Semitic Ancient form:

Notice the progression of letters. The head about to move through the labyrinth or the goddess’s birth canal and into the waters of mem (mayim), the mother waters.

 “Waves” is the word mishbar. Notice this word also contains the same 3 letters of rabbim, resh (head), beit (labyrinth), and mem (waters). No surprise then that mishbar also means birth canal. The root is related to grains on the threshing floor and the bursting “out the seeds from the hulls.”

Verse 5:

The word for holy is quodesh which I discussed in my last blog post. It also means prostitute, certainly another way to “burst out seeds.”

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, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Gift of Life, Interdependence of Life, Mother Earth, Nature, Poetry, Scripture, Shamanism, Spirituality

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24 replies

  1. Very creative thinking and so much impeccable research Janet. I applaud you. But for me planting or gathering seeds, listening to flowing water, the coo of the mourning dove, the sounds of trees, digging in rich forest soil, and this summer discovering mushrooms that are the fruiting bodies of the earth evoke the divine – both within the earth and all around me. For my Master’s thesis my question was : Is Nature the containing aspect of divinity? I was surprised to discover that for me Nature was both the source and the container of the divine – perhaps a mirror or microcosm of the universe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly Sara, Somehow in the traditional translations nature and divine were separated (and thus the rise of “idolatry.” I wonder if two separate strains of thoughts grew next to each other or the original teachings were purely paganistic and nature as you poetically say “the source and the container.”

      I like to think its the 2nd because the original oral teachings had to have been rooted in nature and Her lessons.

      Certainly the translations only looked at the separation. I think this a foundational belief that has underpinned our culture and created a deep belief of separation. I also think we need new foundational beliefs and your words certainly point the way. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “There are two words that refer to time, making time a prominent theme of this passage that describes flowing movement amidst points of time.” I love this image. When I cast a circle I invoke Time to be on our side. Can you say more about the two words and how they fit together?
    As a drummer, I also love the concept of “Vibration.Being”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments Judith, I will go to look at my notes a little later today to share the two words from Psalm 93:2.

      Although YHVH is not one of the two words I reference in the blog, it did figure in my translation. It is also a word that transcends time. It is a compilation of the words “be,” “was,” and “will be.” And as you point out it has a wonderful vibrational essence.

      In many shamanic cultures there is a distinction made between linear time (clock time) and circular time (sacred time). Linear time only moves in one direction. Circular time can move through time. Have you ever had an event that prefigured something that happened “later” in linear time? That would be an example of how circular time can be seen.

      I will be back to you with the two words that represent time.

      Like

    • Hi again Judith Maeryam, I collected my notes. Here are the two words in Psalm 93:2 that refer to time. The first is me’az (Strong’s #227 – Strongs is the most used concordance of biblical Hebrew words.) KJV translates it as “old.” I translate it as “space of time.” My translation has a holistic element. Strong’s defines it as “at that time.” It means pretty much a point in time. I envision it as a point in a circle with time flowing around it. The letters, according to Benner, mean “cutting the harvest.” The harvest is a point in time. The length of a “point” is clearly flexible.

      The second word is “olam” (Strongs #5769). Strongs defines it as “long duration, antiquity, futurity.” KJV uses “everlasting.” I use “eternal blessings in their boundless cycles.” I use that phrase because of the beginning of the passage and the usage of the word “kun” which is traditionally “established. The pictograph of this word is a hand and a seed. Whenever the “k” letter “kaph” is used I always consider a blessing is in the works because of the hand symbology. And “nun” or “n” is a seed. The blessing of the seeds is that they are “the source and the container” (to quote Sara) that make the cycles of nature possible. The seed is the beginning and the end of a plant, the alpha and the omega. That is what was established in my translation.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Like

  3. Wow–I sure do like your translation (and your notes) better than anything that might come out of the loud mouth of a God Squad. It’s those powerful storm gods that keep getting us lowly humans into trouble. I love your images of dancing and opening seeds and Vibration.Being in creative action. Right on and write on! Bright blessings to your work.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your poetry makes these words come alive and explores such miraculous multi-dimensionality! To me, they are much more evocative of divinity than the much more prosaic and lecturing KJV. Thanks so much for posting this!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There are many wonderful points in this discussion of Psalm 93 and the creative interpretation. However, the KJV does not provide a good translation of the original Hebrew. I encourage you to look at the new JPS translation instead.

    Like

    • I agree Marilyn, the KJV does not provide a good translation but unfortunately for our culture it is the standard by which many of us know the bible and the basis for many other translations.

      I assume JPS is Jewish Publication Society. I always love to see different translation. I see on line a JPS-Tanakh 1917 version. I assume that is not the one you are referring to. I have the Jewish Study Bible which says it is “featuring the JPS Society.” Is that the same one? Or is there another? Thanks.

      Like

    • PS the one I have is edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler and was published in 2004.

      At least in that one, I love how 93:3 stresses the sounds of the ocean with its thunder and pounding.

      I must add though that it does make me twitch whenever LORD is referred to by the gender pronoun “he.”

      Like

      • Sepharia has many translation versions, but that particular one makes me feel like I’m at the ocean. You are right, of course, about the gendered pronouns. I am so used to substituting non-binary language in my mind that I often don’t notice anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know, that gendering is such a problem in my book. You and I are clearly in agreement but for our culture in general, the “he” is pervasive and I would say destructive as it is mostly unconscious and so pervades foundational values without people realizing it.

          Also for me, it brings the majesty and mystery of creation down to the mundane and “separate.” That is why I don’t use any pronouns and my descriptive translations transcend gender like Vibration.Being (or at least I hope they transcend gender).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Vibration.Being in your interpretation highlights the presence of the ocean and God’s presence through the ocean. It creates a space for that tension between the immanent and transcendent.

            I have two approaches to the problem of gender. When engaging with my spiritual practice, I see beyond the words and be in a non dual space. When engaging with the mundane world, I try to embody that non dual approach. I hope that by being present in that way I inspire others to create a different set of foundational values. Maybe it is a sort of radical acceptance of what is while living my spiritual practice.

            Liked by 1 person

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