Eden, Eve and a Tale of Seeds by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Last month I wrote about the Garden of Eden. You can read it here:

In that post, I described how Eden is essentially a garden of treasures. What are those treasures? I believe that they are seeds, the most prolific and creative element for spreading life here on Earth. Below is my own fantastical story about the Garden and how the seeds came to reside there.

Sinuous and serpentine, Hawwah, Hayyat, Eve emerged from Apsû, carrying within her seeds, fertilized eggs, and all the fruitfulness and abundance therein. 

Even as she exulted in the fertile rich soil, the heavens beckoned for she recognized them as her origins as well.  She basked as the sun embraced her with light. She stretched herself tranquilly as the stars draped her with their moisture. She reveled at the junction where four rivers met so she could drink of their divine, motherly ambrosia. She was content. In her contentment, in her nourishing existence, the seeds within her grew. As they grew, Hawwah grew, stretched, expanded. She expanded until her body was so large that it touched both heaven and earth. But then her body began to feel pain. She was too full, too abundant, and she ached. Her skin pushed and rubbed against the heavens, it rubbed against the earth, and it chafed. Her skin cracked and her insides roiled. She began to moan, loud pained cries. As her pains grew stronger, her cries began to echo through heavens and earth. She woke up all the heavens with her screams. Satet, the archer, heard the noise and ran to see what was happening. She came upon Hawwah in her agony. Satet took pity on Hawwah. She notched one of her special arrows that had been created with all moisture from the stars and all fire from the sun and proceeded to shoot the arrow directly into Hawwah’s belly. With a mighty roar, Hawwah burst open, straining, diminishing her connection with the heavens even while releasing the seeds within her.  

 At the place where the four rivers met, a tree began to grow from the seed that had been sown in Hawwah’s own heart. Hawwah shrunk to her normal size, and once again content, wrapped her moist sinuous body around the budding roots to both guard and nourish their growth. The tree grew straight and tall re-opening the doorway between heaven and earth that had been damaged. It sprouted beautiful white flowers filled with the light of the sun. She named the tree Luz – light, but most others came to call the tree by her own name – Ha-hay-yim (life).  Hawwah was content. 

I have written several posts about the name Eve. Below are links to two posts (or one in two parts) which you can read for more information: Part 1 and Part 2

Eve as a word, name and Goddess has many layers of meaning. Primarily it means life but also nourishment. She was very likely a tree Goddess in Her origins. Her Hebrew name in phonetic English comes out to hawwah or hayyat. Her name is also connected to the roots for “knowledge” and “serpent” so in my story I have combined those threads. Besides, there is always a serpent at the roots of a world tree.

The term apsû comes from the Babylonian creation epic, the Enuma Elish. It is related to the word abyss (or depths). It later came to mean “house of knowledge.”[1] The abyss represents the darkness of the deepest realms. It is mythologically the primary source of knowledge, wisdom, and power here on Earth. It is also a cauldron of seeds.

Satat was an Egyptian goddess who was considered to be “the deification of the floods of the Nile River.”[2] Her epithets include “she who shoots arrows” or “she who runs like an arrow.” Both can refer to the running of the Nile as well as to hunting. Archery is often a symbol of spiritual progress as in an arrow which “hits the mark.” Along these lines, it also means to be moving along on the pathway to that target. The target, itself, is usually considered a form of enlightenment.

There is a theory that the Tree of Life was an almond tree. One of the Hebrew words for almond is Luz which represents light because of the almond oil used in lamps. I was also inspired by this passage:

And Jacob rose up early in the morning,

and took the stone that he had put for his pillows,

 and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

And he called the name of that place Bethel:

but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Genesis 28:18-19

Jacob pronounced the place where he had his dream of the communication between heaven and earth as a “gateway” of divinity. It was also named “Luz” or “almond.”[3] Both the Tree of Life in Eden and city where Jacob dreamed are places that make the connection between heaven and earth manifest or accessible.

The agency of seeds gives us an opportunity to be connected to such gateways. Seeds send their roots into the earth and their sprouts up into the sky, each creating its own mini-gateway. Each seed carries within itself that mystical connection that creates life. Traditionally it is Hawwah and the serpent who protect those precious seeds. That is a treasure of priceless value.  

[1] Spence, Lewis, Myths & Legends of Babylonia & Assyria, Forgotten Books, 2012 (originally published NY Frederick A Stokes Company, 1916); 72.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satet; Consulted June 2013.

[3] Strong’s denotes the two uses of luz as #’s 3869 and 3870. This is the description of the gateway in Genesis 28:12: And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

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

Categories: Bible, Earth-based spirituality, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Gift of Life, Myth

Tags: , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. It’s good to learn about rivers and seeds and women and the sacred connections among them. Thanks for your research and your writing. Bright blessings to all your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Creatively written. Stories carry with them incredible truths. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Esther. I am trying to find ways that are meaningful to express my thoughts about these ancient and depthful concepts.


  4. Beautiful re-shaping of this ancient origin story, emphasizing women’s agency!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! This story is beautiful and brilliant! Can you imagine if those of us brought up on the story of Eve usually told had learned your version when we were children? What a different world we would have. Your posts always reveal so many layers to think about and find meaning in, mirroring the amazing complexity of our world around us. Thank you for writing and sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Carolyn, I always think what you articulated when I write – How would our lives be different? How would our culture be different? – if paradigms such as these were the foundation of our society?


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