TO SING WITH BARDS AND ANGELS by Iona Jenkins, Book Review by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

There are some books which you just want to sit with, underline, read leisurely, and let sink deeply into your soul. This is one of those books.

Iona Jenkins has led a fascinating life as a Labyrinth Keeper, artist, spiritual seeker (among many other things). In To Sing with Bards and Angels, she delves into her Celtic ancestry as a poet to captivating result. I can deeply connect with her journey as I imagine many others will as well.

This book is filled with Jenkin’s stories of the experiences she has had while walking the spirit pathway. Most notable and the major theme of her book describes her encounters with an ethereal light being she identifies as an angel. Her guide appears in moonlight and its form and words fit within her cultural beliefs as to what an angel is. I love that she notes that she views her guide in this manner because of her own expectations. Her openness in allowing for other interpretations provides a permission structure for anyone reading and/or on their own spirit journey to understand such experiences in their own way whether it be angelic, otherworldly, imaginative, dreamlike, mythic or manifest in this reality.

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The Fifth Wound by Aurora Mattia, Book Review by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Dreams are a confluence of lifefragments, swelling and dissolving in waves, perpetually on the verge of meanings. What in Physics is called ‘potential energy,’ I refer to as ‘potential meaning,’ the maximum of which is dreaming.

The Fifth Wound, pg 34

There is so much to like about this book even as it is painful to witness Mattia’s journey. It is also confusing at times which might be by design because life, itself, is so confusing. The prepublication material describes this book as a love story between Aurora and Ezekiel. Both Ezekiel and Aurora begin by describing themselves as “fairies.” Ezekiel remains so, Aurora transitions. She calls herself a tgirl or a transgirl.

Mattia leads a life that refuses to be boxed into any “norm.” The vulnerable wounds that she collects as she navigates this challenging path are both internal and external. Ezekiel and Aurora know and love each other both before and after Mattia’s gender confirmation surgery. It takes some work to understand the hardships of those who don’t fit into societies’ norms; these are norms that too often float through our consciousness often without our even being aware. I believe that wrestling with such issues expands our humanity and for this (but not this alone), The Fifth Wound is an important book.

 

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The Patriarchal Dilemma by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

I was listening to a newscast when it was reported that the Ukraine sent missiles into Russia. My initial thought was “it’s about time they took it to the Russians.” The next moment I was horrified at myself.  I am a pacifist.  I think the proliferation of weapons is one of humankind’s great evils and here I was cheering on an attack.  One that could escalate an already nasty war, lead to nuclear weapons use and possibly even a world war. And yet when I look at what is happening in Ukraine, my mind simply can’t comprehend what the people are going through. The trauma of the children cuts particularly deeply. And I can see no sane reason behind the strikes other than rank cruelty.

There it is in a nutshell, what I have come to call the patriarchal dilemma. It’s a no-win situation with no right answer. While life might place us in such positions all on its own, the patriarchal form of this is created by design. It is nasty, it is cruel, and loss of human life and ecological destruction are not glitches but features.

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Hawaiian Adventure Shamanism by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Plumeria, one of the fragrant flowers often used in leis.

While my experience of Hawaiian spirituality isn’t explicitly feminist, I am attracted to it because of its loving and gentle nature. It doesn’t feed the patriarchy. It is a philosophy that doesn’t use dogma but rather principles. It doesn’t work as a top-down power system but rather as an internal power extending to the external world. This is reflected in one of our principles: “all power comes from within.”

I was ordained as an alaka’i (spiritual guide) in October 2016 by Serge Kahili King the founder of Aloha International. He teaches Hawaiian Adventure Shamanism or Huna for short. Huna means secret. It isn’t a secret in the sense of something that can’t be shared but rather something that is esoteric or hard to see. You can think of it like the mists of the sea, hard to distinguish and even harder to hold on to. But all real nevertheless.

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Ode to Seeds by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

“In this is all that is.” 

Julian of Norwich (while purportedly holding a seed in her hand) – 14th century

“Even if I knew that the world would end tomorrow,

I would plant an apple tree today.”

Martin Luther

Have you ever had bedbugs or lice? If not, you’re lucky. If so, you understand just how hard they are to get rid of. Why is that? Because they are essentially seeds with legs.

Seeds need to be able to travel in order to be successful spreaders of life. For example, when an acorn falls from an oak tree, it probably can’t germinate right where it falls. The mama tree has already taken up all the earth/soil space as well as the water sources for its own roots. And the mama tree’s own leafy branches will block out access to the sun. So the innate goal of the seed is to move to find a more friendly space. Evolution has created all sorts of ways for seeds to use motion in the service of finding their own place to germinate. In the case of the acorn, there are squirrels. Because they are a food source, many of the acorns get taken to dens under the earth. Many of those are not eaten. Either they are forgotten or the squirrel in question meets another demise. An acorn that is nestled in a den under the earth, can have a potentially perfect environment to sprout far from its origins.

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Biblical Poetry – Trees by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Image from an Egyptian tomb ca. 1314-1200 BCE. Isis is giving nourishment in the form of fruit and drink,

In many cultures of the world, including our own, trees are considered the ancestors of humanity – own our ancestors.

Trees are connected with great goddesses throughout antiquity. We see this in the bible where, as I’ve noted before, the Tree of Life is Eve’s tree for the word Eve means life. It is, in essence, the Tree of Eve. Goddesses in trees feeding humans were common themes in ancient Middle Eastern art. The tree was Hers to give freely of as she wished.  

Anthropologist and religious scholar, Mircea Eliade writes extensively about the associations of trees ancestral connection to humans. He calls them both mystical and mythical.[1] His examples include the Miao groups of Southern China and Southeast Asia who “worship the bamboo as their ancestor.” He also notes Australian tribes who view the mimosa as their progenitor. And there is a tribe from Madagascar, called Antaivandrika which means “people of the tree,” who considered themselves descended from the banana tree.

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Beauty in the Heart of the Beholder by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

In the past two years, I began a project which I call biblical poetry. I had been doing my own translations of biblical verse based on the hieroglyphic meanings of Hebrew words. Ancient Hebrew or Semitic Early writing grew out of the hieroglyphs of Egypt. Since hieroglyphs are pictures, we are able to use the rebuses or picture puzzles to glean the original or at least older meanings of words. I have begun to see these a route to interpreting meanings from before the dawn of patriarchy. This door to understanding appeals to my religious/spiritual/feminist sensibilities. At first, I attempted to stay somewhat true to the well-known meanings as they have come down through the ages. When I began my poetry project, I broke out of that structure to reveal the more mystical/shamanic/pagan meanings that I find beneath the words. At the bottom of this post, I have links to a few of my past biblical poetry posts.

The bible is quite large, so this is an encompassing project with lots of material to explore. This month, I wanted to take a look at how the concept of beauty is treated in the bible. The word for beauty is yaphah. Yaphah can also mean miracle and wonder as well as beauty. Let’s stop for a minute to unpack that. When we think of the word beauty in our culture, the thought is generally about how someone looks (unusually a female someone). But just the Hebrew word alone broadens the meaning. If beauty is someone or something that is wondrous and has miraculous qualities than it goes well beyond cultural standards of how someone looks. If you love someone, they would be beautiful to you because they would be wondrous. Biblical usages and translations tend to focus on beauty, mostly women, sometimes cows (yep cows) and a few handsome men in the mix. But I found that yaphah doesn’t have to be a vision that relies on one’s eyes.

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The Norns, Spiritual Mystery and Me, Part 2 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Part 1 was posted yesterday. You can read it here. The Norns were explaining the mess they had made when they got drunk at a Valhalla party.

The Norns looked at me with sadness. “We knocked over one of our looms/templates/arrangements” 

Their tone changed, they looked at each other and I thought I could see emotion churning. They were arguing and then they stopped. They turned toward me and looked sheepish, that is if divinities can look sheepish. “It was a disaster/calamity/debacle.”

“Tell me then,” I was growing impatient.

Verdandi: “Well you see the loom we knocked over was . . .”

“What?” I almost shouted at them.

Urd: “It was the loom holding the pattern from Salim/Jerusalem.”

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The Norns, Spiritual Mystery and Me, Part 1 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

In 2020, I began writing my biography because some weird things were happening in my life including some which were time-bending. To help make sense of it, I wrote up “conversations” with the mythical characters of Persephone, Inanna and the Norns of the Norse. Throughout my bio, I speak to the Norns as an out loud meditation on the nature of time, fate and energy.

The three Norn sisters are Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. Their names come from Old Norse which is not a spoken language. The actual translation of their names is open to speculation. In general, here are their common meanings.

  • Urd – past
  • Verdandi – happening or present
  • Skuld – future or debt.

By mythological tradition, they show up at a child’s birth and then weave their “fateful” decisions about that child’s life into a tapestry. They are considered more powerful and fearsome than the gods because even the gods are ruled by the hands of fate (or Norns in this case). They were also treated as oracles where kings and warriors went to consult them much as was done in Delphi Greece.[1]

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From Footbinding to Abortion and Beyond – This Has to Stop! by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

My husband, Marty, is a retired podiatrist.  He worked in pockets of New York City that were poor and largely immigrant. When he first started his practice, he treated women from China whose feet had been bound. Despite being officially outlawed 1912, footbinding was still being practiced well into modern times. He saw these patients in the 1970s and 80s.

For those who don’t know what it is, young girls, as young as 3-5 would have the bones in their feet broken and then the feet bound with cloth strips. Every few years, the feet would be broken again until the desired result was created. To create that affect, the toes would be flattened against the bottom of the foot and arch would be so broken and damaged that the heel would curl back to the front of the foot. At each of the breakings the girl would need to learn to walk again.  One can only imagine that pain of walking on foot bones that had been repeatedly broken. And here is an especially chilling part. The mothers would do it to their own daughters. I won’t go into further gruesome details because they can be easily looked up on the internet.  It left the girls crippled for life.

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Moses and the Rambo Problem by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Moses is an interesting character is in the pantheon of religious leaders. He is such a major personage, considered the founder of Judaism and yet there are no extra-biblical accounts of his life and his deeds. He only exists in the bible. You’d have thought that such a major event as leading a whole class of people away from Egyptian slavers, would have shown up on the radar of other written or mythical accounts from the time. Nothing!

Even his name is interesting. When the Egyptian princess gathered Moses out of the waters she said:

She named him Moses, explaining,

“I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:10

This is one meaning of his name. But there are others. In Egypt, the land where he was born and raised, the M-SH (variations: m-s or m-ss) root simply means “son.” Or it can mean “child” in a non-patriarchal sense. We see this in other Egyptian names Ramses is the child of the sun god Ra. Tutmose is the child of Tut. 

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The Magic of the Labyrinth by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Labyrinths are magical. I’ve always been drawn to them. About two years ago, a local Episcopalian Church rebuilt their beautiful outdoor labyrinth and opened it to the public. In concert with them, I have been delighted and honored to offer guided walks there. Doing these walks, both in leading them and in walking myself, have given me the opportunity to reflect deeply on what they mean from many perspectives: historical, personal, spiritual, philosophical, experiential.

When I walk a labyrinth, it feels like I am mirroring the universe while expanding my internal journey. Teresa of Avila agrees with me (or, more accurately, I with her). She wrote, “If we learn to love the earth, we will find labyrinths, gardens, fountains and precious jewels! A whole new world will open itself to us. We will discover what it means to be truly alive.”     

     

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Inspired by Carol P. Christ: Patriarchy Rules the Supreme Court by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Along with the words of Justices Sotomayer, Breyer and Kagan.

The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe was expected, but there was nothing that could prepare me (nor likely anyone else) for the devastation of the actual decision. My gut is reeling. I thought it would be useful to survey the landscape through the lens of patriarchy. Thanks to Carol Christ for having always written insightful comments about the roles of patriarchy. This is inspired by her work.

The dissenting judges were quite eloquent, so I will work off their words.

  • “Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.”
  • “After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away. The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.”

My Commentary: Through the eyes of patriarchy here is no need to consider life-altering consequences because it only recognizes two roles for women: madonna or whore. We are never seen as full humans with civil and independent rights. Patriarchy doesn’t just hate the sexual freedom of women, it has spent millennia trying to quash it, make it into something dirty, control it. It’s a love/hate relationship with sex. Rape is really OK (look how hard it is to prosecute). Pedophilia OK too (look at the church). But a woman making her own sexual, reproductive choices . . . a bridge too far. Patriarchy will always force us to pay a price for having sex, for being alluring, for being female.

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Patriarchy and the Supreme Court by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

I am pissed! I wrote this blogpost the day after Beltane when the leaked draft of the Supreme Court majority opinion regarding Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public. I was up anyway feeling the effects of PTSD. Lessons that Carol P. Christ wrote about and brought to my own consciousness were rattling around my head. The first is her definition of patriarchy: “patriarchy is a system of male domination in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality with the intent of passing property to male heirs.” This definition was part of a 3-part series she wrote (and we recently re-posed in her legacy posts) beginning here.

They are all well worth reading.

I was raped in 1977 when I was 22 years old. This after being abused by my father. I never got pregnant, but I was suicidal after the rape. Had I been pregnant without recourse to ending it, I would without a doubt have stabbed myself in the stomach or reached for that metal coat hanger. (I was too young to face pregnancy when my father abused me.) Had the result been my own death, that would have been warmly welcomed on my part. To this day, I still self-mutilate at times when stress becomes too much.    

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Adventure in Zanskar by Amy Edelstein – Book Review by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Subtitled: A young woman’s solitary journey to reach physical and metaphysical heights.

This is a fascinating book. Previously, my sparse Buddhism education had only consisted of reading fictional books representing the religion. I really enjoyed them. This is my first one that is a firsthand account of someone living and recounting an authentic Buddhist life.

The author, Amy Edelstein, describes an adventure she embarked upon in 1983 when she was 21 years old. Her pathway is paradigm that is probably as old as human culture – the spiritual pilgrimage. Edelstein set off by herself to walk across Zanskar, India, a place I was not familiar with. It is a sparsely populated at-altitude section of northwest India with mountainous passes that are over three miles high. To traverse the land, she walked over 300 miles which took her almost 40 days. She slept in caves, in nooks under the stars and, at times and by invitation, in villager’s homes. It is, by Edelstein’s account, a land of unparalleled beauty as well as a generous, welcoming population. I was swept up in the descriptions. Along the way, she met villagers, royalty, other pilgrims, high Lamas, and a few tourists. Her overarching goal was to follow her own heart both in her spiritual life and in her walking journey. Her quest was to find a deeper connection with her own Buddhist self. This included practicing mindfulness while connecting with local communities and with nature.

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Walking With Aletheia by Jean Hargadon Wehner – Book Review by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Trigger Alert: There is discussion of sexual violence.

“I transformed from terrified victim to a courageous survivor . . .Different than an ‘out of body’ experience, this felt more like an ‘in-body’ experience. I stood my ground and did what I had to do to get the hell out of there.” Jean Hargadon Wehner (pg 89).

In 2017, a Netflix documentary came out called The Keepers. It is the story of abuse and torture that was not only allowed but protected by the Catholic Church. Jean was featured in the series as the linchpin who helped to uncover and bring to light the atrocities. Our own Carol Christ watched the seven-episode series when it came out and wrote a blogpost about it. FAR reposted that blog at the end of February to honor Jean who has now written her own book, Walking with Aletheia. In it she describes her own healing journey or as she calls it her “health walk” out of the wreckage of that horror. For more on The Keepers, you can read Carol’s post here (which also includes Jean answering some questions about her story). This book is Jean’s story which, while intricately intertwined with the Church, is ultimately about her own pathway to spirituality and healing.

It’s hard to imagine the emotional weight of the authority figures that bore down on Jean when she was a student at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School in the late 1960s. Not only did two priests torture and abuse her but they drew in other Church officiants as well as the police. The legal system actively turned its collective back to her. It is a great gift that she has survived and a testament to her strength, inner creativity, and the love in her heart that she was able to navigate such an apocalyptic terrain. The instruments of the torture were horrendous including rape, sex trafficking, drugs, and mind control techniques.

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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. 

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Behold! The Treasures of Eden by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

The place and purpose of the Garden of Eden is a topic of endless fascination and interpretation. This blogpost looks at two biblical passages and the word eden itself to see what we can learn about its meanings. At its most basic, Eden is a garden of treasure and delight.

As I’ve written before, the written form of Ancient Hebrew words comes from the hieroglyphic tradition of Egypt. The pictures of the letters form a picture puzzle or rebus. The word roots are generally two or three letters. I use script called Semitic Early for my baseline of study.

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From the Archives: Women’s Bodies and the Bible by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Moderator’s note: This marvelous FAR site has been running for 10 years and has had more than 3,600 posts in that time. There are so many treasures that have been posted in this decade that they tend to get lost in the archives. We are beginning this column so that we can all revisit some of these gems. Today’s blogpost was originally posted May 20, 2019. You can click here to see the original comments.

Trigger Alert:  The bible on its face is quite violent to women.

Amidst the ugliness that is American politics in general and abortion politics specifically, I began to look for guidance to understand what is happening. I ended up pulling out two books that I read long ago. The first is Woe to the Women-The Bible Tells Me So by Annie Laurie Gaylor. Gaylor, in turn, was inspired by the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her The Women’s Bible which was originally published in two parts (1895 and 1898).

I had forgotten how inspired I have been by both books. Together, they motivated me to begin looking at how the bible is a foundational paradigm of our culture. I started researching how translations have been altered from original meanings. I have already written a few blogs about how the representations of Eve have been changed to strip Her of the roots of Her original power. Take a look here and here.

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Why It Matters That Simone Biles Won Times Athlete of the Year Award by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

I remember my first feeling’s of disappointment when Simone Biles pulled out of so many events at the 2021 Olympics. But then I quickly realized that here I was falling for the patriarchal lines that are so much a part of our reality that they become unconscious. Simone Biles taught me. Winning isn’t about slaying your foes (although someone who watches politics here in the US would think so). When Biles withdrew, there were many angry tweets and letters that she wasn’t living up to her promises. Let’s review that. She has been called the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) of her sport. She is the most decorated gymnast in history. She is only 24. What promise has she broken? To whom? And who are we (meaning the public) to even determine what her promise is?

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I Sing Asherah Exalted! by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

With this season of the festivals of light upon us (Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa), I wanted to focus on the more joyful aspects of our lives. For that, I have been diving into passages about joy and singing in the bible.

Sometimes when I write these posts, they take me in directions I never thought to go. This post is one of them. The surprise direction I found is in the Psalm below:

Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

Psalm 105:2-3 KJV

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Peng Shuai and Tennis’ #Metoo Moment by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

I am a fervent tennis follower in all its forms. I both play and watch tennis. That is, perhaps, why this story caught my eye. As I’ve written before, I am also a survivor of sexual assault, so these #metoo stories are personal.  

On Nov. 2, Peng Shuai, a member of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association), charged a high-ranking Chinese official with sexual assault via social media. Her post was taken down in under 30 minutes and for 2 weeks she was not heard from at all by any independent person. An uproar ensued with major tennis stars speaking out including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic. Peng, a 3-time Olympian herself, has been ranked as high as #1 in doubles and #14 in singles.

Could this be the case where there might actually be consequences for silencing a woman who has credibly charged abuse? It appears, at least for now, that the WTA is doing the right thing. After some initial dithering, the WTA is, as of this writing, standing strong saying they will withdraw tournaments from China until there is a satisfactory resolution to this situation. This is a billion-dollar industry with 11 tournaments scheduled to take place in China yearly. In other words, its a big deal.

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Asherah, Blessed, Asherah by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Once upon a time, the Great Goddess was the spiritual focal point of ancient culture. Her worship included honoring women, living in harmony with the earth, and cherishing the processes of the cycles of nature. Asherah was one of those Goddesses. When the Patriarchs moved in and worked to suppress the old goddess religions, Asherah and her fellow Goddesses were diminished, and in a propaganda coup we might recognize today, defined Her as evil. I imagine that some brave people fought to hold onto the Goddess in Her glory but when they saw they were losing the battle, they encoded Her and Her Sister Goddesses into their cultural mythology. Hidden in this manner, She found Her way into the bible. If we can uncover those codes, we can reclaim Her, others and their Earth-based spirituality.

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Heart Vibration: Biblical Poetry by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph

My inspiration for biblical verses this month comes from the lovely and soulful translations of Rabbi Yael Levy in her book Journey through the Wilderness (subtitled: A Mindfulness Approach to the Ancient Jewish Practice of Counting the Omer). She has given me permission to quote her translations (thank you!). I use 2 of her verses in this blogpost.

One of her translations aspects I found most fascinating is that of YHVH (LORD in the bible). She uses Mystery. I have used Mother/Father Creator, and more lately, Vibration.Being. I love her usage. It taps into the magic that YHVH is the ultimate Mystery of all creation. These beautiful translations are meaningful, differing, yet connected aspects of the holy name. These prism-like views come together to make an even more exquisite truth.  

For today’s blogpost my main focus is on several verses from Psalm 119. It is poetry which talks about the heart and chesed, or in English, lovingkindness.

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Women’s Bodies and Texas

I have been so angry about the Texas law that functionally bans abortion, I have not even been able to find the words to write about it. But alas . . . being angry without taking action is too often what we women do. So, I am forcing myself to focus and write this blogpost. I think the worst part of this law (although there are so many it is truly hard to choose), is how it isolates a vulnerable, pregnant woman. Can you imagine having an unwanted pregnancy and not being able to talk to anyone about it? This law puts a whole women’s support system into legal and financial jeopardy; a mother, sister, friend, doctor, staff at the doctor’s office, therapist, random neighbor and on and on. A woman’s only “legal” option is to talk to a crisis pregnancy center which comes with a hefty dose of political agenda. This is manipulation at this most virulent, cruel, and controlling.  

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Biblical Poetry: Vibrational Essence by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

Today’s biblical poetry reflects on two passages in Exodus 15:2 and 15:3. Both deal with the vibrational essence that gives rise to the splendors of life.

KJV is the traditional King James Version. MPV is my own Mystic Pagan translation.See notes below for my translations of various words including LORD.

Exodus 15:2

The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation:
he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation;
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
KJV

YaaaHaaaVaaaHaaa, is the source of my vivacity and song
Unveiling pathways of liberation.
Rooted in the potentiality of my ancestors
Resplendent in beauty.
MPV

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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.

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Governor Cuomo and How Far We Have Not Come by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph

Once again, I find myself writing about a man in power getting caught abusing women. It turns my stomach. The ink is barely dry on my blogpost about Bill Cosby. This time it’s Andrew Cuomo, the governor of my state, New York.

The title for this blogpost came from a comment made by news anchor, Nicolle Wallace as she was hosting a discussion of men behaving badly. The history of holding powerful men to account is a slim one at best. When I think about the Bill Cosby case, I realize that the laws are working as they were designed to – to protect men. We still have an ex-President who hasn’t been called to account for anything. We have two Supreme Court justices who are credibly accused of abuse. And they have achieved the pinnacles of power, for life. There are just too many instances of abusers rising to power for it be accidental.

And if by some happenstance, a powerful man is called to account, the work and the time involved are staggering. As I write this, New Yorkers are discussing how to remove Andrew Cuomo from the governorship. Whether he is impeached or resigns, that is just baseline accountability. There is also talk about criminal prosecution. Go Letitia James (the NY Attorney General)! Still, I will believe that when I see it. Cuomo has been our governor for over 10 years. Those of us living in New York, have long been aware that Cuomo isn’t just a bully but a long-time abuser. But then so were Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. In fact, their crimes went on so long that statues of limitations ran out in many cases. 

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Biblical Poetry, 5th Installment

This is the 5th in a series of work I have been doing to translate passages of the bible into poetry that strips out the patriarchal overlays. You can read the previous posts.

In this installment I am grouping together some passages that deal with vibrational energy and its role in creation. We humans often express sacred vibration as song or chant. When we get into the vibrational flow they are truly uplifting. In the translations below, I have kept two of the words in Hebrew because of their wonderful vibrational essences:

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Bill Cosby and Our Wounded Hearts by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph

This blogpost is a rewrite and an update from one I wrote on Jan 26, 2020 (I’m Getting Triggered by the Impeachment Trial and I Bet I am Not Alone). I was writing about The Former Guy’s 2nd impeachment trial which rattled my bones and hurt my heart. How often have we seen angry men (and sometimes women) abusing women, abusing the earth, abusing the vulnerable, abusing immigrants, abusing power? And yet the pattern never seems to end. In many cases, they not only get away with it, it is actually celebrated.  

In that 2020 blogpost I included Bill Cosby’s case as a success story. Look how hard it had been, how many years, how many accusers it took for justice to give us the illusion of being meted out. And now pulled away.

In January 2020 there was a blunder (or so they called it) at the National Archives’ in their exhibit titled “Rightfully Hers.” They put up an image of the 2017 Women’s March and blurred out the protest signs. Oh, the irony to blur out women’s voices in an exhibit named Rightfully Hers. Yes, they apologized. But they had to get caught first. 

Continue reading “Bill Cosby and Our Wounded Hearts by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph”
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