Unknown word in 777

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Unknown word in 777

Postby Edward Mason » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:17 am

93,

I've been trying to decipher a word from 777. It's under 530, and Crowley says it means 'The Rose'. It's spelt ChBTzLTh.

I've tried getting a 'close enough' translation from the two modern Hebrew dictionaries I have, but I can't puzzle it out. Any Hebrew scholars out there know this one?

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Re: Unknown word in 777

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:50 am

Edward Mason wrote:I've been trying to decipher a word from 777. It's under 530,

First, a minor pet peeve of mine: It's not in 777 at all, right? It's in Sepher Sephirah, which is collated in the same volume as 777 in Weiser editions.

This is a pretty common error, but I'm going to keep hammering until people get it right! :)

[quote[and Crowley says it means 'The Rose'. It's spelt ChBTzLTh.[/quote]
It's right there in Gesenius: ChaBaTzeLeTh. from Canticles 2:1 and Isaiah 35:1. He translates it thus:

a flower growing in meadows, which the ancient interpreters sometimes translate lily, sometimes narcissus [and Gesenius' commentator adds, "sometimes rose"]; most accurately rendered by the Syriac translator who uses the same word [written in Syriac script], i.e. according to the Syrian Lexicographers... the autumn crocus, colchicum autumnale, or meadow saffron, an autumnal flower growing in meadows, resembling a crocus, of white and violet colour, growing from poisonous bulbs. As to the etymology, it is clear that in this quadriliteral the triliteral BeTzL a bulb may be traced; while the Ch is either a gutteral sound, such as is also prefixed to other roots..., or, according to Ewald's judgment..., this quadriliteral is composed of ChaMeTz and BeTzL, and signifies acrid bulbs.
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Postby Edward Mason » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:06 am

JAE, 93,

It's in Sepher Sephirah, which is collated in the same volume as 777 in Weiser editions.


I shall duly remedy my habits of misattribution in future.

An interesting set of flowers there. Usually, the lily and the rose are presented as opposites, the white and the red. Narcissus' self-sufficiency provides a sort of self-sufficient middle ground.

And it's odd that a triliteral for a bulb would be used in a synonym for a rose, which has no bulb or tuber.

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Postby TripleFlower » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:10 pm

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Postby Edward Mason » Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:29 pm

93,

As far as I know, it's a medieval tradition, though it may be more ancient than that. (See what JAE cited, Canticles 2:1)

The lily, being white, represented virginal or spiritual purity. There are any number of paintings with the Virgin Mary holding lilies.

The rose, being (usually) red, represented blood and carnality, or at least a more earthly or explicitly sexual love. That meaning seems to have shifted a bit in the past 500 years, so that the rift between the two is not as huge. (I'm speaking in non-Thelemic terms here).

You might also look at the Waite-Colman Smith deck's Magician card.

Two forms of love - more complementary than competing?

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:43 pm

What Edward said.

But also some other ways - not particularly matching these but more like alternative expressions of the polarity.

Lilies are attributed to Malkuth and roses to Tiphereth. They are, therefore, the Heh-final and Vav of one formula. Thus, in Song of Solomon, there is reference to the Beloved (HGA) coming to dwell among the lilies.

As white and red they are not only the currents of the spine but (in a different polarity) have relationship to Hod and Netzach, respectively. This polarity is united and overcome in Tiphereth.

I am advised that all varieties of rose have petals in multiples of 5. In any case, this is sufficiently often true that the red rose in particular is especially related to 5. In contrast, most varieties of lilies have 6 "horns" on their flowers, and are therefore expressions of 6. (One of the most common ways this appears is, again, the Hod and Netzach form where the white lily is a symbol of reason and the red rose a symbol of desire.)
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Postby Edward Mason » Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:48 pm

93,

Roger Kamenetz' fascinating 1994 book, <i>The Jew in the Lotus</i>, has a discussion of red and white essences in Tibetan Buddhism, the Talmud and by inference, in Hebraic Kabbalah (Chapter 16, Tantra and Kabbalah).

Both the Tibetan tradition and a quote from the Talmud ("the mother gives the red, the father gives the white...") indicate that in Hermetic Qabalah, we have switched around an esoteric attribution used by other paths.

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:02 pm

Edward Mason wrote:Both the Tibetan tradition and a quote from the Talmud ("the mother gives the red, the father gives the white...") indicate that in Hermetic Qabalah, we have switched around an esoteric attribution used by other paths.

In that particular attribution, the reference is, of course, to blood and semen, respectively.

There is also a general reversal of the color usages in East and West in popular culture. In Southeast Asia in particular, red is the color of life - for example, is the color worn at weddings - and white is the color of death (worn at funerals). Presumably the basis is whether there is blood informing the complexion?

Based on this, some traditions relate red to the south and white to the north. This carries into European heraldic tradition where red is the color used to represent gold (Sol) and white is used to represent silver (Luna).

Therefore the South-North polarity of white and black in comtemporary Western culture (wedding vs. funeral) is equivalent to the red and white of Southeast Asia (wedding vs. funeral).
Love is the law, love under will.
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Jim Eshelman
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