Bnah (meaning "understanding"; ) is the third sephira on the kabbalistic Tree of Life. It sits on the level below Keter (in the formulations that include that sephirah), across from Chokhmah and directly above Gevurah. It is usually given four paths: to Keter, Chokhmah, Gevurah, and Tiphereth
According to the Bahir: "The third (utterance): quarry of the Torah, treasury of wisdom, quarry of God's spirit, hewn out by the spirit of God. This teaches that God hewed out all the letters of the Torah, engraving them with the Spirit, casting His forms within it".
Binah is 'intuitive understanding', or 'contemplation'. It is likened to a 'palace of mirrors' that reflects the pure point of light of Chokhmah, wisdom, increasing and multiplying it in an infinite variety of ways. In this sense, it is the 'quarry', which is carved out by the light of wisdom. It is the womb, which gives shape to the Spirit of God. On a psychological level, Binah is "processed wisdom," also known as deductive reasoning. It is davar mitoch davar—understanding one idea from another idea. While Chokhmah is intellect that does not emanate from the rational process (it is either inspired or taught), Binah is the rational process that is innate in the person which works to develop an idea fully.
Binah is associated with the feminine. The Bahir states: "For you shall call Understanding a Mother." Classical Jewish texts state Binah yeterah natun l'nashim ("an extra measure of Binah was given to women").
In its fully articulated form, Binah possesses two partzufim. The higher of these is referred to as Imma Ila'ah ("the higher mother"), whereas the lower is referred to as tevunah ("comprehension"). These two partzufim are referred to jointly as Imma ("the mother").
In Western esotericism, Binah is seen to take the raw force of Chokhmah, and to channel it into the various forms of creation. For example, in a car, you have the fuel and an engine. While Chokhmah is the fuel, pure energy, Binah is the engine, pure receptivity. Either one without the other is useless.
In its role as the ultimate Object, as opposed to Chokhmah as the Subject, its role is similar to the role of Shakti in Indian mysticism. It is feminine, because it literally gives birth to the whole of creation, providing the supernal womb, with Chokhmah providing the raw energy.
The name of God associated with Binah is Jehovah Elohim, the archangel that presides over it is Tzaphkiel, the order of angels that resides in it are the Aralim (the Thrones) and the planet associated with it is Saturn.
Binah is related to the Yoni, the womb, the Priestess card in the occult tarot (according to A. E. Waite's Pictorial Key to the Tarot). Aleister Crowley's "Liber 777" associates it with Isis, Cybele, Demeter, Rhea, Woman, The Virgin Mary, Juno, Hecate, The "threes" of the Tarot, etc.
Occultists have compared the Sephira with the chakras of Indian mysticism, and one such comparison is in comparing both Binah and Chokhmah with the Ajna chakra, which is where both Shiva and Shakti are united.
For its negative opposite on the Tree of Death, it has the demonic order Sathariel, ruled by the Archdemon Lucifuge Rofocale.
In the correlation of Binah with Shakti and Chokhmah with Shiva, Shakti is the animating life force whereas Shiva is dead, a corpse, without her energy.
Left Eye - Knowledge:
The third Emanation. A flow of light that pours into the world. A candle whose flame may light another without diminishing its own.
Binah seeks not only creation but purpose. She is a flare of pure intent that blossoms from the heart of existence and out into the world . Her energy brings with it desire for knowledge. She is that force that churns all the potential from higher Emanations into a form that can be recieved bu our consciousness.
The white orb illuminates the way forward.
Binah sits atop , "the pillar of severity" , heading the feminine aspect of the diagram. Creating a perfect balance with Chokhmah at her side, together they represent a continuum of psychic understanding. While Binah represents the power of knowing. Chokhmah reveals the power of knowing. One acts as a vessel as the other that vessel, giving it purpose.
Found in: Learning , shared expierence , creation.
Celtic religion and mythology intertwined. There are over 400 names for Celtic deities (both gods and goddesses). Most were local and tribal names but there are many which were found throughout the Celtic world. Again, much of what we know has been filtered through Greek, Roman and Christian sources.
The Celts had many gods and goddesses associated with warfare, hunting, fertility, healing, good harvests and other important aspects of life. Some gods were associated with places. Lakes, rivers, mountains and groves were sacred sites. Animals were held in reverence by the Celts because they displayed many of the attributes such as strength, fertility, etc. that the Celts prized.
Rituals reflected their belief in the sanctity of the natural world. They rarely enclosed their places of worship in temples of stone. This usually only happened if they lived in areas heavily influenced by the Classical world. If they did build structures, they were usually open to the sky or built of wood and thatch.
The Celts did not differentiate between the practice of medicine and healing by supernatural means. They placed a great deal of faith in the curative powers of water and springs, wells and lakes were important for rituals.
Groves of trees were considered “hallowed ground”. The word for “sacred grove” was “nemeton” which is found in some place names and god/goddess names.
The main Celtic religious festivals were Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa and Samhain. They were usually associated with the cycles of the sun, moon and pastoral and agricultural cycles of the year. They were also magical times when the boundaries between the real and supernatural worlds were believed to be at their weakest.
Imbolc (an old Irish word) (February 1-2 (also known as the Festival of Lights) was sacred to the fertility goddess. The goddess usually associated with Imbolc was Brigid (Bridget, Brighid, Bringindo, Brigantia, Brigandu, Bride,) Imbolc placed emphasis on the quickening of the year, the strengthening of Light that was beginning to pierce the winter’s bleakness and associated with the coming into milk of the ewes.
Beltaine, May 1 was to honor the god Bel (Belenus, Belinos, Beli Mawr). He was a god of life and death, cattle, crops, fire, healing, hot springs and prosperity and the festival was seen as a purification. It was a way of visualizing the Great Father who impregnates the Great Mother. The May Eve/May Day festival celebrated fertility and fire. This festival was also to encourage the sun in its annual cycle and to persuade it to return from its seasonal death.
Lugnasa, August 1 was also known as Lughnasadh and Lammas. It honored the sun god Lugh (Llew, Lug, Lugus, Lugh Lamhfada, Lug Samildanach). As autumn begins, the Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and nights grow longer. Plants are “setting their seed” already for the next year and young animals are now almost fully grown.
Samhain, Oct 31. The eve of November 1, when the Celtic Winter begins, is the dark counterpart of May Eve which greets the summer. More than that, November 1st was the beginning of the Celtic year itself. The feast of Samhain was their New Year’s Eve, the mysterious moment, which belonged to neither past nor present, to neither this world nor the other. It was believed that the veil between worlds was at its thinnest and this allowed communication between the two worlds.
Some of the other principal gods and goddesses were:
Anu was the Irish goddess of plenty and Mother Earth as well as the deity of cattle, health, fertility, prosperity and comfort.
Arianrhod was the Welsh goddess of beauty, fertility and reincarnation. She was also known as a sky goddess, Keeper of the Silver Wheel of Stars and her ship carried dead warriors to Emania (Moon-land).
Badb was the Irish goddess of enlightenment, inspiration, life, wisdom and sister of Macha, the Morrigan and Anu. Her name means “boiling,” “battle raven” and “scald-cow”. Her cauldron boiled with the ever-producing mixture that produced all life. Variants of her name were Badhbh and Badb Catha.
Brigid was the Irish goddess of agriculture, fire, healing, inspiration, learning divination, occult knowledge, poetry, prophecy and smithcraft. The Celts often referred to her as a triple goddess. To the Irish this meant that the Bridgets were all of the same generation and the distinctions between them were based on their domains of responsibilities. These responsibilities were hearth, forge and inspiration. Much later when the Christian church came to Ireland, they had little hope of making converts if they were to denounce the beloved goddess of the Celts as a wicked demon. So, as they did with many pagan beliefs, they incorporated her into their religion. Christians built a monastery on the site of one of her sacred sites. She later became St. Brigid and many of the ancient legends surrounding her became the deeds of a saint.
Cerridwen was a Welsh goddess of death, initiation, inspiration, magic and regeneration. She was known as a moon goddess, Great Mother and grain deity. Welsh bards once called themselves Cerddorion “sons of Cerridwen” meaning they received their initiation from Cerridwen herself. Variants of her name are Caridwen and Ceridwen.
Cernunnos, whose name means “Horned One” was the god of nature, animals, agriculture, prosperity, reincarnation, warriors, and the underworld. He is usually shown with a man’s body, the antlers of a stag on his head and is usually seen sitting in a lotus position. He was the model in later Christian iconography for the Devil. Variations on his name were Cerowain, Cernenus, and Herne the Hunter.
The Dagda was the Irish god of the arts, knowledge, magic, music, prophecy, prosperity and regeneration. He was known as “Lord of the Heavens” and was one of the high kings of Ireland. His magical cauldron had an inexhaustible supply of food and his oak harp made the season’s change.
Danu was Mother of the Gods in Ireland. She was the goddess of rivers and wells, magic, plenty and wisdom. She was the ancestress of the Tuatha De Danann, a race of Irish gods.
Epona was the goddess of horsebreeding, healing, spring, and prosperity in Britain and continental Gaul. Her name means “Great Mare” and she is usually shown on horseback and accompanied by a bird, a dog or a foal. Epona was imported to Britain by the Romans and was the only Celtic deity to appear in the Roman pantheon. In Britain, her cult merged with those of Macha and Rhiannon.
Lugh was the sun god of all crafts and arts in Ireland and Wales. He was also the god of healing, journeys and prophecy. In Ireland he is associated with ravens and in Wales he has a white stag by his side. He had a magic spear and otherworldly hounds. Lughnasa was his festival.
Macha was the Irish goddess of cunning, death, sheer physical force, war, protectoress in both battle and peace and was known as Crow, Queen of Phantoms and the Mother of Life and Death. She was honored at Lughnasa. Variants of her name were Mania, Mana, Mene and Minne.
Morrigan (Ireland, Wales and Britain) was a shapeshifing war goddess of lust, magic, prophecy, revenge and war. She kept company with Fea (hateful), Badb (fury) and Macha (battle). Variants of her name were Morrigu, Morrighan and Morgan.
Nuada was god of harpers, healing, historian, magic, poets, warfare and writing in Ireland and Wales. He was the King of the Tuatha de Danann. Variants of his name were Lud, lludd, Llaw, Ereing, Nudd, Nodens.
Ogma was the god of eloquence, inspiration, language, magic, music, physical strength, poets and writers. He was said to have invented the Ogham script alphabet and carried a huge club similar to Hercules’. Variations of his name are Oghma, Ogimos, Grainainech and Cermait.
Rhiannon was the Welsh counterpart of the horse goddess Epona. She was known as the Maid of Annwn, Great Queen and Mistress of the Singing Birds. She was also known as a goddess of movement and change who remains steadfast, comforting us in times of crisis and of loss.
Taliesin was the Welsh god of magic, music, poety, wisdom and writing. He was known as the Prince of Song, Chief of the Bards of the West and Patron of Druids. He was a great magician, bard and shapeshifter who gained his knowledge directly from Cerridwen.
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