yhvh

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The One and Only God: Ý̧̘̤̪͈͖̣̽̃̒́H̡̨͗̊̑̃͛ͦ͆͆҉͓̩̞͎̘͖̣̜ͅV̧͈̝͔͔͉̅̈́̏͊̊̋͂̀H̢̙͕̥̿ͨͦͫ̀̆̚͡/The Great Will/Yehowah

Supreme Being in Christianity, Judaism and Islamic religions. He is said to be the creator of everything in the universe and is all powerful, all good, and all knowing. Because He is a metaphysical being, the true gender of the Creator is unknown but He is generally accepted as male or nothing at all. It is told in lore that He is the One True God, with all others simply being demons who tricked humans into praying to them.

According to Christianity, God is split into three parts who are also one. These are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who symbolize God, Christ respectively. This vision of The Lord is considered blasphemy by Islamic religions, who state that Allah is unknowable and complete perfect in one shape.

He is both Christ and his father, the destroyer of Sodom and Gomorrah, the flooder of the world and the one who sent the plagues down to Egypt. In the ‘Old Testament’ He was often depicted as a wrathful god who would eventually mellow out during the ‘New Testament’. Some religions, such as Gnosticism, take this as evidence that the ‘God’ in the ‘Old Testament, is in fact, the Demiurge. This characterization of The Supreme One is possibly a left over from his original incarnation as Yahweh, a Canaanite war god. Over time worship of Yahweh grew to the point that all other gods were deposed and He was portrayed as the One and Only God.

The name YHVH comes from the Hebrew phrase known as the Tetragrammaton. The phrase is made up of the words ‘Yod, He, Waw, He’ and is sometimes translated as YHWH. Because the vowels included in the name were forbidden from being spoken or written down, they have become lost to history, rendering the true name unknowable and unpronounceable. Despite this, many ideas have popped up, including Yahweh, Yehowah, and even Jehovah. To get around this, Hebrews referred to The Lord as Adonai, while Christians simply use the word, God. The Tetragrammaton itself is said to mean ‘to exist’ or ‘to be’.

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Because I couldn’t wait, here are some scans of the SMT4A artbook’s unused concept art for various Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse demons, by Masayuki Doi! Included are rough concepts for YHVH, Inanna, Dagda, Cleopatra, Danu, Miroku, Satan, and Adramelech! Almost all of them look SIGNIFICANTLY different from their final versions.

This isn’t all of them though! Full translations of Doi’s comments and more, courtesy of Dijeh, will be coming soonish, so keep your eyes peeled for more SMT4A content!

a queer & trans Jewish perspective on names (notes for a zine)

hello friends! i’m starting to put together sources & thoughts for an upcoming comic zine i’m doing called “True Names” that brings together my perspectives on (self-)naming as a queer, trans, witchy Jew - i just finished the excellent Magic of the Ordinary by Gershon Winkler & thought i’d share some relevant quotes & thoughts with you all:

“…no name can hold within it that which is infinite. God, Judaism teaches, is un-name-able, un-peg-able, un-define-able, because not only is God infinite but also dynamic, eluding all attempts to attain a snapshot of a moment or essence of what is God. Therefore, when Moses asked the Creator to divulge the God Name, the Creator’s response was אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה (ehyeh asher ehyeh), which translates simultaneously: ‘I was what I was, I am what I am, and I will be what I will be’:

You wish to know my name? According to my actions I am called. At times I am called el shadai, or tz'vaot, or elo-heem. When I judge the creations, I am called elo-heem; when I battle wrongness, I am called tz'vaot; when I suspend the sins of humanity, I am called el shadai; and when I exercise compassion upon my worlds, I am called yhvh. In other words, I was what I was, I am what I am, and I will be what I will be—according to the nature of my actions I am called. (p.35)

this strikes some major chords with me re: labeling and queerness - existing in flux or outside of conventional definitions/structures, struggling to find words for that or to make existing words fit - and also the idea of a name as describing an action really resonates with me. Winkler expands on that idea when paraphrasing Rabbi Chayyim of Volozhin:

…that which is comprehended somewhat by us, and we decorate this grasping with various God-Names and Divine Attributes and the like—as we find in our Scriptures and in the various forms of our prayers—reflect only God’s relationship with the universes…even [in invoking] the essential, singular Name itself we are not connecting with the Selfhood-Essence of God but with that aspect of the Blessing Source that is in relationship with the universes… (p. 36)

in this view, a name describes not who you are essentially (what could possibly describe that?) but rather who you are to the world, especially who you are to the world in this moment:

This explains the baffling response which the Hebrew ancestor Ya’akov receives from the spirit being with whom he wrestles, after asking it to divulge its name to him: “Why do you ask me for my name?”about which the second-century Rabbi Abba Arecha comments in the name of Rabbi Yosei bar Dowstai: “The angels have many names, according to their calling [in the moment]…[Said the angel to Ya’akov] ‘I am puzzled [that you ask me my name] for I do not know what my name is changing into in this very moment!” (p. 36, emphasis mine)

i imagine you can see where i’m going with this in relationship to changing names as a trans person - if a name is connected to an action or calling, choosing a new name for yourself is the process of describing what (& how) you do in the world right now, which may be different from what you did in the past or what others expected you to do. there are of course trans folks who don’t change their names (for many reasons), but for those of us who do, we’re responding to the sense that our birth names don’t (or never did) describe us accurately. the concept of a “deadname” becomes that which is no longer active - a thing we just aren’t doing anymore, and for a lot of people, being addressed by that name sounds like a request to perform that action again when at best we’ve moved on, and at worst, that action hurt us! we’re doing something else now, something more true to our present understanding of ourselves. we’re in a new relationship with the world and our birth names are an old relationship that has ended.

the essential me, including my gender, can’t be contained in any of my names, and none of those names (in my opinion) are more cosmically real or necessarily permanent than any other - the idea of a magical “true name” is something i want to push back against, and historical Jewish magic backs me up on that with the incantation bowl phrase “and every name [a person] has” 

but my chosen name is powerful because i’m describing me right now, which is really the most important thing since we exist in the present! for me it’s not even a new name - in my case, i’ve been holding onto my chosen name in the back of my mind since i was a child, but have only been able to claim it openly as an adult in the past few years. something about it has clicked with me for that long & it’s a relief to finally be able to use it. other folks are still looking for names that fit, some folks feel good about their birth names! only you get to define the relationship/calling of your name, given or chosen. 

if multiple names/labels and an outright refusal to be defined by others is good enough for the divine, it’s good enough for us - b’tzelem elohim!

Shin Megami Tensei: YHVH's True Origins

Warning: Massive spoilers ahead for pretty much every game in the Shin Megami Tensei series; read at your own risk.

As the title of this post suggests, I have developed a theory regarding the true origins of YHVH while simultaneously linking every game in the series together save for the Digital Devil Saga games. For the sake of simplicity, I will present this theory as an ordered list of key points; this can be considered an addition to my Shin Megami Tensei timeline theory.

1. Devil Survivor 2 establishes that the Heavenly Throne and subsequent access to the Akashic Records (these being the records of all of the Universe, the manipulation of which can alter fate) have been inherited by multiple god-like beings, with Polaris being the current one in Devil Survivor 2.

2. If one assumes that the Triumphant Ending of Devil Survivor 2 was the canonical ending, then it follows that humanity was able to unite their collective free will and restore the world, with Polaris surviving as well. Given that Polaris survives in this ending it would follow that the Heavenly Throne was eventually taken by the next god-like being, whom Polaris refers to as Eli.

3. Given that humanity effectively denied Polaris’s will despite it being the literal ruler of the universe, it is not unreasonable to think that Eli might have had some concerns regarding this after ascending to the Heavenly Throne.

4. As a result, I suspect that Eli eventually decided to use the Akashic Records to try and succeed where its predecessor had failed; namely, in ensuring humanity reached whatever goal the ruler of the Heavenly Throne gave them. More specifically, I suspect Eli may have re-written history in an attempt to create what it would view as a better world, creating the first instance of a fractured timeline.

5. In this new timeline, Eli attempted an experiment in regards to humanity’s willingness to serve him; this was the event of Cain’s murder of Abel. As Devil Survivor outlines, Eli (now calling itself and/or being referred to by others as Yehowah or YHVH) forced Cain’s murder of Abel to occur and subsequently reincarnated them throughout time (with only Cain remembering all of this) in an effort to determine what would make Cain repent and pledge loyalty to it (now referred to as Him, reflecting the change in name).

6. Long after this event, YHVH defeated a powerful being named Bel in order to assert His rule of the world, wherein He also demonized all remaining gods and goddesses to ensure that no such opponents will ever be able to wrestle control of the world from Him. Shortly afterward, His supreme minion (referred to as angels) Lucifer rebelled due to his own beliefs regarding the correct path for the world and his arrogance regarding whether or not he could rule any better than YHVH. This rebellion took one-third of YHVH’s minions away with Lucifer, who were all demonized and cast out by YHVH and His remaining angels; Lucifer then accepted his new demonic form and decided to rule the forces of chaos in opposition of YHVH’s forces of law.

7. Regardless of what ending is achieved in Devil Survivor, one aspect remains consistent; Cain (his current incarnation being named Naoya) refuses to seek His forgiveness due to his personal convictions regarding how his own free will played into the murder (he asserts that YHVH forced him to do something he would otherwise never have even considered purely for the purposes of an experiment, which he finds reprehensible). I believe that it is this act of rebellion combined with Lucifer’s betrayal that led YHVH to a conclusion regarding His original concerns about why Polaris’ will was defied: so long as beings are in possession of their own free-will, they will consistently rebel against His own will ruling over them. Thus, YHVH determines that the only solution is to create a world devoid of free-will where all are subservient to Him.

8. Once again, YHVH uses the Akashic Records to re-write time; this time, He creates the Abysmal Realm and the Apollyons to ensure that humanity remains faithful of His power and rule. He also creates Kagutsuchi for the purpose of resetting the timeline via an event dubbed the Conception should it reach an unsatisfactory conclusion; as Kagutauchi is an extension of YHVH’s will, it has access to these powers granted by access to the Akashic Records. The intended goal of these actions is to steer humanity towards losing their free-will completely, with Kagutsuchi resetting the timeline every time this is not the result so that the universe may get gradually closer towards YHVH’s goal.

9. However, this plan is thwarted by the acts of time travel done over the course of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon; this time travel produces an infinite number of alternate timelines, with four particular timelines being of key interest (with a fifthh one being derived from the ending to Persona 2 Eternal Punishment, as displayed in my timeline theory). That being said, one of these timelines (namely the one derived from the Law Ending to Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon) is close enough to YHVH’s intended goal, and so He proceeds with watching over this timeline intently whilst planning for Kagutsuchi to reset the other timelines.

10. But despite YHVH’s planning, His goals are ultimately stopped by the artificial human Aleph in Shin Megami Tensei 2 and YHVH Himself is destroyed in a battle between the two. This destruction removes His primary form, although as evidenced by Kagutsuchi and later Metatron in Strange Journey, His separated aspects survived His destruction in weaker forms. These beings generally continued their own original goals (Kagutsuchi overseeing the Conception of each timeline, Metatron overseeing the angels, etc.) while also trying to reunite with the other “shards” of YHVH, as demonstrated in Strange Journey by Metatron and the Demiurge.

11. Later still, a variant of the Chaos Ending to Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon leads to the True Demon Ending of Nocturne, destroying that timeline and permanently destroying both any remaining Vortex Worlds experiencing the Conception and Kagutsuchi itself. This act on the part of the Demi-Fiend prompts Lucifer to begin his second rebellion against the forces of YHVH, the outcome of which has yet to be displayed (however, it can be inferred that the Demi-Fiend from this timeline appearing in Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE likely means that the ensuing second rebellion involved conflict in multiple timelines at multiple points in time, due to the combatants being separated from these respective flows of time).

This, I believe, is the true nature of YHVH and the Amala Universe as it is currently known.

New-Old Names for God

GOD ~ WATER

Water is one of the most common metaphors for God in the Hebrew Bible, and is used to convey a range of experiences: being nourished by life-giving rain; being swept along by a powerful river; joining in the flow of justice. Just as a body of water can buoy us, refresh us, and sustain us, it can also become fearsome in a storm and overwhelm us. This can be a powerful metaphor for our own experiences of the sacred.

Sometimes we seek spiritual nourishment; we long to drink from Peleg Elohim—the “God River.” At other times we feel buffeted by the waves of our life’s ups and downs, and seek reassurance, as in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “When you pass through the Waters, I am with you.” Water is life-giving, essential, and powerful; sometimes beautiful and sometimes scary. Just like life. Just like God.

Some Biblical water names for the Divine include:

·  Wells of Liberation - May’anei Hayeshua - מַּעַיְנֵי הַיְשׁוּעָה

·  Deep - Tehom - תְּהוֹם

·  Fountain of Living Waters - M’kor Mayyim Chayim- מְקוֹר מַיִם חַיִּים

·  Source/Wellspring of Life - Ain Hachayim - עֵין הַחַיִּים

GOD ~ MAKOM

A common rabbinic name for God is “Makom,” which literally means “place.” The origin of this metaphor may be the Torah’s story of Jacob, who, in distress and running away from home, happens upon “a place” in the desert where he has a direct experience of the Divine. Waking from a marvelous dream where he meets and speaks with God, he exclaims, “Mah nora hamakom hazeh! How awesome is this Place!” The name Makom conveys a sense of being able to experience the Godly in any place; it also connotes forgiveness and compassion, a sense of nearness to the Divine. Makom invites us to associate Godliness with all those places where we’ve experienced a hint of Something beyond ourselves. It invites us to find the divine right here, wherever we happen to be—in this Place.

GOD ~ RACHAMANA

A beautiful and powerful divine name that we encounter in the Yom Kippur liturgy is Rachamana—Compassionate One. It is an Aramaic name derived from the Hebrew root rechem, womb, and it conjures up the sense of compassionate presence that each of us experienced before words and thought, enveloped in our birth-mothers’ wombs. Rachamana is That to which we call out from a place of broken-heartedness. Rachamana is That from which we seek forgiveness, acknowledging the ways we’ve gone astray while knowing that we are loved and accepted.

GOD ~ RUACH

The very first metaphor used for God in the Bible is ruach Elohim—a wind of God, or Godly wind. The word “ruach” means both wind and spirit, and is also associated with breath. The first human becomes a living being with the beautiful metaphoric image of God blowing the “breath of life” directly into him.

Ruach connotes a sense of God’s presence within us, as the life-force that beats in our hearts and flows through our cells like oxygen. It is easily incorporated into traditional Hebrew blessings, where we can substitute ruach ha-olam—Spirit/Wind of the Universe— for “melech ha-olam/Ruler of the Universe.” This metaphor comes alive as we listen to the shofar, the sound itself a manifestation of breath, a symbol of the Godly potential that flows through—that is breathed through—each of us.

GOD ~ EHYEH

When Moses first experiences God at the burning bush, he asks—What is Your name? The response is enigmatic: Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, most literally translated “I will be that I will be.” This name of the divine conjures up a sense of possibility, of becoming. It is the name associated with the liberation of the Israelites from slavery, and it is also related to the unpronounceable name, Yud-Hay-Vav-Hay, which Rabbi Art Green has called “an impossible construction of the verb ‘to be.’” Ehyeh encompasses a sense of God not as “thing” but as unfolding Process. Ehyeh is God as verb rather than noun—Becoming, Creating, Supporting, Teaching, Healing. Ehyeh connotes possibility and newness—the promise of the High Holydays that we too are in process, that each day we can be made anew, can be liberated from bad habits and old stories and ancient fears.

GOD ~ ECHAD

The Shema, which we recite multiple times over the course of the holidays, is not really a prayer, but a few verses of Torah that we use to wake ourselves up, saying: “Listen! YHVH our God YHVH is One.” The word for “one"—Echad—can be understood here as a name for divinity. What is the nature of One-ness? In the Jewish mystical tradition, the Biblical idea that “the earth is filled with God’s Presence” means that, in fact, everything is God. We perceive ourselves and the people and things around us as separate entities, separate from one another and from God, yet seek a deeper reality. Echad is a powerful metaphor for experiencing the fundamental connection of all living beings. It expresses the idea that Whatever God might be, It is right here, in our experience of each moment, accessible in all aspects of our lives, because ultimately, Godliness is the stuff of all existence.

Rabbi Toba Spitzer

anonymous asked:

I'm a solitary witchling and I'm very confused! I'm into traditional witchcraft and I've seen that they often talk about the pact with the Devil and a lot of things about him. In wicca and most witches I know claim that witchcraft has nothing to do with Satanism or the Devil. Could you explain to me what's all that about! Thank you!

The witch trials begun in the 15th century. Throughout the trials, at that time, witches said they worshiped the Devil. So Old Horney, the Devil, is actually part of the beliefs of many witches. Now, witches that say witchcraft has nothing to do with Satan are right too. See, Satan is an Abrahamic concept and belief. Literally שָּׂטָן (satan) means “adversary”. The witch’s Devil is a different concept though it is historically touched by Christianity and the idea of Satan, the adversary of YHVH. Old Horney (the witch’s devil) is the master of beasts, of the wild, the bearer of light, the teacher of magic and witchcraft.  Bucca in the Cornish tradition is referred to as Devil and witch Father. Lucifer in the Aradian Gospel of the italian Stregas is the consort of Diana and father of Aradia. The deal witches do with the Devil is one of the master and his apprentice. The witch has to make a sacrifice (not their soul for that is a Christian concept too), this sacrifice is the belonging to the human world (all trads refer to the sacrifice in different ways) and the Devil gives his protection and cunning. The idea of “god” is a abrahamic one, so The Horned One is not a god in the christian sense. It is seen as a spirit/deity/force/archetype instead. 

We don’t believe in Satan, but we do believe in the Devil.

I hope this is helpful.