Dream Interpretation for Personal Growth

By Dayna Winters

I’m Dayna Winters, and I have practiced interpreting dreams for well over a decade. Through this column, I will help you explore the messages your dreams convey. Dreams are a form of communication between the subconscious and conscious mind: a way the higher self, universe, or divine uses to communicate. Your nighttime visions are richly embedded with significant symbols, all of which you can explore for personal meaning. Dreams are sometimes precognitive, lending hints about future events. Typically, dreams have multiple layers of meaning even when they are not predictive. Much like the Tarot is a tool for gaining personal and spiritual insight, dreams are a tool you can use to make personal discoveries and epiphanies; And as it is with the Tarot, every interpretation is deeply personal – what one person might get from a dream symbol, another person might derive an entirely different interpretation. And that’s what this column is all about; here, we will explore the fascinating world of dream symbols, and how you can use them to enhance your mundane and spiritual life.

To begin our exploration, lets examine what the appearance of a home/house in your dreams might symbolize. Common dream scenarios involving a house/home include the appearance of a childhood home; being in a strange home you have never seen or been inside before; being in a dilapidated house, and a house that is surprisingly larger than it first appears – one that often possesses secret corridors. The key to understanding house symbolism is to realize a building often symbolizes the self. The home is sacred space, your personal temple, and represents your physical body, and/or your emotional or spiritual state. Each room in a home, the condition of the house, and your familiarity with the interior/exterior of the house, all elicit meaning. Let’s break down each image and explore its meaning in-depth.

Childhood Home – The childhood home is a symbol of your roots and where you came from – the home represents fundamental concepts and beginnings. Dreaming of your childhood home signifies a longing for more innocent times where there is less responsibility and stress. This dream image suggests you either miss something/someone from that time period, or, if you have happy childhood memories, you might “long for the comforts of your childhood home.” If the home of your childhood is a place connected with traumatic experiences, the appearance of the home in dreams might indicate a karmic cycle coming up in your life where you will need to address past issues you have not yet emotionally resolved.

The appearance of your childhood home may also signify a deeply rooted connection to the past, or a desire to return to a former way of being. The important thing to remember if you see your childhood home in a dream and you feel a driving need to return to an old condition, situation, or way of being, is often when you attempt to “go back home again,” or revive a past condition, the experience is never the same, and is sometimes an incredible disappointment. Thus, the appearance of the home of your younger years could suggest a need to carefully consider if you want to revive an old condition, situation, or relationship at all.

On a more positive note, the childhood home might suggest a need to get in touch with your inner child. Remember when you were a kid and everything seemed magical? Remember when every life experience was a new discovery and when your creativity was encouraged? Do you remember the joy you use to find in the simplest of things? The childhood home image is one that might be urging you to bring back the joy in your life, become more creative, have more fun, and to simplify your life.

A Strange Home – The appearance of a strange home in dreams relates to “fish out of water” experiences. In your waking life, whether you know the owner of the home or not, a strange home most likely feels unnatural and uncomfortable for you, at least until you gain your bearings. Thus, a strange home in your dream indicates that you are either uncomfortable/uncertain of a new situation you have recently entered into, or you might soon be faced with a “fish out of water” experience where you are outside your natural environment or comfort zone. If the strange home belongs to a friend or a loved one, then your dream suggests that the situation you face is one where you will be able to recover your sense of comfort/balance relatively quickly. If the home belongs to someone you don’t know, then the recovery of your sense of comfort/balance might not be as simple or possible at all.

If you have entered into the strange home willingly, your dream suggests you are open to new situations, despite your uncertainty about any potential outcomes. If you are dragged or forced into the strange home, the dream suggests quite the opposite – it can signify your unwillingness to participate in new situations or that you have a stubborn nature that making it difficult to embrace new things. If the strange home has some familiar elements (for example, parts of the house’s interior has rooms from your own home), it can indicate that you will be familiar with some, but not all of the elements of a situation/condition/relationship in your waking life, and such familiarity will give you some comfort even though you are really going beyond your personal comfort zone. Being in a strange environment might also indicate an upcoming event where you feel socially isolated. Further, if you consider the strange home as a depiction of the self, this dream signifies a need for personal exploration, or the need to get in touch with the parts of yourself that you intentionally/unintentionally left untended or abandoned, like creative pursuits or hobbies once enjoyed.

A Dilapidated Home – When the home in a dream is run down, it can signal it’s time for self-improvements. The part of the home in need of repair can prove important in determining exactly what parts of your life require attention. For instance, if the entire exterior is run down, but the interior of the home is beautiful, your dream might signify a need to pay more attention to your body – perhaps you need to engage in more exercise, or your subconscious could be telling you it’s time to change up your external appearance with a new wardrobe, look, hairstyle, or image. If the interior rooms of the home are in disrepair, think about what a room symbolizes to you. As an example, let’s say you see a kitchen with broken appliances or the room is empty and in total disrepair. Since the kitchen is a place where you cook nourishing foods, it might be time to re-examine how you are nourishing your body. And since food is transformed into energy once consumed, it might also be time to consider how you nourish your spirit. Now imagine you dream of seeing broken windows throughout the home – this image may signify that it is time for a new view or perspective related to an old condition/situation.

A Larger Home with Secret Corridors – I can’t tell you how many times I have dreamed about a home that, once inside, is far larger than it appears and hosts endless secret corridors. This image represents a need for self-exploration and such a quest will lead to fascinating self-discoveries. If you see rooms and corridors filled with objects of all kinds or hidden storage areas in the home, this symbolizes a time to release unnecessary emotional baggage so you can make room for better things. The secret corridors represent the parts of yourself yet unexplored. In your waking life, if you have ceased being creative or partaking of spiritual practices, such as meditation, ritual, or prayer, the dream of the secret passages in the larger home (temple of the self) suggests a need to return to such practices where personal/spiritual epiphanies await you.

Associated deities – If you want to connect with dream archetypes representing the home, there are a number of deities associated with the hearth. Among such deities are the the Roman goddess Vesta and the Greek goddess Hesta. Also, in the Roman pantheon, there are Lares Domestici and Lares Familiaries, protective deities of the house and family respectively.

Questions to Ask Yourself

In your dream, what was the condition of the home?
Was the house yours or did it belong to someone else?
What primary colors are in the home (colors are highly symbolic and can elicit meaning for you.)
How did you feel about the home; were you comfortable or uncomfortable with the environment?
What rooms did you see and what do those rooms signify for you?
If known, what was the external environment surrounding the house like? For instance, was the home near a body of water (symbolizing the subconscious and deep emotions)? Was it sunny outside or was there a storm on the horizon (indicating potential trouble ahead.)

While it is impossible to cover every dream scenario involving a home in this short column, this article should give you a good sense on where to start when you want to interpret the meaning of house images in dreams. The important thing to remember is the home is a symbol of the self, with the exterior of the building representing the physical body and the home’s interior symbolic of the emotional and spiritual bodies. An examination of home dream imagery in this context can elicit deep, symbolic meaning you can extrapolate and use for personal growth on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

About Dayna Winters:
Dayna Winters is a solitary Witch, author, and artist. She is the co-author of three books written with Patricia Gardner and Angela Kaufman including, “Wicca: What’s The Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions,” “Sacred Objects, Sacred Space: Everyday Tools for The Modern Day Witch,” and “The Esoteric Dream Book: Mastering the Magickal Symbolism of the Subconscious Mind”, all of which are published by Schiffer Publishing. You can find out more about Dayna and her work at her blog: http://daynawinters.blogspot.com/.

10 Questions with Ann Bolinger-McQuade

I would like to thank Rebecca Elson for hosting me, through this interview, as part of the virtual book tour celebration for my book, EVERYDAY ORACLES – Decoding The Divine Messages That Are All Around Us. – Ann Bolinger-McQuade

1. Your new book is called “Everyday Oracles: Decoding the Divine Messages that are All Around Us”. How do you define a personal oracle?

Personal oracles are mysterious messages of guidance and support. We all receive them. They may seem random in nature until we consider them through the paradigm of personal oracles and realize, they are not random at all. The universe is responding to our needs! These timely messages resonate through every form imaginable, and as they do they illuminate the divine energy that flows through and connects everything in the universe!

2. In your book you explain that personal oracles fall into five major categories. Can you explain the categories? Personal oracle formula:

The five major categories are:

• Conduits
• Mirrors
• Synchronicities
• Signs and Symbols
• Invisible Moving Sidewalks

Conduits – Think of a conduit as a pipeline or channel through which personal oracles are delivered into your life. A favorite example comes from Rhonda who was taking her two little dogs Taz and Toto for their daily walk. Suddenly a hummingbird flew right in front of her face and stopped her in her tracks. Rhonda immediately sensed that she was in danger. As she turned on her heels and headed for home the word “Danger” sounded repeatedly just outside her left ear. When she got back to the house she noticed a message on her answer phone. It was from her neighbor across the street, urging her to stay inside. A pack of wild dogs had just killed some of their sheep and their pet dog that was sleeping beside their front door. Thanks to this little hummingbird on a mission Rhonda and her dogs were protected from imminent danger.

Mirrors – Clouds can serve as great mirrors to reflect what is occurring in our life at time. Sometimes when I’m feeling out of sorts I notice cloud images that look like they are laughing. My message – lighten up!

Synchronicities – According to Carl Jung, synchronicities are coincidences with a purpose! Mary had the responsibility of getting the copy for the fundraiser to the newspaper. The deadline was only hours away and she was still struggling. She knew if she could talk to Dawn, she would polish it up in no time. Unfortunately Dawn was traveling and Mary didn’t have her new cell number. Suddenly the phone rang. It was Dawn. Talk about perfect timing. At the moment Mary’s frustration peaked, Dawn happened to call her. Dawn was riding the train from Burbank to San Diego and was checking to see if her new phone worked. Mary explained what was going on, and within five minutes Mary and Dawn had polished the article into perfect form.

Signs and Symbols – Signs and symbols are like billboards that announce messages designed for our eyes only. Some messages are as clearly understood as stop and go traffic lights. Like Kerri who was making her way through the physical and emotional damage left behind by the fires in her neighborhood of Colorado Springs. A year later, as she hiked through the burnt area she spotted a perfect heart at her feet. The heart looked as if it had been carved into the ground. Kerri interpreted it as a sign, a signal from the universe of love that remains even in the midst of devastation. The message of Kerri’s heart was uncomplicated. Other times signs and symbols operate more like secret codes and take a little deciphering.

Invisible Moving Sidewalks – Imagine people movers in large airports. You step on at one end and it delivers you to a predetermined destination. An invisible moving sidewalk is comprised of a series of synchronistic events that are designed to carry you to a specific destination. Noreen stepped onto an invisible moving sidewalk the day she and her husband had a huge argument. She stormed out of the house, “Get a life” she yelled as she slammed the door behind her. She drove around for a while to cool off and ended up at the library. Inside, she spotted a bulletin board with a flyer advertising a writing conference. She wished she was still writing but felt since she wasn’t she wasn’t qualified to attend. The next day at work Noreen heard a co-worker talking about the same conference. She expressed an interest and her friend suggested they go together. The workshop was just what Noreen needed. Before leaving the conference she signed up to attend the following year. At the end of this invisible moving sidewalk Noreen’s passion for writing had been rekindled – and it was Noreen who got a life!

The formula for personal oracles:

Need + delivery system + message + personal oracle

The need or request functions like a summons to the universe; it’s a call to action. In Rhonda’s case the call was urgent. Imagine the call going out across the web of interconnections to any available and willing delivery system within range. In Rhonda’s case the urgent call was received and accepted by a tiny hummingbird. It became the delivery system. Many of us might have brushed away a hummingbird or ignored the clairaudient message. Don’t worry, the delivery system is always tailor made to resonate specifically with you and your circumstances.

3. How can we find and recognize our own personal oracles?

Pay attention to your gut feelings. Trust that small still voice of your intuition when it draws your attention to personal oracles that are trying to speak to you. When coincidences happen – stop – ask yourself – what is the specific need this “coincidence” is responding to? I believe there are no coincidences, only synchronicities!

4. Is a personal oracle message always immediately obvious?

Many personal oracle messages are immediately clear. Other messages are not. Some messages need to crystallize over time. In my October 8, 2013 blog I share an account of 2 men who saw the same vision but needed the assistance of a Native American Shaman to help them understand what was occurring: the universe was waylaying them to keep them from danger.

5. Can our understanding of a personal oracle message change over time?

Yes. Often it is just a matter of allowing time for it to process, and letting a deeper message emerge. Some messages are one piece of a larger puzzle. When we have all of the pieces the message slides easily into place. When we work with our personal oracles they will expand our awareness and teach us even more.

6. What steps do you recommend people take to discover their personal oracles?

Here are a few key steps.

1. Begin by setting your intention to recognize the messages that are coming your way.
2. Open your heart – accept the support and guidance that is yours for the taking.
3. Trust the voice of your intuition.
4. Gather your own body of evidence. Record personal oracles as they occur. Write them down, photograph, draw, save feathers stones whatever is speaking to you. Then keep everything in one place. I like the sticker note shoebox method. Write your experiences on whatever is handy and toss the pieces of paper in a shoebox. When you read them later you will be amazed by the number of personal oracles that have revealed themselves to you.

7. In your book you discuss “monkey mind chatter”, which for me coming from a meditation background is what we call your wandering mind. What is it in relationship to discovering your personal oracles?

Monkey mind chatter is a cousin to the wandering mind! Both try to pull us back into left brain thinking. (Left brain analytical – right brain creative/being) Sometimes when a gut feeling signals us – pay attention – spirit is sending a message, the mind chimes in with chatter like, “there you go again – that’s all in your imagination – people will think you are crazy.” Whether meditating or decoding a personal oracle, the trick is to step to the right of the left brain and close the door! Then return to your personal oracle message, “Sorry we were interrupted. What do you have for me?”

8. Do you have a favorite personal oracle story you’d like to share?

Instead, if I may, I would like to share a favorite quote that sheds more light on how the universe operates to guide and support us. It comes from an old Apache storyteller who reminds us, “The plants, trees, clouds rocks, fire, water are all alive. They watch us and see our needs. They see when we have nothing to protect us, and it then they reveal themselves and speak to us.”

9. Do you have an upcoming projects my readers can be on the lookout for?

I’m so glad you asked. I’m very excited about Personal Oracle Café’s. Inspired by Socrates Cafés, Personal Oracle Café’s are a place where people meet to celebrate, validate and share personal oracle experiences. Using the personal oracle formula as a jumping off point they contemplate the structure and science of the energy that flows through and connects everything in the universe. The first Personal Oracle Café met Oct. 4, 2013 in Taos, NM at Optymism book store. This Personal Oracle Café meets the first and third Friday of each month. I welcome your readers to contact me through my website if they would like to start a Personal Oracle Café in their area.

I also share readers’ personal oracle stories in my weekly blogs. Stories are submitted through my website www.personaloracles.com

Another project that is dear to my heart is Cloud-Speak Personal Oracle Cards. They will be available in 2014. I use the oracle cards in workshops and book signings and never cease to be amazed by the way they relate to what is going on in everyone’s life.

EVERYDAY ORACLES Decoding The Divine Messages That Are All Around Us is the foundation book for a series of books that are in work, so you can expect more amazing books from me in the future.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

What shall we call you when you become supreme ruler of the world?

They say you can’t give yourself your own nickname, and I think that should go with titles too. Fortunately for me I’ve already been given an AWESOME nickname, and if it happens to become a title too…..

Killer, a nickname and a title? You be the judge.

About the Ann Bolinger-McQuade:
Ann Bolinger-McQuade always has sensed the world as alive, nurturing and filled with guidance and support, concepts deeply seeded in her Native American ancestry. A regular talk-show guest, lecturer, and workshop facilitator, McQuade divides her time between Tucson and Taos with her husband Kenneth, two dogs and one cat.

Personal oracles have been playing a major role in Ann’s life for almost three decades. She fully recognized them after her diagnosis of breast cancer. They have guided and offered comfort to her as she dealt with the loss of her father, the passing of a close friend, and the death of a beloved animal companion. Before his death in 2009, Native American Elder Richard Deertrack of the Taos Pueblo honored Ann in a sacred ceremony. Deertrack supported her vision to expand the consciousness of an interconnected universe through the awareness of personal oracles.

Connect with the author at http://www.personaloracles.com

Like an Orange

When discussing Judaism it’s generally broken down into three levels of adherence: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Technically, I’m Jewish. Having only been to a synagogue a few times in my life and never having had a Bat Mitzvah, I feel safe in saying technically. The overall level of observance and philosophy I adhere to puts me about three or four levels down from Reform. It’s sort of like that t-shirt, “I’m not Full-Blooded Jew, I’m Jew-ish”. That’s not exactly how this works, but you get the point; by technical religious law I’m Jewish but I suck out loud at it. Back in 2009 I wrote a little ditty about it that shared a comic strip from one of my favorite webcomics “Least I Could Do”.

Each year my husband and I would switch off with another couple, featuring another “bad Jew”, hosting a Passover seder (a special ritual dinner done for Passover with the word seder coming from the Hebrew word for order, referring to the order of the ritual). Now that my parents have moved back to the area they’ve joined into the rotation, and although not Orthodox they’re more experienced and polished with the seder observances, but they seemed to have decided to suffer us fools gladly.

As I said, the Passover meal is a ritual, to the point where you essentially use an instruction manual to guide you through the meal. It’s called a Haggadah. It helps you retell the story of Exodus, tell you what prayers to recite, sometimes they’ll suggest songs and activities, and more. There is no one Haggadah. The first year we decided to do a Passover dinner with our friends the only Haggadah he could find was some sort of “scholar’s” Haggadah, that seder took FOREVER! After that year I asked my family to get me copies of the ones we’d always used for the next gift giving occasion. And so the next year I was prepping our first year hosting Passover using “A Family Haggadah II” by Shoshana Silberman.

I had never actually sat and read the Haggadah’s commentary before, but when I did I stumbled across something that became an immediate tradition in our household and then our friend’s. The Passover table features a seder plate containing symbolic foods that are displayed and eaten during the course of the meal. (For example, bitter herbs represent the bitterness of slavery that the Jewish people endured in Egypt. That kind of thing.) When reading “The Seder Plate” section of Silberman’s Haggadah I found this:

Some families have adopted the custom of placing an orange on the seder plate. This originated from an incident that occurred when women were just beginning to become rabbis. Susannah Heschel, lecturing in Florida, spoke about the emerging equality of women in Jewish life. After her talk, an irate man rose and shouted, “A woman belongs on the bimah (pulpit) like an orange on the seder plate!” By placing an orange on the seder plate, we assert that women belong wherever Jews carry on a sacred life.

And so each year, despite having to look up what goes on the seder plate (Hey, I said I was a bad Jew!) I always remember I need an orange. I suppose it’s fun to feel like I’m flipping a citrusy middle finger to the narrow minded, and that’s why I liked it initially. However I think the reason it resonates with me this year, and perhaps why this year I felt compelled to share it with you (Considering this will be what, six Passovers since I’ve had this website?), is I think I needed a reminder that Judeo-Christian religions are capable of evolution and change.

In watching the news lately I have been so bombarded by religious politicians that appear to be absolutely intractable in beliefs that are growing more outdated by the minute. It is just nice to think that a religion as old as Judaism has a bunch of people putting oranges on seder plates, a ridiculous idea (If you own an actual formal seder plate there is no spot to even make an orange fit!), but they do it anyway because of what it means to them. In doing so, they share that belief with their friends and family and they carry that home with them to share with others.

In a bit of postscript, I stumbled across this info on Wikipedia:

Since the early 1980s, a custom has arisen (especially among more liberal and feminist Jews) to include an orange upon the Seder plate. This custom is often falsely explained as having arisen in response to a man who confronted a Jewish feminist who was giving a speech and opposed the right of women to become rabbis, supposedly declaring that women had as much place on the bimah as an orange had on the seder plate. However, Susannah Heschel, a Jewish scholar who began this custom, has explained it as a symbol of the fruitfulness of all Jews, including women and gay people. After hearing that some college students were placing crusts of bread on their seder plates as a protest against the exclusion of homosexuals from Judaism, Heschel substituted the fruit (originally a tangerine) on the plate instead.

If this is the true origin, it still works for me, because a person who doesn’t believe that a woman or homosexual is entitled to a fruitful life (including Jewish spirituality if they choose it) belongs at my seder dinner like an orange on the seder plate. And you can quote me on that.

The Versatile Tongue

Illustration by Will Hobbs

Have you thought about the tongue? I’m serious, have you ever taken a moment to ponder the versatility of that thing in your mouth? I hadn’t. Which is why when I began poking around, looking for something to write about and saw tongue I thought, well that’s interesting.

All the symbolism has been right there all along. I just hadn’t thought it through. For instance, how often do you get annoyed, displeased, or pouty about something or someone and stick your tongue out? A childish display perhaps, but one that persists with most of us well into our adult years. If it didn’t, why on earth would so many of my Facebook friends respond to my smart aleck comments with :P? The most basic and earliest learned symbolic meaning for the tongue in Western culture would certainly be the tongue’s power to express displeasure or to tease.

Speaking of teasing, let’s look at what could perhaps be considered the adolescent evolution of the tongue. In many instances of tribal art the tongue symbolizes fertility or is used as a substitute image for the phallus. However, we don’t really need to take a look at primitive art to know that the tongue can be associated with fertility, do we? The act of licking one’s lips, running your tongue along your upper lip, and perhaps even making a licking gesture are all considered sexual signals in our culture. I guess what I’m saying is that in some respects, perhaps we haven’t become that much more “evolved” than our tribal brothers, eh?

Now teasing, and um, teasing aside, the tongue has a lot more symbolism tied to it than just that. I was surprised to learn that the tongue is sometimes associated with protection. Ancient Chinese tombs would occasionally feature tongues on them to frighten away evil spirits, and in the depictions of the Egyptian deity Bes the protruding tongue is used as a defensive gesture to symbolize protection.

In an odd turn the cheeky, seductive, and protective tongue is also an aggressive symbol. Images of Kali’s protruding tongue can be seen to symbolize her consuming power. The extended tongue is depicted in Maori art as an aggressive symbol, and in fact, as seen on Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations”, among dozens of other shows and movies that have featured this, when visitors to New Zealand present themselves to the Maori a Maori warrior approaches them with bulging eyes and their tongue sticking out. This is done in an aggressive manner that basically says, if you don’t come in peace, I kick your ass. We also tend to view fire as an aggressive thing, and often tongues of flame will appear. Incidentally, those tongues of flame symbolize the Holy Spirit in early Christian art work.

As you can see, that slab in your mouth has a lot of symbolic baggage associated with it. Perhaps you’ll be more aware of when you see a tongue being used symbolically, or when you yourself use it. Also, can you do that thing when you curl your tongue into a tube when you stick it out? I guess not every one can, so it’s fun to check. I totally can.

Monster Energy Drink Logo Decoded

Energy drinks have always scared me. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been nervous about trying any of them. Seriously, when did a breakfast of brownies and Mountain Dew stop being enough of a pick me up? Man, I miss my teenaged metabolism. So anyway, I’m a big energy drink ‘fraidy cat and I admit to it. However, if Suroh is to be believed, perhaps there is another more complex reason to explain my aversion to Monster Energy Drink.

Monster Energy Drink Logo Decoded

By Suroh
(Article was originally published on 12/4/10 at http://thesurohorus.tk/ and is used with the author’s permission.)
At some point, unbeknownst to me, Suroh’s website disappeared. However, we already had permission and the article so we have opted to still publish it. Update: The site is back up at this new address.

An Unholy Sacrament?Monster Energy drinks logo has deep roots in esoteric symbolism, if we examine the logo in total we will see how even a seemingly simple logo can hold vast amounts of symbolism. I would like to thank Freeman of FreemanTv.com for pointing this out to the public. After looking at the claws and noticing the hidden 666 symbolism I began to see much more hidden right before my eyes. I then decided to do a complete breakdown of the logo.

666 and the Claw Marks

When I first heard about the symbolism in the Monster logo, it was about a hidden 666 encoded within the 3 claw marks. At first this seems extremely far fetched and arbitrary, but when we examine the 3 claw marks which are glowing, they clearly resemble the 6th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet Vau (ו).

Vav

In the beginning of Creation, when Infinite Light filled all reality, G d contracted His Light to create hollow empty space, as it were, the “place” necessary for the existence of finite worlds. Into this vacuum God drew down, figuratively speaking, a single line of light, from the Infinite Source. This ray of light is the secret of the letter vav. Though the line is singular in appearance, it nonetheless possesses two dimensions, an external as well as an internal force, both of which take part in the process of Creation and the continuous interaction between the creative power and created reality.

The external force of the line is the power to differentiate and separate the various aspects of reality, thereby establishing hierarchical order, up and down, within Creation. The internal force of the line is the power to reveal the inherent interinclusion of the various aspects of reality, one in the other, thereby joining them together as an organic whole. This property of the letter vav, in its usage in Hebrew, is referred to as vav hachibur, the vav of connection”–”and.” The first vav of the Torah–”In the beginning G d created the heavens and [vav] the earth” serves to join spirit and matter, heaven and the earth, throughout Creation. This vav, which appears at the beginning of the sixth word of the Torah, is the twenty second letter of the verse. It alludes to the power to connect and interrelate all twenty-two individual powers of Creation, the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet from alef to tav. (The word et [which appears before the two instances of the word “the” in this verse, and is spelled alef-tav] is generally taken to represent all the letters of the alphabet, from alef to tav. Our Sages interpret the word in this verse to include all the various objects of Creation present within heaven and earth.)

To those who have no knowledge whatsoever of the Hebrew alphabet this encoded symbol would go unnoticed forever. It is also interesting to note that the letter Vau in Arabic looks like a 6 or 9 (و). In most ancient languages each letter had a numerical value and a symbolic value. In the case of the letter Vav its value is 6 and its symbol is Pin or Hook. As there are three claw marks or Vavs this can then be interpreted as “666″ numerically using classic Hebrew Gematria.

Here we have a simple rendering of the logo, but instead of the claw marks I remade the logo with the letter Vau. The similarities are extremely visible. The number 666 is associated with the Sun, as it is the Sum of all the numbers in its Magical Square. The glowing effect supports the Sun symbolism. Next I looked deeper into the meaning of the Vau. In Kabbalah each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is also associated with one of the 22 Trump cards of the Tarot. In the case of Vau it is associated with the Hierophant card.

V – The Hierophant

Path of Vau 16 in the Tree of Life Sun in Sagittarius as a symbol for the teacher of inner values, Jupiter in Pisces as the vision of eternity
Zodiac: Taurus
Tree of life: From Chokmah to Chesed
Element: Earth
Number: 5 as quintessence, the power that exceeds the four elements

The Hierophant is a symbol for a world of belief and confession, may it be a church, a sect or an occult society. He’s the pope, the druid or the High Priest in a system of creeds and dogmas. He represents the religious and intellectual tradition of a person, and may be the one the person is born to it or possibly the one who has chosen it by himself.

In the positive aspect, the Hierophant represents the search for knowledge and illumination, the desire to study creed and dogma instead of simply accepting them, to research and achieve further development. It also stands for the deep fulfillment someone can find when really trusting their own beliefs.

In a negative view, the Hierophant can stand for bigotry, the blind faith in dogma, intolerance towards everything different from the own confession. It can also mean gullibility, running to any kind of new belief just because the traditional one is suddenly considered boring or unsatisfying.

Stylized Letters

The first thing I noticed was the odd style of two letters in the word below the claw marks. The letter O in Monster has a t or cross over a U or half circle, this is to symbolize Saturn as it is an interpretation of the two shapes of the Saturn Symbol ♄. The symbol of Saturn itself can be broken down into two elements: a half circle and a cross. The half-circle meaning Soul (Spirit) and the cross meaning matter. As we move through the word the next letter that stands out is the letter “S”. This letter symbol is more apparent it looks very much like a “5″. On the Tree of Life the 5th Sephira is Strength (Geburah) which is associated with Mars and its attributes. In summary the word Monster contains hidden symbols corresponding to the planets Mars, and Saturn.

Planetary Energy

Here we have chart of the planets the associated correspondences (Sphere of Influence, Color Associations, and God Name).


Conclusion

By taking the above information into account we can now apply the symbolism to the Tree of Life and see the deeper meaning the symbol and the effect it is designed to create. The logo of Monster Energy drinks also has 3 hidden planetary glyphs aligning it with the Sun, Saturn and Mars which interestingly enough are all closely inter-connected on the Tree of Life. As we can see it forms a Triangle on the Left hand side of the tree which is the Negative or Baneful Side of the tree. Strength (Mars), 666 (Sun), Saturn (Material Power) and the Search for inner knowledge and enlightenment. All by simple changes in the letters and shapes which can and do go unnoticed by the everyday customer.

How good can this drink be for you after all?

Can the energies focused by the symbol on the cans influence the drinkers to be more negative and violent?

You decide!

To see more articles like this, visit http://suroh.tk/

Hooters and Goddess Worship?

Here’s the deal folks, I like Hooters. The restaurant, not the anatomy. However I think we can all agree that Salma Hayek’s are quite magnificent. Much the way people say they read Playboy for the articles (and let’s all admit that occasionally they do have great articles), people say they go to Hooters for the food. And you know what folks? Holy crap is their chicken delicious! I never had an aversion to Hooters, but I had just never found the reason to go there to eat. Then one weekday afternoon while out and about with my boyfriend (who became my husband) it was suggested that we go to Hooters for lunch. We had a pretty waitress, who honestly was lacking a little in the hooter department, that I kept thinking must be freezing in her outfit. It was also a touch odd to realize I was the only woman that was a customer. I had their Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and proclaimed that it was in fact the finest Buffalo Chicken Sandwich I’d ever had. It was good enough that I’m actually bummed that there is no longer a Hooters restaurant in the area. Sigh….

Anyway, my affection for Hooters is why I was so intrigued when I found an article called “Hooters and Goddess Worship?” on the Surohorus website. (Update: The site is now found here.) Despite admitting to never going to a Hooters (a bit of honesty I appreciate), Suroh makes some interesting points with regards to some of the symbolism associated with the restaurant chain. And although I doubt that by frequenting the establishment you run the risk of “eating something inedible and dying”, I am amused to now associate Hooters with Athena. When you consider the level of influence some of those waitresses have on their customers, perhaps them embodying a bit of the divine isn’t as far off as previously thought.

Hooters and Goddess Worship?

By Suroh
(Article was originally published on 11/28/10 at http://thesurohorus.tk/ and is used with the author’s permission.)

Introduction

Hooters restaurant is a standard sports bar aside from one thing, the wait staff is primarily made up of extremely attractive women usually scantily clothed. I myself have never been to a Hooters before but I am more than sure most males growing up in North America have heard about the chain on TV or in the movies. The attractive women are more than capable to keep everyone minds occupied for the time within the doors of a Hooters restaurant as the “Customers” are kept in a daze fantasizing about the waitresses. Little do the men know they are taking part in an ancient rite of goddess worship.

Sexual Innuendo

The name Hooters is a term originally used to refer to an Owl. In the modern age it has been known to take a quite a different meaning…or is it just understood too simply?

Hooter
•One that hoots, especially an owl.
•hooters Vulgar Slang. A woman’s breasts.

Sex sells right? It is common practice for advertising and marketers to veil sexual innuendo to keep the prospective customers attention. Proof is this is the complete disconnect of commercials themselves and the actual product they are actually selling. It’s the old magicians trick. Occupy the mark (person) with something trivial that will draw them in order to manipulate them better towards your real goal. It happens every day. For example buy one get one free, 20% Off*On Selected Merchandise only. Almost always it comes with a catch where the deal is no where near as good as what was claimed. In my experience utilities (Phone and Internet) companies are the worse known for this. But that’s a whole article in itself.

The Symbol of the Goddess

The logo for the Hooters chain is an Owl. Owls have been identified with many ancient gods, for example Athena in Greek mythology the goddess of war, civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, crafts, justice and skill. Hera, another ancient Greek goddess, is also associated with the Owl.

Hera (HEE-ruh or HER-uh), Roman name Juno.
Hera was the goddess of marriage, the wife of Zeus and the Queen of the Olympians. Enemy of Heracles, she sent snakes to attack him when he was still an infant and later stirred up the Amazons against him when he was on one of his quests. On the other hand, Hera aided the hero Jason.

In Greek mythology, Hera was the reigning female goddess of Olympus because she was Zeus’s wife. But her worship is actually far older than that of her husband. It goes back to a time when the creative force we call “God” was conceived of as a woman. The Goddess took many forms, among them that of a bird.

Then when we take a look at the symbol from a global perspective of all beliefs/symbolism about the Owl, a much different pattern is discovered. In many cultures including the Aztecs, Africa, and Arabia the owl is considered a unbalanced symbol or a “negative” omen as it is a creature of the night and thus darkness. In essence the Owl represents unbalanced Male force. This again supports the exact environment existing when inside a Hooters restaurant.

Conclusion

Almost every public place we go has currents of metaphysical energy brought about and utilized to create and encourage certain types or styles of behavior. In most cases this is not negative or positive, it just is, but most importantly in order for it to remain neutral it is good to be aware of the influences being pressed upon you just as you monitor the types of things you eat in order to not eat something inedible and die.

To see more articles like this, visit http://suroh.tk/.

A Love Letter to Froggy

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

Funny thing about kids, you never can guess what stuffed animal they’ll latch onto. It’s rarely what you would suspect. In my case it was a stuffed beagle that I called “Beans” and showed my affection for by repeatedly chewing off his nose. When good friends of mine had a son, my husband and I bought him a teddy bear. Not just any teddy bear, a Brookstone n-a-p teddy bear. This teddy bear is made out of the softest, most cuddly materials available to man. (They don’t carry the exact bear anymore, but here’s a link to a comparable bear.) In fact, as most parents know, that kid was showered in adorable stuffed animals ranging from traditional, like our teddy bear, to traditional, like the stuffed animals his parents cuddled as kids. In that sea of plush cuddlies what does the kid latch onto? A plush frog. He calls him “Froggy” or perhaps “Froggie”. I would ask him, but he is just learning to spell now, no need to add more stress to that process. Now I have nothing against Froggy (Froggie), he was adorable right from the start, even if now the child’s affections have left him a little matted and stinky. Hey, I chewed the nose off of my doll, repeatedly, I’m not judging. All of this is an elaborate introduction to why I’ve decided to discuss the symbolism of frogs and toads.

As you may suspect, I have a very elaborate creative process. One that is sustained primarily by celebrity gossip websites, the television show “Better Off Ted”, and rum. I’ll let you in on the “behind-the-scenes” process for this article. I realized, hey, it has been a while since I wrote about some sort of symbol. I pulled down a big stack of books filled with symbols and started flipping through them. While flipping through my copy of “The Complete Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols” by Mark O’Connell and Raje Airey I came across an entry for frogs and toads. I immediately went “Froggy!” (or perhaps “Froggie!”) Because anyone who has spent time around little kids knows that you start to talk like them. Thusly, a frog, regardless of how life-like the illustration, or very real it is, they are Froggy (or maybe Froggie). Much the way I and his mother say that we are going to “Eat. Eat.” and “Play. Play.” despite the fact that even the child no longer speaks with that young a voice. So as odd as this may seem, somehow my simple quest to write about a symbol has turned into a bit of an open letter of affection to Jacob…the first little kid that didn’t seem to hate me on sight. (Aunt Rebecca loves you. And as soon as you’re old enough, I will loan you all of my Chow Yun Fat movies, because that’s how much I care. Just don’t tell Mom and Dad.) With that abnormal show of affection out of the way, let’s examine the symbolism surrounding this amphibian that a 3 year-old can’t go to sleep without.

First, since I’ll be looking at both frogs and toads, the obvious question is, what is the difference between frogs and toads. Typing that question into Google brought me to, I swear I’m not making this up, allaboutfrogs.org. They say:

One of the most common questions is, “What is the difference between Frogs and Toads?” Most are surprised to hear that all Toads actually are Frogs!

Hey, I am surprised! Good job allaboutfrogs.org! Armed with this new internet information I will proceed to discuss both frogs and toads. As surprised as I was by allaboutfrogs.org’s info, I am far more surprised at all the different associations for frogs and toads. Who knew frogs had more going for them than plush animals and Kermit?

Let’s start with the general “frogs and toads are bad” angle. Toads, with their habit of avoiding the sun and preference of damp dark places seem an unsavory lot. It doesn’t help that their secretions can be toxic. In European superstition the toad was linked with death, and was often shown in art with a skull or skeleton. The Church, with their 7 Deadly Sins, took frogs and toads (generally associated with fertility in most cultures) and used them in art that personified lust. Art associated with lust shows a naked woman with snakes and toads feeding on her breasts and genitals. It is really just a hop between all that death and evil sexuality to lead straight into the link between frogs and toads and witches and witchcraft. The stereotypical old world “witch” had the skin appearance of a toad. Common folklore lists frogs and toads as familiars of witches and the Devil, and a creature that witches can transform themselves into. During the Great Plague of 1563 dried toads were used as amulets in England when Dr. George Thomson claimed to have cured himself by using one to absorb the “putrefactive ferment”. I can’t help but wonder if good Dr. Thomson thought toads so evil and loathsome that surely they would interact with the vileness of the Plague.

Enough about Medieval Europe and the Church and all those Western hang ups. For much of the world the frog and toad are good things. As you may remember from your school biology lessons, frogs lay many eggs. I don’t quite know how modern man feels about that, but back when humans were just trying make sense of the natural world many eggs equaled fertility. Egypt has Heket (Heqet, Hekit), the frog goddess of birth and fertility. She’s often depicted as an attractive woman with the head of a frog. Frogs like the water, and rain makes the land fertile, thusly frogs are rainmakers. The Chinese and Peruvians used frog images to call up rain showers, and the Mayans and Aztecs viewed the frog as a water deity whose croaking predicted and made rain. The frog was the lord of the earth and represented the curative powers of water for the Celts.

Another basic frog fact is that they go through a transformation: egg, tadpole, and frog. The moon, as we all know, goes through transformations as well, it’s phases. Mix those two things together and you can see how in Japan the frog is associated with lunar eclipses and in China, instead of the “man in the moon”, they have a toad in the moon. It’s believed that from the frog’s natural ability to transform is how it became to be featured prominently in folklore and fairy tales. Kiss the frog and it transforms into a handsome prince or beautiful princess, or conversely, be a misbehaving prince or princess and get changed into a frog. The Chinese and Japanese associate frogs with magic.

However, the Chinese take it up another level. In China the frog is associated with magic and is the face of the moon. Knowing that you can see how the adorable Chinese Moon Frog came into being. He’s the adorable frog with the coin in his mouth that you see in curio shops. The Chinese Moon Frog attracts wealth and longevity. Sometimes the frog has a coin in its mouth which attracts wealth and wards off evil spirits. In an almost perfect blending of all the aspects of frog symbolism, in Roman times frog amulets were used to protect homes and their occupants and to sustain romance and love.

Only time will tell what Froggy (or Froggie) will bring into Jacob’s life. The frog is fraught with perils, but offers up rich rewards. I guess Kermit was right, “It’s not that easy being green.”

10 Questions with The Vigilant Citizen

1. What made you decide to discuss occult symbolism through the prism of pop music, and particularly music videos?

My two passions in life are music and occult history. If I’m not focusing on one, I’m most probably focusing on the other. The more I gain knowledge on western occultism, the more I understand its importance in pop music. The weird or strange symbols I saw on album covers or music videos become easily readable. I collect old vinyls from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and I’ve noticed a great number those groups integrated this knowledge in their songs and artwork. It was done in an artistic way. I’ve however noticed a different type of occult symbolism in recent videos: it is used by mainstream pop artists, insidiously hidden and aimed at a young crowd. Far from being artistic, the imagery used in videos pushed by international media corporations is often deceptive and inherently sinister. I felt the urge to discuss those taboo issues so I’ve created Vigilant Citizen.

2. Do you feel the prevalence of occult symbolism found in pop music comes from the artists and video directors, or is it a coincidence stemming from occult symbolism seeping into the general consciousness?

I believe there are two types of occult symbols: the “artistic” ones – emanating from a desire to express one’s reality through symbolism – and the “corporate” ones – which often come from elite secret societies. A true artist using symbolism to in his/her art will be inspired by his/her surroundings and his/her inner being. Occult symbols are extremely powerful and are believed to be embedded in our subconscious so it is only normal for them to appear in artistic expression.

However, “corporate” occultism takes symbols from organized secret societies such as Freemasonry, or Illuminati and “plants” into mass media in order for them to become the norm. Confucius said “Symbols rule the world, not words nor laws”. In other words, you can recognize who is truly in power by identifying the symbols in popular culture. During the Middle Ages, almost all of popular art was religious and Christian. The Christian Church ruled the Western World.

Now, occult symbolism is increasingly apparent in popular art. Who rules the world? Occult secret societies.

3. I loved your interpretation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. Did you see dream analyst Carolyn Wills’ discussion of the video on Leslie Gornstein’s “Answer B!tch” blog? Thoughts?

I’ve read a couple of interpretations of Bad Romance and I can’t say that any of them is flat out wrong. Good art can have multiple layers of interpretations and, I have to say, this video is good art. When it came out, many readers of the site bombarded me with e-mails, pointing out symbols I’ve discussed in other videos. Bad Romance is definitively part of a bigger “movement” in music videos.

4. Often times the occult symbolism you find in music videos paints a dark and ominous picture. However, your analysis of The Black Eyed Peas “Meet Me Halfway” is actually quite uplifting. Does this mean that occultism doesn’t automatically equal bad?

Occult means “hidden”, not “bad”. Occult schools believe esoteric knowledge is too powerful for the profane to dabble with it. So it is kept hidden, the same way mothers hide knives from young kids. It is for their own safety. According to occult schools this knowledge can lead you to two extremes and everything in between: it can liberate you from the shackles of materiality, put you in direct contact with divinity and make you nothing less than immortal… Or it can also make you deal with demons, black magic and leave you into eternal torment.

“Meet Me Halfway” seemed to portray this positive side of esoteric knowledge. It is indeed quite uplifting.

5. In your post “The Occult Roots of The Wizard of Oz” you say, “the entire story of the Wizard of Oz is an allegorical tale of the soul’s path to illumination – the Yellow Brick Road.” However I feel that it could be argued that the concept of the “hero’s quest” or “hero’s journey” can be found before the Theosophical movement. Is this a what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of debate? What came first, the spiritual concept or the basic storytelling device?

Theosophy is nothing more than an attempt to find the common underlying knowledge found in ancient religions. It did not create any new concepts; it tried to put them together in a cohesive way.

Almost all ancient civilizations had allegorical tales which could be fully understood through the glasses of esoteric philosophy. Whether we look at Egyptian mythology, Greek epic poems or Native American legends, there is a “face value” meaning and a hidden meaning that can only be understood by initiates. The Wizard of Oz is what we can call an American allegorical tale.

6. Was there any nefarious occult symbolism in Miley Cyrus’s 2009 Teen Choice Awards performance? Because honestly, that was just evil.

Didn’t watch that, sorry.

7. Do you look at books and film with the same eye towards recognizing occult symbolism? If so, the Twilight series…discuss. Obviously werewolves are rife for the teenage males confronting puberty analogy, and vampires originally reared their fanged heads as a nifty way to confront sexual themes in repressive societies, but did Mormon author Stephenie Meyer accidentally push any big occult buttons?

I’d have to read the books to give a definite answer on Twilight’s underlying meaning (it there’s any). I’ve however watched both movies and I can say there is a definite use of “occult lore” in the movie but it is all done in a very superficial matter.

I think the movies focus on tapping into the primal needs of young girls (and not so young) such as: fascination with the mysterious and dangerous, feeling protected by a strong man, attraction towards the “forbidden fruit” and….oh yea, watching a bunch of shirtless guys.

8. Lady Gaga and Rihanna have both been big on your website as of late. Who is going to be the next artist trending heavy with occult symbolism?

Taylor Swift and Adam Lambert. They are definitively next.

9. I’m going to be honest with you, and in turn, some honesty for me. I love Lady Gaga and own both “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster”. Does Lady Gaga ever make its way onto your CD player?

Honestly, not in my CD player…I…I..just can’t. But I can’t say I get mad when one her songs come up in a dance club. Her music is has better production value than most of the crap out there.

10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question.

OK, you’ve asked for it! Have you ever witness true magic resulting from a magical spell or ritual? If so, can you describe the event?

Alas, I have never witnessed what I would consider true magic.

About The Vigilant Citizen:
My quest for knowledge led me to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Politics. I’ve mainly studied the way power uses mass media to shape and mold attitudes of the general public. My education was perfect to hold a job in marketing or PR but did not satisfy my thirst for truth.

My efforts to further understand the forces governing the world lead me to study secret societies, mystery religions, esoteric sciences and ancient civilizations. I’ve spent the last five years researching Theosophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Bavarian Illuminati and Western Occultism. These schools of thoughts have many things in common: they are based on Hermetic teachings (Hermes, Thoth, Enoch, Mercury), they attach EXTREME importance to symbolism and they recruit within their ranks the most prominent people of all fields of society, especially politics, law and public service. The natural result of this phenomenon is the display of occult symbolism in all aspects of society, whether it be music, movies, buildings or else. My goal is to bring out the meaning of those symbols in a clear, concise and entertaining way.

I am also a music producer who has composed music for some fairly known “urban” artists. My work in the music business has led me to deal with talent agents, video directors and record companies. Through my experiences and my contacts, I have discovered some of the darker aspects of the entertainment industry which I found were in direct connection with my studies in occultism. My understanding of the state of mind that prevails in the higher levels of the ladder makes it probably easier for me to decifer the symbolism in music videos than it is for everyday people.

Learn more at The Vigilant Citizen’s website.

My Many Menorahs

Since the Jewish holiday Hanukkah begins at sundown tomorrow, I thought now would be a good time to spend a moment or two discussing the menorah. I love menorahs. I may be what theologians refer to as a “bad Jew”, but what I lack in knowledge and devotion I surely make up for in sheer volume of menorahs in my home. It started out as a burden, having loads of menorah around the apartment, but now I couldn’t imagine getting rid of any of them.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the menorah, let me bring you up to speed. Hanukkah is the celebration of the Maccabees liberating Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. After liberating the Temple of Jerusalem, the Maccabees wanted to light the perpetual light with seven branches, but it had been destroyed. They built a temporary candelabrum but they only had one flask of oil to fuel it. However, it kept the candles lit for eight days rather than one. Hanukkah, at its most basic, is the celebration of efficient fuels.

In modern times when Jews celebrate Hanukkah (meaning dedication) they light a menorah. The menorah is an eight branched candelabrum; with a ninth spot for the shamash, which is for the candle used to light the other candles. Each night a candle is lit to signify the days that the oil lasted. Hanukkah is actually a minor festival in the Jewish faith, but due to it’s proximity to Christmas it’s been kind of sucked up into a “Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas” vacuum of commercialism. Not that this lady is complaining. I may be a “bad Jew”, but I still get Hanukkah presents!

Anyway, I really do like menorahs. You can find them in all shapes and sizes. And when the candles are all lit, it is a very beautiful sight. I thought I would share mine with you.

To all of our Jewish readers, Happy Hanukkah!

The Blog of the Seven Veils

illustrated by Will Hobbs

Veils. Has there ever been such a complex piece of cloth? Essentially a veil is just a piece of fabric that traditionally covers the hair and/or face, and yet it means many things to many people. For some a veil conjures up the image of sensual belly dance, for others an emblem of paying proper respect to their religious faith. Not everyone has taken the time to think about veils and their symbolism, but with such a long and varied history the only thing to be certain of is that everyone can find a veil they like.

According to my favorite anonymous resource, Wikipedia, the first recorded example of women wearing veils is in a legal text from the 13th century BCE, which stated that only Assyrian noble women were allowed to wear veils. Common women and prostitutes were forbidden from wearing them. In fact, the idea of women of higher status wearing veils was also practiced by the ancient Greeks.

In modern times, veils are often pinned to hats worn by widows at funerals and through whatever designated period of mourning is appropriate after the burial. And of course, everyone thinks about the wedding veil that brides wear. The veil is a symbol of purity and, if worn by the bride, when the bride’s face is revealed by the father lifting the veil, it’s a gesture of handing over possession of his daughter to the groom, when lifted by the groom, it signifies what will be taking place in the marriage bed, you know, when the clothing comes off!

Often times, in traditional Catholic or Christian churches, women are encouraged to cover their heads, which means that for many, attending church means wearing a hat or veil. Oddly, men are to remove their hats when attending church. Apparently it has something to do with Corinthians and how man is in the image of God, so he shouldn’t be all ashamed and covered, but woman is the glory of God…which you would think that would be good enough to show your hair, but what do I know? I wouldn’t have even known about Corinthians if it wasn’t for Wikipedia again!

Married Orthodox Jewish women, in compliance with the covering head requirement, related to the modest dress standard called tzeniut, cover their hair by using wigs, hats, and scarves (Which can be awfully veil like, right?). Why do they do it, what does it symbolize? I don’t know. I’m Jewish, but I’m what’s called in theological parlance a “bad Jew”. If any of my Jewish peeps know the skinny on the tzeniut and why Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair, leave an informative comment at the end of the article!

Let’s be honest, the war in Afghanistan has really introduced the concept of Muslim veiled women to the west. In fact, in the Muslim world the ladies rock so many varied veils that I can’t keep the names straight! And that’s why I’m just going to flat out quote the Wikipedia entry here.

“A variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women in accordance with hijab (the principle of dressing modestly) are sometimes referred to as veils. Many of these garments cover the hair, ears and throat, but do not cover the face. The khimar is a type of headscarf. The niqāb and burqa are two kinds of veils that cover most of the face except for a slit or hole for the eyes. The Afghan burqa covers the entire body, obscuring the face completely, except for a grille or netting over the eyes to allow the wearer to see. The boshiya is a veil that may be worn over a headscarf; it covers the entire face and is made of a sheer fabric so the wearer is able to see through it.”

Now if you think I’m a bad Jew, you won’t be amazed to learn that I’m super less than an expert on the Muslim faith, but here’s my stab at talking hijab. Women of Islam were instructed to cover themselves when they go out so that everyone will know they’re women and will be left alone and not harassed. I’ve also been given to believe that the basic concept is that because women are so hot (as in sexually attractive, not in measurable temperature) and that men are so easily distracted, that women being covered when in the presence of men who are not family is just the smart way of doing business. If any readers have the 411 on the practice and perhaps symbolism of this kind of veil, leave a message in the comments section so we can all learn something new!

Obviously these days discussing the veiling of Islamic women is an issue of religion, politics, and civil rights. Guess what I’m not going to do? Stick my head into the middle of all of it. Let me just say, there are days when the idea of not worrying about my clothes, hair, or make-up is appealing, as long as it’s my decision when to cover it up and when to flaunt it.

So what the heck do we have here? A symbol of purity, of mourning, of social status, of marital status, of faith, of sensuality. Now that’s a heck of a lot for one square of fabric!