Sunday, October 9, 2011

"And a river went out of Eden" - Part 3

Amongst the most important uses of the names of the four “Edenic Rivers” is in amulets to promote a long life. In this regard the standard arrangement of the names are permuted, written forwards and backwards, and the component letters of the names intermingled in special ways. Whilst there are variations on these arrangements in Jewish magical tomes, I have consulted as many primary texts as I could find, including paying very close attention to their appearances on a variety of Hebrew amulets, and after careful consideration have settled on the following list:
A friend of mine, a Rabbi from Moroccan descent, insisted emphatically that this amulet is not only for “a long life,” but for a “long SUCCESSFUL life.” I have perused a number of amulets comprising these sets of names, and noted that it is usually customary to engrave section A on the front side of a metal disc [usually silver], with a header in certain instances comprising the earlier addressed (YHVH Ehyeh Adonai YB”K) combination of Divine Names. However, this header is not standard throughout, since I have noted different headers accompanying the same, e.g. the fully spelled letters of the three associated Divine Names, the first two being written as a header, and the third as a footer as shown below:
In this instance the YB”K combination is omitted on the front of the amulet, but it does appear on the rear. As it is, more often than not the back of these specific amulets comprises the set of names derived from the intertwined component glyphs of the “River Names” as shown in section B above. This portion of the amulet is sometimes also accompanied by a header, e.g. the three associated Divine Names and the full spelling of the component letters of the first two Names, whilst the full spelling of the letters of the third Divine Name as well as the YB”K combination is added as a footer. In the same instance, the entire construct is completed with a repeat of the affiliated Divine Names. The rear of the amulet then appears like this:
Whilst the headers and footers of this specific amulet might appear quite complex, simpler versions in which the combination only heads the entire construct. I have also perused an amulet in which the front of same construct is headed by the Divine Name (Shadai) only, whilst the rear is concluded with a footer comprising the name of the owner. Of course, the simplest format is to plainly engrave the names of the four “Edenic Rivers” without any of the complexities of permutations and conjoining of component letters. For example, I perused an amulet of this nature comprised of nothing more than the name of the bearer as a header, followed by the Divine Name (Taftafyah) and the names of the four rivers written in the standard manner, with the addition of a single permutation of each name. Here is the complete construct:
In this instance the front and rear of the amulet are exact copies.
(More to follow)

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