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Meditations on Chet...

The eighth letter in the Hebrew Aleph-Beit is Chet, the Fence.  The mystical meaning of Chet comes from its shape.  Chet is a Vev on the right connected to a Zayin on the left, connected by a thin hunchback bridge, the chatoteret.  The Zayin represents G-d's power hidden, and the Vev represents G-d's power revealed.  Chet is the Fence between the two states, the liminal point.  It is the Spirit (or Wind or Soul) of G-d hovering above the face of the deep.  It is G-d "touching but not touching" creation.  G-d is always just slightly off of the reality we sense, holding everything together, maintaining life in us and all things.  The Chatoteret is the movement from one state to the other, from the physical to the spiritual.  It is a Bridge to the Other World.  Chet is also the symbol of G-d bringing the lost sparks out of the Qlippoth and back into the Sephiroth.  Chet reaches into the darkness, grabs a spark, and brings it up into the light.

In the most common version of the Tree of Life, Chet connects Binah, Understanding, to Tipherah, Beauty.  In the Ari's version, Chet connects Chesed, Mercy, to Tipherah.  Connecting Binah, Chet represents the Understanding that we find in the balance of Tipherah.  It isn't the pure Understanding of Binah, but it is balanced by the Wisdom of Chokmah.  Chet bridges that gap between the power of Binah coming down the Pillar of Severity and the power of Chokmah coming down the Pillar of Mercy, by giving Understanding in the point of balance.  In the Ari's version, Chet bridges the gap between Heaven and Earth, Kether and Malkuth, by bringing Mercy into the balancing point between them, Tipherah.  As the number eight, Chet represents the eight people who were saved from the Flood, the bridge between the old world and the new.  It is also the day after birth that circumcision occurs, which represents the covenant between G-d and Abraham, hence the Bridge between Abraham's old life and a life with G-d.  Chet represents what is new, a new start after the completion of Zayin.  A related word to Chet is חוט, chuwt. It has the same main letters as Chet, Chet and Tet, with a Vev between.  It means a thread, cord, line, or string.  In this sense, Chet binds the two worlds together, being the bridge between them.  The Priests served in Israel as a Bridge between G-d and his people.  Chet is the Priesthood, the servants of G-d.  They were the bridge.  We are the Bridge.

On the Western Tree, Chet connects Binah to Geburah, Judgement.  It is Understanding being brought into Judgement to allow good decisions to be made.  Before the Fool comes along, this is where you can find the Chariot.  After the Fool is gone, Strength stands in Chet.

The Chariot in Chet is about duality coming together.  Chet Bridges the barriors between male/female, life/death, good/evil.  In Chet, the dualities become one, just as they do in the Chariot.

But the Chariot doesn't stay there.  As it moves on, the Fool comes to Chet.  Chet is the Bridge between the first part of the Fool's journey and what is to come.  From here he passes into territory that is strange to him.  He has moved past the physical persons he has been meeting to the symbolic persons beyond.  In Chet, the Fool learns to make that transition, and climbs the Fence into a whole new world.

After the Fool has left, Strength stands in Chet.  Strength stands in control of its inner strength, bringing Understanding into Judgement.  It requires an inner Strength and a lot of Understanding to stand in judgement and believe in what you do.  Strength is the power of G-d hovering over the physical, waiting for us to grab on with both hands.  Strength can hold us.

Are you connected to G-d, or are you a Vev, floating free with no Zayin to connect to?  The first step is to find that Bridge yourself.  G-d is just out of reach, hovering just beyond what we see as reality.  Reach out to G-d and he'll reach back.  Bind yourself to him.  Once you have a hold on the Other World, once G-d has caught your hand, you are no longer only in the land of the physical.  You are no longer a Vev, but a Chet, with one leg on each side.  You are now a Bridge.  Now, you can help others cross.  Reach out to them as G-d reached out to you, and draw them over.  Open the gate in the Fence and allow people to cross over the Bridge, which is you.

~Muninn's Kiss


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
There are many systems through which to interpret and understand the hebrew letters. In chassidut, vav is the letter of connection and chet is the letter of life. Both vav and chet can have both positive and negative connotations.
Jul. 20th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
Yeah, I looked at vav as connection in a few posts earlier. inner.org listed chet as life, but other parts of it the discussion grabbed my attention more this time reading it. I'm not sure how accurate what I write is. It's mostly me working through what I'm seeing. I've only been looking at any of it for the last year or so. I'm mostly seeing the positive connotations on each of them at this point.

~Muninn's Kiss
Jul. 20th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
The letter meanings probably carry nuances particular to the mystical system through which they are used. In some ways, letter energies shape around the consciousness of those using them. So, it's not surprising that they may carry different meanings or a different focus depending on the system. Like herbs and color correspondences, sort of. For example, herbs carry an energy recognized by nearly all people, but each herb can also carry an energy uniquely recognized by a particular witch - that is why some witches "divine" the correspondences we use for spellwork. Witches are endowed with the ability to "create meaning", so there is not only one way to interpret a letter.
Jul. 21st, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
Thank you. That is actually very helpful. And is going to spawn more thought for me to work through.

~Muninn's Kiss
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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