The Prayer For Art in Part One was both serious and tongue-in-cheek, a recognition of the sense that so many creative people have, of there never being enough time to do everything they would like to do (as well as a recognition of everything other people are doing).
The Blessing is more direct. I created it one night to express a deep sense of gratitude I felt after a breakthrough on a novella I’m writing, “The Fissure King.” I wanted a way to express that powerful experience virtually every creative person has (and I am using “creative” in the broadest possible sense), of something moving through them.
It is no accident that I drew on my Jewish background during the period I am working intensely with Robert Place to create The Raziel Tarot, based on Jewish lore and traditions.
The words, and the very idea, come directly from the Jewish tradition of saying blessings for pretty much everything. There’s a whole long list that observant Jews say every morning, and another list for during the day (especially at meals), and then another list for special occasions, and still more for particular situations.
The traditional Hebrew blessing begins B’ruchah Atah Adonai, Eloheynu, melech ha’olam usually translated as “Blessed are You, Lord, our God, king of the world,” followed by words for the particular situation.
(A quick comment about “Adonai.” This word, originally Ugaritic, is the plural of “Adon,” or “Lord,” in the same way that “Elohim” usually translated as God, actually is plural, “gods.” Adonai was originally a kind of substitute word for the most sacred Name, the so-called “Tetragrammaton,” YHVH. For traditional Jews, Adonai itself became so holy they do not say it or write it except in prayer. I mean no disrespect in using it here.)
In recent years, feminist Jews have created a kind of female version of this opening phrase, drawing on the idea of the Shekinah as the feminine aspect of God. We should recognize that while many Jews assume the God of the Torah is completely male, a Father and King, there is a very ancient tradition that sees God as encompassing female as well as male energy.
The term Shekhinah originally meant the “in-dwelling Presence,” the divine energy that went into the Ark of the Covenant. Over time, however, this word, especially in Kabbalah, came to mean the female aspect of the divine, sometimes called The Sabbath Bride.
In The Raziel Tarot she appears on several cards, envisioned as a woman in The High Priestess and the Justice card, and as a spirit coming to the aged Moses on the Death card.
One version of a female-centered blessing begins B’ruchah Ath Yah, Shekinah Ruach Ha-Olam, or “Blessed are You, Shekhinah [Presence], breath [or soul] of the world.” This is the opening I used for my own blessing of gratitude, for creativity–and for healing.
So, after that too long intro (!), here is my Blessing. it came to me as a gift, and in that spirit I offer it to any who might find it meaningful.
B’ruchah Ath Yah
Shekhinah Ruach ha-Olam
Blessed are you, God,
Presence, Breath of the World
Who has traveled through me,
And delivered me gifts.