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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology

TETRAGRAMMATON

The Tetragrammaton....         A word of four letters (Greek tetra, 'four', and gramma, 'letter'), especially the Jewish name of God, JHVH (sometimes YHVH), which the Jews never pronounced but substituted the word Adonai instead (usually rendered in the Bible as 'Lord').

Its probable pronunciation was Yahweh and from the 16th Century it was corrupted into Jehovah by combining the vowels of Adonai with JHVH.

This has often been confused with God introduction of Himself to Moses, "I Am That I Am." (Exodus 3:14) This particular introduction was derived from the god Ab-braham or Father Braham who introduced himself in Sanskrit 'Tat Sat' - "I Am That that Is."

The root YHWH is radical of HWH, he-vau-he, meaning "being" or "life" or "woman" which were interchangeable concepts in the ancient Middle East.   These identical letters in Latin are E-V-E: Eve.   So the central or inner meaning of the Tetragrammaton is Eve, the Mother of All Living.

In the Gnostic Gospels this concept also is conveyed.   The Wisdom of God, or the Divine Spirit and Mother, is believed the real creator of the world.   Allegedly her son, who was called the


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. exWitch Ministries . . . . . . . Demiurge , stold his power from his mother and with it created the world.   The early Gnostics believed the


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. exWitch Ministries . . . . . . . Demiurge was the God which the orthodox Christians adored and not the true God or Supreme Being which they symbolized as Iao.

The Tetragrammaton had two versions.   EHYH, the lesser-known one, comes from Hayya, another one of Eve's many names, which designates the Goddess in her special connection to women in childbirth.   On Samaritan phylacteries the male and female versions of the Tetragrammaton were intertwined.

The Hebrew mystics embodied this sacred name of God into the lore of Kabbalism.   The "ineffable name" of God by which all the powers of the universe could be controlled.   Further Kabbalistic thought holds that the name YHWH contained all the Forces of Nature, and since some thought it could be divided this was a indication according to Kabbalistic theory that God had lost His Shekina, his feminine part or the Great Mother, who, as believed by mystics, had to return before there would be peace or harmony in the universe.

In Judaism, the Tetragrammaton is commonly referred to as "HaShem," The Name.

The Tetragrammaton is central to the doctrines of both the Jewish and Esoteric Kabbalistic Traditions, where it is equivalent to the four worlds of creation, the four elements, the four Archangels, and the four cardinal directions.   Christian Kabbalists added the letter "Shin", rendering "YHShH," or Yeheshua (the Hebrew form of 'Jesus'), as proof of the divine origin of Christ.

The Tetragrammaton has at times been referred to as Sem ha-mephoras or Schemahamphorasch, perhaps the origin of the word "semaphore," which resembles the Hindu samjna.

The Rabbinic tradition declares that Sam ha-mephoras either was inscribed on a holy phallic stone buried in the Great Gate of Mother Earth, or else was the stone itself, also called Eben stijjah, the Stygian Stone, or Stone of the Deeps.   It was connected with the sexual myth of the descent of the Father Heaven's phallus into the yoni of the virgin Mother Earth, to "unlock her fountains," that is, to stimulate the Nether Upsurge of world-sustaining blood.   Sexual organs of God and Goddess lay at the center of the Holy of Holies.   David is supposed to have found at the digging of the foundation of the temple, the Eben stijjah, Stone of the Deeps, that unlocked the fountain of the great deep, and on which the Sem ha-mephoras, the unspoken name of God, was inscribed.

The four 'weapons' (Cup/Chalice, Athame/Dagger, Wand, Pentacle) of Ritual Magick symbolize the essence of the letters of the Tetragrammaton; these also form the basis for the four suits in a deck of Tarot cards.

see also KABBALAH, GEMATRIA; IAO; DIVINE NAME, The


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PLEASE NOTE:
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc



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.. exWitch Ministries . . . . . . .