Ah, the High Holidays. A time for me to have to be off work at weird intervals and folks act like I’m on vacation or something. Just kidding! Sorta. But, that’s a lower chakra blog entry for another time.
In The Kabbalah Deck by Edward Hoffman (published by Chronicle Books), there is a sort of one-card-draw that one can do for Rosh HaShanah (the card pulled is guidance one needs until Passover, at which time another guidance card is pulled).
The card that YHVH presented to me for guidance is the Hebrew letter “Ayin.” Here’s what Hoffman has to share about the message this card brings me:
“In the Kabbalah, Ayin symbolizes the traits of perception and insight. It begins the Hebrew word for eyes (aynayim), traditionally associated with true discernment. For many centuries, mystical adepts have taught that as we spiritually develop, we gain greater sensitivity to the interconnectedness of all things and to the hidden pattern of meaning that underlies our life events. The adepts also stressed that we typically move through our days with only limited awareness of the splendor that surrounds us.
According to the Zohar, “There are colors disclosed and undisclosed, but humanity neither knows nor reflects on these matters.” Elsewhere, this sacred work declares, “The wise person is one who, by the power of his own contemplation, attains to the perception of profound mysteries which cannot be put into words.”
Aiyn starts the Hebrew word for tree (aytz). In the Kabbalah, every form in the universe, including ourselves and one another, is a microcosmic tree of life (aytz chaim) filled with the ineffable radiance of God. The higher our consciousness, the better able we are to behold and experience this heavenly energy. For the sages, the Torah itself is a Tree of Life, with beautiful branches reaching into all aspects of human experience.
Opening the Hebrew word for advice (aytzah), Ayin also suggests that spiritual development always involves guidance by others. For Kabbalists, we are hardly expected to grow by pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Rather, peers and mentors are placed in our lives for practical help. Interestingly, when the early Hasidic leaders performed spiritual counseling, they always concluded their sessions by offering specific direction for action. They affirmed that insight into a life-problem is valuable, but that it must also lead to concrete steps for change, as Rabbi Nachman commented, “from the realm of possibility to that of actuality.”
To gain greater clarity about an issue in your life, focus upon the letter Aiyn. Its penetrating energy will help dispel and overcome illusion, so that you may truly see the splendor that surrounds you. When Ayin appears in a divinatory spread, it emphasizes that you need more discernment now regarding a person, place, or situation.” (Page 46-47, The Wisdom of the Hebrew Alphabet by Edward Hoffman)
Hrm. I totally resonate with this message. The lessons of Ayin have very much been presenting themselves to me this year– specially during all the interesting astrological transits lately. Thanks, Creator!