THE COSMIC SHEKINAH
A historical study of the Goddess of the Old Testament and Kabbalah
By Sorita d’Este and David Rankine
The Shekinah is the manifestation of the Wisdom Goddess of the Kabbalah, the Old Testament and Merkavah Mysticism. She encompasses the primordial light of creation, the wisdom of the serpent and the inspiration of the dove. She is the beauty of the lily and the embodiment of the Tree of Life. She is also the World Soul, heavenly glory, mother of angels, inspiration for prophecy, and source of souls, as well as being the Shabbat Bride and the wife of God.
In The Cosmic Shekinah the authors present a concise history of the different influences of earlier wisdom goddesses on the development of the Shekinah. These goddesses include the Sumerian Inanna, the Egyptian Ma'at, the Greco-Egyptian Isis, the Semitic Anat and Astarte and the Canaanite Asherah. They show that from these ancient sources arose the unnamed Wisdom Goddess and wife of God portrayed in the Old Testament and early Jewish wisdom literature. It is this unnamed Wisdom Goddess who would subsequently become the source for the development of the Shekinah as well as the Gnostic Sophia. The influence of the feminine divine as the Shekinah has continued to find expression, with the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit of Christianity and the Sakina of Islam all being shaped by the enduring influence of the Wisdom Goddess.
Through tracing her roles, myths, and functions the authors show that in addition to her modern-day resurgence, the Wisdom Goddess has always been present throughout history, even when suppressed and disguised by deliberate exclusion and mistranslation. Drawing on numerous sources including medieval Kabbalistic works, Hekhalot texts of Merkavah Mysticism, ancient literature such as Egyptian, Sumerian and Ugaritic myths, the Old Testament, Gnostic texts and recent finds in Biblical archaeology, The Cosmic Shekinah draws attention back to the light of divine feminine wisdom.
2011, 234 pages. Paperback & Kindle editions available.
B&W 6.14 x 9.21 in or 234 x 156 mm (Royal 8vo) Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam
The Cosmic Shekinah by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine
About the authors
PART 1 THE SHEKINAH UNVEILED
Behind the veils
The wisdom goddesses : timeline
PART 2 AEONS OF WISDOM
From ancient Sumer
From the Semites
PART 3 AFTER THE FALL
Mother of aeons
The Christian & Islamic goddess
PART 4 BEHOLD, SHE IS THE TREE OF LIFE
The tree of life
Creation & the created
Light of creation
Mother of angels
The breath of life
The power of prophecy
PART 5 FRUITS OF THE TREE
Renaissance and beyond
Hymn to the Shekinah
Sorita d’Este has been experimenting with ways of walking on the liminal since she was a child, exploring along the way many pathways of experiencing magic, mysticism and religion. Her own personal practice integrates aspects of Hellenic (Greek), Egyptian and Hermetic practices with a lived Orphic inspired philosophy, and experience gained in Initiatory Craft, traditions preserved in Italian, French and British grimoires and other contemporary esoteric teachings of the East and West.
More on her website at www.sorita.co.uk.
David is an author, researcher and qabalist based in Glastonbury, UK. He is the author or co-author of numerous books published by Avalonia, including The Complete Grimoire of Pope Honorius, The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet, A Collection of Magical Secrets, The Book of Treasure Spirits, The Book of Gold, Climbing the Tree of Life, The Cosmic Shekinah, Practical Qabalah Magick, The Isles of the Many Gods, and The Guises of the Morrigan.