You may recall that one of the Angels that we honor in practicing the message of the Essene Gospels is the Angel of Work.
When I first read that my thoughts went to, “We have to honor our nine-to-five? What if we hate it?”
From this perspective, I took heart in the part of the short reading for this Angel that says,
“For the honest work of humble hands
Is a daily prayer of thanksgiving.”
That sentence offered me some reassurance that even if the “work” I did seemed simple, if it was done honestly and with good intention, it sounded like it would still be appreciated by God.
Yet lately I’ve been pondering the word, “work.” I made a notation in the margin of my Essene Gospel book that in the Introduction to Gnostic Hebrew Qabal book, it sounded like “work” could more mean “striving.” For me, this expanded the meaning to include things that may not be actual accomplishments, but perhaps more the steps we take towards doing a right thing. After all, there’s the saying that even baby steps, when taken repeatedly over time, can get us to the top of Mt. Everest. Were we to abandon our intention to just take the next step, hour by hour, day by day, we would not achieve our goal. And yet, if we don’t make it to the top of the mountain, is having that goal and doing all that we could to get as far as we did not noteworthy?
So here’s where I’m at now with the Angel of Work. I’ve been attending some spiritual classes recently. The facilitator has asked in the last couple of meetings, “What gets you up in the morning?”
What motivates us to start a new day? In the Jewish tradition, a prayer is said to God upon awakening that thanks Him for returning the soul to the body so that we can have life for another day.
We have been given the blessing of another day. What is our “work” going to be? How do we honor our God for this gift of a new day?
How about by doing our “work?” What is our passion? What gives us a sense of accomplishment or gratification? It may not be our nine-to-five (unfortunately, for most of us, our jobs are not what ignites our enthusiasm for life). If our passion is not our job, how can we allow some time in our day to do what really floats our boat? Perhaps a little time in the garden… Watching the sunset…. Actually listening to our neighbor after we ask, “How are you today?”…. Spending that extra time playing with the children…. Making a donation – even if small – to our favorite charity… Going out with our dog(s) and throwing a ball for them….
Work is not supposed to be about drudgery. Find something today to bring a smile to your face so when you hit the sack tonight you can think, “Thank you, God, for this day. I’m so glad I noticed that beautiful flower when I took the evening walk around the park with the kids. And the sound of their laughter as they went down the slide opened my heart. For these things, it was a good day. Help me to notice more of your blessings in the days to come.”
Pioneer Sound Healer Jonathan Goldman says that the vowel sound “Ah” is the sound of the heart.
What I have noticed after learning this is the variety of names of God there are where that “Ah” sound is incorporated. In Hinduism we have Brahma, Shiva and Krishna; in Buddhism we have Brahma.
In Judaism we have YHVH, which is not supposed to be pronounced as the ultimate name of God. For those who choose to say it, the first syllable is “Yah.” Other names Hassidic Jews use for the deity are HaShem (again, note the first syllable) and Hevaya (last syllable). One could add Shekinah to this list – a name denoting the presence of God within, and also associated with divine radiance.
While the anglicized name, Jesus, doesn’t fit this model, consider the Hebrew version: Yeshua. There’s that nice “Ah” ending. And the same can be said for many Biblical notables: Isaiah, Joshua, Jeremiah, and perhaps even the first syllable of “Abraham,” depending on the pronunciation of the vowel.
African gods also have some “Ahs.” A quick internet search reveals Abassi, the supreme god of some Nigerian peoples. There is Bemba, god of the Bambara people of Mali, and Chiuta of the Tumbukas of Malawi. The Yoruba have Orisha-Oke, the Sky God.
As an Anthropology student in college I had the opportunity to visit Mexico and the temple ruins there. I was intrigued with the Aztec god’s name, Quetzacoatl. In considering it now, it has two very nice “Ah” sounds.
How about the Lakota of North America using Wakan-Tanka for the divine? And from the Tlingit People’s website: Tlingit tales tell of the creator, Kah-shu-gooh-yah, whose sacred name was never said above a whisper. This being created all living things, in addition to controlling the sun, moon, stars, and daylight. (Hmm… can’t say it louder than a whisper is a little reminiscent of Jews not saying YHVH…)
Some Iroquois deities include Gendenwitha – The goddess of the Morning Star (actually the planet Venus) and Geha – The wind god and father of the good and evil twin deities whose battle represents a large part of the Iroquois Creation Epic. (Yes, there are many other Iroquois gods whose names do not include the Ah sound. But it’s still interesting that these two do!)
Are there more? Probably. I’ll let you do your own research if you’re curious about this. I’ll also invite you to have a personal experience of “Ah.” Use Jonathan Goldman’s Temple of Sacred Sound (http://www.templeofsacredsound.com/), which gives some voice background. This may make it feel less intimidating. Try different tones for your “Ahs.” Notice where you feel resonance in your body. Many times as I sound the vowel “Ah” I feel it go right through my heart area.
Jonathan Goldman also has a 2-CD set of toning sacred vowel sounds to the notes of the musical scale, and “Ah” is incorporated in that for the heart chakra. His website says it's out of stock at this time, but here's a link to it on a site called DailyMotion: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xy9ltu
Another nice chant you can try for this is Guru Ganesha Singh’s “Ma.” Yes, it has the “m” consonant, but you can still move into a nice, extended “Ahhhh” sound while singing along with this. The toning/chant is a tribute to the Feminine – specifically, the word for “mother” and a mother’s love for a newborn child. Towards the end, he moves into singing, “Bountiful Am I; Blissful Am I; Beautiful Am I” – which he says on the CD package are wishes a mother in India has for her child.
Open wide! Sound “Ahhhh…” And have a peace-filled day.
I have two books I consult to learn about the meanings of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. One is titled, “The Hebrew Alphabet: A Mystical Journey” by Edward Hoffman. The other is, “An Introduction to Gnostic Hebrew Qabal” by Murray Webber. The writings about each letter are a bit different in the two books, and I value both to provide insights in my incorporation of this material into my spiritual seeking.
Recently I have taken to randomly opening one of these book before I retire and reading the information provided for the letter revealed.
Yesterday in my Essene practice I was mindful of the Angel of Water. I opened The Gnostic Hebrew Qabal to the letter, Mem. Mr. Webber notes that Mem, spelled out with the letter Yod in between two Mems, is the Hebrew word for water. He states that the metaphysical meaning of water is the “reflection of our un-seeable consciousness.”
Curious that I managed to “randomly” select the Hebrew letter associated with the angel I’ve been honoring that day, I go to Hoffman’s Hebrew Alphabet book to see what he has to say about Mem. Imagine my amazement to read: “Mem begins and closes the Hebrew word for water (“mayim”) and symbolizes for Jewish mystics the vase sea of human consciousness containing depths concealed from view.” I'm not accustomed to seeing such agreement between the two authors!
Interestingly, Hoffman goes on to tell us, “Mem also begins the Hebrew word, maggid, referring to both a wise teacher and a spirit guide. For in Jewish mysticism, when we attain a certain spiritual level, our mentors are no longer flesh-and-blood, but can appear as transcendental beings.”
There is more of interest that Hoffman writes about Mem -- for instance, it is the letter that starts the word for angel, which he says literally means “messenger.” I find this interesting in light of the “Angels” of the Essene Gospels. We could interpret these as messengers related to the concept of nature or spiritual/mental qualities that each represent, rather than an actual Being. Of course, there are those who love the concept of Angelic Beings, and this works fine, too.
But what grabbed my attention was that, on the day of the Angel of Water, I synchronistically choose the Hebrew letter associated with that quality. I recalled Edmond Szekely’s material from the Essene Book of Creation in which he refers to the essence of water representing the complexity of life itself. I also considered the message of water as representing the depths of our consciousness that we are not consciously aware of in our normal daily routines. The Breathwork practice that I both guide and participate in provides a way for me to access those depths. Through that deeper and wider awareness, learning about the expanded aspect of ourselves as humans can be a teaching in itself – one that does not necessarily require an outer teacher. (Though having someone else to share the experience with who may be able to shed some light on it is certainly helpful.)
These were ways I was enriched by the Essence of Water yesterday: deeper levels of self; holder of Life; part of our physical being (our cells are mostly water – and our blood is the essential liquid circulating through our bodies), and a reference to spiritual teachings. Becoming aware of each different aspect led to a feeling of the intricacies of connections of things I would not typically see as related.
These synchronicities feed my soul.
Susan C. Moyer, MSW
Is a sound healer and transformational coach. She has 25+ years experience in using alternate states of consciousness to access deeper healing on all levels: physical, psychological, mental and spiritual.