The Arousal of the Female Waters

The Arousal of the Female Waters

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The Zohar states that pregnancy is usually the result of an equal and reciprocal desire between marital partners. Similarly, the Zohar even compares the creation of the universe to what seems, from all appearances, to be a precise description of mutual sexual orgasm between man and woman: “When the upper world was filled and became pregnant, it brought forth 2 children together, a male and a female, these being heaven and earth after the supernal pattern. The earth is fed from the waters of the heaven, which are poured into it. These upper waters, however, are male, whereas the lower are female … [they] call to the upper, like a female that receives the male, and pour out water to meet the water of the male to produce seed.

Here the Shekhinah is the maternal, birth-giving, and creative element that comes about as a result of the very act of receiving. This doctrine presents the Shekhinah as incorporating active forces. These forces are not awakened by the sacred marriage but, on the contrary, it is their awakening that makes this union at all possible.

The outpouring of energy, of active light (although essentially only reflected) comes from the female, arousing and activating the male. Hence, the Shekhinah is charged with active powers, even in relation to the upper realms, and it is only as a result of them that it is also active in relation to the lower realm. However, the dialectics of femininity is primarily concerned – and this is worth emphasizing – not with its activity within Creation, but rather within the context of the divine life itself. One can also speak of spontaneity hidden within receptivity. There were those Kabbalists who saw a symbol for this in “Miriam’s well,” of which it is written, “Spring up, O well – sing ye unto it” (numbers 21:17), which they read as referring to the element within the supernal female that arouses the female waters.

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A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)

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