Wednesday 11 April 2012

Radiance - Behind the Scenes 2

Now that Yesod is all online, I thought it was time for another glimpse behind the scenes, giving you some more of the kabbalistic imagery burning in my feverish brain.

As always, if you have any more thoughts or questions, let me know!

The Staff of Moses - The idea that Virgo as the representation of Tiferet should wield the staff of Moses initially came to me as a way of cutting down the number of characters needed to play the lower 7 aspects of the sefirot. Since Yesod is often the power of Tiferet, I reasoned that it could be represented by Tiferet's weapon rather than by a character in its own right. Since yesod is connected deeply with male sexuality, the obvious weapon was a mythological staff or sceptre.

But then, by an extraordinary coincidence, if you believe in such things, I chanced upon a book called 'Sefer Zerubavel' - a 7th century apocalyptic work probably written in Israel - and decided to write about it for my class on medieval messianism. Reading through Zerubavel's vision of the end times, I came across an otherwise nearly unknown character called Hefzibah (my desire is in her), the mother of the Messiah ben David. In Zerubavel, Hefzibah kicks ass, slaying kings with the staff of moses, protecting the last remnants of Israel from Armilus, the Jewish antichrist, allowing them to escape into the wilderness.

Thus the image of a strong female fighter, using the mythical staff of moses, was firmly locked in my mind.

Geography - In general, events that take place in New York correspond to the sefirot in which they occur. For example, the main events of Yesod occur in Grand Central and the bottom of Central park. Both of these locations are found towards the bottom of Manhattan, where Yesod would be if you overlaid the sefirotic tree over the island. But more than that, Yesod is the focal point of the sefirot, where all the energy from the whole system is channeled and focussed into Malchut. Grand Central was the obvious location for such an idea.

The Key that Unlocks a Palace - "The Holy Hidden One engraved an engraving in the innards of a recess, punctuated by a thrust point. He engraved that engraving, hiding it away, like one who locks up everything under a single key, which locks everything within a single palace. Although everything is hidden away within that palace, the essence of everything lies in that key, which closes and opens." (Zohar 1:3b, translation from Daniel Matt's Pritzker edition).

The Angels of Prostitution - According to the Zohar there are 4 angels of prostitution - Lillith, Naamah, Eshet bat Znunim and Agrat bat Mahlat. At the moment, only Lillith and Naamah are destined to make an appearance in Radiance but maybe the others will appear somewhere else. I first came across these characters on and the work of Genzoman - Lillith, Eisheth, Naamah and Agrat. His style is quite cartoony and World of Warcraft, but as someone who designs mythical card games in his spare time, Genzoman has been a great source of inspiration.

No comments:

Post a Comment