Saturday, July 02, 2005

Harmony: Star of David

Today is Saturday, the original sabbath. The Star of David is the primary modern emblem of the Jewish religion. How it came to be such is a matter of some debate and relevant to the harmony project.

In reality, and like so many of the symbols we are going to examine, it was not associated specifically with the faith until the middle ages, when it began to appear on flags, tombstones, and synagogue decorations. It is probably not coincidental that the symbol was important to the flourishing kabbalistic tradition of the same time period. Kabbalistically, the hexagram symbolizes the six directions of space, the divine union of male and female energy, and the four elements. These are themes to which we will return.

The Star of David is also known as the "King's Star" in astrological circles, and was undoubtedly an important astrological symbol in Zoroastrianism. Some have speculated that the "Star of David" originates in the writings of Aristotle, who used triangles in different positions to indicate the different basic elements. The superposed triangles thus represented combinations of those elements. The Star of David is also important in the Rastafarian and Messianic Christian religions.

We should never forget now that it flutters on Israel's flag that the history of the Star of David is far from triumphant or vainglorious. It was used by the Nazis, during the Holocaust, as a method of identifying Jews, as it was seen as the "Jewish Star". The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word Jude (German for Jew) inscribed, was extended to all Jews over the age of six in German-occupied areas on September 6, 1941.

The Star of David in my cycle of harmony leads us to the Hand of Fatima.
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