It is not uncommon for letters, pictographs and symbols to have deep hidden meanings—even magical power, for cultures around the world have rich histories and stories connected to symbols, letters and written words. Other countries and cultures too have symbols and writing systems that were multi-dimensional, that is, their writing systems in application could not only be read as words and every day messages or chronicles, but also could convey that meanings that were profound, sacred or even used as divination.
I am fascinated by sacred math, geometry and sacred symbols. I think that it speaks of how all Life and existence in the cosmos are interconnected. So when I find patterns and similarities between disparate things, I like to study them, contemplate on them, and look at possible metaphorical meanings or downright esoteric meanings.
As some readers might already know, I have been taught through oral tradition the sacred meaning of the symbols that comprise the word Bathala, the name of the supreme deity among ancient Filipinos and even Filipinos of today. The symbols for “Bathala” are also the same symbols for “Bahala” as in “Bahala Na” a term that means several things: leave it all to God, God is present, go with God, only God knows, and more.
Here is the common way to write baybayin symbols for Bathala/Bahala:
Rabbi Mark Sameth in the New York area, published a few years ago that the word YHWH means the presence of both Masculine and Feminine principles. (Unfortunately, people who have not bothered to read his work have jumped to their summary “idiot” interpretations of hermaphroditism, bi-gender and dual-sexual organs instead of divine principles.)
I corresponded via email with Rabbi Sameth years ago and shared with him how some Filipinos believe that the writing symbols for BAHALA/BATHALA also means the presence of both Masculine and Feminine principles and balance.
I’ve been thinking about the symbols of YHWH and BAHALA/BATHALA ever since.
Last year I got my a pair of books by David Allen Huse to study further symbols around the world and to learn more about their sacred meanings. The books are: The Eastern Mysteries and The Western Mysteries and these are the two books of “An Encyclopedic Guide to the Sacred Languages and Magickal Systems of the World” series.
Some of the things that Huse shares in these books are the deeper meanings of writing symbols around the world—Tibetan, Sanskrit, Greek and Hebrew. The deeper meanings of Hebrew letters is an ancient Hebrew practice and several modern books are out there on this topic.
Huse breaks down the tetragrammaton of YHWH into male & female [principles] and also shares the meanings:
Here’s a chart with the meanings for Bahala and Bathala:
When we compare the parallels between the two charts more closely, we see that both sets of symbols for YHWH and for BATHALA signify the presence of both Feminine (HEH, BA) and Masculine Principles (VAV, YOD, LA), and of breath (HEH, HA).
Our lower consciousness may translate these charts on only the physical level as meaning that God or a Supreme deity has both sets of [human, physical genderized] organs, thus isolating the interpretation to [hermaphroditism.] [This a lower consciousness translation and one that elicits one level] of a response and discussion (See Manya Brachear’s Is God a He-She?).
That interpretation is
most definitely transcended when seeing these names Yahweh and Bathala as words that represent a higher Divinity of a non-physical, nature beyond words and even physical form or even human form. Thus the presence of both gender traits is of a nature that transcends physical existence and so we speak more of Masculine and Feminine Principles, Yin/Yang energies that are in constant dynamic balance within Cosmic forces.
Thomas says more on how a concept of God must transcend humanization by posting in response to Brachear’s Is God a He-She? article:
Gender is a human concept. If we try to limit God by gender, we are trying to humanize God when God is far beyond human conceptualization. If God created the entire universe, including all the opposites thereof, then God Him/Her/Itself must contain and embody all such opposites. For that matter, I don’t think God is simply “one” or “unity”. I think He/She/It is both “one” and “many” (unity vs. plurality), so I think we need to add They as well. I think that’s how there can be so many different religions and they’re all correct in their own way. It’s like the story of the blind guys trying to figure out the elephant (the guy by the trunk thinks it’s a snake; the guy by the tail thinks it’s a rope, etc.) – each is right in his own way, but none has the entire picture.
Thomas, gets it. I get it too. Each of us is trying to figure it out, and each piece we come up with is only part of a bigger picture that we are all groping to see with our human eyes. I believe we can only begin to perceive the larger picture if we use our eyes that exists in the realm of the Soul.
When we discussed this with Lane Wilcken, he said that the same thing could be done for the name of Woden, the Nordic god, with the runes that spell his name. See The Magical Meaning of Woden in Nordic Lore, Lane Wilcken, author of Filipino Tattoos Ancient to Modern.
See related posts below that discuss the concepts in this post further:
Related Posts at Baybayin Alive:
- Meanings and Diwa (Idea or Spirit) within ”Bahala“ and “Bathala”
- Fertility Symbols, Feminine Principle and BA
- Tacit Perceptions of Symbolism
- The Baybayin for Bahala and Bathala
- Bahala Na and Bathala
- The 4 Letters of God in Hebrew
- YHWH – Deeper Meanings in Hebrew Symbols for the Divine
- Example 1: The Buddhist Symbol of Om
- Example 2: Tibetan symbols of Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum
- Example 3: Nordic Mythological Runes
- Example 4: Hebrew Letter of Aleph
Other online articles