A Blessing On Your Head: Understanding the Children of Jacob Through A Unique Blessing
Each child of our forefather, Jacob, like the blessing he bestowed upon them, was entirely unique, with his/her own attributes. Through these unique personalities and the biblical blessing they received, as well as through our own creative interpretation of them, we have written these blessings that accompany the designs. We hope you can find the one (or the many) that will help you re-center, and connect with the hope, confidence, clarity, and perspective needed to feel more "atoof/held in your life.
REUBEN, the first-born of Jacob’s children, Reuben represents the powerful energy of the first: the first moments of dawn, the first fruits of Spring, the first year of life… the first is latent with potential. If harnessed properly, Reuben’s energy can change worlds for good. Like water, it can be a life source, but if unstructured, it can erode or flood its environment. When Reuben brought the mandrake flower to his mother to help her conceive, he was channeling positive energy into action, encasing the water through an act of kindness. May carrying the REUBEN help you manifest potential into actuality.
SIMEON represents the protector and the energy of the flame, which can be both life affirming, stimulating industry and growth, or life-taking and destructive. Like fire, the protector spirit can lead to aggression and violence if it lacks measure or containment. But knowing what is worthy of fighting for and the ability to feel your anger is a critical skill in life. The tribe of Simeon, commonly symbolized by a tower, gate, sword, or dagger—all references to its warlike characteristics, is also symbolized by the Ner Tamid or Eternal Light. May carrying the SIMEON kindle your inner fire, to help you fight for what is worthy of protecting in this world, thereby spreading light in the darkness.
THE SPIRIT GUIDE
LEVI, the tribe of priests and levites is synonymous with service, its ability to live life in pursuit of, and for a higher calling. The Levi, which also means ‘attached’ or ‘joined,’ has the power to free oneself of the binds of materialistic, animalistic survival, and attach to a life of purpose, meaning, ritual, and divine service. May carrying the LEVI channel your inner spirit to help connect to your most divine, transcendent self.
JUDAH, which translates to acknowledgement or thanks, is the tribe noted for its meriting the Kingship through its descendants, beginning with King David, the most famous of Jewish kings, and a praiseworthy leader. A cornerstone in true leadership is the ability to abnegate the self, through appreciation for the other. May carrying the JUDAH bring out the noble leader inside of you, and make you keenly aware, and expressive of all that is deserving of thanks and gratitude in your life.
DAN, which means to judge, represents the channel of law and order. Objective justice sits at the crux of any civilization. Society and individualism without structure or bounds can lead to lawlessness, extreme selfishness, and anarchy. Dan, like "the snake that sits upon the side of the road, a viper along the path, to bite the horse’s heel so that its rider tumbles backward," has the ability to create checks and balances, and mete out justice, where necessary. May carrying the DAN help guide your good judgment and awaken your desire and wherewithal to build a more just and equal society for all.
THE FREE SPIRIT
NAPHTALI is the free spirit personality. It is "a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns," which has also been interpreted to mean uttering beautiful words. It represents the ability to run free, break from the status quo, and think independently, a necessary component for self-growth. Without containment, or guidance however, the free spirit can run amok, unguided, without direction. May carrying the NAPHTALI unleash your free spirit but also point you towards a path of purpose, meaning and beauty, channeling your positive attributes for optimal goodness.
GAD, which translates to luck, is the warrior spirit with the innate power to turn justice into retribution. Gad combines the skill of a warrior with the passion of a prophet. If left unchecked the warrior can lead to extremism and rigid totalitarianism. May carrying the GAD bring you an abundance of luck as you channel your inner warrior and give you the courage to go boldly after your dreams and the tenacity to fight for what you believe in.
ASHER, which translates to prosperity and happiness, represents the dimension of blessing beyond what is normal. "May Asher be blessed above other sons; may he be esteemed by his brothers; may he bathe his feet in olive oil." Asher was identified as the brother who was most concerned with the general good, wanting more than anything the reconciliation of his brothers. Perhaps that is why the tribe of Asher, represented by the olive tree, was renowned for its wisdom, its beauty, and why it merited the parcel of land so fertile that it was able to provide olive oil for all of Israel, even in times of great scarcity. The Olive tree, and its derivative, olive oil, symbolize reconciliation, healing, beauty, strength, light, and knowledge. May carrying the ASHER not only bring you much divine blessings, but also enable you to be the blessing, as you reap the infinite rewards of sharing your prosperity with others.
ISSACHAR, which translates to “his reward will come,” is characterized as the patient scholar. Issachar’s scholarship provides wisdom, clarity and direction to society. It is the ability to devote oneself to the pursuit of lofty ideals, and to live in the ivory tower. May carrying the ISSACHAR give you the patience and the perseverance to attempt to understand and decode life’s greatest mysteries, your head buried in the books, yet pointed simultaneously towards the vast galaxies above and beyond our grasp.
ZEBULUN represents the merchant, the industrialist, the businessperson, translating to “glorious or exalted dwelling place.” Zebulun’s role is to enter the marketplace and redeem the Divine sparks within the material world, the “secret treasure hidden in the sand” (Deuteronomy 33:19). Zebulun complements Issachar as they work in tandem: the scholar supporting the spiritual needs of the industrialist; the industrialist supporting the physical needs of the scholar. Industry devoid of higher purpose, without true partnership can become cold-hearted and empty. May carrying the ZEBULUN help you discover and channel your true calling, bringing exaltation to your dwelling place and success to your partnerships.
JOSEPH represents the ability we all have to go from the lowest of lows to the highest of heights. Joseph doesn’t just survive great challenges, he thrives beyond our wildest imaginations. His is the life lived in multi-color, painted with the full gamut of the rainbow, depicted through his infamous multicolored coat; the source of his brother’s fated jealousy. Through his dreams Joseph unmasks the illusion that we are in control and surrenders to the reality that God’s blessings are beyond our doing and beyond our worthiness. Joseph represents the dichotomy of being both a chameleon and a renegade, simultaneously at one with his environment but also uniquely different from it, maintaining spiritual integrity in the face of corruption. May carrying the JOSEPH help you overcome adversity, with grace and strength, as it emboldens you to honor your core values and live life to it's fullest expression.
BENJAMIN, like the ‘ravenous wolf’ inside us all, can be seen as the hungry consumer, but also the powerful catalyst to unleash the Divine sparks in all of human existence. Benjamin which translates to “son of my right hand,” was blessed by Jacob with the unparalleled blessing that he should rest secure in God and shield him all day long.” Benjamin’s mission is to passionately seek out the Divine energy embedded in the physical matter, devour it, consume and elevate it. May carrying the BENJAMIN give you the ability to transform and elevate the objects of desire in your life towards objects of meaning and grace.
Dinah, the sole sister to the twelve brothers, represents the feminine spirit and the Optimist. Though we don't know much about Dinah, the devastating violence instigated by her brothers in her defense, carries with it the heaviness of life's sometimes unwanted cause and effects, and the toxic fear of the other, or the outsider. And yet, it is believed that from this event, she had a daughter, Asnat, who would become Josephs's wife and the mother of Ephraim and Menashe. Perhaps it is at times through the negative space that we find the positive. Through difficulty the Hamsa reminds us that everything is from the Hand of God. An ancient talisman of protection, the Hasma is a symbol that transcends any single faith, but resonates through all, and is believed to herald it's wearer happiness, luck, health, and good fortune. May carrying the Dinah unlock your own feeling of Atoof, of being enveloped in God's protective embrace, and may it help you see the positive side of life through whatever comes your way.