Tohu vaVohu are the forces of chaos in the beginning of the creation process, before the waters above (upper world) are separated from the waters below (lower world). Tohu vaVohu are home to the great dark mother goddess, Tehom.
Tehom, Hebrew for ‘deep,’ is adopted from the Babylonian name Tiamat, the great fire-breathing serpent. She is the spirit expressed through the first stage in woman’s creation cycle: death and destruction of old patterns. She is an essential part of the inner and outer world lifecycles, as witnessed via the mycelium happily decomposing old life, allowing new potential to bear fruit.
Those of us who have been “civilized” have shunned the dark mother; we have positioned ourselves in opposition to her wild ways.
The time has come to reclaim her, and thus, reclaim the entirely of ourselves, fire, dragon and all.
From the Enuma Elish, a mythological Babylonian text, we learn of Tiamat’s battles with her water (realm of emotions) children and husband, Apsu. Their children have acted out, and Apsu wants to destroy them. Tiamat advocates to spare them and “tighten discipline.”
Tiamat warns her son Ea, god of wisdom and magic, about Apsu’s plans. Ea kills Apsu, and with his wife conceives Marduk (Ba’al in the Hebrew pantheon), who kills his grandmother Tiamat.
Ba’al means master and husband in modern Hebrew, and is an angry, vengeful god - the Patriarchy in archetypal form. Even his father El wants him destroyed. He is one of many children birthed from the dark mother.
Our job is to reclaim these children, who have been sent into shadow for their emotional wildness, an innocent and essential aspect of childhood behavior.
As we embrace and embody our wildness and re-enthrone the dark mother, we re-inhabit an essential part of womanhood and our own birth-creation-destruction lifecycle.
When old patterns can finally die, new possibilities are born.
Tehom is the Hebrew Goddess who is the mother of our inner serpent, our Kundalini energy. She is preparing to burst through the surface and reconnect us to the stuff of life. Will you open the door to her?
The upcoming cycle of the Virtual Apprenticeship in Hebrew Shamanism will focus on the Hebrew Goddesses, including Tehom and Tiamat.