The story of ‘The First Word’ exists at the bedrock of primordial memory. ‘The Word’, in concept, could represent many crucial genesis events in any one of the creation stories told around the globe. It could represent the origin of duality - as in the story of the oldest gods, ‘Life’ (Gaea), ‘Love’ (Eros) and ‘Death’ (Tartarus), born from the dark womb of Chaos, as told in Greek cosmogony. It could represent God’s first attempt at self-definition, as in John 1:1, where it is stated, “In the beginning, there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”.
Regardless of language or tradition, the story’s elements throughout history and across cultures remain the same: an intention is sounded, and the universe becomes itself. It is the story of the very first cause and effect. It is easy for us to recognize the beginning and the end of the plotline - but the ‘original intent’ and our raison d'etre lies hidden deep inside our DNA.
To find it, we must look beyond the bounds of our own perspective. Some approach this narrative through the lens of science, math, religion or philosophy - but there is so much richness in the knowledge left to us by our ancestors. Those who came before us found their answers and shaped them into various symbols and spells - glyphs that, when invoked, are said to bring us closer to the truth.
Some identified the ‘Om’ as the first Sound, long before scientists at Bell Labs ever recorded the background noise leftover from the birth of our Universe. They defined the Movement as the Spiral before mathematicians ever cracked the Golden Ratio. They respected that which is Boundless as the essence of Spirit as it exists beyond all personification and projection, beyond all ego and a human construct. They named this nameless constant the ‘Ein Sof’, and in its image we’ve searched for the ‘Breath of God’, or any evidence of the alchemical substances that animate us - that give us life, that spark our consciousness.
Many believe these three glyphs were intelligently designed to reawaken the codes that lie in obscurity at the base level of our cellular, material, subconscious and spiritual memories - and it is in this remembrance, this meditation, this ‘vibrating’ which offers us the immense potential to heal, to find ourselves, or ‘to set right within’.
The Om - the Hindu symbol which represents the ‘true, inner Self’ - similar in concept to its much younger far-east cousin ‘Dai Ko Myo’ (‘Great bright light’ or ‘Great Enlightenment’, the Master jumon in the Reiki energy-healing system) - invites the remembrance of perfection, imperishability and the uncompromised essence of the Soul - the Atman and Brahman. This particular symbol traveled far across the Eastern portion of the globe and became the founding principal of all religious philosophy born of that region.
Because it represents the bare essence of the Self, of the Universe - the constant sound at the foundation of all things seen and unseen - to meditate on or to chant this symbol is an act of self-healing. It is an invitation to recall the body and mind back to its state of wholeness, of ‘one-ness’. The power innate of this ancient glyph is limitless, for it represents limitlessness, the infinite wellspring of Universal life-force energy inherent to us all.
Message: “I AM”
Use To: Disengage with Ego.
- Chant this symbol repeatedly, invoking the three primary sounds that connect it all facets of life: A-U-M. Can be used in conjunction with breathwork and formal meditation practices. Continuous engagement with the symbol is said to help elevate the vibration of body, mind, and spirit, bringing one closer to enlightenment.
In the Spiral, we see the constant change in all things. In two-dimensional form, we see the spiral expand from a central point, widening the path of creation as it goes. This follows in the mathematical equation at the base of all formed life. We see our spiral armed galaxy, our stars and solar system revolving around a central point, and we remember the peace of having a place in the grand scope of things.
Some of the oldest depictions of the two-dimensional spiral exist in Celtic tradition and are often associated with Sacred Feminine nature. It represents the cycles of Life, Death, and Rebirth; of Mother, Father, and Child; of Mother, Maiden, Crone; of Sun and Moon and Earth - and all other trinities.
When we add a third dimension to the image, we see a column or a corridor, a spiral that never ends nor seems to begin, revolving around an invisible self. That symbol becomes a helix. We may find the helix in physical form - as the DNA, as the cyclical expression of growth in several plants and animals, such as the succulent or the Argonaut. It exists in the way light travels across space, the way that energy bends itself around gravity within the toroidal flow of our planet’s Electromagnetic Field.
The Spiral is the Catalyst. it is Knowledge, it is Growth, it is Shield, the Life-Giving Light and the richness of Good Health. It is Abundance. It is the way all things Move.
Message: “I Become”
Use To: Recall your place in the Universe
- Envision the image of the Spiral. See the way it moves, and look within to find where it exists in your own body. Descend into the space of your Chakra. Envision that, at their core, you are able to find the ‘original Intent’ or inner spark at the center of each wheel - the aspects of yourself that remain immutable, constant. Next, imagine that each Chakra begins to vibrate more and more intensely, growing stronger and brighter, until it overpowers and eliminates any frequency in your body - from your DNA to your Auric Field - that does not serve your Health, your Happiness, and your Highest Good and Potential.
Ein Sof - a Kabbalistic ideal for the boundlessness of God - can be compared to the Hindu concept of Brahman. Both give identity to that which is nameless and fathomless, and both are the basis for the wellspring of knowledge and wisdom behind their respective philosophies and religions.
Ein Sof is the name of the unnameable. It is the ‘nothing’ - the illusion, the silence and darkness, the birth chamber that is Void, Chaos, Mysticism, Ether, and Cave. It is from whence all things come. It is the Unknown. At the same time, it is everything that is - the full spectrum, the embodiment of all that exists across time and space.
The Ein Sof’s true nature is to ‘know itself’. This God concept creates, destroys and becomes unto infinity for that very purpose. Everything that exists in our reality (and beyond) is a vessel or house for the Ein Sof, who learns through our eyes, who speaks through our mouths, who explores the unknown reaches of limitation and duality through both mundane works and incredible cosmic movements. As both Alpha and Omega, it also represents the inevitable resolution of duality, the merging of contradiction.
Message: “As Above, So Below”, or “I AM”
Use To: Resolve contradiction, inner children or aspects at war within the Self
- “Restrain your mouth from speaking and your heart from thinking, and if your heart runs let it return to its place...” (Sefer Yetzirah. I. 8, as translated by Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar. Vol 1, p. 234). Meditations most closely related to the wellbeing brought about by the Ein Sof involve attempting to clear the mind and allowing oneself to experience true silence. The goal is to travel within - beyond the space of the observer, beyond duality, to the ‘zero-point’. It is at this center of ourselves, where there is no thought or identity or Ego, where we find our boundlessness.
All of these symbols hold so much power, so much meaning. Each of them is like puzzle pieces; where their stories collide, we gain a grander picture of Life and its essence. We open ourselves up to greater healing and opportunities to shed what is false, what is conditioning, in favor of what is True.
Enlightenment is a life-long journey, and many people today use these glyphs and others as tools to bring them closer to the meaning of it all. We tattoo them to our bodies, hang them up on our walls, or wear them as ever-present reminders to continue walking the path. We use them to remind us of our story - the one that looks beyond where on this rock we were born, how we were raised, or what choices we’ve made. The one that brings us all together.
Amanda L. S. is a writer, artist, and Founder of Wild|Ocher - an online Holistic Health and Education Center. Her love for anthropology is often the focal point of her work, be it through spiritual advisement, painting or design.