Why did I choose a dragonfly as the symbol of my healing practice? In some cultures dragonflies are revered as instruments of enlightenment and transformation. As a child I was afraid of them. We called them darning needles and I thought they could bite or pierce you...I would run from them in fear. Yet the mystery of the dragonfly was slowly revealed to me and now I share it with you.
When I began to study Kabbalah, and specifically Kabbalistic healing, we would often call on the infinite power of the four-letter unpronounceable name of God, called by some as Yaweh. The Hebrew spelling of this word: Yod, Hei, Vav, and Hei (YHVH) cannot be pronounced because in Hebrew the letters require the addition of vowels for pronunciation and this word has no vowels. Because YHVH is a symbol of the infinite nature of the Divine, beyond time, space, and our comprehension, pronunciation would be limiting. Yet channeling this united power of heaven and earth, as represented by YHVH, is the source of all healing.
The word YHVH is a symbolic way of uniting all aspects of Divine energy and power. Within the letters is the key to the Oneness of all creation because YHVH is also symbolic of the tension of opposites ... male/female ... sun/moon ... light/darkness ... inhale/exhale ... potential/manifestation. The two opposites together form a whole...like the protons and electrons in a single atom. The balance and alignment of the universe depends on this tension of opposites, like atomic structure, and like the infinity sign. But, YHVH cannot be pronounced, so how can it be used in healing?
Early Kabbalists would visualize the Name and developed complicated meditations, some using permutations of the letters with different vowel sounds, to feel closer to the Divine. To this end, they would spend most of their day praying and meditating.
Because I come to healing and meditation from a background of movement, yoga, and dance, I like to experiment with physical ways of doing the mental exercises the early male Kabbalists so diligently practiced. Connecting to the earth and the physical body is a more female-oriented way to approach the same desired end...calling on the power of YHVH in a context of love and healing. Manifestation of potential requires grounding...not just mental exercise. I developed a form of yoga-like movement that embodied the Hebrew letters and special breathwork to accompany the movements. Uniting the physical with the mental seemed a more balanced way of working with these cosmic concepts.
But the key clue for me, that lead to the dragonfly, was the concept that all our energy, when balanced and flowing, resembles infinity signs. (This is according to Donna Eden, my teacher, and others who can see subtle energy clearly.) Tracing infinity signs with your hands, in the air, around a room, over food, or around a living creature, improves the balance and flow of energy. And, the infinity sign, like YHVH, symbolizes not only infinity, but the unity of opposites...the oneness of everything.
Another way of looking at the infinity sign is through the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet...the letter Aleph. (א). Aleph resembles the yin/yang symbol — in that the part above the diagonal line and below it are the same — and also represents the mathematical symbol for infinity. Aleph, being the first letter, also stands for the number ONE. In Kabbalah, all the Hebrew letters have numerical values, so Aleph, being the first letter, stands for the number ONE. In a practice called Gematria, Hebrew words or letters that share numerical values are said to relate in some way. Aleph is not only ONE but equals, through adding its mystical components, the number 26. The letters of YHVH also add to 26 and YHVH is also considered to be ONE, the unity of heaven and earth. So Aleph and YHVH are connected at the deepest level.
One day, I was practicing alternate nostril breathing, a yoga pranayama that balances the brain and the body’s energies. Inhaling through the right nostril, exhaling with the left, inhaling left, exhaling right...repeating this sequence many times, I began to see the two rotating breaths as infinity signs. In each section of the four lobes, I saw a letter of Y-H-V-H...and to my amazement, what I had drawn in my mind were the wings of a dragonfly. In each of the four wings was one of the letters. I discussed this vision with renowned Kabbalist Ariel Bar Tzadok, who led me to an ancient text of the famous 16th century Kabbalist Moshe Cordevero. On the page I saw a drawing of a large Aleph with the letters YHVH written in each of its sections... just as I had visualized with the two infinity signs.
I practiced using this YHVH/Aleph breath for several months and was preparing for the evening of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when suddenly I became very curious about the Hebrew word for dragonfly. I looked it up. It was “shpirit”. I added the numerical values of the letters and to my amazement the value was the same as the giant Hebrew letter Aleph. It had come full circle. The dragonfly, with its physical ability, unlike any other creature on earth, to fly in all six directions, the dragonfly, that begins life in the water and takes to the earth and sky...was in nature also a SPIRITUAL symbol of the ONEness of all creation...standing for both the Aleph and YHVH.
So now I see the beauty of this formerly frightening creature. I see the symbol of ONEness, of the divine union of heaven and earth, of wholeness, of true healing...physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I pray to be a channel of this healing energy through the gifts I have been given and the openness of my heart. Amen.
For information regarding further dragonfly teachings including an email list for upcoming workshops please contact:
devi @ dragonflyhealer.com.