I have been behind on blogging (there was a painting experiment that…well, took more of my time than expected, frankly) and I thought about trying to catch up but then decided to just pick up here in the interest of not going insane.
So here we are in Deuteronomy. And we come to this:
Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Bind them on your hands and foreheads. Interesting here — I know this is the origin of tefillin in Jewish tradition, an actual binding of words to the forehead and hand. Though of course I see metaphor — that this may be a guide to thought and action> Our minds that decide and our hands that do.
Then we come to doorways and gates. Magical places, those. Doorways and gates are how we go from one state of being to another. From home to public. From holy to mundane. From life to death. To move from anyone place, any state of being to another, we must move through a transition. We must pass through a gate, a doorway.
When I think of doorways I first think of protection. Because magically, there is a lot of protection lore around them. Sheela na gig figures over doorways in the British Isles are thought to be protective figures that guard the space of transition. For folk magic — my particular bent lately — there is plenty too. Hang a broom above the door to ward off bad energy. Hang a horseshoe above the door for luck (but make sure it’s been used and points up please, so the luck doesn’t run out). Hang rosemary by the door for protection.
Because that’s the thing about doorways. They are spaces we can move through for transition, but they are also access points for things to come in. Things that may be bad as well as good. They’re vulnerable, just as we are in a state of transition. So that is when we look to the fixed points in our life. When everything is changing, we look to the base on which we build ourselves, the fixed points that are the guideposts life moves between.
Perhaps, then, we bind it to doorways to remind us.