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Old European Ta'amim

Old European Ta'amim

I made more of my Signature Black Cauldron Brew candles today. Then I sat down to relax and think again about the Old European cave art symbols found in caves throughout Paleolithic Ice Age Europe. These symbols were born through the tribes and consciousness of my European Cro-Magnon (and possibly Neanderthal) ancestors. They link my present to my deep past.

In a previous post, I compared the Old European cave symbols to letters of ancient alphabets. In this post, I compare the Old European cave symbols to the (Ashkenazi) cantillation marks of the Hebrew Torah (alias the Bible, which I, as a non-theistic folk ways witch, consider to be a compiled written record of ancestral folk memory heavily laced with ancient civilization-building religious propaganda).

Five (or four if you count the two similar open angles as being two directional forms of one meta-symbol) Old European cave art symbols can easily be seen to correspond to five Torah tropes (i.e., cantillation marks also known in Hebrew as Ta'amim). In Hebrew Kabbalistic Tradition the tropes are taught to be correspondent to the first ten Sefirot (emanations of Light) de Guf.

Guf is literally translated as 'body'. The 'Chamber of Guf' is known as the 'Treasury of Souls' in Kabbalah. In Celtic-Germanic Tradition, this same concept of the 'Treasury of Souls' is known as the Ginnungagap. These ideas from both ancient traditions complement the mystical idea of soul families.

The Chamber of the Guf, the Ginnungagap, the Treasury of Souls, Soul Family. Ta'amim and Old European cave art symbols - are they experiential abstractions born of the same Old European soul family?

Comparing the Old European cave art symbols with the ta'amim, I can clearly see these correspondences:

Old European Open Angles with Hebrew Etnahta (Etnachta) and Yerach Ben Yomo.

Old European Zigzag with Hebrew Shalshelet.

Old European Unciform with Hebrew Zarqa.

Old European Serpentiform with Hebrew Darga.

One of my own preincarnate memories (reshimot) describes in action the forms of the Old European ta'amim, particularly those of the zigzag shalshelet (percolating pivots), the depths of opposite observation (etnahta and yerach ben yomo), a shadowy tail-end (zarqa), darga (diligently threading through it) and the first Old European cave art form of zarqa with a line through it (drawing through a field of topographic brilliance). I wrote this poem over two decades describing in my own words my experience and memory of preincarnate existence:

first rhythms ever plunge, eternal hosts driven into life
drawing through a field of topographic brilliance
where judgment lovingly flows, churning out whole stones
resting against asymmetries trying, like diamonds in chaos
proto-perception foams, over annihilating operations
and from it, dark bursts of lucidity finely entwine
coarse grains of almost something, almost yet sufficient
the silent rush of yet nothing slides, wildly as percolating pivots
diligently thread through it, casting clarity
upon myriads, hard pauses startle into vision
projecting arrays without mass, strings of confluency
impressing discovery, a shadowy tail-end lingers
between depths of opposite observation
iterating embraces of many meanings like quasi-quanta
gathering functions about the head and, and
spinning spectra, pushing forward, yearning toward home
not knowing, yet only knowing
as some featureless reach edging edges stretches out
the magnetic sweet dance
where divisions collapse like crystal caves
softly sprinkling the belly of the night divine
with bytes of thoughtbare kisses
extending the glorious field of apprehension


Etnahta (Etnachta) means 'pause'. It always occupies a central location within a verse. It also carries the idea of completion and rest, like the Sabbath.

Yerach Ben Yomo means 'day-old moon' and is the rarest trope. It appears once in the entire Torah and once in the Book of Esther.

Shalshelet is another rare trope occurring only four times in the entire Torah and means 'links in a chain of connection'.

Zarqa means 'scatterer' yet in the sense of creating connection - reminds me of quantum decoherence like in quantum physics and chaos theory.

Darga means 'step' - reminds me of stepping into manifestation and steps in the evolution of consciousness.