In the Kabbalah, hokhmah (or wisdom) is one of the ten sephirot, and it is said that, in order to train in hokhmah, one must:
Teach people what will be useful to them, according to each one’s capacity, pouring out to each as much wisdom as you can.THE ESSENTIAL KABBALAH, MATT, 1996, PAGE 87
Kabbalistic Hokhmah has two faces: the wisdom which you personally experience from / with the Divine through your internal (or private) life and the wisdom that informs you of how to interact with other people as you go about your external life (which you then also impart upon those other people). With this in mind, I began to consider both the internal and external experience of a follower of Derekh Kochavim as a way to construct our worldview.
The internal wisdom of Derekh Kochavim is inspired by the following qualities found within many of the ancient Levantine / Near East polytheistic religions (*there will be nuance, of course, but these are some of the common patterns I have been able to pull from my research):
- Polytheistic and animistic i.e. believing in many Gods and many spirits
- One’s relationship with the Divine as personal; the Gods are the divine parents or divine family of humanity
- Recognition of the inherent and inevitable interconnection between life and death as represented by the eternal, cyclical nature of the changing of the seasons (i.e. land fertility), as well as through the honoring of ancestors, which builds and strengthens family identity
The external wisdom of Derekh Kochavim is inspired by modern Judaism, as well as my own personal moral / ethical code:
- Tikkun Olam – Social and environmental justice (i.e. Justice). A commitment to continually contributing to social and environmental justice in whatever ways one can.
- Berit – Being in covenant with community (i.e. Integrity). Living honorably, keeping promises, and treating others with respect. We are anti-racist, and oppose all forms of bigotry, hate, and intolerance.
- Teshuvah – Repentance as Transformation (i.e. Self-Betterment) An awareness that nobody is perfect, and self improvement is part of one’s spiritual journey. The view that all honest mistakes and failures are opportunities to learn and grow.