So here She is again, Shekhinah in one of her more fearsome appearances in the Zohar. To the best of my knowledge, none of the other sephirot come close to this kind of ferocity. King-Sun-Tiferet tends to be more stand-offish. Eclipsed as it were, He carries nothing like Her violent, physical force. Here’s how R. Shimon puts it:
Come and see: In various places they have established that name of the moon. When She is blessed by all, as it is written: terev, she increased –in the days of King Solomon when She and was blessed and assumed fullness. We have learned: A thousand mountains sprout vegetation before Her, all constituting a single bite for her. A thousand rivers swell toward Her, and She swallows them in a single gulp. Her nails clutch in 1,070 directions; Her hands grasp in 24,000 directions. Nothing escapes Her on this side and nothing escapes Her on that. Thousands upon thousands of shields adhere to Her hair. A single youth extending from the end of the world to the other, emerges from between Her legs with sixty strokes of fire, decked in his colors. This one is empowered over those below in Her four directions. This is the you who holds 613 supernal keys from the side of Mother, dangling from the flaming sword girded on his lions. That youth is called Enoch, son of Jared…” (Zohar 1:223a-b, Pritzker translation)
Psychological interpretations are tricky. Really, what the Zohar boys are thinking here I don’t know, and I’m not sure it’s even worth the bother to guess. Do they con-fuse horror and fascination? Or are these observations about gyno-power more clinical? I tend to think that pre-modern thinkers were far more comfortable and less phobic with this kind of stuff than are “we.”
For example, I was going to post a picture of Judy Chicago’s Red Flag (1971). An equal match to Shekhinah mother and her fantastic leaky body, Chicago’s photograph is, to my mind, the most radical icon of feminist art ever produced. Go look it up on Google image if you want. I was told not to in no uncertain terms by someone whose judgment I respect much more than my own.