I have a fascination with the star shaped symbol made of 12 sticks called the Merkaba. It has many mythical and symbolical properties. I believe that from the first time someone made one up until today no one ever made one without a sense of wonder when it’s finished and starts rotating on a string.
The Merkaba in different cultures
In the Arab world the symbol was known as the Seal of Salomon.¹ The legend of the Seal of Solomon mainly comes from medieval Arabic writers, who wrote that the the symbol was engraved in a ring by God and was given to the king directly from heaven. It was depicted as either a hexagram or a pentagram and was later adopted by Jewish Kabbalists.
The word Muraqabah (“to observe”) is the name of a sufi meditation meaning to find balance within oneself by watching over their (spiritual) heart and gain insight into the heart’s relation with its creator and its own surroundings.³
In Hindu mandalas the shape is generally understood to consist of two triangles—one pointed up and the other down—locked in harmonious embrace. The two components are called “Om” and the “Hrim” in Sanskrit, and symbolize man’s position between earth and sky. The downward triangle symbolizes Shakti, the sacred embodiment of femininity, and the upward triangle symbolizes Shiva, representing the focused aspects of masculinity.¹
The mystical union of the two triangles represents Creation, occurring through the divine union of male and female. The two locked triangles are also known as ‘Shanmukha’—the six-faced, representing the six faces of the son of Shiva & Shakti, Kartikeya, the God of war and brother of Ganesha.¹
The hexagram is also a called satkona yantra or sadkona yantra and can be found on ancient South Indian Hindu temples. It symbolizes the nara-narayana, or perfect meditative state of balance achieved between Man and God, and if maintained, results in “moksha,” or “nirvana” (release from the bounds of the earthly world and its material trappings)
In Tibetan, it is called the “origin of phenomenon” (chos-kyi ‘byung-gnas). It is especially connected with Vajrayogini, and forms the center part of Her mandala. In reality, it is in three dimensions, not two, although it may be portrayed either way.¹
The Merkaba, or its flat representation, the Star of David, is the national symbol of Israel and jews worldwide. Though the shape does not occur in the bible as such, the name Merkaba does appear as the chariot of God in Ezekiel’s vision. The main works of Merkabah literature was composed in the period 200–700 CE. Later references to the Chariot tradition can also be found in the literature of the Chassidei Ashkenaz in the Middle Ages.¹
The Merkaba has gotten a revival through the books of Drunvalo Melchizedek¹ who designed and rediscovered techniques to enhance ones energy by using the shapes of the two tetrahedrons in visualizations.
The shape is full of symbolic meaning; twelve sticks, like the months of a year, two triangles entangled in perfect balance like night and day, summer and winter, male-female.
The practical shape of the merkava makes it useful in many items that need to be folded like camping chairs. It can be argued that the Eiffel tower was built using many Merkaba’s piled on top of eachother.¹
The Merkaba is actually a cube shape. When it is laying down on the floor or table it is a sturdy square with six faces.
Want make your own simple Merkaba? Find instructions here