In English, it is called “the star of David”. In Hebrew, it is “magen David”, the shield of David. It features most prominently today on the flag of the state of Israel.
Magen Passion is a creative exploration of this shape and symbol. The shape, as a geometric entity, consists of two equilateral triangles, one pointing upwards, the other downwards, with the overlapping space forming a regular hexagon. This formal shape is called a hexagram.
We will not confine ourselves to this precise shape, however. As in the Magen Passion logo, we allow a softening of the six points using curved lines.
Almost any regular six-pointed shape can be seen as a magen or shield. In the case of the resemblance of some kinds of anemone flower to the magen, the resulting shape is close to being circular:
We will also not confine ourselves to seeing this symbol as being associated only with the state and the people of Israel. The Judaic connection to the magen is centuries old but the star as an occult or religious symbol is perhaps tens of thousands of years old. In this ancient and esoteric context, the symbol represents the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage of god and goddess. The upward pointing triangle represents the male, the downward the female.
Patterns suggested by this symbolism will begin to be explored in this book, with more explicit sexual designs being left for Book 3, Erotica.
We will bring the magen back to Israel by setting the designs against the backdrop of photos taken in locations throughout Israel.
All of the photos are believed to be “open source”, that is, free to use in non-commercial projects and so long as attribution is made. We apologise in advance if a photo is published here which is not in fact allowable under this license.
Most of the photos come from the marvelous collection made by the Elef Milim project. An example, Postcard 2, is shown below.
Finally, a word about the book and project title “Magen Passion”. Because the hieros gamos is a representation of the union of any pair of opposites, it was thought appropriate to represent as many pairs as possible in the project name. We have here one Hebrew and one English word, standing for the two main language contexts of this project. Magen, as shield, points to a war-like context while Passion points to love-making. The two initial letters of each word, Ma and Pa, suggest fertility.
We hope this exploration will inspire more people to love Israel, both the state and the people. And we also hope that Israelis will be enriched by the ancient associations to their national symbol.
Links to other pages of this project