THE HAMSA HAND IN DANISH POPULAR CULTURE!
One of the ways you can get a sense of the increased presence and use of the Hamsa is in a new (2017-2018) Danish Tv-series that I have been watching called "Herrens Veje" (literal translation: The ways of the Lord). In English it's called "Ride Upon the Storm" and it stars the great Lars Mikkelsen (you might recognize him from House of Cards where he plays the Russian president Petrov).
The series revolves around a Christian pastor and his family - i won't write much about the actual series - but it is great to watch not just for the drama but for all the symbolism and especially the Hamsa hand!
GOD MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS
The Hamsa hand is used as an extra narrative element in the series and can also be seen in the intro-clip accompanied by the theme song by Claus Hempler, which is quite beautiful (attached at the end of the post below).
The song uses lyrics from a poem by William Cowper (1731–1800) and uses it's first stanza:
God moves in a mysterious way,
THE STORM & THE POWER OF GOD - PSALM 29
The name of the TV-show is clearly inspired by the poem and it brings also to mind the Psalm of David, Psalm 29 which is a one of the loveliest psalms written, it's a poem in itself.
In Judaism the Psalm 29 is usually interpreted to be about the advent of God in a the strength of a storm, where the voice and power of God is expressed through thunder, lightning, and earthquakes.
It is a psalm that gives praise to the God of creation who is the omnipotent Lord over all things and is above the storm. In the psalm the name Yahweh (יהוָה) is also found 18 times which in Jewish gematria is the equivalent to the Hebrew word 'Chai' ( חֹי ) meaning 'Life'.
In life, no matter how powerful & in control we humans think we are, anyone who has ever witnessed or experienced the powers of nature, our human powers tend to pale in comparison next to the unleashed powers by nature!
A storm is therefore also a very humbling experience. At some point we all experience personal storms in life and struggle to get through it or wait for the storms to pass - and sometimes one must surrender control, trust that things will be ok and ride the storm! The last word of the psalm is peace (Shalom). The psalm thus begins with a storm, but ends with peace - God brings his people peace even in the midst of storms.
There is hope!
I will write more about the חֹי in a future blog post as I also used it in my Hamsa Hand art here & in my blog post about the Tree of Life !
There is an extensive analysis of the Psalm 29 here.
IN DANISH IT'S CALLED A HAMSA HÅND
The Hamsa Hand appears in a few of the episodes of the first season, but especially in episode 7! It is known as the Hand of God, a symbol of protection and visually it's represented by the pastor's son August who holds up the Hamsa hand - as well as his own hands. (I won't say more about why - you just have to watch the series!)
If you want to read more about the Hamsa hand symbol and the other symbolic elements that I use in my HAAMSA art you can check out my blog.
MORE SYMBOLIC ELEMENTS IN 'HERRENS VEJE'
Two other still photos from the series intro shows grapes, wine, pumpkins and the pomegranate. You can check out more about the pomegranate symbol which i have written about , and also used in my Hamsa Hand artwork! In Judaism it is a symbol for fertility and success - and much more!
The bird is also represented in the series - there's a lovebird belonging to one of the characters and the intro shows birds flying high and also some that have sadly fallen to the ground.
It can look like sparrows and here it may allude to the Christian theme of the Fallen sparrow:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matt. 10:29) and "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight" (Luke 12:6).
The Sparrow as a Christian symbol thus represents the concern of God for the least among all people and they are always under God's protection. The sparrows are also symbols of pious families (such as is a theme in the Pastor's family heritage) who live (or try to) live humble, lowly lives in obedience of God's will.
In the series intro-clip the birds are not doves which are often used in the bible but birds in general are central nevertheless in Christian & Jewish tale. You can read more about symbolism of the dove and the eagle - bird elements i use in my Hamsa hand artwork!
NOW ENJOY THE MUSIC!
I recommend to end this blog reading by listening to the mentioned song - linked below, and of course to watch the series :) The soundtrack is also quite nice (Look for " Sange fra Herrens Veje " on Spotify).
Danish speakers can watch it here for free on DR where it is currently streaming.
To view some of my unique Hamsa Hand art prints go to my shop or contact me for more information!
H A A M S A