These are not whirling dervishes about to place their hats upon their heads. The caption under this photo reads: “Karen (Berg) charging the Red String of the Kabbalah Centre.” In 2012 the Kabbalah Centre led an Energy Tour to Israel which included a visit to the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem “to connect and charge large spools of red string with her energy.” On their website it explains that “Gravesites of Righteous people contain the essence of their energy. Rachel the Matriarch is known for her qualities of spiritual protection. Therefore The Kabbalah Centre brings the red string to Rachel’s Tomb to imbue it with her energy.
Donning red strings, particularly on one’s left wrist, is a cross-cultural, cross religious custom—with many explanations given to its underlying meaning. It would appear that for Kabbalists it is connected to warding off the “evil eye” and in particular, to ward off negativity toward a fetus or young infant.
In our own investigation of how people come to our website the data is clear. While the word Kabbalah is the key inquiry, a close second is red string. All other inquiries were surprisingly not close—Tree of Life, Jewish Mysticism, Zohar ranked well below red string.
I have been asked a number of times to help a person tie a red string onto their wrist. It is an opportunity to discuss with them their motivations behind wearing the string and if they have an interest in Kabbalah study. The string may be the entry point to self exploration or it may be clear that for the moment this is all that interests them—no use in trying to string them along.
If the person is ready to hear I will explain that the red string in itself has no inherent power to ward off negativity—but it can serve as a potent reminder to be mindful of the energy that flows from their intentions and actions. You could say that this is a key differentiator between a more magical approach and a more introspective approach to Kabbalah. Are these objects, such as a red string bracelet, a talisman or an aid to our inner work? The lure to magical beliefs is powerful. It is even more powerful when one uses an object and the “only string attached” is to remind you of your inner work.
I was recently speaking with my therapist about how exhausted I am from the busy-ness of life, the running around, trying to get it all done, and finding it hard to find time for self-care,