My Hermés Tohu Bohu scarf. It’s one of my favorite scarves, not just for its beautiful design but for the meaning behind it.
“Tohu Bohu” is Hebrew for disorder; primordial chaos; the state of the world before God created light.
The design is based on the mandala, a symbolic structure of the universe. The concentric geometric diagram of the mandala attempts to contain the formlessness of the universe.
There are three levels to the mandala: The outer stands for the human environment; the inner is those who live in this environment, or humans; and the alternate level is the teachings of the universe.
As a ritual object, its hypnotic nature can induce a mental state that supports spiritual evolution. Or more intentionally, it may serve as an instructional tool in which man moves gradually to the innermost zone, an act analogous to the the quest for the center in a labyrinth.
As mandalas may be identified with all figures composed of various elements enclosed in a square, such as the labyrinth, the horoscope, or the clock, it is not a surprise that Hermés associates its Zodiac scarf with Tohu Bohu, which happens to be another one of my favorite scarves in my collection: