Metaphysical meaning of Miriam (mbd)
Miriam, mir'-l-am (Heb.)--contradiction; outcry; protest; rebellion; perversion; bitterness; grief; sorrow; amiable; aromatic; sweet-smelling; fragrant; height; altitude; elevation; exaltation. Miriam and Mary both come from the same root word. There is no name that offers a wider range of seemingly conflicting ideas. Myrrh also comes from the same root, offering the same contradiction of bitterness to the taste and aroma to the smell. The taste, among the ancient sages, was always associated with sensuous desires, covetousness, whereas smell was associated with spirit, breath, understanding, inspiration.
a Sister of Moses and Aaron (Exod. 15:20). She accompanied them out of Egypt and on their journey through the wilderness toward the Promised Land; she was smitten by leprosy because of condemning Moses, and was healed again by means of Moses' prayer (Num. 12:10). Later she died at Kadesh (Num. 20:1). b Another Miriam is mentioned in I Chronicles 4:17.
Meta. The soul, or feminine side of the love quality that is active in man (Miriam was of the tribe of Levi--love) while he is struggling to free himself from the errors and selfishness of personality, that he may be fully released from all bondage to human limitations and enter wholly into the Promised Land of wholeness and Truth. At the Miriam stage of overcoming the soul has not yet been delivered from all its bitter, rebellious, sense tendencies or desires, though it has been awakened to its higher possibilities.