New Moon Meditations

By Dr. Terry Segal

Rosh Chodesh Adar began Thursday, Feb. 19. Adar is a time of increased joy, good fortune and miracles.

Dr. Terry Segal

Our task each month is to look for divine sparks that bring deeper meaning and richness to our current experience of Judaism. We can unravel the wisdom of Kabbalah, astrology, energy medicine and psychology to accomplish this.

Our challenge for Adar: How can we laugh and be joyful with so much turmoil in our world?

Here are the puzzle pieces to understand: Adar’s Hebrew letter is kuf, , zodiac sign is Pisces, tribe is Naftali, sense is laughter, and controlling organ is spleen.

Kuf means “monkey,” whose antics are often associated with entertainment and laughter. Laughter brings sweetness to the month and, as medicine, can turn despair into joy. Adar as the 12th month is a reminder that, somehow, we have come through the trials and tribulations of the year that has passed. Also, the written letter kuf dips below the line, which calls our attention to what else is beneath in the underworld. The evil we have witnessed on the news was brewing just under the surface. Destructive plans have erupted, and we struggle to integrate these opposing energies of Adar.

We can feel the grief, but we mustn’t drown in a sea of despair. Adar and the Book of Esther celebrate our Purim story. When Mordecai learned of the plot to destroy the Jews, he collapsed his energy and grieved. Esther, who had hidden her real name, Hadassah, and her identity as a Jew, instead took action. She made a plan to connect, gathered our people in strength and in doing so saved us. This is the miracle in Adar.

The coordinating zodiac sign is Pisces, the two fish swimming in opposite directions. We have two expressions of power. At the lowest level is the evil underworld of uncontrolled violence and hatred, and at the highest is our joyful celebration of our miraculous history. Both Albert Einstein and Moses were Pisceans.

Like the letter kuf, fish dip below the waterline, where things are murky or hidden. Water signs bring emotionality. Tears are shed. The Washington state floods occurred. All forms of watery things can trick us below the surface. The fish is considered a symbol of protection from the evil eye. We must look at things in both directions as we maneuver between the energies of dark and light, the seen and unseen.

Naftali is the tribe of Adar. The tribe was counted as the last of the 12 tribes, and its translation, read as two Hebrew words, is “sweetness is to me.”

The spleen is Adar’s controlling organ. Its function is to transform the food the stomach has digested into nutrition for the body, provide qi, or life force, for energy, and produce quality blood. In its connection to Piscean waters, the spleen also governs the metabolism of fluids in our bodies. When the fluids are out of balance, we suffer physical fatigue, anemia in the blood, and improper disposal of excess fluids, resulting in edema (swelling) or excessive phlegm. The skin can erupt in boils (one of our upcoming Passover plagues) and inflammation.

Like a healthy spleen, we must digest the news of our time and transform it. We can’t allow it to deplete us and crumble our spirits. The Enchanted Key to Altered Perceptions invites us to take hopelessly sour lemons and sweeten them to make lemonade. We drink in the sweetness of Adar until we don’t know the difference between “Blessed is Mordecai!” and “Cursed is Haman!”

What will bring tikkun olam, the repair of the world, may be below the murky surface, but the how is likely in joining together. Do we sit back, complacent, and allow the events to unfold, or, like Esther, do we take some action to unite? We are not alone and now, more than ever, need to remember G-d’s power to revitalize the fallen sparks of divinity.

Meditation Focus

Each day this month, quiet yourself and observe whether you are being carried away in a current of negativity. Lift your head above water and breathe in gratitude and hope. Acknowledge the pain in the world and exhale. Connect to your part in healing it and search for opportunities to laugh and increase your joy.