By Dr. Terry Segal | tsegal@atljewishtimes.com

Rosh Chodesh Tevet begins Saturday, Dec. 12, the seventh day of Chanukah. The zodiac sign is Capricorn; Hebrew letter is ayin; ruling planet, Saturn; tribe, Dan; sense, anger; and controlling organ, liver.

This month contrasts good and evil, light and darkness, hidden and revealed, and the level of maturity in our decisions. We’re charged with turning negatives into positives by rising above our fears, anxieties, untamed anger and desire to control things. We also must allow HaShem’s wisdom to inspire us as we cultivate a vision of faith and spirituality to see our way through the

Dr. Terry Segal

Dr. Terry Segal

darkness.

Capricorns, symbolized by the goat, are stable, practical, methodical people who climb steadfastly up the craggy mountain with determination, perseverance and an eye on the prize. Externally, they appear stoic, powerful and deserving of respect, but internally, they might not be as self-confident as they are perceived.

Once their authority is threatened, they have the tendency to make unsound decisions. Richard M. Nixon and Mel Gibson are examples of this. Pessimism challenges Capricorns, as do social inhibitions.

With regard to money, however, planning and discipline bring Capricorns financial security. Tangible things are fleeting, though, and the development of spirituality is required. These Capricorn qualities appear in everyone’s chart.

Tevet’s Hebrew letter, ayin, looks like two eyes and a nose. We look inward with our good eye and strengthen our vision by consciously developing our midot, or internal aspects of our character. Looking outward, we see the world through the evil eye and must intentionally not succumb to it.

Capricorn’s planet is Saturn, which is the universal rule enforcer. It determines loss, dishonor, scarcity and confinement, as well as other negative aspects of life. The extreme darkness can be isolating, making us feel as if HaShem has left us alone to be responsible for protecting ourselves. Like the sun, HaShem’s light can seem farther away at this time, and so we must seek it.

The tribe is Dan, the fourth son of Jacob from his unknowing union with Zilpah, Rachel’s handmaiden. Dan is Hebrew for “to judge.” In Exodus it appears as if this tribe was responsible for several important projects, including “the tent of meeting, and the ark of testimony, and the mercy seat upon it, and all the furniture of the tent.” In another passage, the tribe of Dan is depicted as lowly, intermarrying Egyptians while enslaved, and as the lost tribe.

The sense is anger. There’s a distinction between immature anger, as in a temper tantrum, where the self-serving ego struggles to have what it wants, and a “holy anger,” during which strong emotions are expressed on behalf of G-d. The former is a cursing of the darkness, while the latter is surrender into it so that the soul overtakes the ego. In that free-falling, vast emptiness is the opportunity to connect with G-d in an act of faith. Such a connection enables untapped wisdom to be received as inspiration.

The controlling organ is the liver, which governs anger and, in Chinese medicine, is the body’s ruler, second only to the heart in importance. The liver governs metabolism, detoxification, and blood-related processes such as clotting, filtering, regulation, volume and storage.

When the liver is congested, the result can be redness of the face and eyes, glaucoma, night blindness, and visual blurring. When the liver is healthy and functioning properly, the eyes maintain their moisture, and vision is good. A constricted liver can provoke irritable and inappropriate outbursts of anger, which are often precursors to strokes and heart attacks, caused by the irregular flow of blood to the brain or heart.

Many other diseases and imbalances result from liver toxicity in the body, mind, spirit and emotions.

The health of the liver affects our decision-making abilities and self-esteem. There are dragon fire-rising personalities whom we might recognize as narcissists, as well as those with liver blood deficiencies who suffer from low self-esteem and are indecisive or overwhelmed.

Meditation focus: Look at the decisions you make. Are they fueled by anger, fear or anxiety, or are they mature decisions that balance thoughts and feelings? Allow the light from the Chanukah candles to be as torches, illuminating G-d’s wisdom in the darkness.