By Dr. Terry Segaltsegal@atljewishtimes.com

The Hebrew month of Nisan begins on Saturday, March 21, and is the first month on the biblical and astrological calendars. It’s a month of miracles, redemption and freedom.

Dr. Terry Segal

Dr. Terry Segal

The name Nisan is derived from nes (miracle) or nas (flee or escape). (I wonder whether the Nissan car creators knew this.) Our challenge in Nisan is to free ourselves from what enslaves us. Here are clues to unraveling the mysteries of the month: Hebrew letter hey; Zodiac sign Aries; tribe Judah; sense speech; and controlling limb right foot.

Hey is two of the four letters in G-d’s name. With this letter, Hashem spoke the world into being: “Let there be light.” Nisan is the annual renewal of the creation of the world. This is most evident to us in spring when everything blossoms from the quiet barrenness of winter. The spring equinox falls on March 20.

Hey is a quiet letter, spoken on the outbreath sound of “h.” Our sages teach us that after Avram and Sara added this letter to their names and became Avraham and Sarah, the creation of their children occurred.

Nisan’s zodiac sign is Aries, a fire sign. Fires can warm us and cook our food. At their best, Aries are pioneering leaders who are daring and energetic. When burning out of control, however, fire is destructive. At worst, Aries may be aggressive, intolerant and inflexible. We need leaders who guide with their heads. Remember that we all possess the aspects of each sign in varying degrees.

We must receive the awakening from above to cleanse ourselves so that our internal wars between the personality and the soul don’t manifest as external wars. Mars, the red or warring planet, rules at this time, so from the new moon to the full moon on Passover, our wars and conflicts are determined for the coming year. The impulsive yetzer hara dragons cannot be allowed to dictate with anger and hatred. We can represent creative sparks rather than careless embers that ignite.

For Passover, we cleanse our spirits as we search out the hidden crumbs from our darkest corners in a spring cleaning of our souls. During the seder many would prefer not to taste the bitterness of the maror, but we must to remember. Bitters are actually good for us. They aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients by signaling our stomachs to secrete the hormone gastrin, which produces the acid to break down our food efficiently. We take control with the Enchanted Key to Altered Perceptions to overcome the bitterness in our lives.

Nisan’s tribe is Judah, the first of the tribes, which means “to give thanks.” The sense of speech is highlighted, and kings rule by the power of their speech. It’s the essence of leadership. On Passover we are commanded to fulfill the mitzvah of telling the story. Haggadah means “telling.”

The controlling limb is the right foot. In energy medicine, the right side of the body’s circuitry is male. You can remember it through the phrase “right-hand man.” Feet have to do with grounding and walking. The masculine qualities of walking in balance are those of trust and confidence. We want to put our trust in leaders who bypass the ego and “walk the talk.” Speaking words of Torah while walking was likely the beginning of this concept.

As we progress on our path today, there is continual discovery of Torah’s wisdom and its application to modern life.

Our forefathers and foremothers were redeemed from Egypt, and we, in this month of Nisan, have the opportunity for redemption ourselves. As the inner wars find peace, may the outer wars do so as well.

Meditation Focus

What struggles have you gained freedom from in the past year? What enslaves you now? What actions can you take to break free from the Aries imbalances, repetitive thoughts and behaviors that can move you toward freedom?

Dr. Terry Segal is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a hypnotherapist, holds a doctorate in energy medicine, and wrote “The Enchanted Journey: Finding the Key That Unlocks You.”