Rosh Chodesh Tevet began at sundown Dec. 15. The task of Tevet involves correcting our sight. We integrate inner and outer vision to see our issues clearly and align our actions with them.
The increased light from Chanukah candles illuminates the darkness. You know when a bright light is turned on and then off, you can still see the image that had been lit? We must hold the image with G-d’s bright light, even in the darkness.
While most of us don’t watch the planets move, we’re still affected by their meetups, revealing patterns from the past that repeat themselves and bring similar themes to our current experiences.
We began 2020 with the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in the sign of Capricorn. Saturn governs authority, structures, government and foundations, while Pluto is about collapse and transformation. We’ve witnessed both in our world this year, capping it off on Dec. 21, the winter solstice, or Tekufat Tevet. That’s when Saturn and Jupiter met up in the sign of Aquarius for the first time since 1405. This configuration symbolizes a blooming of culture, science and vision.
Many medieval commentators and Kabbalists, including Rabbis Ibn Ezra and Moshe Cordovero, mention the link between Shabbat and Saturn as having a special connection to the Jewish people.
Jupiter, the big planet, expands things and Aquarius governs airwaves, humanitarianism, progressive ideas, revolutions, science and technology. These powerful astrological and historical conjunctions heralded a new age over 600 years ago and also now.
Europe had endured the seven-year devastation from the Bubonic Plague. The expulsion of Jews from Spain, just as Columbus set sail to discover a new world, occurred in 1492. As the Age of Aquarius approaches in the next few years, hopefully we’ll have hindsight from the deadly effects of COVID and rising anti-Semitism, and create a world that is kind, just and built on equality and mutual respect.
The zodiac sign of Tevet is Capricorn, represented by the goat, a watchful protector that steadfastly moves up the mountain. Capricorn’s positive traits make them loyal, ambitious, hardworking team players. Their negative traits make them overly serious, critical, melancholy, unforgiving and suspicious. We all should watch for these traits this month.
Ayin is the Hebrew letter, resembling two eyes connected by a stem. Tevet comes from tov ayin, “the goodly eye.” The evil eye of hatred needs to be scrutinized and corrected.
Tevet’s tribe is Dan, the strong and watchful guardians of the borders in the Land of Israel. Dan means “to judge,” using the keen eye of discernment to look outward for threats or breaches to security, as it also urges us to look inward and assess our own actions as mature ones that benefit all.
The ruling planet of Saturn invites us to release attitudes, ideas and beliefs that won’t serve us in the new world. Each of us is called to become the most hard-working, effective and compassionate version of ourselves. The full moon of Dec. 29 brings an awareness of the need for compassion, for ourselves, others, and especially those who have been made to feel separate or insignificant.
Anger is the sense, or state of emotional experience. It can motivate us to correct our vision and view the events that occurred, the decisions made, and the changes that resulted, as learning. There were also great losses, which may be the most difficult to integrate. Both literally and metaphorically, we must sort through each material item or quality within ourselves and make a conscious choice to savor and value it, transform it, or let it go.
With the liver being the controlling organ, the focus is to keep it from becoming fiery. The liver’s function is to purify the blood. Emotions such as resentment, frustration, irritability and bitterness create liver stagnation. Continuous detoxification of these qualities is required for proper functioning. In Kabbalah, the body and soul are ruled by the brain, heart and liver.
Meditation focus: Look back over this year in which COVID blindsided us all. What did you close your eyes to? What did you “see” for the first time? What vision of 2021 can you integrate with your actions?