New Moon Meditations
Dr. Terry Segal | facebook.com/EnchantedJourneyWithDrTerrySegalDR. Terry Segal
Much has happened in the microcosm of the Atlanta Jewish Times since my writing at Rosh Chodesh Kislev, but there is continuity. Tevet follows Kislev as surely as the sun rises and sets. It began Dec. 23 and ends Jan. 21. Events have also occurred in the world that have left us feeling more vulnerable, angry and helpless, as well as deeply, deeply sad.
My intention with New Moon Meditations is to empower us by fanning the divine sparks of our faith so that Judaism bonds us as a people and that we as individuals feel a sense of connectedness and purpose that is greater than our single selves.
The thought of aligning with a religion in these trying times may create fear for many and a desire to appear unaffiliated with any teachings or rituals. Spirituality is required. For your monthly meditation at the new moon, I plan to incorporate perspectives from Kabbalah and astrology, along with energy medicine, psychology and teachings from my book, “The Enchanted Journey: Finding the Key That Unlocks You.”
According to Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Formation), each month of the Hebrew calendar is associated with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the 12 tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body.
It can be uncomfortable to flex our spiritual muscles with concepts that are unfamiliar. I invite you to open your mind and your heart as we explore the month of Tevet.
The Hebrew letter for Tevet is ayin (ע). It looks like two eyes and a nose. We are in the zodiac sign of Capricorn, represented by the goat and ruled by the tribe of Dan. The sense is anger, and the limb or organ is the liver.
Our task for the month is to be like a kid, as in a young goat, steadfastly skipping and climbing the steep rocks upward to attain wisdom, reconcile what has been invalidated and acknowledge our anger while not allowing it to cause us to “sin.”
In traditional Chinese medicine the liver is associated with anger. The liver’s job is to be a storage area for blood not being used for physical activity. When liver qi (life force) is stagnant, a person can experience irritability, tightness in the chest and, in women, PMS. A deficiency in liver blood can result in dry eyes and pale skin.
The eyes of the ayin must be bright and aligned. One must look inward with the left eye and outward with the right. “Holy anger,” which we wrestle with this Tevet as we observe devastating violence in our world, must rouse our souls against our own evil inclinations and connect us to the core of our goodness. To store the anger doesn’t serve us, but to erupt with uncontrolled emotions is equally unwise.
At times we want to close our eyes to the hatred in the world, but we must keep them wide open. There was illumination from the light of our candles at Chanukah, and we must carry that light forward in these darkest of times. In Tevet we can even feel as if the light of the Creator is absent. Everything was supposed to be joyful and peaceful, with new hope and prosperity. We are challenged with balancing our vulnerability and our desire to be in control. The Enchanted Key to Altered Perceptions has us integrate our internal emotions with the actions we take in the external world.
Our task for this month is to rise above our fears, anger and anxieties. The only safe place for our souls is in our faith. That cannot be taken from us, but we must be careful not to be the ones to lose or dismiss it. When we have seen the darkness, we must remember the light and put our faith in God.
Take a few deep and cleansing breaths and quiet yourself. Look inward to observe what anger you may be storing, creating stagnation. Then look outward to see what appropriate actions you might take in the world. Now acknowledge your desire to control things that are out of your realm. Breathe in and name them, then exhale as you turn them over to God.