Rosh Chodesh Kislev begins at sundown on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. The month is best known for housing the festival of Chanukah, marking the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees after it had been destroyed by the Syrians. In this month of dreams, rainbows and miracles, our task is to be the bringers of light to the darkness.
The zodiac sign is Sagittarius, a centaur who is half-man, half-horse. Are you a Sagittarius or do you know one? Think about the qualities and traits of that person. The good aspects of the sign are that they’re smart, level-headed individuals. They’re caring, sometimes too much, deep thinking, risk-takers who are 10 steps ahead of everyone else. You always know where you stand with these wild, open, tell-it-like-it-is spirits. Some of their negative traits are carelessness in tasks, because of impatience, which can make them grumpy. They can be boastful, prone to exaggeration, attention-seeking, and brutally honest. While they may share their views about others, they often become time bombs of emotion themselves, until they explode, spewing everything out that they have withheld.
We all have aspects of each sign in our own charts, so this month we must guard against falling down the rabbit hole of darkness and work toward becoming the light for ourselves and our world.
Kislev invites us to explore polarization, of light and dark, and of concealment and revelation. It’s naturally a time of darkness as the last week of Kislev usually coincides with the winter solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year. This is when we light the Chanukah candles and put them by a window or mirror so the light is reflected and increases. But how many people feel light inside at this time of year? Many suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Sometimes mood can simply become a default response. If that’s you, there are actions that can balance the energies. Observe yourself and listen to your words. When it’s raining, for instance, do you say, “It’s miserable out?” Change your thoughts, your words, and your actions and you can change your life. If you need help, please reach out to friends, family, and/or professionals. No one should suffer, and certainly not alone.
This Kislev let’s look at the energy wheels, or meridians, nadis, in Sanskrit, and play with balancing them. We can celebrate the keshet, or rainbow, of swirling energy within our bodies. The 10 spiritual centers in Hebrew, called sephirot, add three aspects to the seven, more familiar, Sanskrit chakras. Sephirot begin at the top and chakras, the bottom.
Ayin, just above the head, atop the Tree of Life, is male energy, G-d, the undifferentiated infinity. On the bottom, below the tree is Shekinah, the differentiated reality, the Divine feminine energy of earth and great abundance.
The first, red root chakra, at the base of the pubic bone, is Kabbalah’s malchut, where Shekinah dwells. This rules grounding, or the lessons from your tribe.
Second, orange sacrum, hip bone socket, yesod, foundation, linked to the sexual center, rules betrayal, creativity and finances. Kabbalah’s hod, majesty, and netzach, eternity or endurance, to the left and right sides, balance yesod’s distribution point.
Third, yellow navel, tifferet, radiates the sun’s energy to build the world.
Fourth, green heart chakra, is balanced by gevurah, justice, restrictive power and chesed, abundant loving-kindness.
Fifth, blue throat chakra, binah, is understanding, speaking the truth and exerting the will.
Sixth, indigo, third-eye wisdom point chakra, hokmah, is the potential of what is.
Seventh, violet crown, keter, is connection to the Divine.
It’s believed that when balance is achieved between Shekinah and Ayin, with all the wheels spinning in harmony in between, the fulfillment of all of the mitzvot will be achieved, and that will mend the brokenness in the world.
Meditation focus: Light a candle in the darkness this month and spend time considering which of these aspects is out of balance for you. Take an action, no matter how small, to light the areas of darkness within you and then radiate them out into the world.