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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Shvat Tov!

Chodesh Shvat Tov!

The Hebrew Month of Shvat begins at Sundown on January 1st. 

Shvat belongs to the Tribe of Asher, and is associated with the Mazal of "Dlee," the pitcher of water, otherwise known as Aquarius, the Water-Bearer.

Shvat's element is Fixed Air (even though Aquarius is the water-bearer!) and, appropriate to the Tribe of Asher (which is associated with delicious foods) the Sefer Yetzirah tells us that the stomach is the body organ associated with Shvat, and the Tikkun of Shvat has to do with eating.

The Bnei Yisachar ("Discourses on Shvat") says that according to Astrology, Dlee-Aquarius is the sign of the Jewish People. No other sign of the Zodiac is as concerned with issues of humanitarianism, universalism and the brotherhood of mankind as is Aquarius. The bucket of water is an appropriate sign for Israel, because water is a symbol for Torah, and it is Israel's job to be the water-bearer for this world.

Each of the Four Elements (Fire, Air, Earth and Water) operate in one of Three Modalities (Cardinal/Initiating, Fixed/Establishing or Mutable/Transforming). The Month of Shvat is the Fixed Air Sign of the Zodiac. 

All three Air Signs (Gemini/Sivan, Libra/Tishrei and Aquarius/Shvat) are associated with the Torah - which was given over by Moshe ("Mishna Torah") beginning on Rosh Chodesh Shvat (Aquarius, Fixed Air, Establishing Torah). The Torah was given to the Jewish Nation at Sinai during the Month of Sivan (Gemini, Mutable Air, Transforming Torah) and during Tishrei the Second Set of Tablets were given (Libra, Cardinal Air, Initiating Torah).

It is interesting to note the Planets associated with the Months and their Modalities in this example. The Planet Mercury (Kokhav) which has to do with communication, is associated with Gemini (Mutable/Transforming Air) and the Tribe of Zebulon, known for conducting commerce (via shipping) with foreign nations.

The Planet Venus (Noga) is associated with Libra (Cardinal/Initiating Air) and the Tribe of Ephraim. Venus is concerned with beauty, relationships, balance and justice/fairness, as well as the arts and romantic love.  The Second Set of Tablets that were given by Moshe during Tishrei were the sign of the RELATIONSHIP that HKBH could live with in regards to the Jewish People.

There are two Planets associated with Aquarius. One is Saturn (Shabtai) which co-rules Capricorn/Tevet, and the other is Uranus (Oron). There are good reasons for the co-rulership and the evolving of our consciousness about the Planets in general and their relationship to the Nations of this world. 

Saturn (Shabtai) is concerned with structure, order, organization, boundaries and restriction ("Tzimtzum").  The relationship between Tevet and Shvat is most interesting. They are the Months on this side of the year said by the Ari as "belonging to Esav" from Rosh Chodesh Tevet - which remember, is STILL within Chanukah! - until Tu b'Shvat). Tevet and Shvat are the two eyes (according to the Holy Ari who attributed facial organs to the Hebrew Months), Tevet is "Ayin" and associated with the right eye, and Shvat is "Tzadik" and associated with the left eye. One needs both the right and left eye to see properly and in perspective.

Uranus (Oron) is originality, individualism, humanitarianism, a visionary perspective. It's the energy associated with hiddushim, original insights. No other Sign of the Zodiac has more talent for originality, or is so intellectually curious, as Aquarius. It is interesting to recall that both Copernicus and Galileo were Aquarians. Shvat is the Month most conducive to original thought. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Solar/Gregorian New Year 2014, and a happy and holy Chodesh Shvat 5774!


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