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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sivan: The Power of Life and Death in Our Tongues

Read my horoscope for Sivan in The Jerusalem Post.


Gemini/Taumim from a mahzor, Germany 1342
Chodesh Sivan (June 4 – July 3) is associated with the constellation of Gemini the Twins (Taumim). Tradition tells us that it was during Chodesh Sivan that the Children of Israel received the Torah on Mt. Sinai: the ultimate Divine data-download symbolized by Gemini/Sivan's ruler, swift Mercury (Kochav), the planet of communication. Sivan is all about gathering and disseminating information and interfacing with the immediate environment as indicated by Sivan’s Tribal ruler, Zevulon, whose flag was decorated with ships, symbolizing his journeys along the coasts of the Mediterranean, seeking new horizons and new opportunities. 
 
This month the journey is towards upgrading our relationship to the concept of security, both personal and public. What makes you feel safe: structures or relationships? Institutions or family? Old fears compete with new alliances when Saturn, South Node with Pluto in practical, serious Capricorn opposes the Mars / North Node / Mercury conjunction in emotional, sentimental Cancer on June 13. “Trust but verify” now, as information is more likely than ever to be biased. 


The second in a rare series of three exact squares this year made by Jupiter in Sagittarius to Neptune in Pisces occurs June 16. Stretching the boundaries of dreams and testing the borders of perception, we must guard against extreme distortion of ideals and zealous fanaticism. Facts must actively fight against fear-fueled fantasy now.   


June 17’s Full Moon in truth-telling Sagittarius inspires frankness. Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”. The Summer Solstice (Tekufah Tammuz) and the Sun’s ingress into Cancer June 21 immediately following Neptune’s retrograde gives us a moment to evaluate whether what we’ve spoken has been life-affirming or destructive. May we be wise with our words and careful guardians of our hearts during Chodesh Sivan!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Chodesh Iyar: “I am G-d your Healer” (אני י‑י רפאך)


"Taurus" detail from silver Torah shield, Kiev Ukraine late 19th/early 20th century

Read my horoscopes for Iyar in the Jerusalem Post

Chodesh Iyar (May 5 - June 3) is associated with the constellation of Taurus, the planet Venus (Noga), the gallbladder in the human body, the left nostril of the human head, the Hebrew letter vav, and the Tribe of Issachar

I Chronicles 12:33 describes “The sons of Issachar who have the wisdom to understand the times [i.e. astronomy and calendars], to know what Israel ought to do”.  Issachar’s flag had a sun and a moon drawn upon it, as he is associated with the “counting month” of Iyar, each day of which is contained within the Sefirot HaOmer period.


Issachar’s spiritual gift of discerning the times and the seasons activates the healing powers of this special month, hinted at by the Hebrew letters spelling Iyar (אייר), an acronym for “I am G-d your Healer” (אני י‑י רפאך).  

The Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Uranus in Taurus opposite the Full “Blue” Moon in Scorpio May 18 occurs on Pesach Sheni, the “Second Passover”, symbolic of second chances. This celestial configuration demonstrates that “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11) empowering us to both speak and hear healing words of patience, understanding, and forgiveness, one to another, at precisely the right time. Second chances are opportunities for healing and restoration. 


Iyar also brings Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of Sefirot HaOmer commemorating the cessation of the great plague caused by lack of respect between Rabbi Akiva’s students, killing many of them. The Moon’s occultation of both Saturn and Pluto on Lag b’Omer are mini-eclipses, symbolizing the darkness that disrespect between Jews creates in this world. 


Let us take Iyar up on her promise: “I am G-d your Healer” offers second chances, healing from the wounds of mutual disrespect, restoration and wholeness to all Claal Yisroel!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

CHODESH NISAN: BIRTHING NEWNESS DURING “CHODESH HA-AVIV”


Aries (Taleh), from the Michael Mahzor, Germany 1258

Chodesh Nisan has just begun! 

The entire Jewish year is anchored on this single necessity: Passover must always fall in the spring. The entire process of determining the dates of the solar/lunar Hebrew calendar revolves around this imperative, so much so that the Torah calls Nisan “Chodesh ha-Aviv.” 


Chodesh Nisan is associated with the mazal of Aries, the planet Mars (Ma’adin), and the Tribe of Yehuda. The sign of Aries is the ram, the first of the Zodiac signs, the sign of leadership. Just as Yehuda led the rest of the Tribes during their desert wanderings, Yehuda leads the constellations which follow in the formation to their Tribal correspondences around the zodiac.


Because 5779 is a shanah meuberet / “pregnant” year, Rosh Chodesh Nisan began Friday April 5th, about fifteen and a half days after Tekufah Nisan, the Vernal Equinox, causing the Full Moon of Pesach (Passover) to appear on the afternoon of Friday, April 19. For Israel, the Pesach Seder will happen with the Sun at the final degree of Aries and the Moon at the final degree of Libra, while in the Diaspora the second night of Pesach the Sun will already have just entered Taurus and the Moon in Scorpio, shortly followed by Venus moving into Aries. 

This crucial time period between Wednesday April 17 when Mercury (Kochav) moves into Aries through Sunday April 21st this year impacts not just Israel but the world. If the year is indeed pregnant, we’ve now completed the transition period of the labor and it’s time to begin pushing! 

The attributes of Nisan/Aries/Yehuda are courage, valor, bravery, resolve, fiercely passionate about doing what is right, protecting those weaker than themselves, and initiating inspiration into this world. May we collectively channel our energetic heritage and birth new hope during this auspicious time! Chodesh Nisan Tov!