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Monday, January 7, 2019

Shevat: Tag-Team Titans Test Tectonic Tensions

Chodesh Shevat 5779 (January 7 – February 4, 2019 )

The Hebrew month of Shevat, which runs from January 7 – February 4 of this year, is associated with the Fixed Air sign of Aquarius (D’li, the water bucket) and the Tribe of Asher. 

Aquarius / D'li from Sefer Evronot, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1624

Aquarius is one of the few Mazzalot which has two planetary rulers. In classical astrology, Shabbtai” (Saturn) ruled both Capricorn and Aquarius. After Uranus (Oron) was discovered in the late 18th century, modern astrology assigned Uranus to the rulership of Aquarius. Yet Aquarius retains vestiges of Saturnian energy to this day and should be considered in the individual’s natal chart equally with Uranus in terms of chart rulership, if the individual has Aquarius on the Ascendant.

Aquarius from 4th Century mosaic floor, Hammat Tiberias Synagogue

Asher, the Tribal ruler of Aquarius, comes to teach an important lesson about how sometimes material blessings obscure our self-perception, impeding our ability to do the hard work of self-scrutiny which leads to self-improvement. 

Both Jacob and Moses blessed Asher (which means “Happy”) with abundance and prosperity, from which he would support his brethren. Yet Asher’s riches created enough of a comfort zone for him that he didn’t prioritize conquest of his Tribal portion and failed to drive out the Canaanites altogether from his lands. Although he joined his brethren in war against “foreigners” (Midianites, Amaekites and others), he wasn’t punctilious about ridding his own inheritance of the Canaanites. 

Aquarius, from the Amsterdam Mahzor, 1240

These external examples come to teach an internal reality. Aquarius is a loyal friend and humanitarian, but sometimes indifferent to his own vulnerabilities. Although the most idealistic of all zodiac signs in terms of his perception of others, if protected by prosperous circumstances, he won’t strive hard for self-perfection. Asher finds redemption through humility, as illustrated by when his Tribe accepted Hezekiah’s invitation to the Tribes of the Northern Kingdom to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 30:11). The part of our own personal natal chart where we find Aquarius is where we find our highest expression of friendship, brother/sisterhood, loyalty to community, and humanitarianism. 

This year Chodesh Shevat begins smack in the middle of Solar Capricorn and is kicked off with the Solar Eclipse / New Moon conjunct transiting Saturn. Less than a day later, Uranus stations Direct at 29 degrees (the “ultimate” or “critical” degree of any sign) of Aries after his latest Retrograde period, which began last August. 

Both Uranus and Saturn are exerting pressure in the effort to bring about change – Saturn in his slow and steady way, Uranus in his abrupt, sudden, and surprising way. These Titans are tag-teaming in the Cardinal (initiating) signs of Capricorn and Aries (aided by Mars’ recent ingress into his home sign) to overcome the tectonic pressure generated by fear-based resistance to what we all know in our heart is inevitable change. 

Comfort zones will be shaken, concepts about security upended, definitions of both “ally” and “enemy” will be reconsidered, ideals will be challenged. The universe is sending a memo: did you receive it yet? The times, they are a-changin’.

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