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Tammuz 5778


New Moon Reading

In the longstanding tradition of mystical Jews and lifestyle publications, we bring you New Moon Readings. They aren’t fortune telling or magic, and they’re not about luck or a mysterious power. They draw upon on the wise monthly themes of the Hebrew calendar, the influence of the solar system on our daily lives, and, sometimes, totally pagan prognostication tools (tarot!) to guide us.

This is New Moon Reading is brought to you by At The Well.

Last month – Sivan – was about actualizing our creative goals and connecting more deeply with our personal truths. That’s some serious work. While it may bring on feelings of freedom and accomplishment, it can also put us face to face with some harsh realities.

This month – Tammuz – has themes of anger, fear, mourning, grief, and learning.

Historically, this is the month when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem. It’s the month when Moses lost his cool after seeing the Israelites worshiping idols. Consequently, it’s also the month when the Israelite women were rewarded for not worshiping idols with the declaration of one of At The Well’s favorite holidays: Rosh Chodesh.

In Tammuz, there is both light and darkness.

Think back to the lessons of dark, frosty Kislev and the illumination of Chanukah. Way back then, in the dead of winter, we worked to see the light shining in the darkness. Six months later, during the summer month of Tammuz, we get the inverse of this lesson: there is also darkness inside the light.

Through one lens, summer means no school for kids, barbecues, and carefree afternoons. When we approach this season from the Hebrew calendar, though, we see that the scorching light of summer also brings deep and challenging lessons of mourning and grief.

When the sun’s rays are at their harshest, the heat from that unrelenting, powerful light can get misdirected, causing us humans to do very human things. We may become overheated, impatient, and quick to anger under the light of the blinding sun.

Jewish sages tell us to pay very close attention to the emotional heat of Tammuz.

If undirected, this force can be brutal and intense and cause us to lose ourselves in anger, like Moses does in the first Torah portion of Tammuz, when he strikes a rock impatiently demanding water from God.

It’s not all heat and anger and uphill climbing this month! By calling upon Teshuvah, the return to oneself, this challenging month can open us up to deep revelations about our own power and potential.

This New Moon Reading is brought to you by At The Well, which connects women to body, soul, and community through wellness education and Jewish spirituality.

Image by Lubomirkin

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