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expeditions on hebrew calendar
Rage, Disconnect, Adandonment, Connection, Cleansing, Motivation
Embodiment, Flow, Connection, Awakening
Integration, Laughter, Beyond Mind/Known
Begginings, Freedom, Redemption
Healing, Positive thinking
Alignment, Giving, Revelation
Perseverance, Determination, Vision, Falling
Heightened Presence, of showing up face-to-face with reality
Conception, Intimate relation, Harvest, Teshuva
Hope, Trust, Peace, Darkness, of seeing with the hidden light
Tevet is the month of fixing our relationship with ‘Rage’ which confronts us as we journey deeper into the dark winter and feel more and more lonely, disconnected and unaccomplished. Therefore, at its root-source in holiness, Rage is the energy that awakens and promotes connection, empowerment, and motivation. As such, getting in touch with our rage (an emotion that we - especially the more spiritual types - often try to repress), motivates us to connect. Rage also helps cleanse and purify since rage increases adrenaline levels in the body which causes the blood to flow and arrive at the ‘liver’ (the body-part of the month) where it is cleansed and purified. Cleansing occurs in the natural world as well during the month of Tevet since it is during this month that most of the rainfall of the year occurs in Israel, washing the surface of the earth and preparing the soil for growth, connection and rebirth.
Shevat the month of awakening and flow. During this deep winter month, despite the tree’s appearance as being “dead”, deep within the trees the sap once again begins to flow. In the land of Israel, the flowers are beginning to blossom. Trees are are beginning to regrow their leaves. It is a month of connecting to the rest of the world through the physical. The sense of the month is ‘taste’, of eating. The body part of the month is the throat. On Tu Bishvat, the birthday of the trees that is celebrated during this month we ceremoniously eat the various types of fruit which helps us reconnect and interalize and connection to the physical. During this month Moshe gave his dying speech, reviewing all of the Torah. During this month he also translated the Torah into the 70 languages of the world , teaching us that it is a time to connect to the entire world.
Adar is the last month of the year and the month of true identity. Through connecting to our true identity are then able to integrate our entire year. We can only integrate the entirety of our experience by getting out of our “monkey mind” and truly connecting to the experience of Life. We do this through the holiday of the month, Purim when we drink wine and become intoxicated in holiness. “When the wine goes in, secrets come out”. On Purim we also dress up and put on masks. We all wear various masks in life. When we become aware of them, and consciously put on one specific mask, we are able to actually reveal a deeper, truer identity. Adar is also the month of ‘laughter’, which is the manifest experience of realizing that not everything is as it seems, and that life is joyous and humorous. Laughter reminds us not to take life too seriously. When we do all the above, then we are able to ‘remember’ the experiences of our year and, from a place that is deeper than the level of ‘mind’, integrate our year.
Nisan is the month of beginnings, of miracles, of redemption, of renewal. In this month the Israelites were brought out of Egypt, and each year, we too are given the opportunity to step out of our personal exiles and start taking steps towards our promised lands. It is the month of ‘speech’, a time to be careful with our words and those inner-dialogues that imprison us.
Iyar is the month of healing. The word Iyar is acronym for, “I Am the Lord your healer.” (Exodus 15:26). During this month the medicinal grasses and herb in the land of Israel. After freeing ourselves from our bondages in Nissan, it is a time to seek those things which fill us with purpose and healing. It is the month of ‘thought’, of being deliberate that our thoughts are positive and healing.
Sivan is the month of alignment, of compassion, of giving, of revelation, of direction. It was during this month that the revelation of Sinai occured, when Moshe received the Torah and the ‘Ten Guiding Statements’. It is the month of ‘motion’, a time to starting walking, in alignment, down the paths that we clarified for ourselves during Iyar.
Tamuz is the month of perseverance, of determination, of vision and, of falling. Having a vision, foresight, is essential to success. Yet, built within this month of vision and perseverance is the recognition that one does not always succeed; that falling is always an integral part of the process. Tamuz is the month when the Israelites fell and made the Golden Calf. It is also when, in the pursuit of vision the ten spies were sent out and ‘fell’. Tammuz is the month of honing our ‘vision’, of looking ahead down our path and foreseeing the potential pitfalls on the way. It is also the time to Yet, with clear vision comes the realization that ‘falling’ will inevitably happen. As such, it is a time to build up our resolve and determination, to decide that when we fall we will get back up.
Av, halfway through the year, long since we set out on our journey in Nissan, after we have experienced our own failures and ‘fallings’, is the month to acknowledge and feel the brokenness in the world, to mourn. It is the month of ‘hearing’, of listening to the pain of the world. At the same time, it is also a month of listening for the hidden messages of hope that are ever present beneath the pain, vibrations that are more subtle than even the sight of Tammuz could perceive. As such, according to tradition it is the month in which the Mashiach is born.
Elul is the month of heightened presence, of showing up face-to-face with reality. As in the phrase, “the King is in the field” and as in Elul being an acronym for “I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me”. After we have admitted to ourselves and connected with the brokenness of the world and our inner selves, we can now more deeply be in authentic relationship with reality, to go out into the field and meet the King, our beloved, face to face, unobstructed by a fortified castle or fancy throne room. As such, Elul is the month of deliberate “action”, of laying down the bricks to be the foundation upon which we will create the world we want to manifest in the next month.
Tishrei is the month of conception, of intimate relation, of harvest, of teshuva, realignment with higher self. It is the month of Rosh Hashana, the day of beginning to manifest the world in which we want to live; of Yom Kippur, the day of cleansing ourselves so that we can align with that vision; and of Sukkot, the week of leaving our houses, our comfort zones, to connect to the other, to each other, and the world, and basking in the relationships, the harvest, that we have been working to create.
Cheshvan is the month of gestation, of digestion, of internalization. It has no holidays of its own as its purpose is to provide the opportunity to digest and internalize all the growth, realizations, and transformations that occurred over the past two months. As such, the body part of the month is the intestines and the sense if the sense of smell, the sense most connected to the processing of memory. It is the month when Noach entered and then exited from the Ark, the womb-space given for all the living beings to ‘be’ together and relearn how to live in balance with one another.
Kislev is the month of hope, of trust, of peace, of darkness, of seeing with the hidden light that is only revealed from within the darkness. It is the month of the darkest, longest nights and so, it is the month of “sleep” and dreams. For, to fall asleep one must trust. And when one sleeps in trust, one can dream. And the one who dreams has hope. And the one who hopes can truly change darkness to light and usher in the winter solstice of this month, the day upon which the nights begin to change to day. This day usually fall during the holiday of Chanuka, when the people’s hopes, dreams, and trust allowed for the miracle of a little bit of oil to last for eight days.