The first suggestion we make is to read what we said last year about the month of Cheshvan. What will be said this year will build on what we said last year.
Below is the link to last year's Blog about Cheshvan. Please press your back button to return to this location after you read last year's Blog.
Remember, Astrology is not about telling the future, nobody can do that. By understanding the energy of each month, we are able to navigate smoothly through the month, because one cannot act the same way every month. Every month has a different energy and it helps to know what that specific energy is. The Book of Formation, ascribed to Avraham Aveinu tells us that without knowing astrology, it is very difficult to lead a life without chaos.
Cheshvan is one of the strangest months of the whole year. Its name is actually Mar Cheshvan. Mar means bitter. Why would a month be called bitter?
One of the reasons given is that there are no holidays in Cheshvan and another is that the Flood of Noach started on the 17th of Cheshvan. However, ask most people and they will tell you that Cheshvan is always a very difficult month. This is usually true, but it does not need to be so. So how can we make this month a sweet month? First of all Cheshvan is one of the most powerful months of the year, in fact Cheshvan is most probably the loftiest of all the months. There is more energy in this month than any of the months.
To understand Cheshvan we need to go back to Tishrei. Tishrei is the most spiritual month of the year with all the holidays. We are able to tap straight into the Sefirah of Binah the whole month. The problem is that Tishrei is only potential. For example; Sukkot is all about accumulating surrounding and inner light for the whole year. One Rabbi said it is like winding a watch and then letting it unwind the whole year. If Tishrei is all about potential, Cheshvan is all about starting to manifest that potential. The problem is that the holidays in Tishrei are very long, and when they are finished, most people just want to rest and take a break. This is the reason Cheshvan becomes a bitter month. In Tishrei people are davening a lot, giving Tzedakah, sitting in the Sukkah and generally doing a lot more mitzvot than normal. To manifest this energy we have to keep up that pace from Tishrei. We are on such a high level after all the holidays, that a fall can be very steep. If we stop doing the spiritual work we started in Tishrei, then Cheshvan becomes Mar/bitter. Yet if you change the letters of Mar(Mem and Reish) around it becomes Ram/elevated(Reish and Mem). HaShem is watching us, waiting and hoping to see if we keep our promises to change - to meet the promises and vows that we made in Tishrei.
Cheshvan is a month of extremes, either it is bitter or elevated, there is no in between. This is the secret to this month. Keep up with all the mitzvot from Tishrei and I guarantee that Cheshvan will be a very elevated month. Keep the excitement of Tishrei going. Cheshvan has the most energy of all the months and the third Temple will be dedicated in Cheshvan.
Remember in Tishrai 5780 over 800 men from the Tribe of Levi sang songs / Psalms from Biblical times on the Holy Mount above the western wall. This was the first time in approximately 2000 years.
As mentioned above, the Great Flood started on the 17th of the month. Some say that the month is named Mar/bitter because of the Flood. The question we need to ask is; there have many been many disasters throughout history, so why is this one singled out? Also why was water used to destroy the world?The internal energy of water is chessed/mercy. Water always flows to the lowest ground to share. Sea water is also a very good conductor of electricity and the body and most foods are made mostly of water. The fetus is also surrounded by amniotic fluid which is 98% water. What does all this mean?
In Judaism there is something called a Mikvah, a ritual bath. After a woman has had her menstrual cycle, it is a requirement for her to go and dip in the Mikvah. If she does not go to the Mikvah, she is not allowed to go with her husband. The idea is that during her cycle she is impure and only after she has dipped in the Mikvah, does she become pure and able to go with her husband. The Mikvah is most probably the most important mitzvah that a woman has. For men the Mikvah is not an obligation but most chareidi/very religious men go to the Mikvah every morning before they pray. It is a big deal for them. One reason for men to do so is the attribute of modesty. Every ejaculation of sperm requires the cleansing of the Mikvah. Since no one wants others to know when they have been their wives or Chas V'halom a wet dream they go the Mikvah every day. Some follow the teachings of the Ari to dip in the Mikvah every 3 days. For some they utilize some lenient views that depending on the water flow a modern shower suffices providing the length exceeds 40 minutes. For all techniques there are meditations associated with the first 2 verses of the Ana Bekoach in addition to the cleansing water.
What is the secret of the Mikvah?
The Mikvah creates a protection shield around the person and purifies them. When one goes under the water, metaphysically they die, (humans cannot survive under water). When this happens, all their negativity dies as well and theoretically they come up a new pure person. It is difficult to keep this state but this what happens. One can keep this state as long as they contemplate HaShem and the words of Torah. This is the secret of the Mikvah, the ability to purify oneself.
With this in mind, we can start to understand why HaShem used water to destroy the world. Before the Great Flood, the world was full of sexual immorality & thievery and the only way that HaShem could purify the world of this negativity was with the chessed/ mercy of water.
Scorpio/Cheshvan is a water sign but is the left column of the three water signs. HaShem used the judgement of water as a means to cleanse the world. If HaShem has destroyed the world by some other means, it would not have been able to return the world to the original pure state, and therefore Cheshvan was the only month that HaShem could use. It was a big chessed. So in fact, the argument that Cheshvan is a negative month because of the Flood, is actually not a valid one.
One negative aspect that must be dealt with from the act of the flood is some of this water arose from the earth with fire attached in its elevated boiling temperature, This changed the merciful ways of water since fire is judgement. The only way to restore water humans consume is to say a Blessing prior to consuming all forms of water. This includes ice and snow as well.
It is interesting to note that Cheshvan is called the first Rosh Chodesh of the year yet is not; Tishrei is. We don't say Chodesh Tov on the first of Tishrai, we say Shana Tova. The first of Cheshvan is the most powerful day of the year besides Shabbat and the holidays.
Rosh Chodesh is the seed of a month and the whole month is encapsulated in Rosh Chodesh. Being the first Rosh Chodesh of the year, there is a lot of energy to tap into. Take advantage of this day, it only comes around once a year. Learn a little bit more Torah, give Tzedakah, do more good deeds etc.
The tikkun/correction of people born in Cheshvan is that they love to control. They will do anything for people, they love to give gifts etc. The problem is that they have a hidden agenda. They usually do these good deeds because they want people to owe them favors. Their tikkun is to do these deeds for HaShem and not for their calculations. They are also very aware of surroundings around them and will notice specific details about people and places, yet they are very secretive and hide their actions. They make great detectives and spies.
The animal associated with this month is the scorpion. What is the characteristics of a scorpion? First he has a very dangerous sting and second he is the only animal that will commit suicide if he is backed into a corner, for example, surrounded by fire. How does this apply to people? Scorpios can be very dangerous people if you get on their wrong side, especially women born in this month. The have a big sting and love revenge. They don't care if they hurt themselves as long as they get revenge/commit suicide. This is another tikkun of people born in this month, to realize that everything is from HaShem and not to take things personally.
The line of the Ana Becoach associated with this month is the third line and the letters of the month are Dalet and Nun, which spell Din/judgement. Scorpio is a water sign, but the left column of the three water signs.
Scorpio's have a lot of energy. If they are interested in something, they go all the way but if they are not that interested, it is very difficult for them to get excited about a project.
Remember even though these traits apply to people born in this month, EVERYBODY will have these tikkun / challenges this month.
There are no holidays in Cheshvan, but there are two Yotzheits in this month which are very powerful. First, on the 11th of Cheshvan, we have the Yotzheit of Rachael Eimanu + the Hilula of Metuselach. This day is a very powerful day and we can get as much from this day as some holidays. Why? To give some background, Rachael died because of evil eye. Yaacov unknowingly put a curse on her when he said to Laban; With whomever you find your gods, he shall not live; Genesis 31:32. Yaacov did not know that Rachael had taken her father's idols. Because she died from evil eye, she became the antidote to evil eye. By connecting to Rachael on her Yotzheit, we receive the power to protect ourselves from this form of negativity. Also Rachael sat on the idols - some say during her Nidda, thereby treating them with no respect, denigrating them. This is a big lesson for us. When we acknowledge negative things we give them power. Step on negativity. Rachael is also the mother of Israel and she will surely look after us if we do our spiritual work. When the first Temple was destroyed and the Jews were being led into captivity, Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaacov and Moshe Rabeinu prayed for them. HaShem did not except their prayers. But when Rachael prayed for them, Yormeyah 31:15, HaShem accepted her prayers.
In Genesis 30:22, HaShem remembered Rachael. What did HaShem remember? He remembered how Rachael gave her sister the signs she and Yaacov had agreed on so that she would not be embarrassed. Not only did she give Leah the signs, but she made Leah feel like Yaacov really wanted to marry her. Rachael went the extra mile so much so that Leah once told Rachael, "You nearly took my husband".
Yaacov and Rachael were soulmates from the time of creation. Yaacov loved Rachael deeply and was pained that he could not be buried with her. He knew that one day, the Jews would pass her grave and she would pray for them and HaShem would accept her prayers.
She said to HaShem that just as she did not want to embarrass her sister, so too HaShem should not get upset that Bnei Yisrael went against HaShem. When HaShem heard her words, He was comforted and said He would not forsake Bnei Yisrael.
Don't take this lightly. Her Yartzheit is a very big segulah for protection and we can learn a lot from the middot/character traits of Rachael. She was so selfless that she is the Matriarch who is called the Mother of Israel. Her son, Yosef, also was able to master the ability to get rid of evil eye.
We also have the Yartzheit of Rabbi Avraham Azulai on the 21st of Cheshvan. He was born in Morocco in 1570 and died in Chevron in 1643. He was very well respected and his most famous book is called: Chessed L'Avraham; The Mercy of Avraham. This is a very deep Kabbalistic book and below is a extract from it. There is more translated on the yeshshem.com website.
You should know that the amount of [undrawn water necessary for] a mikvah [to be kosher] is [a volume equal to the displacement of] 5,760 eggs. (You need forty seah for a Mikvah, a seah is approximately 22 liters - one for each Hebrew Letter. There is the volume of 144 eggs in one seah. Multiply 40 by 144 and you get 5760). The secret regarding this is that, at the end of the five thousandth, seven-hundred and sixtieth year from the creation, the verse, "I God will remove the impure spirit from the land ..." (Zechariah 13:2) will become fulfilled, as well as the verse, "I will give peace in the land, and you will lie down, and no one will make you tremble; and I will remove the evil beasts from the land ..." (Vayikra 26:6); that is, the forces of spiritual impurity, as is mentioned in the Zohar. The mystery of the matter is, that, there are three periods of resurrection of the dead in the future at three different times. The first resurrection will be of the dead of Eretz Yisrael; the second resurrection of the dead will be of Chutz L'Aretz, and the third resurrection will be that of the seventy nations and the entire world; it will be a time of great judgment. The third resurrection will be at the END of the 5,760th year from creation (the solar year of 2000). Maayan 2, Nahar 59, B'Sod HaMikvah, Chesed L'Avraham.
Commentary by Keith HaLevi:
On Friday afternoon at noon, which is three quarters of the way through Friday, the day starts at night, we start to feel the energy of Shabbat. The year 5750 in the cosmic calendar is noon time on Friday. The same as we start feeling Shabbat on a regular Friday, from the year 5750, we will start feeling the energy of the cosmic Shabbat which is the energy of Mashiah. Rabbi Avraham Azulai says that we need another ten years (the 10 Sefirot) for cleansing, which brings us to the year 5760, which is the year he talks about in his book Chessed L'Avraham. He says that from this year, 5760 (which just happened to be the year 2000) we will start to feel the energy of Mashiach.
So since 2000, we have been in the period of the birth pangs of Mashiach. It is written in the Zohar that the Mashiach can come in two ways, either through mercy or through judgement (Chas VeShalom). If we look back at the last 19 years, we can see the prophecy of Rabbi Azulai is starting to come true. There is terrible judgement and chaos in the world. With all the terrorism and wars going on, especially in the Middle East and the fluctuations in the financial markets, people are more scared than ever. Also the technology revolution that has taken place over the last 20 years is crazy. Who would have believed 20 years ago that we would be able to do with our phones what we can do today. This might seem a good thing but it is actually destroying society. Families don't sit down to meal and bond anymore. Everybody is off with their own form of screen. One Rabbi called it the the curse of the screens. What are the kids born today going to be like in 20 years. Only HaShem knows. The only way to protect ourselves is to have complete faith in HaShem and do His work. Don't give power to problems. They are not real, they are an illusion. They might look real but they are an illusion. I guarantee if you keep up your work in Tishrai, HaShem will surely grant you a great month - a great year - a great decade which will bring you your personal Mashiach. The year ahead is going to be filled with many challenges, be strong and have complete bitachon - trust and vadai - certainty in HaShem and HaShem's Chesed - Mercy.
The bottom line is that this month is a bitter month not because of the Flood or because of no holidays. The Sages are trying to teach us that there is so much energy in this month, if one doesn't harness it, it will burn you and become bitter. Remember one of the traits of this month is it is extreme, there is no middle ground. REMEMBER THIS. Keep on with your spiritual work and turn the month into an elevated one.Chodesh Tov.
A Story About Rabbi Azulai:
The fallen sword of the Sultan:
In the early 1640s, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire made a journey from his seat of government in far-off Turkey to places of importance in his domains. He made his way to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron. He entered, adorned in his traditional ruling garb, including the golden sword, studded with diamonds and precious stones, which hung at his side. The Sultan wandered from room to room, finally entering the huge hall named after the Patriarch Yitzchak.
The center of attraction in the Yitzchak Hall is a small circular hole in the floor, near the wall shared with the smaller Avraham Hall. The hole is perhaps the most sacred spot in the entire illustrious structure above the burial caves of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, for it leads down into the caves themselves. Pilgrims from all over the world journey for weeks and months just to have the opportunity to stand by this small, dark, circular opening, leading into the cave, which according to tradition was excavated by Adam, the first man.
The Sultan leaned over the revered aperture, peering down into it. As he bent over, his precious sword fell from his side, down into the cavity in the ground. Hearing the clang of metal hitting the ground, the sultan realized that his sword lay in the caves underneath. The sultan called the officer of the guard and ordered him to lower a soldier through the hole into the caves below, to retrieve his sword.
Quick to respond to the Sultan's order, the officer selected a soldier nearby. Another soldier wrapped a rope around his waist and lowered the soldier into the underground cavern. No sooner had they done so when, without warning, piercing screams penetrated from inside the hole below. Quickly they pulled up the soldier, but he was dead. The Sultan ordered that another soldier be lowered into the caves. So it was, and his fate was precisely as his predecessor's. Quickly they pulled up the soldier, but he was dead.
The Sultan continued to send soldiers into the caves, until it became apparent that all who enter the caves do not exit alive. The Sultan turned to his hosts and exclaimed, "Who will return to me my sword?"
The Arabs, looking at one another, answered without hesitating. Why not send down a Jew? If he dies, none of us would care, and if not, you will have your precious saber back. So the Jews were ordered, on pain of death, to supply a volunteer to be lowered into the caves to return the Sultan's sword to him.
The Jews of Hebron had heard what happened to the Sultan's soldiers. How could they send one of their own to his death? They prayed and fasted, hoping to avert the decree. Realizing that they had no choice, they looked at one another. Who would dare to enter the sacred caves of the Patriarchs?
The elderly rabbi of the community, the Kabbalist and sage Rabbi Avraham Azulai, author of Chesed L'Avraham, solved the dilemma. I will enter the holy caves. Have no fear. And so it was. After praying and pleading before the G-d of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, Rabbi Avraham Azulai immersed himself in the mikvah and dressed in white garments, the traditional dress of the dead. He set forth to the Cave of Machpelah.
With a rope tied around his waist, Rabbi Azulai was lowered into the cave. When his feet hit the ground, Rabbi Azulai looked around him and found, standing by his side, three bearded men. We are your forefathers, they told him, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. Rabbi Azulai was dumbfounded. Finally he said to them, Why should I leave here and go back above? I am elderly, and here I have found my forefathers. I desire only to stay here with you. Why should I leave here and go back above?...The Patriarchs insisted, You must return the sword to the Sultan. If not, the entire Jewish community of Hebron is liable to be wiped out. But have no fear. In another seven days you will return here, to be with us.
So the saintly rabbi returned to the Yitzchak Hall, above the cave of the Patriarchs, and with him was the Sultan's sword. The Sultan was pleased. Upon seeing their beloved rabbi return alive, the Jews of Hebron declared the day a holiday. Rabbi Avraham Azulai spent the next week with his students, teaching them all the esoteric teachings of Torah. Day and night he learned with them, instructing them, imparting to them all that he knew.
Seven days after being lowered into the Cave of Machpelah, Rabbi Avraham Azulai returned his soul to his Maker, dying peacefully in his home. He was brought to rest in the ancient Jewish cemetery in Hebron, overlooking the final resting place of his beloved forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.
Another thought about Scorpio:
I heard a lecture from Rabbi Alon Anava about Scorpio and there is another very interesting point he made about this month. Everything I have read about Scorpio says that it is the most powerful month. Why? I never really had an answer until I heard this lecture. Let me explain.
The tribe associated with Scorpio is Menashe. Menashe had a special quality. What was that? He did not complain when Yaacov blessed his younger brother, Ephraim before him. He didn't mind being second. He was Mevater. What does this mean? He gave in, he accepted it without protest.
This is a very big midda - character trait. Being mevater reflects a profound understanding that HaShem is in charge of our lives. If something happens and a person is mevater, he realizes that the situation is exactly the way HaShem wants it. Menashe understood this and that is why he was quiet. There are many stories of people who gave in when they were right and afterwards miracles happened for them. Try this you will be amazed at how it creates miracles. When a man gives into his wife, he brings down all kinds of blessings on himself and his family. And also when he gives into others.
To give some background. From the beginning of time, there was always strife between brothers; Cain and Abel - Shem and Yafet against Cham - Yitzchak and Ishmael - Yaacov and Eisav - Yosef and his brothers.
This recurring theme is very important because none of these brothers were able to do the tikkun/correction of achdoot/unity. Unity is one of the most powerful forces in the universe and Chazal says that if the Jews were unified, they would bring the redemption immediately. It also says that if thieves are unified they will be successful. This is the power of unity. We also know that HaShem hates machlokets/arguments more than anything. When the Jews did the sin of the golden calf and the spies, the manna still fell on those days. Yet when Korach had a machloket with Moshe, that day the manna did not fall.
This tikkun/correction is one of the biggest tests in everybody's life and one that is with us all the days of our lives.
When Yaacov crossed his hands and wanted to bless the younger one first, Yossef told his father that this was wrong. Yosef thought that here we go again with the strife between the brothers. Yet there was not a sound out of Menashe. In all the writings there is not a word that he complained. This was Menashe's special quality. He was Mevater. Even though he was a big shot, he was Yosef's right hand man, he did not mind being second. He was happy for his brother. When he kept quiet he was able to accomplish this tikkun of unity. This is a very powerful character trait to have, to be happy for others with no jealousy. Later we see with Moshe and Aharon, that they perfected this tikkun. Moshe did not want to accept the job of the redeemer because he was the younger and Aharon was very happy for Moshe when he came to Egypt even though he was the older. Their relationship was the perfect one, in that they cared more about the other one than themselves. This is an amazing chidush - new teaching.
Why is unity so powerful? There are a few reasons and they are all very powerful. We know that the sin of hatred for no reason (Sinat Chinam) was the cause of the second Temple being destroyed and also the reason we are still in galut/exile. The antidote for hatred for no reason is love for no reason(Ahavat Chinam). Love for no reason comes about because there is unity between two parties. We know that the acronym for first line of the the prayer, Ana Becoach has a numerology of 506, which is also the numerology of Ahavat Chinam/love for no reason. This acronym is a very powerful force and can be used in our everyday life to help relationships with difficult people.
Also from Menashe, we learn that when he didn't complain, he let go of his ego. Most people would be upset that they were passed over and would complain. From Menashe's action we can use this to get rid of our ego. Humility is one of the most powerful character traits and connects to the Sefirah of Keter. Also Rabbi Akita told us that, Love thy Neighbor, is one of the most important laws in the Torah. This is a very deep subject, but one of the teachings, is that even though it is very difficult to love a stranger as much as your family, who are your closest neighbors, the idea is to want for your neighbor as much as you want for yourself. If you want a million dollars, then you must want the same or more for your neighbor. This was the power of Menashe. He was happy for his brother.
From the above we see that in this month we have the ability to connect to all these forces, unity, love for no reason, love thy neighbor and humility. This is the power of this month. So much energy. It is said that the light of Cheshvan is the most authentic light. Being able to connect to these qualities makes this month the most powerful and the reason the third Temple will be dedicated in this month. Turn the bitterness(Mar) into sweetness (Ram).
There is a relationship between the Parasha of a week and the Hebrew month and Astrological Sign that the Parasha is read within. The first link will explore these relationships.
Each of the 7 days of the week that a Parasha is read also has a relationship to the 72 Names. The second link will connect you to information about the 72 Names associated with this Month and Parasha.
Name: Cheshvan חשון Reckoning / Figuring
In its Aramaic meaning Cheshvan represents the concept of reckoning / figuring. In modern Hebrew Cheshvan has the meaning of feelings including worry and fear. This is the basic motivation of people born during the month of Cheshvan and this same energy will impact all of us during the month of Cheshvan. The month of Cheshvan is the only month without a Holiday, yet we will learn that the month is intensely energetic since the Flood started on the 17th day of the month and the Torah tells us about the energy of Chanukah in a coded way when describing the story of the Ark and Noach being the father of all mankind - even more so than Adam.
Attribute: Smell ריח Rayach: The word Rayach meaning smell is the least used and least understood sense. The word Rayach is cognate to our middle level soul called Spirit or Ruach רוח. It is said that the Mashiach will utilize the sense of smell to know the shoresh of each person's soul. During this month we need to take the time to "smell the roses". We need to contemplate what and how our next year is going to develop. We need to use our Rayach to nurture our Ruach. Contemplate this well.
Ancient Tribal Connection: Naftali נפתלי The meaning of Naftali is wrestling / struggling. This is the essence of being an Israeli - Wrestling with the Creator. Naftali is named by our Mother Rachel. This name is unique in that most men think that Rachel was struggling with her sister Leah regarding children. Actually the issue was with HaShem who is the giver of children. The Torah says Jacob loved Rachel yet it never says that Rachel loved Jacob. Rachel loved children. Both she and Leah felt alive when they bore children while Jacob needs his love of Rachel to feel alive. It is this love of Rachel that is the cause of her death as well. This is the same idea we will discuss when we discuss the astrological sign of Akrav or Scorpio who is the only animal that will kill its children when it goes into crises as it is capable to do due to its fears.
Modern Tribal Connection: Gad גד The Name Gad has the meaning of "fortune" as in good fortune. See below for more information about the Tribe of Gad.
Tribal Totem: Gazelle Ahyalah אילה The Gazelle has a strong connection to spirituality as well as being extremely agile. Because the Gazelle moves quickly and in balance, the Land of Israel was called the Eretz Ahyalah in ancient days. This moving quickly and in balance is a way of describing a strong spiritual connection so Eretz Ahyalah is another way of saying Holy Land.
Tribal Stone: Agate שבו Shavu. The Agate stone helps one walk in balance. Just like the Gazelle who walks in balance over uneven mountainous territory, the Agate stone helps people maintain their balance through many difficult life situations. The Hebrew word Shavu can also be translated as "His Seat". This implies that HaShem carries us through the difficult times in life like the month of Cheshvan which energy can be flood like and overwhelming.
Tribal Herb: Saffron כרכום KarKom . Karkom is believed to have the energy of unification of opposites. This is the role that it filled in the Ketoret - Incense by the Saffron. In the Incense the Saffron brings components together that will not mix together without the Saffron.
House: Death בית המות Bait HaMavet. The meaning of the House is not actual death. The meaning is like the gazelle when it leaps across the abyss from one known place to a new place that it has not been there before. This leap breaks limitations and breaks free to freedom. This is the meaning of the House of Death. Death represents known limitations that need to be broken open so that freedom can be seen.
Zodiac Sign: Akrav עקרב Scorpion . See below for information about the Zodiac sign of Akrav. One hint regarding the energy of the month comes through the letters of the Hebrew word Akrav. The middle two letters spell the word Kar which means cold. This coldness separates the Ayin from the Bet. Ayin Bet has a gematria of 72 which connects to wisdom. There is much potential wisdom or learning in the month of Cheshvan if someone will open their eyes and see the limitations around them which we call our house.
Tribal Flag: Light Red with an image of a Gazelle אדום קלוש Ehdom Kalosh. The light red indicates soft judgment but still judgment. See above for the Gazelle meaning.
Tribal Direction: North צפון Tzafon This word for north has the idea of hidden, concealed, and a mystery. This is the idea of jumping over one's rocks or problems to avoid going out of balance.
The month of Cheshvan is the eighth month of the Hebrew year. As the number eight relates to Binah in the frame of the Sephirot. Both Binah and Malchut use the metaphor of the Letter Hey in the Tetragrammaton. They both represent vessel. Binah represents vessel in the spiritual frame. It is a level of consciousness that is outside of the physical world. Of course, Cheshvan is in the physical world as it is a month that we use in the physical world. Yet it has a connection to being too much energy for the physical world. This is because during Tishrai all of the Holidays revealed a tremendous amount of Light which is expected to become manifest during the month of Cheshvan.
If one looks at the spelling of the Name of the Month Cheshvan one realizes that the final letter Nun represents that this word is a noun. The third letter Vav when looked at as the end of the word means "His." This leaves the first two letters hinting at the shoresh. This shoresh is Chet Shin Shin. The meaning of Chet Shin Shin connects to anxiety, fear, and worry. The meaning of the name of the month Cheshvan is strongly connected with worry and fear and anxiety.
The month of Cheshvan has a word added to it. Whenever words are added there must be a reason and that reason can not be just a physical reason. The typical answer to why the word Mar or bitter was added to Cheshvan by "the people" is that there is no Holiday in the month of Cheshvan. Of course, this is a physical reason and it is not complete. This word Mar comes from the shoresh of Cheshvan. The shoresh connecting to the energy of worry and anxiety. A lifetime of worry and anxiety leads to a bitter life. When one overcomes this fear and anxiety one can reverse the letters of Mar (bitter) and transform Mar to Ram which means elevated. That is the potential of Cheshvan. It can be bitter or elevated depending on how you handle the energy.
The months of the Hebrew year are connected to the Tetragrammaton. The Kabbalists teach that Tishrai along with Cheshvan and Kislev are connected to the Vav. In Kabbalah the Vav represents Zeir Anpin which is also called "Son." The "Son" is both the brother and the husband of the lower Hey. Zeir Anpin consists of what is called six ends. The Kabbalists teach that these attributes - six ends are the emotive passions or emotions.
The emotion and passion of the month of Cheshvan is fear and worry.
Here are the Letters of the month and the Tetragrammaton Permutation for the month of Cheshvan
The letters Dalet and Nun spell the word din which means judgment. A person born in the month of Cheshvan and connected to the Scorpio is constantly in fear and worry at the level of their soul. This is their Tikune. Learning how not to be afraid. Not to act out based on fear. Please realize that this statement belongs to the Scorpio where ever it is found in an astrological chart not just the sun sign.
As time goes along the length of the sign of scorpio along the elliptic is
Now let's look at the permutation of the Tetragrammaton for the month of Tishrai and what we can learn.
The Tetragrammaton is normally spelled יהוה. When the Yood is in the first position. The first position is normally considered the World of Atzilut (Emanation). The second position normally has a Hey and is considered the world of Brea (Creation). The third position normally has a Vav and is considered the World of Yetzirah (Formation). The fourth position normally has a Hey and is considered the world of Assiya (Action or Manifestation).
All of these worlds in the paragraph above relate to descriptions and teachings in Kabbalah. They are metaphors to help us understand and relate to these worlds that we do not see with our physical senses.
The word that is the Tetragrammaton is actually the Hebrew verb "to be" in a conjugated form. The Yood at the beginning of a Hebrew verb indicates action. Therefore, the Name of God translates into English as "Active Being." The ultimate essence of "Active Being" is transcendent power of love and compassion without regard to people's merit.
This normal permutation which is used in the month of Nissan puts the Name of God in its normal, proper, and optimal placement to provide for the maximum flow of the Beneficence of HaShem. In essence the Yood, in the World of Atzilut, allows for a concentrated point of connection to the World of Ain Sof or Endless World. The upper Hey in Beria expands to support actual birthing and Creation. The Vav then channels this energy of Creation into the final Hey in the World of Malchut which is Manifestation.
When we look at the permutation for Cheshvan, we see the Yood and Upper Hey in their proper position. This indicates the flow from the upper worlds is "normal." The third position has the Hey in the position of the Vav. This indicates an expansion of the vessel and the flow. The Vav in the fourth position indicates an inability to manifest energy and also a pronounced expansion of emotions. We see this in the Astrological impact of the month of Scorpio. They are ruled by their emotions primarily fear.
The letter Dalet created the planet Mars. The word Dalet means "door" or "doorway." The word Dal spelled Dalet Lamed means lowly or poor or pauper. The planet Mars is considered the planet of war or blood. With respect to the month of Aries this plays as breaking limitations and creating freedom. In the case of Cheshvan and Scorpio, Mars demonstrates a reactive behavior to strike first as a means of covering their fear and lack of courage. Again please remember that this applies to the Scorpio in a chart and that each person is composed of 12 different aspects - some manifesting courage and others indicating a lack of courage. Not all Scorpio's lack courage. Mars also lends strength to the Month of Cheshvan. This power goes into high gear whenever a Scorpio senses danger.
The letter Nun created the Astrological sign of Scorpio and also our sense of smell. The Midrash says that Adam and Eve used four senses when performing the Mistake we call the sin. They did not use the sense of smell and therefore, this sense does not to have the same level of correction as the other senses.
The word Nun means fish as well as failure. The true nature of the Scorpio is seen in the Hebrew spelling. It is spelled Ayin, Koof, Reish, Bet. The middle 2 letters Koof and Reish spell the word Kar which means "cold." The other two letters show the Scorpio's connection to the 72 Names of God. As we will see below, the Tikune of the Scorpio is to transform the Kar into Rack (Reish Koof) - Coldness into the connecting word "just or only or except." After this transformation the Scorpio has one of the strongest connections to the 72 Names possible.
The two letters Dalet and Nun spell the word Din which means judgment. Judgment can be very cold. When we transform this word into Nun Dalet or Nod which means wander or move we transform Judgment into justice. Justice is where the effect (punishment) fits the action (crime). The Hebrew word Tzedek which means justice is also a Name for the Sefirah of Yesod. This is usually the area that the Scorpio manifests their power in the sexual arena.
There are no specific Holidays in Cheshvan. There are some very powerful days in the month. One is the 11th of Cheshvan which connects to the Hilula of Rachel Imeinu. It is also the birthday of Benjamin HaTzadik. Also, the longest living man Methusalach passed on this day. It is said in the Midrash that the Flood did not start until the "Sitting of Shiva" took place for this Tzadik.
The 17th of Cheshvan is the day in History that the flood started. Remember the teaching from Kabbalah. The energy of the day is the cause for things that happen on that day. The 17th day is a good day in every month. This is from the gematria of the word good which is Tov in Hebrew. There are some Sages that teach that the Mashiach will manifest during the month of Cheshvan.
The 25th of Cheshvan is the day in History when the flood finished. Please read above for information on what this energy is all about.
Our Tzadikim have given us a great tool. Themselves! Their Hilulah is the opportunity to utilize their connection to the Creator to make our connection easier. The method we use is to light a Yahrzeit candle (25 hour candle) and learn about the Sage. This strengthens our connection to the Tzadik and through that connection allows us to reach the Creator more easily.
It is recommended that one mentions the Names of the Tzadikim every evening at the start of your evening prayer connection or just prior to going to sleep each evening.
Here are the connection to the Tribe for the month and the Leader of that Tribe from our website, with information about the Nasi and the attributes dealing with this month.
The Tribe for the month of Cheshvan is the
Here are strategies to adopt for this month of Cheshvan.
1. Limit your extreme emotions during Cheshvan. It is important to realize that the power and strength of Mars will tend to bring people to extreme ends of human emotional responses. With this realization make it a conscious decision to not be reactive and manifest these extremes.
2. Envy can be rampant during Cheshvan. Envy and Jealousy of the Scorpio are well known. One must guard against one's desires for what others possess during this month of Cheshvan.
3. Beware of the sting of the Scorpion. The Scorpio people strive for control. This is due to their extreme emotional fear and anxiety. When control is taken away from them they react with a powerful (sometimes self-destructive) action. This is referred to as the Scorpion sting. This is something that will impact each person during the month of Cheshvan not just Scorpio people.
5. Exercise Binding by Striking during Cheshvan. The astrological influence for Cheshvan will be strong emotional responses to situation. The only tool that assists us against these strong powerful reactions is Binding by Striking.
If your lunar north node is in the Zodiac sign of Cheshvan, your Tikune is in Cheshvan.
If you do not know where your north node is within your astrological chart send me your birth date birth location and birth time to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you information on how to find your north node and your personal Tikune.
In your previous incarnation as a Taurus, you were firmly attached to a certain way of viewing the world. This view left you stubborn, slow, and unwilling to change. You were the consummate Hedonist. You were in love with beauty and nature, were extremely possessive, and pursued material rather than spiritual assets. Fearful of the loss of your own comfort you cut yourself off from meaningful experiences. Hemmed in by obstinacy you did not listen or learn from others. In this lifetime you have the tools to make meaningful change.
This Tikune like most Tikunim is difficult. It may entail some material loss until one realizes the futility of materiality and makes a spiritual connection. As time goes on, you will become more independent in your actions. Your relationships will deepen as you develop more and greater empathy and remove the coldness (the middle letters from the Scorpio (Akrav). This can only occur when you start considering others and appreciating their connection to the Creator and not what material value they can have towards you. By letting go of your fear of material loss, you will increase your capacity to receive, both on spiritual and material levels.
Cheshvan is a difficult month; remember Tammuz and the first half of Av? In Cheshvan our material desires come to the forefront of our minds. Strive to overcome these thoughts and desires as they are not ever true for US in Cheshvan. They are false desires. If we realize this and do not pursue them we develop spiritual strength and build our vessel to receive the miracles waiting for us next month in Kislev.
I have a special relationship to the month of Cheshvan. This is because my last lifetime was spent learning the life lessons of the Scorpio. This lifetime to show me those aspects of myself that had not yet been completely learned the universe provided me with two parents who were Scorpio sun signs. They provided one sister also to show me this side of myself after my parents passed. I chose to marry a Scorpio wife and one of my daughters is a Scorpio. It is amazing how the universe works in providing us information about ourselves if we will just be honest with ourselves and open our eyes to see the truth.
The Scorpio people have the greatest ability to become one with Creator because they have the farthest to go in letting go of the material. This tikune is achievable. Someday ask me my full story and i will help you understand what i just said.
Scorpio people like the Scorpion animal have the ability to go into crises where they do not realize how self-destructive their behavior can become. In fact they will even eat their future by eating their children when they go into crises. This comes from their coldness and lack of empathy. When a Scorpio goes into crises IGNORE the crises and they will come out of it themselves. This is good advice to use during the month of Cheshvan. Ignore those who would lead you into crises. Use Binding by Striking to know who these "leaders" are.
Information about Prayers and the Months
During Tishrai we do not say the Prayer of Tachanun. Here is an original essay that gives us information about this sometimes daily prayer. i have added some additional Kabbalistic information about this subject as well.
Cheshvan and Tachanun
As we went through the davenning (prayers) throughout the High Holidays, we realized how influenced we were by the letters and words that comprised the different piyutim (poems) and prayers. The use of the Alef-Beit as an acrostic for many of the piyutim created a rhythm and beauty that complemented the content of the poetry. Having this experience in our davenning has given us the idea to have as a theme for this year's Alef Bytes a discussion of prayers in our davenning relevant to the letter for each month during the year. We hope that our study will enhance our appreciation for the spiritual structure of the Alef-Bet and strengthen our connection to our davening whether we are novices or experienced participants in formal prayer.
From Tishrei to Mar Cheshvan
Hanging onto the spiritual high of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah is almost impossible. How do we come down from the "high" of the High Holy days without losing who we thought we had become? How do we hold on and let go at the same time? What do we do with the dissipation of the intense spiritual energy from the entire month of Tishrei? How does the month of Cheshvan help us?
Return of Tachanun
From Yom Kippur to the 2nd of Cheshvan, it is traditional to not recite in the morning service the Tachanun prayer that follows the silent Amidah (Shemoneh Esrei). Tachanun is an intense prayer of supplication in which we let our face fall to our arm and plea for G-d's gracious compassion.
During times of joy and celebration Tachanun is omitted, so it waits till after Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon) Cheshvan to be recited.
Cheshvan & Tachanun
Both of the words -- Cheshvan and Tachanun -- have the word Cheyn (Chet-Nun) in them. The first and last letters of Cheshvan (Chet-Shin-Vav-Nun) and the central letters of Tachanun (Tav-Chet-Nun-Vav- Nun) spell Cheyn. Cheyn is most often translated as graciousness and is usually paired with the word Rachum, meaning compassion. We find these two words together in the 13 Attributes of G-d, "...Rachum v'Chanun..." "Gracious and Compassionate..." Rachum, compassion, is most easily understood to mean empathetic caring or deep sympathy. But what does Cheyn, Graciousness, add to this? Cheyn implies showing this compassion to someone undeserving, perhaps someone who has "fallen." Being indulgent and finding favor with one who is undeserving of compassion is the hallmark of graciousness.
Let us look at a deeper discussion of Cheyn. Cheyn is an acronym for Chochmah Nestar. This translates as Hidden Wisdom. Let us look at the other letters of the two words as well. Cheshvan has the letters Shin and Vav. When the Vav is spelled out completely the word becomes Shin Vav Vav which has the meaning of being equal or equivalent.
The letters left over from Tachanun are Tav Vav Nun. This translates as the "sign of fifty" which relates to the Sefirah of Binah. What we learn from this permutation is the month of Cheshvan can connect to Binah when the consciousness is equivalent of the Hidden Wisdom within Binah.
Finding Grace in G-d's Eyes
There is no more appropriate time for us to seek G-d's Cheyn, G-d's Grace, than after we have soared with all of our good intentions during the month of Tishrei and are in danger of crashing to the ground as we return to "ordinary" time. We need G-d to extend generous compassion to us, even if we are undeserving. This is the purpose of saying Tachanun during Cheshvan on days that do not have their own energy of joy.
There is no holiday in the month of Cheshvan to lift us up (hence the appellation Mar Cheshvan or Bitter Cheshvan). It is only through the grace of G-d that we can hang on to what we achieved during the month of Tishrei. And it is only through G-d's cheyn, G-d's grace that we can come down from the lofty place of the Shemoneh Esrei where we are in intimate conversation with G-d to return to our daily lives. Interestingly, this prayer follows right after the Shemoneh Esrei, the "high" point of the weekday morning service. These two high points, the month of Tishrei and the Shemoneh Esrei, are both followed by a month/prayer that enables us to fall without being lost -- Cheshvan and Tachanun.
Just as we literally put our heads down during Tachanun as we echo the words of King David, "...Let us fall into G-d's hand for His mercies are abundant..." we ask G-d to show us Cheyn, Graciousness, and rescue us no matter how far we may fall. Falling into G-d's hand is the path to our ultimate redemption. This is why some of the Kabbalists teach that Mashiach will manifest during Cheshvan.
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