Av: Rituals and Activities

Some practices and rituals to try out or adapt during the month of Av.

Tarot Card

Consider the Strength card of the tarot which shows a woman in control of a lion or a woman holding up a pillar.  What does each of these say about the power of the a wise woman?  What does this say about strength and power?    What is the difference between the two?  How can you have power in situations when you feel like you don’t. What is the role of strength, even if you think you are powerless?  Think on the message of this card in your life.

Eicha | Lamentations

Read Lamentations and explore the meaning of this text for yourself.  It is traditional to read Lamentations on Tisha B’Av.  Consider the concept of the Strength card in contrast with the destruction in Lamentations.  What kind of strength do you need when the walls are torn down and it seems like nothing is left?  How do you move on?  What do you do?  Where do you go?  Look at the different versions of the card — who is the lion and who is the Wise Woman?

Begin to explore the unhealed rifts and tragedies in your own life that hold you back?  What do you need to heal to move on in your own life?

Tu B’Av

Hold a Tu B’Av clothing drive!

Hold a ritual for Tu B’Av to honor the grape harvest.  Use the Teleshemesh ritual or create your own.

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Chachamah | Wise Woman

The Netivah, Pathway of Shekhinah, for the month of Av is the Chachamah – the Wise Woman. Explore what the Wise Woman and Wisdom mean to you.  Create a collage of images and words from magazines, books, and newspapers.  Try blending ancient texts with modern images to create an altar piece to honor the force of Wisdom in your life.

Shake up Your Prayer Practice

Mix up your daily prayer practice, if you have one.  It’s so easy for this to become a wrote process that we walk through and gain little but repetition from.  If you normally speed through prayers, try slowing down and seeing what emerges in the space.  If you work with a set list of prayers, try mixing it up a little.  Maybe even putting prayers in a bowl and pulling them out.  If you are generally spontaneous, try a little planning.  Spend Av working with a specific practice and see what you gain from the repetition of the experience.

Red Heifer

Learn about and contemplate the Red Heifer as a symbol of life, death, and rebirth.  Giving birth in previous generations was a risky business and still is for many people today.  Many women died in labor and many, many more children died before reaching their first birth day.  Today non-binary and trans people have new challenges around pregnancy and birthing that we’re culturally exploring for the first time.

Craft your own Red Heifer from fabric or dough and burn it as an offering to cleanse yourself or in honor of the many brave women and people who been the ultimate sacrifice bringing new life into the world.

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