Moon of Dreaming (November/December)
As the nights grow longer, we read many Torah portions about dreams and dreaming. In these long nights, take the time to dream and re-ignite your creativity.
- Linear Month: 3
- Torah Month: 9
- Season: Autumn to Winter
- Holidays: Hanukkah, Tekufah Tevet (Winter Solstice)
- Offerings1: Combinations of Fire and Water or other opposites, Braided Candles
- Element2: Fire (אֵשׁ) within Water (מַיִם)
- Symbol: Hanukkiah (menorah)
- Spiritual Focus3: Personal connection to Divine through creative expression
- Netivah: Baalat Ov (בעלת-אוב) Witch/Shamaness/Spirit Vessel
- Astrological Sign: Keshet (קשת) Sagittarius
- Letter: Samech – ס
- Tribe: Benjamin (בנימין)
- Sense: Sleep
- Guide: Belly/Digestion
- Tarot Card4: Temperance
- Soul Trait5: Yirah/t (יראה/ת) Awestruck, Radical Amazement
Note: Letter, Tribe, Sense, and Guide are derived from the Sefer Yetzirah
See NOTES for additional information on sources of these all correspondences.
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There is so much we could say about Kislev, but I think the spiritual focus is important this time year. Within a system I developed years ago, this season is the one where we naturally focus on our connections to the Divine through creative expression. For me, fire represents the element of personal connection to G!(d)dess and water is the element of personal creative expression. Put together we have a season where we can rebuild our personal Divine connection through the act of creativity.
Imagine taking this perspective to the gift giving of the season! Suddenly, it’s about being creative to recharge your personal bridge to the G!d/dess. Consider the sign of the Bow (קֶשֶׁת) and the Tarot card, Temperance, in this perspective. The bow bridges the worlds of fire and water and creates something beautiful and transient in between.
Now instead of seeing gift giving as a crass, commercialization of spirituality — see how you can use your creativity to reconnect you to G!(d)dess. Instead of hitting the sale circulars, get creative. Make your own holiday cards (digital or snailmail). Make your own Hannukkah or havdalah candles! You could bake cookies, try a new craft, or explore new music! Or go shopping – there’s no reason that can’t be a creative and spirit filled exercise. Maybe it’s at the mall or maybe you find a local craft fair or artisans to support.
It’s also worth noting that there is a strong connection to Kislev and dreaming. Maybe for you it’s time to start a dream journal and reconnect to G!(d)dess through the creativity of your dreams. The final Parshat of Kislev connects us to Joseph the dreamer, just as Hannukah connects us from Kislev into Tevet.
There are so many opportunities to try something new and be creative during the month of Kislev. Whatever you decide to do, focus on using this creativity to reignite your connection to G!d/dess.
Key Dates in Kislev
|1st||Rosh Chodesh Kislev|
Winter begins in Jewish Tradition, according to the Talmud
|13th||Talmud “completed” 475 CE|
|14th||Reuben ben Yisrael born 1568 BCE (traditional)|
|21st||Alexander the Great meets High Priest of Temple 313BCE (traditional)|
|25th||1st Hanukkah Candle|
Cain kills Able 3720 BCE (traditional)
Mishkan completed 1312 BCE (traditional)
|26th||First synagogue dedicated in United States 1763 CE|
|27th||Rains of Great Flood cease 2105 BCE (traditional)|
|30th||Rosh Chodesh Tevet|
Shabbat Torah/Haftarah Readings
Note some months the parshiot fluctuate and in others it is always consistent.
These readings were selected by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet to pair with the weekly Torah portions.
- I Samuel 28:1-25 we read to learn of the Baalat Ov mentioned in the Torah. Saul calls on the “Witch of Endor” for advice when all other advisors fail. This act, a woman calling on the dead for advice, which is thought to be so forbidden in Jewish practice is enacted by a King. Does the law not apply to him, or is this act only feared by priests who wanted to consolidate their power?
1: Offerings & symbols were developed by Kohenet Ketzirah haMa’agelet for use as physical offering practices or in artwork.
2: Elements follow R’Jill Hammer’s elemental system as explained on her website www.telshemesh.org and her book The Jewish Book of Days. See pages 16-19 for explanation of elemental system.
The interpretations of the Sephirot are also from Rabbi Jill’s teachings. Specifically, they are from her Omer Calendar of Bibilical Women.
3: The spiritual focus is my own concept of sustainable spiritual practice. It is based on my interpretation of the wheel of the year and the Jewish holidays, as taught by many. The specific focus is for a season, as based on the element have/need system taught by R’Jill Hammer in the The Jewish Book of Days, as referenced above. For example Autumn is the time of Air within Earth, we have Earth we need Air and is the spiritual focus of Community (Air) within Resources (Earth) or more simply: communal resources.
4: While tarot is not intrinsically Jewish, it is a derivative of Kabbalah and a can be a useful tool for self discovery and exploration. Tarot correspondences here follow Kabbalistic tree of life by Issac ben Luria, the Ari, as opposed to some of the more common Christian systems.
5: The soul-traits for each month are based on Kesharim K’doshim Mussar, developed by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet.