Nisan: Rituals and Activities

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

  • Working with the Na’arah (Maiden) – the Netivah for the Month
    • Make a Maiden’s altar with budding flowers and other items symbolic of the maiden.
    • What have you been afraid to do because of fear?  Invoke the Na’arah (Maiden) and let her strength and youthful exuberance help you make the next step.
    • For another view of the maiden, explore the strength card.  Notice this is the maiden with the lion, the symbol of the tribe of Judah and Jerusalem.  This is not the card associated with the month of Nisan, but it’s a powerful one to explore this aspect of the maiden and her relationship with the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.
    • Learn the story of Serach bat Asher.  She played an important role as the maiden and midrash gives her an important role in the Passover story.
  • Passover
    • Add a Miriam’s cup to your table and honor her both as a prophetess and as a brave young girl.
    • Have a Chametz cleaning ritual.  Symbolically burn the final grains of chametz from your home and think about what you need cleaned out of your life to find freedom.
    • Explore different haggadot and add new elements to your seder this year.  If you are Ashkenazic, try adding a few Sephardic dishes or vice versa
  • Tarot: Card of the Month – Emperor
    • Explore your relationship with the Emperor, through the tarot card of the month.  What feelings does it evoke in you?  Do you feel powerful or powerless?  Is the emperor a symbol of your oppression or do you find yourself as the oppressor?  Do you find that you wield the power of the emperor with grace, compassion, and care? Spend some time working with this image and, where ever you are, transform your relationship with emperor to ensure that you draw on the positive power for yourself and those around you.

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  • Count the Omer:
    • Try counting the Omer using Rabbi Jill Hammer’s Omer Calendar of Bibilical Women:
      Learn about the women of Jewish scripture, many unnamed, who have been both lauded and forgotten.
    • Give a daily offering of barley groats, available in the bulk food section of many stores, to physically count the omer.  Pick a space outside and give your offering.  The birds may accept it on behalf of G!d(dess). Try using the kabbalistic sephirot associations as you give your offering.
    • Use a traditional omer counter to explore the 49 steps to freedom.

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