Tevet: Rituals and Activities

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

  • Creativity to Reconnect: this is the season of creative expression.  In theory, it should reconnect us to the Divine.  We bake. We decorate. We shop. We wrap.  Take the time to let your creativity reconnect you to the Divine.
  • Celebrate Chag haBanot, the Morrocan holiday of the Daughters by using R’Jill Hammer’s ritual or by learning about many of the daughters of Torah like Serach bat Asher and Dinah. In this month’s Torah portions alone there are many, many daughters named. 
  • Explore the idea of Joseph as the Seeker and the correspondence to the the Devil card.  Joseph the seeker leads to the Hebrews trapped in Mitzrayim and enslaved until they saw they were enslaved; a common narrative of Passover seder.  People in Devil card don’t realize they have allowed themselves to be enslaved.  They could free themselves if only they chose to do so.
  • Create an altar to focus your energy on discovering and freeing yourself from the excesses or vices you allow to enslave you. Don’t assume what this excess may be.  Let yourself discover it.  Include items like the Devil card, images of the scapegoat, an evil eye amulet (often seen in Hamsas), symbols of honest seeking (the Hermit card?), the word Doreshest in Hebrew, and anything else you feel will help you discover what binds you and free yourself.
  • As you light the last few candles of your menorah, focus on the spaces in between the lights.  Hanukkah is not just about light. “The menorah teaches us about the unity of the light and the dark. Darkness is not opposition to light—it is what allows light to appear, to shine.” (NeoHasid.org)
  • A ritual to free yourself
    If you know what binds you, then perform a ritual to symbolize your desire to free yourself.  Write down what binds you.  This can be in words or maybe in pictures, whatever is most clear for you.  You might want to do this on images of goats (scapegoat) or on a Devil card image that is very evocative for you.  If the traditional image is not inspiring, try the Gaian Tarot’s interpretation (see Learn More).  Purify, cast a circle, ground and center, invoke elements, ancestors and Deity (according to your own practice), and then light a small fire or candle.  Safely, of course, burn the papers with the symbols of what enslaves you. Watch the papers burn and say, “as the fires transform this paper to ash, may I cleanse XXXX from me and me from XXXX.” Breathe deeply and exhale loudly and fully, releasing any remnants of negative energy in you.  If you are using a candle, blow it out on your last exhale.  If you are using a small cauldron or fire, use salt water to douse the fire and cleanse your firebowl.  End the ritual as you began, by thanking Deity, ancestors, releasing elements, releasing your circle and grounding and centering.  (See learn more for more on casting circles and the elements in Jewish tradition).