Spiritual Energy of Tevet

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Well, here we are. It is the coldest, darkest part of the year. For weeks, we’ve hunkered indoors, only to emerge, bundled and wrapped, to scurry from building to building, rarely getting enough time to enjoy the fresh, if super cold, air. Some of us walk into work when it’s still dark, only to walk out again after the sun has already set. In this crystallized ice, we can get seriously grumpy.

We yearn for the warmth and the light

The spiritual energetics of this month reflect these dark times; cooped up inside, with so much time spent in the dark, we often also encounter the darkest corners of our inner worlds too. Last month, Kislev asked us to reach into our hearts and connect with our dreams. Tevet asks us to touch something a little more fiery.

This month, we’re challenged to look without flinching at our internal lives, process our deepest, most difficult feelings, and purify ourselves of the negative angels we find.

According to the teachings of the Kabbalah, an ancient Jewish mystical body of knowledge, every month falls into the category of Jacob (good inclination) or Esau (evil inclination), named for the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca. Endless teachings on humanity come from their story.

Tevet is one of the three Hebrew months belonging to Esau. It is one of our most challenging months, a fact reflected in the history of Jewish people. It was during Tevet that the walls of the first and second Temples were breached. If you feel like you’re thrashing during Tevet, that’s normal. Your struggle is part of the cycle. Although dark and difficult, Tevet is your opportunity to grow.

Judaism double dares us to incorporate the light, the positivity, and the call of the Divine into all that we do.

With every thought and every action, we have another chance to become active participants of the world. We have agency, and it’s on us to remember the blessing that is our free will. You didn’t choose the body you live in, and maybe even your car, but remember this: you’re the driver of both.

Chanukah, the only holiday that straddles two Hebrew months, is about finding the light in the darkness, rededicating after destruction, and conjuring the miracles we wish to see in the world. The Chanukah oil represents the light of wisdom, which helps us see and understand each moment as influenced by the Divine.

Wisdom is the ability to feel from the soul and move through life knowing that every moment, even the suckiest ones, can be a meaningful step on the journey... if we make it so. Chanukah teaches us this lesson eight days in a row. Even witnessing our Holy Temple destroyed was part of the learning process and the journey of the Jewish people. We continue to honor this story of destruction, terrible though it is, because it offers us the chance to feel with our souls. 

If we understand wisdom in this way, and treat each moment as an opportunity to receive more information about the world and deepen our relationship with our light, then negative emotions can’t push us around.

We can choose to be thankful for the lessons we’re offered and make our wobbly way ever closer to equilibrium. Facing, and even embracing, the darkness that Tevet unveils is an important step in this process. Welcome this shot at wisdom. Everything you discover and release this month will help you make space for expansiveness later this year. (The spring brings Passover, a holiday of expansiveness. Plant your seeds now. It’s not too late. They’ll blossom in time. Remember, our Hebrew calendar is cyclical, like the seasons.)