Av: What is Strength?

The journey from Tammuz (Chariot) to Av (Strength) to Elul (Hermit) illustrated by the Transparent Tarot
The journey from Tammuz (Chariot) to Av (Strength) to Elul (Hermit) illustrated by the Transparent Tarot

It’s very interesting to me that the months of Av and Elul, I have in previous years assigned different cards and/or Netivot.  In theory, I’ve been using the same system for several years — but for some reason these months were reassigned. I don’t think there is any one system, so I could simply make up my own.  But I do find it interesting that when I’ve tried to follow a system, these months have not been included until now.

With that in mind, I look to the message of this journey from Tammuz (Chariot) to Av (Strength) to Elul (Hermit).  The simple question these three cards together ask is, “do you have the strength for the journey?”  It is a simple question, but words are important.  There are many words for “strength” in English and in Hebrew.  What word do you choose?  Would you choose a word that indicates “power” or “fortitude?”   Does it mean moral strength or physical strength to you?  Is strength about “nerve,” “vigor,” or “impregnability”?  What is strength to you?

Of course, your answer should depend on the situation.  So look at the mountain used to represent the Hermit. What is the private journey that only you and you alone can take in Elul, our month to prepare for the High Holy Days?  What is it you must do?  Where is it you must go?  Who is it you must seek?

Now, what kind of strength do you need?

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