Tevet: Seeking and Seeing


(excerpt from Tevet Rosh Chodesh Guide)

Tevet is a month to seek clarity on our path.  Kislev was the month of illusions and the realm of the Ba’alat haOv.  Tevet is the month of the Doreshet, the seeker.  After visiting with the Ba’alat haOv, we must often begin our journeys again.  And we must begin when the days are still short, and the nights are long and dark.

The letter of the month, ayin, represents the gift of site the Ba’alat haOv gave us.  The letter means “eye” and the word Tevet is related to the word “tov” or good.  According to Inner.org, this source of blessing or “the goodly eye” begins with the “gazing at the the Chanukah candles, especially when they are complete on the eight day.”

But, Seekers are often waylaid by the evil eye.  And the Tribe of Dan and the Devil Card, associated with the month of Tevet, act as warnings on our journey.  It is said that the tribe of Dan represents immaturity and the Devil Card preys on that.  It traps us in our own excesses, which we could free ourselves from if only we were mature enough to realize it. Like the Israelites in Egypt, we can only free ourselves once we realize we’ve been enslaved. The image on most Devil cards can be liked to satyrs or seirim (שעירים), in Hebrew. (Leviticus 17:7)  These creatures would be found in desolate wastelands and in Arab legends they were “shaggy demon of the mountain-pass.” (wikipedia.org)

Because of this we need to invoke the astrological sign for this month, G’di – the goat for its positive associations.  We invoke the skill of this creature to venture up the steepest slopes and most treacherous mountains. If we remember the G’di we can trust ourselves to escape from anything, even our own excesses. “The goat works its way slowly, laboriously up the mountain of winter. Though the path is treacherous, the goat never slips or falls. Sure-footed, firmly centered in the earth, the creature eventually reaches the summit.” (Penina V. Adelman, Miriam’s Well (New York: Biblio Press, 1986), 41. via ritualwell.org)

The G’di can also help us defeat the negative associations of the Devil card and the the tribe of Benjamin. “Dan is likened to a snake, who bites with the venom of anger. The “evil eye” is the eye of the snake.” (inner.org) The G’di can leap over a snake or its hoofs can crush it.  The G’di also represents the scapegoat sent off to appease Azazel at Yom Kippur in the Torah. (Leviticus 16:8-10).  We can use the G’di to remind us that sometimes we must make a sacrifice to free ourselves.

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