The Month of Emotions - Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
According to Kabbalah, each day, week, and month contains different energy. There is no month that is the same. Each month comes with its own light, blessings, challenges, and opportunities. As we continue our life-long spiritual and personal journey, we step into the Hebrew month of Tammuz. Just like every month in the Hebrew calendar, Tammuz has its own unique energy.
Tammuz is an extraordinary month that shifted the lives of the Jewish people.
In this article, you will learn about the energy of the month according to Kabbalah and gain tools on how to navigate it.
If you prefer to hear audios, please click here to listen to a podcast episode on the energy of the month by Elisheva Lavi.
Let’s take a moment to review the Jewish timeline by reflecting on the previous months; Nissan, the first month in the Hebrew calendar was when we left Egypt and we gained intelligence and freedom. In Iyar, the Israelites prepared themselves to receive the Torah by counting the Omer for 49 days. Next is Sivan, we received the Torah which led to experiencing one of the most powerful revelations of light. Following Sivan is Tammuz, the month our nation mourned a great loss.
What happened that the Israelites went from thriving right before receiving the Torah to mourning a great loss?
According to Kabbalah, Tammuz and Av, were going to be times of enormous blessing. Although the Torah was revealed at Sinai, Moses spent the next forty days working with God to bring down the Torah, and instead, our nation experienced a great tragedy.
When Moses came down from Har Sinai, he saw the Jewish nation sinned by creating a Golden Calf. The name “Tammuz” is not Hebrew, it is actually a Babylonian named after the sun god (Ezekiel 8:12–18). The Jewish nation miscalculated Moses’s return and returned to idol worship. It was only the women that did not give in to the fear and trusted that Moses will return and they did not participate in the making or practice of the Golden Calf. For that, the women are blessed with Rosh Chodesh.
In addition to the sin of the Golden Calf, we begin mourning for the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem. On the 17th of Tammuz, we fast for the loss of the temples and we enter a period known as the ‘three weeks, a time of mourning. This period begins on the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of Av (the following month after Tammuz).
Tammuz marks the beginning of the very hot season, summer. Looking at the numerous tragedies that occurred this month, it is no coincidence that we are experiencing a lot of heavy feelings.
As shared earlier about the Golden Calf, it must be emphasized that the nation miscalculated Moses's return and panicked and the result was the Golden Calf. How many times in your life have you panicked over something that just after a few minutes, the panic was irrelevant because you misunderstood or it wasn’t as bad as you thought? In the story of the Golden Calf, we can learn a lot about trusting God in the process and being patient just a little bit longer in order to receive what is meant for us.
If the nation had just waited for Moses’s return, we would have been in a state of Mashiach - that is the power of the month.
Energy of the month:
Our opportunity is to transform our negativity into positivity. How do we do this? Chazal says that in the time of Mashiach, Tammuz will become a time of joy. The main job in Tammuz and the first half of Av is to be happy. This month and the next, Av, are heavy, especially during the three weeks and the tendency is to get down on ourselves. We have to work very hard to maintain a positive mindset and self-talk. By doing this we will merit a month of blessings in disguise and tap into the energy of faith.
Although Tammuz is a ‘negative’ month, what does ‘negative’ even mean? A negative month does not mean a bad month, rather it means there is more judgment in the month instead of mercy. The attribute of judgment is more common and challenged in these months (Tammuz and Av) and therefore more personal tests.
According to Kabbalah, the Shechina, the female aspect of God is lifted and less felt. As a result of all the tragedy, the Shechina, hides Herself in protection from the negativity. Through the Shechina, abundance, and love comes through. With the Shechina’s presence less felt, we begin to feel a sense of lack, scarcity, and instability. Kabbalah teaches that the Satan has more control this month giving us more hardship than usual.
Since Tammuz is the month of our fall, it must also provide the key to its repair. The Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Formation) presents us with a riddle, and a challenge: The rectification for this month requires that we learn to see in the dark.
The astrological sign that corresponds to Tammuz is Cancer - סרטן. Cancer is the sign of the carb and from this, we also learn how to navigate the month. The energy of the month is felt by everyone, whether you are born under this sign or not. For some and those that are indeed born under this sign, this energy is amplified but still experienced by everyone.
Cancer is a water sign and is the most dominant among the other water signs. Water connects to our emotions and this explains the increased emotions felt this month. The people born under this sign are sensitive that they protected a hard outside shell to protect themselves (just like a crab).
Crabs walk from side to side, not in a straight line. This is also seen in the people born under this month that they are either on the right or left - never in the middle. For them, life is black and white. They always seek the truth and justice.
The crab, just like the people born under the sign have a very hard shell with a sensitive and soft inside. They built this shell to protect themselves from a very hard world. As a result of their great sensitivity, they invested tons of energy into their shell to keep them safe. Someone that is not balanced, does not know how to open their heart up to love, friendships, and relationships.
Cancerians are strong on loyalty, trust, honesty, and family values.
Because Cancerians are a strong water sign, they also represent intuition. This is a great advantage in life because sensitivity can help build honest relationships and help others. This ability is essential in life. Being connected to your intuition and awareness of others are great tools for relationships and business. During Tammuz, we have the ability to strengthen our connection to our emotions and intuition.
The crabs also thrive both on land and in water. According to Jewish thought, water represents Torah, the spiritual aspect of life while land/earth represents physicality. The dance of the crab that balances from earth to water can teach us that we need both the Torah (water) and the physical (land) to prosper here on earth.
The energy of water is to share, give, and nourish - just like a mother. Cancerians are great givers and the need to be expressed. However, it is vital for Cancerians to find their balance when giving, if not, it can cause them much harm by draining their energy on people that do not appreciate the kindness in their heart.
Being a water sign, the energy of the month becomes very sensitive and emotional for everyone. People born under this month and those who are not aware of the energy can become overly emotional or reactive and even disconnect from their emotions. Emotions are not easy to balance but in Tammuz we are asked to go inwards, connect to our feelings, feel them, bring them to light and balance them.
Letter of the month:
According to Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Formation), the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are the 22 building blocks of the universe. Each letter has a frequency and each letter corresponds to a different month.
Chet (ח) corresponds to the astrological sign of the month and Tav (ת) corresponds with the planet of the month (the moon) and the month itself. By connecting to the letters of the month, we can draw down specific energy to empower us for the month.
The letter Chet, is created with the other Hebrew letters - Zayin and Vav - these were the two Hebrew letters that ruled over Iyar and Sivan (the two previous months). By meditating on the Chet, we can connect to the positive energy from Taurus and Gemini and overcome judgment and imbalance found in Tammuz.
Although the letter Chet has the same sound as the word “sin” in Hebrew (חטא), in relation to the sense of sight (the sense of Tammuz), the form of the Chet represents the dynamics of the spiritual light radiating from the eyes (the vav) and physical light returning from the object observed, to the eyes (the zayin).
The word Tammuz reads in Hebrew: "tam"–"connect together," and "ultimate"–vav zayin, the two letters that together form the Chet. The gematria of Vav is = 6; the gematria of the Zayin = 7; together equals 13 which is the gematria of the word Echad (אחד).
Echad means one or unity. One way of understanding the energy of Tammuz is we have the potential to complete the unification. To what unification are we referring? The unification of the Yood (י) and the Hey (ה) which spell the Name Yah.
The nature of Tammuz relates to a mother’s love, the love for her children. During Tammuz, we have the potential to unify our mind and body by controlling our emotions. Emotions are the hardest thing to control. They are the root of our reactive natures.
When we learn to control our emotions, we achieve complete unification of all of the worlds. That is the opportunity during this month of Tammuz. When we control our character traits as we worked upon during the Omer period in Iyar-Sivan, we essentially use the tools and healing to control our emotions and learn how to work through them.
The ruling planet of Tammuz is the moon and the letter that corresponds to the planet is Tav (ת). Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it also indicates the end and limitations.
The moon is very special. Rather than being a planet or a star, it is a natural satellite that moves around the Earth. The moon has a very crucial role in our world, it stabilizes Earth’s wobble on its’ axis and moderates our climate. The moon also directly impacts our tides with its gravitational pull on Earth by pulling the water forward and backward.
Just like how the crab sees life in black or white, the moon’s appearance is the same. It is no coincidence the moon is the ruling planet over Cancer as it also greatly influences the Earth’s water and the water within our bodies.
Tribe: The tribe of this month is Reuben. The name ‘Reuben’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘see’ (ראיה).
We have two eyes and each eye is a way to perceive life. Either you see life through negativity or through positivity. It is black or white. Either you are choosing to see your experiences as harmful and you become the victim or you see it as an opportunity for something greater.
The sense of the month is sight. The sight of Tammuz is not your regular type of ‘sight’ but rather truth-seeking, honest, and deep. By using your spiritual sight, we learn we can see beyond the perceived physical limits.
In order to reveal the divine soul, one must remove the hard shell of reality. This is done using the spiritual sight. To become truly spiritual, one must see beyond the 'normal' and notice the sparks of God in everything that occurs (even in the mundane). He/She opens the world of spirituality. They must have clarity of vision, and the capacity to see beyond the way in which they were programmed to. To look much deeper into life’s experiences and discover the mystical within,
Tools for the month: Practice your practice. All that you worked on in the winter months towards spiritual growth truly matters in these moments when you are asked to respond differently to life’s experiences. Do what you need to do to maintain a positive mindset, feel your feelings, acknowledge you are going through a difficult time, and communicate with your support team. Ask yourself how you can also show up for others and open your heart to others.
Nourish what you already have. In the summer we tend to stop our work and go on vacation. This is no coincidence as the Satah has more control and puts blocks in your path to do your amazing work. Let the energy pass to really make a choice in pivoting your projects and ideas. If you booked vacations, try your best to focus on what you can - even if it’s your mental and spiritual wellbeing.
See beyond the surface and physical reality - seek for the divine source.
Starting from the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of Av, these three weeks are known to be very harsh and full of judgment. It was during these three weeks that both temples were destroyed and the holocaust started. During the three weeks, use this time to feel your emotions while learning how to pick yourself up from them. It can be very hard but in order to receive mercy from God, we must give mercy to other people, including ourselves.
Tammuz teaches us to use darkness as a way to discover the light. Without the light, one cannot see in the darkness. It is in the darkness we can break through and gain clarity from within, outwards. During the whirlwind of chaos, we can find purpose, meaning, and discover our greatest gifts. All you need to do is see beyond the reality and into the divine source. If you learned something new or would like to support Elisheva’s work at Visual Kabbalah, please click here! Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about the energy of the month. Wishing you much love!
Einai, G. (2022). The Month of Tamuz According to the Book of Formation (Sefer Yetzirah). Retrieved from https://www.inner.org/times/tamuz/tamuz.htm
Live Kabbalah. (2022). Tammuz - Cancer. Retrieved from https://livekabbalah.org/tammuz-cancer/
Feuer, M. (2022). What is the 17th of Tammuz about?. Retrieved from https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/183168?lang=bi
Torah Mystic (2022). Month of Emotions. Retrieved from https://www.torahmystic.com/wisdom-rosh-chodesh-tammuz