an illustration of the planet Mars
Mars is this month's planetary ruler. Will he bring you bitterness? Or greatness? (Photo/Pixabay-iludeo CC0)

Month of Cheshvan: a dance between harmony and aggression


Month of Cheshvan, 5779

Oct. 10-Nov. 7, 2018


The month of Cheshvan begins the evening of Oct. 9, ushering in an entire month without any major Jewish holidays. It is often called “Mar Cheshvan,” indicating the bitterness (mar) of a time devoid of celebrations or feasts. Yet Cheshvan is also called “Ram Cheshvan,” hinting at the high and exalted (ram) potentiality of this month: The midrash says that during the “mar” month of Cheshvan the rebuilt Third Temple will be rededicated, making it “ram” indeed.

Cheshvan is associated with the Tribe of Menashe, the fixed water sign of Scorpio (Akrav), the planet Mars (Ma’adim) in classical astrology, and Pluto in modern astrology. Scorpio is the ruler of sexual regeneration, the power of resurrection, shared resources and intimacies. This year much of Mars-ruled Cheshvan occurs while the sun is still in Venus-ruled Libra through Oct. 23, making the majority of October a dance between the planet of love and harmony and the planet of aggression and energy.

The Targum tells us Menashe acted as an interpreter between Joseph, still disguised as Pharaoh’s prime minister, and the rest of their brothers. Cheshvan gives us the power of interpretation between Venus and Mars, which speak entirely different languages. Romantic Venus in Mars/Pluto-ruled Scorpio begins her retrograde on Oct. 5. Secrets are revealed while passionate Mars in idealistic Aquarius seeks knowledge and demands truth. While honesty is always the best policy, it is especially so during this month!

The new moon in the Venus-ruled cardinal air sign of Libra on Oct. 8 births harmonious partnerships, while the full moon in the Venus-ruled fixed earth sign of Taurus on the Oct. 24 defines roles and delineates resources within relationships. Cheshvan is the month during which the Biblical flood began. May the redemptive power of Cheshvan lift us from the rising waters of deceit and spiritual darkness of this world and shelter us in the ark of enhanced sensitivity and intimacy available to us during this emotionally intense month.


Aries / Taleh

Your ruling planet Mars in Mars-ruled Scorpio empowers you to courageously pursue deep intimacy in relationships. You’ll need a heightened tolerance for intensity coupled with well developed patience. Trust is challenged as secrets are either kept or revealed when communicative Mercury joins partner-centric Venus and expansive Jupiter in Scorpio after Oct. 9. Like your tribal leader Yehudah, when confronted by truth, you’ll respond with humility when the Sun enters Scorpio Oct. 23.


Taurus / Shor

Your ruling planet Venus (Noga) in solar opposite Scorpio stations retrograde on the Oct. 5, throwing the brakes on recent romance and raising issues of ownership, possession and personal sovereignty. Power and partnership clash as the Sun in Venus-ruled Libra through Oct. 22 tries to avoid conflict. Like your tribal ruler Issachar, who knew how to discern the times and seasons, you’ll know the secret of perfect timing when the full moon in Taurus on Oct. 23 offers compromise derived from insight.


Gemini / T’omim

The flag of Zebulun, your ruling tribe, features sailing ships, echoing the busyness of your ruling planet Mercury (Kochav) as he swiftly travels from Libra to Scorpio on Oct. 9 and to Sagittarius on Oct. 30. It’s all about the quick ingestion and dissemination of information as unfairness or injustice is exposed by the new moon in Libra on Oct. 8 — and you’re the reporter sent to cover the event. Full moon in Taurus on Oct. 24 may resurrect the ghost of relationships past.


Cancer / Sartan

Resolve around hard-won health improvements is tried and tested between the last quarter moon in watery Cancer on Oct. 2 and the first quarter moon in earthy Capricorn on Oct. 16. You’ve learned from your emotionally sensitive tribal ruler Reuven to avoid family-fueled triggers and not overreact to well-meaning criticism. The moon, your planetary ruler, models how to sync your mind-body connection with nature’s cycles by going with the flow. Be gentle with yourself now — reject punishing perfectionism in favor of compassionate self-care.


Leo / Aryeh

The T’li, lunar nodes described in Sefer Yetzirah, have been on the Leo/Aquarius axis since May 2017, enhancing the dynamic tension between personal and communal identity, the individual and the collective. Managing anger, the character flaw of your tribal ruler Shimon, has been your life-lesson during the transit of Mars (including his retrograde) through Aquarius, now in harmony with the sun in Libra. Finish strong and prepare for the next race after the last quarter moon in Leo on Oct. 31.


Virgo / Betulah

Your planetary ruler Mercury’s transit through Scorpio Oct. 9-30 sharpens your persuasive skills in service to your community. Your tribal ruler Gad’s name means “troop” — your instinct is to muster a troop against fears raised when Mercury conjuncts Venus in Scorpio on Oct. 15 during the moon’s transit through fact-finding Capricorn, uncovering hidden insecurities and inspiring honest analysis of relationships. Close contact with Jupiter (Tzedek) in Scorpio Oct. 28-30 elevates magnanimous instincts and expands opportunities for service, especially benefitting women and children.


Libra / Moznayim

The sun, Mercury and the new moon in Libra on Oct. 8 desire partnership, but your ruling planet Venus in retrograde Scorpio after Oct. 5 demands the kind of intimacy only radical truth-telling will produce. Full moon in Venus-ruled Taurus on Oct. 24 supports accepting your own vulnerability as evidence of membership in the family of humankind. Jeremiah 31:20 recalls Ephraim, your tribal ruler, as a “dear son” and a “delightful child,” promised mercy. Claim that promise by showing mercy to others.


Scorpio / Akrav

Venus in retrograde Scorpio begins Oct. 5. Coupled with Mercury in Scorpio Oct. 9-30 and Jupiter in Scorpio all month, you’ll have the piercing power of both insight and hindsight. Your tribal ruler Menashe was renowned for his formidable strength and you will call on that strength to steady your laser-like focus, examining your path in minute detail and recalibrating your trajectory if you discover you’re off-course. Your magic powers peak when the Sun enters Scorpio on Oct. 23.


Sagittarius / Keshet

Jupiter, your ruling planet, has been in your solar 12th house for a year, allowing time to dissolve old hurts and bring unconscious patterns from beneath the surface into the cleansing light of consciousness. All the wisdom, humility and patience you’ve painfully developed while waiting for your ship to come in pays off this month as you see the light at the end of the tunnel approaching. New moon in Libra on Oct. 8 births a new level of community connection. 


Capricorn / Gidi

Structured planetary ruler Saturn (Shabatai) and powerful Pluto join the first quarter moon in determined Capricorn on Oct. 16, beginning a new cycle which continues through 2020. The seeds you plant now determine the kind of fruit you’ll harvest in two years. Call on tribal ruler Dan’s legendary fierceness to guard your personal boundaries against pests and intruders, both physical and spiritual. Like the mountain goat you’re named for, you’ll deftly climb the craggy rocks after unloading emotional baggage that doesn’t belong to you.


Aquarius / D’li

Your planetary co-rulers steady Saturn in Capricorn and unpredictable Uranus in Taurus make an earth trine. This grounds you in the practical wisdom Serach, daughter of your tribal ruler Asher, who used soft, poetic song to gently break the news to her grandfather Jacob that his long-lost son Joseph was alive in Egypt. Your diplomatic skills shine when sensitivity to nuance guides your response to others. Insightful and discreet responses to personal and surprising confidences inspire the trust of others.


Pisces / Dagim

Mercury’s trine to modern ruler Neptune in Pisces Oct. 18-20 inspires words of loving inspiration, and Mercury’s conjunction to classical ruler Jupiter on Oct. 29 supersizes those words, making the emotions behind them larger than life. Delay commitment until after Venus’ retrograde through Jupiter is over in mid-November, as the current shine around love is so dazzling bright you’re unable to accurately check yourself for distorted perceptions. Kuf is the Hebrew letter associated with Pisces — but it also means “monkey.” Don’t be one.

Lorelai Kude
Lorelai Kude

Lorelai Kude has been a professional astrologer since the 1980s, a writer and multimedia communicator. In 2018, she earned a master’s in Jewish studies from the Center for Jewish Studies at Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, where her thesis topic was astrology in Jewish cultural history. She lives in Berkeley. Find more of her work at astrolojew.com.