photo: silhouettes of trees in front of a vibrant black, blue and purple starry night sky
Look to the sky as the winter nights grow longer. (Photo/Pixabay CC0)

Month of Tevet: From Hanukkah lights to long winter nights


Tevet, 5779

Dec. 8-Jan. 6


The Hebrew month of Tevet is associated with the cardinal earth sign Capricorn (Gidi, the goat), the Tribe of Dan, and the planet Saturn (Shabatai). Tevet begins with the glorious blaze of the Hanukkah lights, and ends during the week of the longest winter nights.

It is appropriate that our sages made the festival of Hanukkah a bridge between Kislev and Tevet, for Hanukkah’s illumination symbolizes the energetic connection between Jupiter-ruled Kislev and Saturn-ruled Tevet, doubly emphasized this year during which both planets are in their home constellations. Saturn’s traditional association with the idea of boundaries and limitations is echoed by the Tribe of Dan’s role as fierce guardians of the borders of the Land of Israel. Tevet’s energy is ambitious and carefully watchful, like the Gidi, responsible in his role as protector. This archetype is echoed by the classical view of Saturn, the furthest of the seven visible planets, whom the ancients imagined guarding the boundaries of the cosmos, just as the Sabbath guards the rest of the week.

The Tekufat Tevet, the winter solstice of Dec. 21, is followed by the full moon in the moon’s own home sign of Cancer. This kickstarts the shift into Cancer/Capricorn, triggering issues of emotional and material security; family identity; and one’s individual roles and responsibilities in the family dynamic. The long winter nights of Tevet give us the opportunity for introspection, and to face ourselves honestly with the illumination we received on Hanukkah. May we internalize the light, and shine our truth for ourselves, and for each other!


Aries / Taleh

The recent shift into Cancer/Capricorn challenges you to develop a new relationship to the concept of security. Ruling planet Mars (Ma’adim) in your solar 12th house and retrograde Uranus (Oron) in Aries energizes your subconscious and attracts confrontation from surprising places. Take a cue from your tribal leader Yehuda: Become a master of teshuva by recognizing your own role in your current circumstances. By refusing to play the victim you win the role of the hero.


Taurus / Shor

Now that your ruling planet Venus (Noga) is finished with all her retrograde action, you’re right back where you were in September — only you’ve been through a big change. While circumstances may still be the same, you yourself are not. Honor your recent consciousness upgrades by refusing to slip back into unhealthy patterns. Secure your intentionality Dec. 18-19 while the waxing moon in Taurus swells with potential. A great leap forward begins with baby steps when the steps are aimed in the right direction.


Gemini / T’omim

Gemini’s talent for communicating information is challenged by Mercury (Kochav) and Jupiter (Tzedek) in solar opposite Sagittarius this month, which asks you to look at the big picture and not get bogged down in the data. While you’re normally the zodiac’s poster child for ability to change, real and profound change this month comes from a renewed inner commitment to your most authentic self, rather than a new point of view. The Moon in Gemini on the winter solstice (Dec. 21) signifies a Mercurial winter season ahead!


Cancer / Sartan

Emotions peak during the full moon in Cancer on Dec. 22, immediately following the winter solstice on Dec. 21. Like Reuven, your tribal leader, you’re extra-sensitive about your role in the family, especially in relation to women. Old competitive urges may be triggered during domestic scenarios, but this time you’ll remember that you’re too healthy now to settle for dysfunctional relationships. No need to grasp tightly: A light touch is the best way to hold on to what you most fear losing.


Leo / Aryeh

You’re full of warmth Dec. 24-25 as the moon in your home sign illuminates the cold winter nights with good cheer. The harmonious trines from the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in Sagittarius during most of December give you a supportive, positive boost, and even Uranus in retrograde Aries can’t throw surprises too fast for you to catch. Your tribal leader Shimon was known to have produced teachers and scribes. December is your month to teach others how to have a good time!


Virgo / Betulah

It’s no coincidence that Virgo’s ruling month of Elul is the month of teshuva, which indicates a change of direction. Your superpower is the ability to discern, to pick and choose, to separate the useful from what no longer serves. Don’t be afraid to upgrade your thought processes as well as the direction you’re heading as ruling planet Mercury, which has been retrograde in Sagittarius/Scorpio since Nov. 16 stations direct on Dec. 6. Your inner truth redirects you by Dec. 23.


Libra / Moznayim

Mazal tov, Libra! If you’re reading this, retrograde Venus Oct. 5-Nov. 16 didn’t actually kill you; it made you stronger by destroying forever the fantasy that someone else is in charge of your own happiness. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship — with yourself. Building a strong foundation of self-confidence, security and self-respect, which isn’t dependent on your role in a romantic relationship, is the gift that keeps on giving, now and for the rest of your life.


Scorpio / Akrav

Venus direct in your home sign and ruling planet Mars in watery, sensitive Pisces through Dec. 31 makes it easy enough for you to go with the flow, but when Mars enters Aries, be ready to kick your energetic game into a higher gear. Jupiter in your second solar house makes you a player: Expect to gain some ground in the game of life between New Year’s Eve and the quarter moon in Aries on Jan. 13.


Sagittarius / Keshet

Jupiter, your ruling planet, has made his ample self at home in your home sign, and he’s taking stock of what supplies and party favors you’ve amassed since his last visit in 2006-2007. With the Sun and Mercury joining the party between the 12th and the 21st, you’re ripe to give birth to bounty. The groundwork you’ve laid from May onward may have felt like hard labor, but the rains of inspiration are ready to soak the fertile fields you’ve diligently sown.


Capricorn / Gidi

The winter solstice on Dec. 21; the full moon in Cancer on Dec. 22 opposite your Sun, Saturn and Pluto; a solar eclipse and new moon in Capricorn on Jan. 5; and Torah portion Va’eira is an energetic trifecta, which kicks off 2019 in a big way. This momentum doesn’t come along every day; don’t waste it being overly cautious. There’s time enough to figure out the details later — but if opportunity knocks, open the door wide and let her in!


Aquarius / D’li

Saturn’s current phase, which lasts until the end of 2020, consists of a cleansing and cleaning out of unnecessary constructs, structures and institutional world-views that no longer serve you. Don’t mourn what you think has been lost; you’re well rid of ideas that impeded you. You’ll need to travel light as you enter a new phase of growth, which will require maximum flexibility. As your tribal leader Asher fed his brethren, so will you feed yours by setting a generous, good-hearted example.


Pisces / Dagim

Mars in your home sign through Dec. 30 and Uranus in retrograde Aries may find you swimming in surprising directions. You’re open to new streams of consciousness as well as new environments. Full moon in watery Cancer on Dec. 22 invites you to dive into the sea of possibilities. Your inner sense of navigation is reliable. Trust that you can connect to the love while it’s being offered!

Lorelai Kude
Lorelai Kude

Lorelai Kude began her career as a professional astrologer in the 1980s. She holds a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University and a MA in Jewish Studies from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, where her thesis topic was astrology in Jewish cultural history. Find more of her work at astrolojew.com.