Iyyar אייר , meaning “breaking through of the Light”
Attribute: Thought and Imagination
Stone: Topaz פטדה for quieting of emotions of the heart
Herb: צפורן Tzee’po’rehn
Zodiac: Bull/Buffalo שור
Direction: South, נגב Negev “Cleansing,” and דרום Da’rom “Rising”
Iyyar means “breaking through of the light” and implies that there is a great passion and spirit force that is dormant and waiting for the right opportunities to emerge this month, IF we are awake and alive to it. What does it mean to be the second moon of this particular season? It means, by now you may really be feeling the season, or already dulled to the newness and excitement of it. There is a great spring gale waiting to arise this month, if we are awake and alive to it.
Spring. I got excited about spring cleaning in the closets and pantry. I got excited and prepared for my Passover week-long cleanse, I started off cleaning and laundering, then shopping and clearing and cooking, and for 2 weeks straight, I’ve been as busy as a bee! Now, I’m tired and have gone back to caffeine and and filling up on some sweet foods, and leaving the laundry piling up in a discreet corner of my newly cleaned closet! Ah yes, I’m good at initiating and planning, yet, it’s the sustained endurance that wanes in me. This month I ask myself, where’s the sustained discipline, integration, endurance, humility, solidity, and manifestation of all that I put my effort and love into? Well, luckily, that’s what this second new moon of spring is all about. The first spin on the season we are in awe and in gratitude, bursting with freedom. Then, we wane or we refine. In the Hebrew cycle of days, this month of Iyaar, Light, we are invited to continue spring cleansing and shedding light on a more inward liberation journey. So, as we admire the beauty of spring in bloom, let’s also count the ways we become freedom, making our days count.
Counting the Omer
Chesed, Gevurah, and Tiferet – Love, Discipline, and Harmony are the first three qualities we are asked to examine every day in the Counting of the Omer (or Barley Harvest) process. This is a 49 day counting journey that the Kabbalists instituted between Passover in the Spring and Shavuot in early summer. There is so much to be said about this spiritual journey, so I’ll refer you to Ritualwell here for more on that. Ritualwell has been a great source of ritual and knowledge and song sharing for me, and I am thrilled to have been invited to contribute a blessing for one of the days of the omer, you’ll have to come back during week 6 to find out which day I got! Here’s a rare gem of a teaching that has just come my way today, as I grapple with my own questions of discipline and endurance at the completion of week 2 of counting and as we move into the new moon and week 3 of this 7 week journey:
“Through Sefiras haOmer we are building the vessels of Tiferes and Malchus, BALANCE & SOVERIGNTY, which were previously in a state of maturity and filled with clarity on Pesach Night. After Pesach, these vessels experience a corresponding diminishment and through our counting and inner work during the seven weeks of the Omer, we rebuild these vessels in a sustainable, stronger, and even more sensitive way. During week one, the Chochmah/Wisdom of Tiferes/Balance is perfected. In week two, it is the Binah/Understanding of Tiferes; in week three, the Chesed/Lovingkindness of Daat in Tiferes; in week four, the Gevurah/Discipline of Daat in Tiferes; in week five, the pure Chesed/Lovingkindness of Tiferes; in week six, the pure Gevurah/Discipline of Tiferes. In week seven, the Tiferes/Harmony of Tiferes is perfected, and with it Malchus/Soverignty.” – Rav Dovber Pinson, Sha’ar HaKavanos, Chag haShavuos
Thanks for letting me share some of the wisdom of this season, of Kabbalah, and of the winds of time with you. I don’t have any seasonal workshops coming up in the Bay Area this month, but I am teaching about Sacred Moontime, Kabbalah, and Womb Wisdom at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium at session 2 in Mendocino later this month. I am so excited for my 6th consecutive year at this gathering, and my first time presenting as a teacher of women’s wisdom! I’ll be sure to bring back many a herbal remedy from their amazing trade and marketplace! Book a healing bodywork session with me in June and enjoy a complimentary sampling of a Stargazer Li elixir.
The One Who Separates sky from the branches that reach for her also created horizons, roots, wings, and twilight. When our hands touch, the precipice between one and another is also a window, every boundary an opportunity to connect with something sacred. —Heather Paul