ANDREAS CELLARIUS, 1661: Astrological aspects, such as opposition, conjunction, etc., among the planets..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
From the Talmud to the Sefer Yetzira, from the Bahir to the Zohar to the works of the B’nai Yissachar, the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Constellations have been entwined in a celestial dance between the cosmological works of Creation and the lives of human beings on this earth. Astrology played an important part in ancient and medieval Jewish society, its symbols and images remain embedded in the treasures of history. Zodiac calendars containing astrological material to calculate the holy times were common Jewish household items among medieval and early modern European Jewry. Jewish medical manuals contained astrologically themed instructions for the treatment of various diseases. Astrology existed as a science in everyday Jewish life during much of our history. In our contemporary world, remnants of astrology’s Jewish heritage echo back to us whenever we use the phrase “mazal tov”and in the preamble to the Sh’ma prayer, which describes the active function of the luminaries and praise them as faithful servants of the Creator. The Babylonian Talmud in Shabbat 75a tells us: “Anyone who knows how to calculate periods and constellations and refrains from doing so merits the verse ‘who never gives a thought to the plan of the Lord, and take no note of the work of His Hands’ (Isaiah 5:12). It is in the spirit of this very Jewish tradition that I offer the following glimpse into the Year 5778 / 2018.
The Jewish year 5778 and the overlapping solar year of 2018 put the spotlight on the opposing signs of Leo and Aquarius, current location of the lunar nodes and four out of five of the upcoming eclipse points of the coming year. Jewish astrological tradition gives enhanced emphasis and attention to the lunar nodes and the annual eclipses in natal charts for both individuals and nations.
The Leo/Aquarius energetic dynamic is an interplay between the needs and desires of the individual (Leo) and the collective (Aquarius). Uniqueness and differentiation, the prat and the klal, seek balance and compete for dominance in both the universal zeitgeist of our common humanity and the life of any given individual during 5778/2018.