Tags: rosh hashannah

rosh hashanah

Rosh Hashannah

It is the new moon of a whole new year. It is Rosh Hashannah today, the beginning of a the Jewish New Year. Apples dipped in honey symbolize the hope for a sweet new year. 


I pulled a card with the question how I can enjoy the sweetness of the new year, the Ace of Swords from the Victorian Romantic Tarot came to the table. I love the card, the lightness, the grace and the ease of the person handling the sword. I will enjoy the sweetness of the year to come by saying what I think, without making a big deal out of doing it, off handed so to speak. 

What a day this year to start a new, with the stockmarket crisis on our hands and and the banks that collaps. Some day! Some year!

The Sweetness of the Year to Come

Today, on the second day of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah (New Year) I have pulled a card about the sweetness of the new year. Apples dipped in honey and symbolize the hope for sweetness to come. 

In my question is presupposed that there will be sweetness in the new year, but that it is for me to recognize it in order to appreciate and enjoy it. The question is: How can I enjoy the sweetness of the coming year?

The card I’ve picked is Four of Cups from the Tarot of Prague. On the card we see a bored looking shepherd. He is lost in himself, not even looking after his sheep anymore. 


The text in the book had an interpretation of this card that is new to me, but interesting. It broadens my range of interpretation and it applies to my situation. It says: “you should get out of the habit of being unhealthily introspective, and stop dwelling on your anxieties." I like journaling, but I do run the risk of pinning myself down on my bad habits. That is not an uplifting, fun activity. I need to be on the lookout that it does not take away some of the sweetness of the new year.

The bored shepherd teaches me also that it is important to value what I have, to appreciate it, not to feel like a victim of it, sort of.
If I am able to do these two things, I will be able to taste the sweetness of the new year. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Rosh Hashanah


Apples dipped in honey, a round bread symbolizing the hope our lives will never end and pommegranades for fruifulness. These are attributes that belong to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year which has started today. A blow on a Ram’s horn, called a sjofar, starts the new year in the liturgy. The penetrating sound blows away what is worn out and past, and calls in the new.

One of the customs is that before the new year starts people have the opportunity to set things straight with each other, to make it up or ask for forgiveness. This makes it easier to start the new year unburdened, with a clean sheet.

I love the accent on the hope of sweetness in the year to come in this holiday, symbolized by the apples dipped in honey. I like the custom of making it up, straighten what is wrong, before the new year starts also. I started today by pulling a card with the question: How can I make up, set things straight in relationships that went wrong?

The card that came up was Three of Wands from the Tarot of Prague. On the card a powerful man stands at the top of a flight of stairs, leaning on a strong bull, looking confidently at what is in front of him. It looks as if he is a leader in charge, sticking to his plans to achieve them. 


Looking as this card, I think the manner I can make up and straighten things out is seeing the relationship in a positive, fulfilling way, building on the good things that have been, focus myself on a bright future, and most of all, show leadership, being maybe being a bit more virile and powerful.  
Our Lady of the Fruits

Rosh Hashanah


Today it is the beginning of the Jewish New Year, called Rosh Hashanah. This feast is in the Autumn, as the harvest is inside and the nature is dying. This is seen as the right moment to make a new beginning. In order to make this new beginning they bring into memory their deeds from the past year. If necessary they ask forgiveness if someone is hurt by their deeds. They do this not only to God, but also to the person who they have hurt.

Some Jews will walk beside a stream of water and, say a special prayer (Tashlich) and throw breadcrumbs into the stream, hoping their wrongdoings, just as the crumbs will go away with the stream. If Aline reads this, or other Major- Arcana- students, they will remember this custom from the story of Bella Chagall about Rosh Hashannah, in the lesson about Justice. 

Rachel Pollack mentions this custom in her Shining Tribe Tarot, and pictures it on a card, slightly changed. On one of the cards in this deck a person has thrown a ragged robe into a stream which represents his or her old self, a way of life. The person is wearing a tallit, a prayer-shwal (a Jewish liturgical garment) to show that atonement not means just discarding a one pattern for a new, but entering a life of greater meaning.


Another important feature of Rosh Hashanah is the hope that the next year will be good and sweet. Therefore apples are eaten, dipped in honey, and fresh blessed fruit of the new harvest. 

To tune in on this holiday several tarot-questions are possible. You can pull a card that resembles your past year; a card that shows what to atone for; a card that shows how to righten issues with people in relationships that went wrong; a card that shows (Gods') forgiveness; a card that symbolizes the sweetness of the year to come or your wish for the coming year.

In my next entry I pull a card about one theme of this holiday, right now I must leave.