Moon Over Maui

A Jewish Mystical Journey through the Year

The Dark Days of Av

Written By: Jueli Garfinkle - Aug• 03•11

The Av moon already is nearly a quarter illuminated (23 percent) and I have yet to site it in the sky. I’ve always avoided the moon cycle of Av, but now I’m actually longing to see it.

The exact energy that historically has caused me to be afraid of Av—destruction, loss, betrayal—lasts only for nine days. It’s good practice for me to open my heart to these emotions and allow into the spotlight feelings of sadness and struggle. Typically, I live within a bubble of blessing and goodness. During these first nine days of Av, however, I’m finding the courage to plum my depths and open to millennia of historical annihilation that lives inside of me and the world.

Accept the Divine invitation of Av to delve into feeling true loss and pain.  Though maybe unpleasant, it is healing to acknowledge and feel the atrocities and truth of war between nations, destruction of sacred sites, massive genocide. Also, explore these feelings within the microcosm of your own heart. Learn to tolerate feeling—if only briefly—the deep accumulation of personal hurt, sadness, abuse, loss, and betrayal you carry within you.

This dark mournful period reaches its peak in five days, on the 9th of Av (Tisha b’Av). Then, when the Av moon is full, the focus shifts to epic proportions of Divine love and forgiveness. Be courageous and vulnerable now; a bounty of love is on its way.

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