D’li the water bucket, AKA Aquarius, the sign of the Jewish people, in a 1322 German prayerbook.
D’li the water bucket, AKA Aquarius, the sign of the Jewish people, in a 1322 German prayerbook.

Month of Shevat: Old gives way to new


Jan. 27-Feb. 24

The sign of the month of Shevat is Aquarius, the sign of the Jewish people, according to Ibn Ezra and others. Shabbtai (Saturn), the planet associated with the Jews, is the classical ruler of Aquarius, which is called D’li in Hebrew (the water bucket). The 19th-century Hasidic text B’nei Yissachar says, “Just as the bucket is the servant of the water, Israel is the servant of the Torah.” Asher, who was blessed with abundance, is the tribal ruler of Aquarius, the sign concerned with universalism and the unity that connects us all beyond conventionally defined borders. These are the Aquarian qualities we are to serve to humanity: the Torah of the common ground we all share.

This year — 2020 and 5780 —January’s Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn signals the end of the previous astrological era, which began at the last Saturn/Pluto conjunction in 1981. This month of Shevat is a hint of the new era to come. May Asher-like abundance and generosity be our inheritance.

Aries / Taleh

Noga (Venus) enters Aries Feb. 8, inspiring courageous love. Like tribal ruler Yehuda, you do the right thing, bravely risking all for your integrity and self-respect. Planetary ruler Ma’adim (Mars) in Keshet (Sagittarius) through Feb. 16 hits the bull’s eye of truth. Emotional healing comes through physical action; listen to your body’s wisdom. The trine of Mars to Uranus Feb. 21 publicly spotlights your unique qualities and originality, prompting rewards and recognition for your prodigious efforts.

Taurus / Shor

Like your tribal ruler Issachar, the discerner of times, your instinct around the seasons of your own life is strong now. First quarter moon in Taurus Feb. 1 renews self-care resolutions you made as recently as November. Ruling planet Venus in assertive, leadership-oriented Aries after Feb. 7 empowers your quest to protect and defend your comfort zone. The square of Venus to Tzedek (Jupiter) Feb. 23 at the new moon in Pisces brings temptation to overspend and overindulge. Self-awareness is imperative now.

Gemini / T’omim

Kochav (Mercury) in imaginative Dagim (Pisces) after Feb. 3 challenges your perception of reality. Mercury retrograde Feb. 16-March 19 brings the gift of deconstructing dreams to their core components, allowing you to sort through them like a box of Lego spilled out on the floor, waiting to be assembled into whatever your imagination desires. You align with tribal leader Zevulun’s restless wanderings, if only in your mind, though your body longs to follow. Feelings of constriction and powerlessness around shared resources stimulate the escape plan you keep in your back pocket. Resist outright rebellion until no other choice is left.

Cancer / Sartan

Moon-ruled Cancer is concerned with money matters this month, more so than usual. The full moon in Aryeh (Leo) Feb. 8-9 sheds light on material issues and their shadow side: your internalized feelings of self-worth. You are not your money; your priceless personal values such as integrity, loyalty and empathy can’t be measured in dollars and cents. Like tribal ruler Reuven who valued family and honor, you know that what and who you care for is more precious than gold. Resist all influences Feb. 18-20 asking to exchange compassion for calculated, cold-hearted pragmatism.

Leo / Aryeh

Roar like a lion at the full moon in Leo Feb. 8-9, as you elevate the destructive anger of tribal ruler Shimon into constructive reconfiguration of that which has been holding you back from achieving your dreams. You’ve finally had enough of tolerating mediocrity in others. Not everyone can match your fabulosity, but everyone needs to pull their own weight. No more enabling those who expect you to carry their weight as well as your own.

Virgo / Betulah

Rashi, citing a midrash, comments that Virgo’s tribal ruler Gad was born circumcised, hinting at Virgo’s superpower of separating what is purely useful from the superfluous. Planetary ruler Mercury retrograde in solar opposite Pisces Feb. 16-March 9 gives you the opportunity to rewind, review and sift through your choices, especially those involving partnerships. If you’ve taken for granted the solid support of others without offering true reciprocity, evidence of that relationship inequality comes home to roost.

Libra / Moznayim

Planetary ruler Venus in courageous Aries after Feb. 7 energizes intimacy, fanning the flames of love and putting your airy attitude on a back burner. You’re fully invested emotionally but lack patience; you want everything now. Tribal ruler Ephraim’s descendant Joshua modeled the kind of endurance you’ll need when he led the Israelites into the Promised Land. The walls of your heart begin to crack and tumble down like the walls of Jericho during the Venus square to Jupiter at the new moon in Pisces Feb. 23. Accepting vulnerability in yourself and others is maturity, not weakness.

Scorpio / Akrav

Scorpio’s tribal ruler Menashe accomplished what none of his ancestors could: He overcame natural jealousy when younger brother Ephraim received the older brother’s blessing from their grandfather Jacob. Your powers to overcome naturally occurring negative emotions are demonstrated when the last quarter moon in Scorpio Feb. 15 converges with Mercury retrograde in Pisces. The element of water soothes and facilitates the expression of previously blocked feelings. Fears lurking just behind the door of your conscious mind now come into the light, which shines truth and dispels the darkness of doubt.

Sagittarius / Keshet

Jupiter in cautious Gidi (Capricorn) all year isn’t there to be a buzzkill, but to help you cultivate patience, forbearance and the skillset to play the long game. Energizer bunny Mars in Sagittarius through Feb. 15 increases optimism and faith, while Mars in Capricorn Feb. 16 takes that high-flying energy and brings it down to earth in practical, hands-on ways. Your task now is to manifest your dreams and embody your own ideals. You’re on schedule for a big win after this season of paying your dues, so buckle up and consider this month a training ground for your future.

Capricorn / Gidi

Saturn is having a party in his home sign of Capricorn, and he’s invited all his buddies: Pluto, Jupiter, the South Node and Mars after Feb 16. You can’t escape, so you may as well pull up a chair and make friends with these challenging planetary personalities, all of which have only one goal in mind: making you the most mature, responsible, prosperous and accomplished person possible. Though you may feel squeezed, you’re simply being crushed like grapes to make a rare and delicious wine. The pressure is only to extract everything impeding the development of your best self.

Aquarius / D’li

The midrash tells us tribal leader Asher’s daughters were beautiful and wise, making them sought-after as wives for kings and priests. You may feel a bit like a daughter of Asher this month, regardless of your gender, because those with wealth and status take note of your attractive qualities, wisdom being chief among them. Sun in Aquarius through Feb. 18 reinvigorates high ideals. Mercury makes a sextile to modern planetary ruler Uranus in Taurus twice during Feb. 5-28. This window of opportunity is a chance to demonstrate your unique abilities to those in powerful positions.

Pisces / Dagim

Classical ruler Jupiter in Capricorn brings practical knowledge, and modern ruler Neptune in Pisces brings spiritual wisdom, empathy and idealistic dreams. Their supportive sextile Feb. 20 is a recipe for success and an opportunity to prove your worth. Mercury retrograde in Pisces Feb. 16-March 9 gives you a chance to shore up the foundations of deals made in January, which appeared rock-solid but now may be exhibiting cracks. Rachel rejoiced that she had “prevailed” at the birth of tribal leader Naftali; you will prevail through the persuasive power of “beautiful words,” as promised by Jacob’s blessing.

A version of this column originally appeared at jpost.com and is reprinted with permission.

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.