Akrav (AKA Scorpio), ruling sign of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, as drawn in a 1322 German Shavuot prayer book.
Akrav (AKA Scorpio), ruling sign of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, as drawn in a 1322 German Shavuot prayer book.

Month of Cheshvan: Transforming bitterness into greatness

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Cheshvan 5781

Oct. 18-Nov. 16, 2020


 The month of Cheshvan is sometimes known as Mar Cheshvan, or “bitter” Cheshvan. This year it will be both mar (bitter) and ram (great) — though bitterness will be felt immediately and greatness retrospectively, should we make the right choices.

Cheshvan begins with the powerful square of the Sun to Saturn/Shabbatai, the opposition of Venus/Noga to Neptune/Rahav and retrograde Mars/Ma’adim’s square to Jupiter/Tzedek. Justice and equity should go together, and woe to the society where they do not. Delusional misperceptions are advertised as unquestioned reality, and aggressive disagreements are deliberately enlarged to amplify and enrage. Shocking surprises are revealed at the Full Moon in Taurus/Shor conjunct Uranus/Oron, shaking the foundations of trust in resources we thought were inexhaustible.

Mercury/Kochav in fairness-loving Libra/Moznayim is knocked off-balance by a square to hierarchy-loving Saturn in Capricorn/Gidi Nov. 1. Mercury stations direct on Election Day Nov. 3, and squares Saturn again Nov. 6. Confusion around communication, authority and chain of command makes this part of the month bitter.

The third of 2020’s Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions occurs Nov. 12, right before Mars in Aries/Taleh stations direct Nov. 13. The lessons we didn’t learn in early April and late June come back to hit us in the collective face. If that face isn’t wearing a mask, that blow will do more than simply sting. The New Scorpio Moon Nov. 14 at the Sun’s sextile to both Pluto and Jupiter demands basic respect for life and death, including the life of our planet which supports all Creation.

Menashe, the tribal ruler of Cheshvan, demonstrated humility and grace by accepting his younger brother Ephraim’s ascendancy, though he himself was the Firstborn. May Ram Cheshvan empower us to make a tikkun (repair) on this present bitterness by putting love and honor of others above our own.


Aries / Taleh

Planetary ruler Mars/Ma’adim is the classical ruler of Cheshvan and stations direct Nov. 13 after his long retrograde through Aries, which has forced confrontation with power structures in your life. Like tribal ruler Yehudah, your hard-won maturity is challenged by personal responsibility in partnership at the opposition of Venus/Noga to Mars Nov. 9. Your natural nobility shines when you own your actions and fess up to shortcomings; consequences are bearable, but the loss of honor and self-respect is not.

Taurus / Shor

Full Taurus Moon Oct. 31 conjunct Uranus/Oron delivers shocking yet illuminating surprises. Venus/Noga opposite Mars/Ma’adim in retrograde Aries/Taleh Nov. 9 challenges you to go the distance in relationships. Put out extra effort to find common ground and maintain harmony with loved ones when Venus squares Pluto, Jupiter/Tzedek and Saturn/Shabbatai Nov. 15-19. New Moon in Scorpio/Akrav Nov. 14 asks you to share deeply with those you love. Any impediment you feel is from the residual buildup of unforgiven grudges. Let go of them immediately as they only serve to isolate you from the intimacy you long for and deserve.

Gemini / T’omim

This is a volatile time during three Mercury/Kochav oppositions to Uranus/Oron (Oct. 7, Oct. 19 and Nov. 17) and two Mercury-Saturn/Shabbatai squares (retrograde Nov. 1 and direct Nov. 6). Communication is skewed, previously trusted sources are suspect, and a sense of chaos makes it hard to give or receive a point of view. Mercury stations direct in Libra/Moznayim Nov. 3, making a hard square to the ultra-sensitive Capricorn area of the zodiac which has been bombarded by intense conjunctions of Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter/Tzedek since January. Internal tensions must be resolved through unflinching and utterly ruthless honesty with yourself.

Cancer / Sartan

First Quarter Moon in Aquarius/D’li Oct. 23 invites egalitarian conviviality and anti-hierarchical communal relationships. Knowing you are supported by true friends builds an emotional safety net; Full Moon in Taurus/Shor Oct. 31 encourages feeling secure and grounded. Powerful regenerative urges compel your creativity Nov. 4-6. Though it’s hard to let go, you’ll be grateful at Last Quarter Moon in Leo/Aryeh Nov. 8, prompting a conscious distinction between luxury and necessity. New Moon in Scorpio/Akrav Nov. 14 resurrects your inner forces; you start to believe in your own capacity to imbue every encounter with significance.

Leo / Aryeh

Sun square Saturn/Shabbatai Oct. 18, before moving into Scorpio/Akrav Oct. 22. Ego conflicts around family matters are not unlike tribal ruler Shimon’s own original inner conflict between family duty and sense of outraged honor. Sun conjunct Mercury/Kochav Oct. 25 giving you tremendous communicative charisma; Sun opposite Uranus/Oron at the Full Taurus/Shor Moon Oct. 31 throws the brightest light into the darkest places, especially around family secrets. Your faith and self-confidence is strengthened at the Sun trine to Neptune Nov. 9. With Sun sextile Pluto and Jupiter/Tzedek at the New Scorpio Moon Nov. 14, you are trusted for stability and determination.

Virgo / Betulah

Mercury/Kochav opposite Uranus/Oron Oct. 19 sparks sudden news that contradicts previous beliefs. The jury is still out: Don’t make decisions based on this new information until after Nov. 17. Possible confusion and fearful feelings around finances arice when Mercury retrograde in Libra/Moznayim squares Saturn/Shabbatai in Capricorn/Gidi Nov. 1. Don’t panic. Mercury stations direct Nov. 3, then squares Saturn again Nov. 6 and confusion untangles into bite-size pieces of manageable, actionable information. Mercury enters Scorpio/Akrav Nov. 10, empowering a sense of accuracy and self-control. Your need to feel accomplished, and competent is stimulated at the New Moon in Scorpio Nov. 14.

Libra / Moznayim

Are you and your significant other on the same Extreme Dream Team? Venus/Noga opposite Neptune/Rahav Oct. 18 reveals just how far pure faith in each other can go. Explosive passions, power plays and the possibility of a transformative union when Venus trines Pluto Oct. 21. Like a warrior preparing for battle, you’ve assembled weapons and you’re not afraid to use them when planetary ruler Venus in Libra opposes retrograde Mars/Ma’adim in Aries/Taleh Nov. 9. You insist on a fair fight; you’ve got justice on your side Nov. 15 at Venus’ square to both Pluto and Jupiter/Tzedek in Capricorn. Fight fair!

Scorpio / Akrav

Pay special attention to your health when Mars/Ma’adim squares Jupiter/Tzedek Oct. 18 and avoid putting yourself at risk in any way. The opposition of Venus/Noga to Mars/Ma’adim Nov. 9 catches you unawares; corrections offered in love for unbalanced behavior is to be valued and taken to heart. New Moon in Scorpio sextile Pluto and Jupiter Nov. 14 is an emotional rebirth. The third of 2020’s three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions occurs on Nov. 12. If you’ve worked consciously on communicating with integrity, you’re empowered to speak some life-changing, magical words to the heart — both your own and that of your beloved.

Sagittarius/ Keshet

Venus/Noga trine Jupiter/Tzedek Oct. 19 expands hope for intimate connection despite an entire year’s worth of siphoning your energy into professional development. The third of 2020’s Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions occurs Nov. 12, your deadline to solidify commitments you made in early April and late June. You’ve transformed your personal values into something of external, measurable and quantifiable worth. Adjustments made now to the structures you’ve helped to create will support your future. Sun sextile Jupiter at the New Moon in Scorpio/Akrav Nov. 13 blesses with bounty, Venus square Jupiter Nov. 15 cautions prudence and wise restraint.

Capricorn / Gidi

Sun’s square to planetary ruler Saturn/Shabbatai Oct. 18 gives you an opportunity to publicly demonstrate wisdom and humility. By doing the right thing in a visible way, you’re enhancing your reputation and status. Venus/Noga’s trine to Saturn Oct. 24 inspires beautiful order, and Full Taurus/Shor Moon Oct. 31 generates harmony, which dissipates when Mercury/Kochav retrograde squares Saturn Nov. 1 and again Nov. 6 with Mercury direct. Confusion around communication threatens structural security, but you’re the rock for those around you. Your friends, family and community need the stability your presence provides them — and you need to be a giver.

Aquarius / D’li

Retrograde Mercury/Kochav opposite Uranus/Oron Oct. 19 stimulates an examination of the deep disconnect which has developed between your public and private life. Now’s the time to ask yourself: How did I get here? This issue causes internal dissonance to whatever degree your personal values are misaligned with your public persona. First Quarter Moon in Aquarius/D’li offers you a reset button, but only you can push it. Sun opposite Uranus Oct. 31 abruptly tells the unvarnished truth loud and clear, whether you’re ready to hear it or not. New Scorpio Moon Nov. 14 illuminates your need for dignity and privacy.

Pisces / Dagim

Venus/Noga opposite Neptune/Rahav Oct. 18 is when you wish upon a star. You’re so ready for your dreams to come true; more importantly, your dreams are so tired of waiting to be fulfilled. A harmonious trine of the Sun to Neptune Nov. 9 sparks conscious gratitude. Acknowledge your blessings and don’t hesitate to ask for more — but be specific about what you want, not just “Whatever feels right to You, God!” It’s OK to have focused desires; those too are a gift from the Divine!

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.