New Moon of Tammuz and Father's Day

Fatherís Day falls on the first of Tammuz this year (June 17). The first of Tammuz is the date when we honor the birth and death of Joseph. Itís also the date when Israelite women used to weep for the god Tammuz. Both Joseph and Tammuz are associated with descent and ascent: Joseph descends to the pit, then to Egypt, then to the grave but is always brought back again. Tammuz descends to the underworld in the form of seed and ascends again in the form of grain. These figures represent abundance, seed, the provision of sustenance, and the connection between past and future. The father, on a symbolic level, can also represent these things.

Also, this date is directly opposite the first of Tevet, the new moon closest to the winter solstice, and the seventh night of Chanukah. On that winter day, mothers and daughters are celebrated. Women come together to dance and tell stories of heroic women (see www.telshemesh.org/tevet). So it makes sense to celebrate fathers (and sons) six months from the new moon of Tevet-- on the first of Tammuz, the new moon closest to the summer solstice.

So, this Fatherís Day, celebrate a father with a spiritual gift (like a slow day at the beach, a photograph, or a good book) or, if thatís not in the cards for whatever reason, celebrate other men you know and love. Celebrate sons by taking them out into the summer sun. Or, plant seeds on the first of Tammuz, in honor of all who preserve and pass on life.

more tammuz wisdom

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