Cycles – Hebrew Phenology Wheels
About Riv Shapiro
About Cycles – Hebrew Phenology Wheels
Place your wheel/calendar where you will see it every day. If possible, choose a consistent time you will engage with it each day. You may choose to open the day by recording sunrise/sunset time and weather and close the day by recording any observations of plants/animals or your own inner world. Commit to at least 5-15 minutes in the day for observation of the natural world. This could be done from your window, in a hitbodedut/sit spot practice, or on a walk around the block. Open your senses. What do you smell? What creatures do you hear? Who is blooming? How does the air feel on your skin? Where is the sun in the sky? Are there edible plants growing? Bring particular attention to how these details indicate and reflect where you are in the cycle of the year. What is different than it was two moons ago? Six?
As you bring your attention to the ecosystem you’re embedded within, make an effort to learn about the other species you live amongst. If a bird catches your eye, watch them and gather as much information as you can about their appearance and behavior. The MerlinID app or website can help you identify who you are seeing. Likewise, get curious about the plants around you. If you have a smartphone, snap a photo and use a plant ID app like iNaturalist or Seek to learn about them. Introduce yourself. If you are moved or wish to deepen these relationships, make an offering such as water, herbs, birdseed, or song.
Optional: At full moon, at the end of the month or throughout the month, look back on your observations and try your hand at drawing something/someone you saw!
Discuss with your chevrutah: What or whom did you notice? What seasonal particularities are you aware of? Did you meet any new species? What was it like to offer your attention in this way? Did it change how you relate to place? Is there an element of this practice you would like to sustain?
I have created 29-day and 30-day templates. Reproduction would involve sharing the templates and, optionally, writing in the dates for each moon cycle.