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What Are The Three Negative Weeks?

What are the three negative weeks? Every year we enter a period of three weeks. These are typically known as three negative weeks - or three sad weeks, as I like to call them. It is a period of mourning, sadness and heavy energy. This time frame goes back to Ancient Times and has to do with Tisha B'Av, which is a Jewish holiday and event. Being non-Jewish myself and not having heard about this concept until about 2015, I can tell you about the energetic impact this event has on people in general and the rest of the world in the post below.



 

What is Tisha B'Av?


Tisha B'av translates to the ninth of Av. It is the last day of the nine days leading up to Av. This also means the nine days before Tisha B'Av might feel like the most intense in this entire three week period. This year Tisha B'Av falls onto July 26th-July 27th. It is officially the saddest day of the year, destined for tragedy. People mourn the destruction of Solomon's temple during this time frame (twice in history) and in the three weeks leading up to it. The first day of the 3 negative weeks marks the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in 69 CE. You can see why throughout history there is so much energy and sadness during these weeks. Throughout history, some of the worst tragedies have occurred during the three weeks. Not only to Jewish people but overall in the world. Tisha B'Av is indeed called the day destined for tragedy.


 

What are the three negative or sad weeks?


The three weeks are from July 6th to the 23rd in 2023. Why is this relevant even for non-Jewish or non-religious people? Everything carries energy and this time period can be felt by a lot of people no matter where they are - be it on a conscious or subconscious level. Major cycles and holidays like these, whether or not they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or else, always carry an energetic imprint, which can affect people outside of their culture and religion.


During the 3 negative weeks you might experience others and yourself as very moody, negative, cranky and angry. Usually people want to hide from the world during these weeks. This is not a great time for new beginnings and making big decisions.


Things to avoid during the three negative weeks:

  • Getting married (this is huge as July and August are the prime wedding season in the Northern Hemisphere),

  • starting new business ventures,

  • signing legal documents,

  • buying a home,

  • air travel

  • or overall making life-changing decisions.


It is similar to a Mercury Retrograde energy - just a bit different. Ever since coming across this concept in 2015 and on, I've been fascinated by it and could not help but wonder if there was something to it. I had noticed from a young age on how a time period in the summer always seemed to be quite heavy and depressing but didn't have any background information on it until I came across Tisha B'Av through a friend.


Throughout the past decade, I was able to trace back exactly how these weeks interacted with decisions made in my life and almost every year there was indeed a key event happening, which would have made almost no sense without this background information but with it it became so much clearer. One year there was some serious drama for no apparent reason in my then-relationship. Another year significant friendships came to an end and it felt heavier than usual.


The three sad weeks appear even heavier and more amplified when they coincide with a Mercury Retrograde. This happened in July / August of 2019. Indeed, during that particular time I was forced to make a major decision in terms of moving from one place to another. It set me on an odd path for the next 3-6 months - if not even for life (as dramatic as this may sound). At one point I even remember asking myself if I had ruined my entire life or time ahead with the hasty decision I was forced to make during this time frame. This was also the time of the Hongkong protests, although those were called in a bit sooner in June. They did run throughout this period and one can't help and wonder if the protest was made worse through the energetic period of mourning.


Since 2020 I have been consciously observing this period and the patterns that go with it. Of course 2020 was a disastrous and depressing year for many. The three negative weeks were amplified by the lockdowns, protests and other things going on. It was a very intense time, overall. Together with the energy mourning we may have encountered a heaviness like never before.


Weddings and Tisha B'Av - destined for tragedy and drama?


When tracing it back throughout the years, another date struck me as fatal. July 7, 2007 was THE wedding date for many. However, it appears a lot of these marriages may have been short-lived, not very happy or overall overshadowed by drama. It fell right in those three negative weeks. I myself know of a couple who got married during the three weeks in July of 2014. While I don't think they'll be breaking up necessarily, their marriage does seem to be overshadowed with a lot of conflict, arguments and unnecessary drama (in my opinion). I also remember attending the wedding and literally feeling a sadness and mourning around me. The very next day a family member of the groom's had passed away, too. Amplifying the intense mourning energy, which goes into the three sad weeks.


It can also get tricky when this date falls into the same time frame Eid-al-Adha takes place, which is the Feast of Sacrifice. It is the second and the largest of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr). This year it fell on June 27th but a few years ago, in 2019 and 2020, there was certainly an overlap between the Jewish mourning date and the Islamic date of sacrifice.

 

Things to avoid according to the Jewish traditions are the following. Please keep in mind that this applies more to Jewish people than non-Jewish and I myself do not adhere to the lists below but rather my own I cited above:


During the three weeks:

  • refrain from making weddings,

  • playing or listening to music,

  • and shaving or taking haircuts.

During the nine intense days leading up to Tisha B'av:

  • Home improvements, painting and new construction

  • Planting trees, flowers or grass

  • Laundering clothes, towels, tablecloths and bed linens

  • Wearing new or freshly laundered clothing

  • Making or buying new clothes, towels, tablecloths and bed linens

  • Eating meat or poultry

  • Drinking wine or grape juice

  • Bathing for pleasure (for example a hot tub, hanging out in the pool)

  • Swimming or recreational sports for the purpose of leisure

  • Listening to music

On Tisha B'Av itself (for Jewish and religious people):

  • Eating and drinking

  • Bathing

  • Applying oils or perfumes

  • Wearing leather shoes

  • Sexual activity

  • Greeting people

  • Learning Torah [except for certain parts of the Scriptures and Talmud which deal with mourning or the destruction of the Temples].

 

Future Dates:


This year in 2023 the three sad weeks are:

From July 6 - July 27th, 2023.

Tisha B'av is from July 26-27th.


Future dates:

2024: Tisha B'av: August 12-13th

3 sad weeks: July 23 - August 13th.


2025: Tisha B'av: August 2-3.

3 sad weeks: July 13th - August 3rd.


2026: Tisha B'av: July 22-23.

3 sad weeks: July 2nd - 23rd.


2027: Tisha B'av: August 11-12.

3 sad weeks: July 22nd - August 12th.




~Laura from Shamanic Self is a certified Shamanic Healer and Practitioner. She offers online courses and digital products that advance you on your spiritual journey.

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