The word Adar comes from ancient Babylonian and Hebrew. It means “to be darkened” or “eclipsed” and also, “majestic” or “wide”. Naphtali is the tribal association with Adar. In Kabbalah, the name Naftali means “sweetness is to me”. This sweetness is represented in Purim when it is a mitzvah to reach a level of intoxication to when we can’t tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai”. Also, Jacob gave Naftali the blessing of eloquent words. That eloquence gives rise to joy and laughter to all who hear.
Laughter is the expression of unbounded joy, the joy which results from witnessing light from the darkness. We see this in that Adar is the last of the winter months and we are about to transition into spring- the literal light of spring out of the darkness of winter. In relation to Purim, the fear of Haman transforms into the exuberant laughter of the festival of Purim.
Now, Adar corresponds to the direction of east and the element of Air. Naftali camped to the East of the Mishkan in the wilderness. The east corresponds to air and we can see this in the lightness and joy- the spring in our step- that we start to see during the month of Adar. It’s still winter- still dark. But we are approaching spring. We are approaching the light. And Purim puts that added joy in the air that we sense during this month.
Pisces rules the month of Adar, as does the planet Jupiter. Pisces is said to represent luck and repel the evil eye, and this is one of the reasons that Adar is considered to be a very lucky month- full of fortune. Jupiter is the planet of success, miracles, expansion of the metaphysical vessel, and extension of our spiritual ability.
The letters kof ק and gimmel ג correspond to Adar. Gimmel represents abundance, prosperity, and good luck. This is also the reason why Pisces (fish) is a symbol for protection from ayin hara or the evil eye. Kof represents darkness. The letter kof also represents laughter, joy, and the masquerade, which is acceptable at Purim.
If all of this wasn’t good enough, Adar is even better! During leap years we get two Adars- Adar 1 and Adar 2! Because of the difference between the lunar and the solar year, the sages decided to add an extra Hebrew month to the lunar year in order to balance the two. Jewish Leap Years occur 7 times every 19 years. When we experience two months of Adar, we are given an extra dose of that powerful energy of luck and fortune.
Adar is a time to revel in our good fortune. It is a time to reveal the secrets we have been keeping and rejoice in the new directions our lives are taking. Adar is a good time to shake off the seriousness of life and laugh at the face of darkness and evil that tries to thwart our path. Maybe we need to embody the characteristics of the eagle- the totem animal of the east. The eagle reminds us to see things from a different perspective. The joy of Adar and the festival of Purim help us to see things in a different light. No matter what life holds in store for us, there will always be a shift from darkness to light.