The moon inspires wolves to howl, tides to turn, and lovers to dance beneath its silvery light. That mysterious, mesmerizing orb has been the subject of inquiry and fascination for scientists, poets, and storytellers since the beginning of human existence. And during this month of Cancer (Tammuz in Hebrew), we can connect to its luminous energy more directly than at any other time of year.
That’s because Cancer–symbolized by the crab–is the only sign in the zodiac ruled by the moon. And, since Cancer is also a water sign, the cosmic influence is all the more powerful. Twice each day, the tides of every large body of water on our planet are directed by the moon’s gravitational pull. In some places, the tide may move just a few inches; in others, it may swell or recede 50 feet or more! Likewise, the emotional shifts we experience this month, for better or worse, may be deep and profound–even life-altering.
The good news: this cosmic fluctuation presents incredible opportunities for personal growth! Emotions are like an internal barometric gauge indicating our “state of being.” And all too often, we choose to either ignore them or pass them off as irrational or inconsequential. This is a missed opportunity! Our deeper feelings are meant to guide us. They bring our inner truths to light. And they will keep surfacing, even if we take out the broom and try to sweep them under the rug.
When we truly listen to our emotions, we tune into the most important quality we can cultivate: the quality of DESIRE. To the Kabbalists, desire is a key impetus that moves us forward in our lives!
Kabbalah teaches that the world of senses comprises only 5% of what is out there. The other 95% is hidden, much like the dark side of the moon.We’ve all heard of taking things at “face value,” which can lead us astray, just as the face some see on the moon doesn’t quite tell the whole story. That’s why it’s important to look beyond what our senses tell us–be it in a person’s behavior, a current job or personal dynamic, or elsewhere in our lives. Taking the time to gather information and comprehend the bigger picture can steer us to the right decisions with better clarity.
Overlooking the hidden truths may also lead us into judgment–a common pitfall during the month of Cancer. That said, inside every challenge lies an opportunity! Again, the key is to get in touch with yourself. Turn that negative self-talk or thinking into positive affirmations. And the less you judge yourself, the less you will judge others. This is an ideal time for meditating, taking a spiritual class, or practicing self-exploration through art, journaling, or other expressive avenues. Better still, channel that growing self-awareness towards improving others’ lives as well. Reach out to someone in need. Connect in new ways to your community. As Rav Berg suggested, we are what we share!
This month, take a moment to center yourself. Then ask: What do I REALLY want?
If you don’t know, make it your mission to find out. Explore your feelings more. Dare more. Dig more (that’s what crabs do best!). Know that you are worthy of happiness and fulfillment! And when you DO discover your deepest desire, get out of your shell and take a step towards making it happen!
We may look at the moon in awe and wonder, but remember–that shimmering radiance is a reflection of the sun. The light that we share works in the same way. The more we know and understand ourselves, the more we radiate authenticity into the world. Like stars, we shine into those shadowed spaces… until the whole world begins to glow like the full moon on a dark night.