Closed and open. Off and on. Dark and light.
We live in a world of dualities. Pisces, the Latin plural of “fish,” is symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions. Why? As Kabbalist Rav Berg explained, Piscean energy is connected to two worlds: the physical world as we see and experience it, and the spiritual, or unseen, world. This month of Pisces (Adar) brings an opportunity to access the deeper, more hidden aspects of ourselves. And knowing ourselves more fully brings us closer to fulfilling our unique potential.
Consider a typical tree in the middle of the forest. We see its rough bark, its reaching branches, its leaves unfolding like hands towards the sun. Yet we cannot see the sap deep within it, rising and falling with the seasons, pooling in the damp darkness of its roots. Our eyes are unaware of the constant exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen occurring, along with the miracle of photosynthesis, that ongoing quest to harness the light. Still, who can argue that all of these and more are critical in manifesting the tree’s “tree-ness”?
Josh, our younger son who was born with Down Syndrome, is often able to perceive the less-seen aspects of life’s complexities and communicate them in surprisingly simple ways. I remember one day when he burst into the room and announced, “I’m going to be a football player when I grow up!” He then asked me whether I thought he could do it. I told him that I always hope for my children to do the things they most hope for themselves, and that I admire him for going after his dreams. He then asked, very seriously, “So what are you going to be when you grow up?” I told him that I’m already grown up. He immediately replied, “So, then, what are you?”
Now, if I didn’t know how beautifully nuanced Josh’s mind can be, I might have just laughed it off. But it made me think—he did not see me as a finished product, as a simple entity such as “mom,” “spiritual student and mentor,” “sibling referee,” or any label others might place on me. He sensed the hidden parts of me, the ones still growing and evolving. He sensed the sap in the tree, yet rising.
According to Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Formation), Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of spirituality, abundance, and generosity. Adar is the month of jubilant manifestation. These convergent energies invite us to discover and reclaim those unseen parts of ourselves that may have become waterlogged for too long. Beneath the murky undercurrents of our busy lives, colorful corals and flowing seascapes of overlooked or forgotten passions await our discovery. If we bring them to the surface, they can lead us to new and purposeful actions, connections, and joy. So, where to begin? You can start with this exercise:
We often leave our childhood far behind us, and sometimes that’s just as it should be. But in searching for lost pieces of yourself to reclaim, start at the beginning. What were your favorite experiences growing up? Was it walking in nature? Coloring or painting? Playing kickball at recess? Singing? Art or math class? Visiting the library?
I was a “dance kid” growing up. I took lessons, performed in recitals, the whole thing. Later, I traded dance for running and recitals for marathons. But something was missing; I missed the music and the expression dance offers. So I got out there and looked for a good fit, which turned out to be Tracy Anderson. The bonus: in pursuit of revealing my passion, I found a dear friend as well. Now I know that I will, I must, keep on dancing–even if I have to roll myself to the rhythm!
Chances are, there may be some long-lost passion lying in wait for you to rediscover as well… or maybe it’s a new one you’ve put in the “I’ll do it someday” pile. Why not make “someday” NOW, and sign up for those cello lessons. Or take that writing course, or join the theater, or step into an active role for a cause that speaks to you. Or maybe it’s simply a weekly visit to your local library, browsing books and tucking into a quiet corner for a couple minutes.
The purpose of life is transformation. We are always becoming the next version of ourselves. It’s ceaseless, much like the seemingly endless updates our computers are always demanding we install. And like our computers, if we don’t update to your next level, that next version of you, things go awry. As you seek out your concealed gifts and rekindle old passions, don’t be afraid to explore them or hold back because they don’t seem to fit into your life, or because you aren’t currently as good at skipping rope as you once were. Release the beta test of your next version. You can refine it along the way.
What the world sees in us is only a glimmer of who we are or who we may become. An ancient Hermetic maxim reads, “As above, so below.” When we bring our concealed gifts and passions into the world and act on them this month, we create a new level of unity and wholeness within ourselves, which in turn brings more unity and wholeness to the world.