It’s Taurus: the opportune time to heal ourselves and the world. Like the hibernating bear who senses the warmth of spring and begins to stir, we are awakening to potently revitalizing energies this month. The winter has passed; we’ve experienced the transformative influence of Nissan and have begun to part those metaphorical seas in our lives. Now we tap into the powers represented by the bull. The question is, will we be lulled by the sun in the pasture, ignoring or forgetting what lies beyond the fence? Or will we gather that bullish strength and charge out to meet our potential?
Because although Taurus represents supreme physical brawn, the fact remains that the bull is also a lover of those sun-warmed grasses. Taurus loves all things bright and positive, so the energy this month may make that pasture feel all too comfortable.
And all this optimism is wonderful… but…
When we buffer ourselves from the darkness to the point of convincing ourselves that it doesn’t exist, we ironically blind ourselves with the light–or, as Rav Berg put it, “the light becomes our shadow.” Kabbalah teaches that everything is in balance, and that understanding and working with that balance is key to affecting change in ourselves and the world. While we want to remove negativity and darkness as much as possible, this cannot happen without our acknowledgment of its presence in the first place.
We can start by taking a hard look at our own personal areas in need of growth and repair. Do you need to work on patience? Exercise more? Heal an old wound by talking it out with someone? This month brings us the muscle to do so successfully.
And beyond ourselves (and our pasture fences) lies the world, both with its wonder AND its calamities. The energy of gevurah, or judgment, is abundant now and plays an important role in our worldly awakening.
This month that power of judgment can help us do less stepping back (or lolling in the pasture) and more stepping forward. More stepping up. As the Rav wrote, “[In the month of Taurus] we can emerge from our bubble and see the world for what it is, take action, and be sensitive to others. We can engage the world and all its problems, even if it means losing some of our own peace and tranquility. We can risk change without fear.”
Granted, upstanding of any kind takes courage. In her book Why We Act, Amherst professor Catherine Sanderson shares the ways our will to act can be influenced by others. She cites a University of Pennsylvania study showing that if only 25% of a group takes a stand on an event or issue, either positively or negatively, a new norm will be established. For instance, when students know that their peers will stand up to a bully, they’re more likely to stand up themselves. Likewise, when a robbery occurs on the subway and most people ignore it, complicity becomes the default and seems acceptable to everyone there. The bottom line, as Sanderson sees it, is this: “A single voice can be enough when that one person gives others the courage to speak up.” Or to act. This is our month to be that voice–to look around, see the problems within and without, and to be the change.
I remember one day, a few years back, when our daughter Abigail was lamenting the actions of one of her friends who was not behaving kindly. She shared that she didn’t believe that this friend, or that anyone, ever loses their kindness… but that sometimes they just cannot find it. It’s still in them, even when they don’t see it. Such wise words from a child (which is so often the case!). For any of us at any age, real growth requires us to first recognize an issue, and then to believe that it can be changed. While Abigail couldn’t necessarily change this friend’s behavior, she could envision the best in another and behave accordingly. Gandhi’s advice to “Be the change you want to see in the world” begins with awareness of its need!
While the awakening, powerful, and healing energies of Taurus are with us this month, ask yourself where you stand and where you need to stand up more:
What aspects of myself need addressing, changing, or repairing?
What important issues am I ignoring in the world, and how might I take action this month to help improve them?
Change is not easy; growth is not comfortable. But both are necessary if we are going to live a life of purpose, joy, and fulfillment. Facing those dark spaces may not always be picturesque, but the world to come needs us to see them so that we start the healing. As my husband Michael shared, “If we even had a glimpse of our true potential, we’d be pushing more strongly, changing more quickly and connecting more powerfully. During the month of Taurus, we can come to a deeper understanding of who we are and what our potential is.”
So go ahead, take a little nap in the sun. After a long winter, it feels wonderful, doesn’t it? But afterwards, let’s get up, shake ourselves off, and look deeper within and beyond those pretty wildflowers. Let’s balance our rest with some unrest. Because this month, we’ve got the strength to move not only fences, but mountains, too.