Welcome to the month of Virgo! This is my birth month, so I have a little insight into what it’s like to be a Virgo. First, let’s talk about the good:
- No other sign of the Zodiac possesses Virgo’s logical, analytical, and methodical capabilities, which is what makes them the perfectionist that they are.
- They are reliable, responsible, and hard working.
- If you want to get something done, and done well, just ask a Virgo.
- Need help with the details? Call a Virgo.
Virgos’ view of the world is physical and practical. They desire order and perfection and seeking perfection is part of their journey, as well as their purpose.
That’s it! Have a great month!
Here are the not so positive aspects of a Virgo (of which I possess none (just kidding again)):
- They have a critical eye and are always aware of what is wrong or missing.
- The constant quest for perfection can become so overpowering as to rob joy and satisfaction from the process of life.
- They often miss the big picture. Rav Berg explained, “Virgos’ view of the world may be reduced to a grain of sand when the entire beach is what should be taken into account.”
- Virgos have a propensity to judge, easily seeing the flaws in others instead of focusing on what is wrong in themselves.
There is a parable that illustrates this idea. It is about a simple farmer who has a wagon full of crops from the entire year. He has many bundles on his wagon and he wants to put them in his barn. So he opens the doors to his barn and he pulls the reins of the horses and it does not fit, the wagon gets stuck. The wagon is so full of crops that it simply does not go inside. Uselessly the farmer beats his horses, and he is beating them and beating them trying to get this wagon that just cannot fit into the barn. A prankster walks by and says, “Why do you hit your horses for no reason? Do you not see that the crops cannot fit through the door?” The farmer asks him, “What can I do?” The prankster says, “Buy these binoculars from me, they enlarge everything you see and when you look at the opening of the door, it is going to grow and you will be able to pull the wagon in without any difficulty”. So, the farmer buys the binoculars and the prankster goes off. The farmer looks at the opening through the binoculars and of course, lo and behold it is larger, so the farmer then pulls the horses reins and it still does not budge. He hits the horses again and there is still no movement, so he thinks to himself, “I do not understand, the opening is so large, but why can I not get this wagon through?” So he calls the prankster again and says, “Come back, come back, it still does not go inside.” And the prankster answers him, “You fool, don’t you understand the opening is larger, but if you look at the crops with the same binoculars as the wagon you will see the crops have also grown larger.” So the farmer does that, he looks through the binoculars at the wheat and he sees it is true, the opening was larger, but so were the crops. He calls out and says, “You have not helped me at all, take these binoculars back and give me my money.” So the prankster yells back at him, “This is not so, when you look at the wheat reverse the binoculars and look through the other side, which will minimize everything and it will work out fine.” Then he waits until the farmer tries this, which he does and he sees that what the prankster says is true, the wheat shrinks dramatically. Then, of course, the prankster quickly disappears. So the farmer focuses his gaze on the reverse side of the binoculars and he pulls on the reins of the horses and he pulls again to no avail, nothing happens, and he whips the horses again, but nothing happens. The farmer was dumbfounded, he could not understand what had transpired. He looked at the opening with the binoculars, it was so large! He looks at the reverse side of the binoculars and the wheat is so small. Meanwhile, a wise man walks by and he looks at the farmer whipping the horses ridiculously. He says, “You fool, do you not understand that the binoculars do not change the reality?” The farmer asks, “What can I do?” The wise man says, “It is very simple, take off all the crops from the wagon, put the wagon through and then put the crops in.”
We hear stories about foolish people all the time and we say to ourselves “How can anybody be so stupid?”
We are all the simple farmer, we all look for easy ways around doing the work that we know we must do. Think of the crops from the story as all the negative actions that we have done in the past year. Another lesson of the farmer is that when we look at other people, we view them from the end of the binoculars that makes their actions look enormous, but when we view our own negativity we look through the lens that makes them look smaller. In reality, all of our wagons are full of missed opportunities for sharing, for showing kindness instead of judgment, for talking badly of another. Yet, it is so much more convenient to measure our own actions with the smaller side of the binoculars, because then we don’t have to confront the wealth of our negativity.
The energy of Virgo happens now for a specific purpose, we are all meant to confront our negativity and our faults in order to prepare ourselves for the new year beginning on Rosh Hashanah. This is the time to really examine our nature, look at our actions of the past year and say, ”what do I want to change about myself?”
Our goal is radical change and immense growth, which only occurs by taking an unflinching account of our not-so-great qualities. Think of something that happened 10 years ago, are you basically the same person, or does it perhaps feel like you’re recollecting the story of a dear friend? Ultimately, our goal is to change so much that we do not even recognize ourselves when we look in the mirror.
One of the biggest challenges for why we do not want to confront our own negativity and push ourselves to change is because we do not believe that we truly can. The simple belief that change is possible is what separates people who are growing spiritually, and people who are not. Rav Ashlag says that out of 1000 people who begin their spiritual process, one in 1000 actually achieves it. Scary!
Don’t be discouraged. Every month has a unique energy and a unique power and Virgo is perfectly designed to help us achieve change and really cleanse any negativity that we have done in the past year. This month of Elul is all about truth and about not being blind. It is not about covering up negativity, or covering up our flaws, our mistakes, or darkness. It is not about acting differently, it is about completely changing our nature at its very core.
[spacer]THOUGHT INTO ACTION Do not ask yourself “Am I a little bit better, am I acting in a different way?” Instead, take an honest assessment of who you are and what you have done in order to transform your very nature. When you know better, you do better!