Tonight, we welcome the month of Virgo or Elul, and it is one of my favorite months of the year (and not just because it’s my birthday month.) The biggest reason is that, according to the kabbalists, there is no other month of the year where the work of transformation or the work of introspection is as effective or immediate as the month of Virgo.
One of the gifts of the spiritual study of Kabbalah is that we become aware of the different energy available at different times of the year. Without any knowledge of kabbalistic astrology, we might go through life wondering why certain days, weeks, and months feel so different than others. Some days are more challenging, while some weeks may feel as if everything is just easily falling into place. There is a reason for this happening. The kabbalists teach that no two days provide the same energy, and this goes for weeks and months as well. And the energy of this month offers us an opportunity unlike any other.
What we do in this month, in the next four weeks beginning this evening, will affect not just these 30 days, but the entire year that follows. If this feels daunting, that’s okay. With any kind of change you will feel some pressure.
One of our core human needs is that of certainty; therefore, we shy away from change, as it represents the opposite of certainty for most of us. We feel comfortable when we think we know what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and what the outcome will look like. But that’s a trap, true certainty is trusting the process of life, that whatever happens to us is for our greatest and ultimate good.
Comfort, while it has an allure, is the biggest trap. Imagine that your life unfolded exactly as you think it should. Everything happens just as you want it to. You might think that sounds desirable, but you would be so incredibly bored! We need certainty, but to achieve the right kind of certainty, we must change. There is no other way, and once you get into the habit of change, it’s addictive. By constantly challenging yourself, by not allowing yourself to become complacent, you begin to live the life you were meant to live, which is a life much greater than your own limited vision.
How do you go about changing? Start with introspection, explore your mind. Here are some questions to get you started.
How do you respond when you feel under pressure?
When you feel stress?
What areas of your life are you wishing would change?
All of these questions are imperative to beginning the work of this month. We can’t transform, we can’t change, if we aren’t willing to take a true, unflinching inventory of what isn’t working or serving us.
It’s exciting to stand at the beginning of this New Moon and plant the seed of Virgo to create a year that we want, a year filled with blessings, a year filled with Light. The self-inventory I just described is an important part of a process called tshuva.
Tshuva starts with taking a hard look at the past year and being honest about where we may have faltered, where we were reactive instead of proactive, mistakes we made, and actions we took in poor judgment. This by no means is an easy or comfortable process but it is essential to growth and transformation and, therefore, can be incredibly powerful. Before you go running for the hills, I’m going to invite you to see it in a new way.
Grab your journal, take a moment, and visualize the highest, most perfected, fearless, and purpose-filled version of yourself. (You should do this every morning, actually, as it puts you in the right consciousness to make the most of every day.) Don’t think about what you’ll need to do to get there or how it would happen or why it’s not possible. Just visualize it and write down everything that comes to mind. What does it feel like? Imagine a full day lived as this version of yourself. Pretty spectacular, right?
Now, what about who you are now is different from the version of you that you just imagined? No matter what your answer is, congratulations! You now have a roadmap. If it feels like a lot, that means you probably did a thorough job.
We all desire and understand the possibility of incremental change – a small change here and a baby step there. Small change is imperative, but Elul is useful with everything we need to achieve this transformative level of change much faster. Tshuva brings the possibility of exponential change. An intention to not just be a little bit better but an intention to be completely different.
We want to use the next year to become a version of ourselves that we can’t even imagine from where we sit today. The person you just visualized but even better. A version of ourselves that is so transformed we don’t even recognize it. It is a change that is possible, and it is what we came into this life to do. We came here to transform.
Think of who you were just 5 years ago. If you are growing and changing, that person is very different from who you are today. The old you might feel like an old friend. Conversely the old you may be someone you wouldn’t even want to be friends with! The point is, you are growing, changing, and aspiring to your greater purpose.
During the month of Virgo, we will create that transformation. If it feels overwhelming, remember that in practical terms is all comes down to choice.
If I choose to see positivity, I awaken that in myself. I strengthen my positivity over my negativity, and by doing so, I redirect my energy and focus. If I choose peace, I create peace. If I choose judgment, I will find more things to judge, and I will, in turn, be judged more harshly by those around me. Our negative inclination wants us to concentrate on darkness. When I’m standing in front of somebody or looking at them with judgment, it is my darkness pushing me to focus on the darkness in that person. When I do that, I make a strengthening connection between my darkness and theirs. But if I choose to see the good in another person, I awaken my Light, and I’ve connected with their Light.
The process of tshuva, the connection to our perfected self, and the commitment to creating exponential change in our lives is something we do not only for ourselves but for everyone around us. When we do Light flows through us freely, it repairs wounds, and it rebuilds. Take this opportunity, take the first step, and watch the vision you hold for your life unfold.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Who do you want to become in the next 12 months? Plant the seed with the New Moon, write your vision down in detail, and connect back to it whenever you feel challenged. For more on the process of tshuva, click here.