This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2017.
We are all children of God. Regardless of where our individual paths may take us, we all come from the same Divine Source. At a soul level, all of humanity is connected. This unity is a bedrock; it is the foundation that exists beneath our diversity. Simply being aware of it has the capacity to bring people closer together to reveal God’s Light— perhaps in this month, like never before.
The Sefer Yetzirah or Book of Formation, authored by Abraham the Patriarch, tells us that Aries—or Nissan, as it is in Hebrew—is the first of the twelve months. As such, its New Moon is considered the first day of the kabbalistic calendar. You might think that the calendar year would begin at Rosh Hashanah, the first day in the month of Tishrei, but this is not the case. According to the kabbalists, from Nissan through Elul we have what are considered to be the “male months”—a time of action, and from Tishrei through Adar we have the “female months”—a time of manifestation. What this means for us is that God in His infinite wisdom thought to create for everything a season. There is a time to reap and a time to sow; a time to plant seeds and a time to harvest; a time for hard work and a time for enjoying the fruits of our labor. In this way, we can see why the kabbalists refer to Rosh Hashanah not as the new year, but as the “head” of the year. Aries, on the other hand, is the new cycle begun. The ability to create for ourselves a positive year starts now.
From this knowledge, we can already begin to understand the immense power that exists during this time. The first days of Aries are the seed level of all that is to come! Therefore, it is essential that we make our thoughts, words, and actions as positive as possible now, to create for ourselves a more positive experience of all that is to follow.
This is, of course, easier said than done. Positive energy is easy to maintain and give freely to others when life is fine and dandy, but the moment the universe sends us a challenge, positivity often goes out the door. I like to give the example of going away for a spiritual weekend at a meditation retreat. Of course we are going to be filled with positive energy while we are there, and perhaps even when we return home! But once back in the routine of our lives—which is the construct of our own life choices—that is where the true test of our spirituality exists. The day-to-day is where the karmic lessons show up as the chaos that sets the stage for our ego. It is then that we are given the choice to let our ego enter or listen to our soul.
The month of Aries gives us a wonderful tool to live, in the coming year, with our ego under control, not in control. That gift is the holiday of Passover. Traditionally Passover or Pesach, is thought of as the commemoration of the release of the Hebrews from Egypt, orchestrated by a partnership of God and Moses. The Zohar explains this story a little differently, however, revealing that Passover is a window of time that presents us with the energy to remove the bondage we are kept in by our own ego. Aries is a time influenced by the planet Mars, which is the planet of war. At this time of year, we get the universal assistance to go to war and win against that voice inside us that tricks us into thinking only of “me.” And while we can ask the question, what is wrong with that, we know from a kabbalistic point of view that thinking of ourselves alone is an opening for chaos.
To assist us all to reign in our ego, so that we may create a space for our true Light to shine and for the voice of our soul to be heard, I have included a few tips for the month below. I believe these can minimize the opportunity for chaos to enter, as well as help us manage the chaos when it does thus making the most of these energetic days.
Tips for the month of Aries:
1. Remember: It is only a test! As the first sign of the year, Aries are often referred to as “children of the universe,” so they can throw quite a tantrum when life is not going their way. On the other hand, Aries can use their childlike nature to maintain a sense of wonder, awe, and fun when it comes to the game of life—should they choose to view it as such. Most of the time when life throws us the unexpected, it is just a test for us to stay positive—it is all part of the game! Do not get too bogged down by “bad news” this month. We can choose to be a victim to the universal whim or we can stay in the driver’s seat and keep going, keep sharing, keep smiling. When you know it is all for the best, you are certain to pass the test!
2. Have empathy for others. Again, as the newborn of the astrological signs, it is so easy, during the month of Aries, for us to fall into “me, me, me” mode. One of the things we can do to combat this is to reach out to those who we know are going through a tough time. We do not need to fix their problems. We do not even need to give our advice. By simply lending a hand to hold and an ear to listen, we can help others to not feel so alone in this world, while also reminding ourselves of how much we have to be grateful for.
Speaking of empathy, if someone treats you badly this month, try to remember that it is usually hurt people who hurt people. Everyone is fighting their own private battle this month. It does not mean we need to become a door mat for others. We can always choose to distance ourselves from negativity that is hurting us, and we can also choose to remember there are no “negative” people, just people who have been through negative situations. We can never know the full story of why someone behaves the way they do, but we can give others the benefit of the doubt. This will go a long way to assist us in avoiding conflicts this month and keeping these first days of the year as positive as possible.
3. Be conscious of unity. We all have our differences. We do not need to agree on everything to be in unity. We just need to respect each other’s right to their choices.
Indeed, as the month of Aries is the child of the universe, in this month, we can connect with the idea that we are all children of God, regardless of how we choose to connect with the Infinite.
Wishing you a wonderful month, and a year that is filled with Light!