WHAT TO EXPECT THIS MONTH
In each lunar cycle, we experience Rosh Chodesh, which means “Head of the Month.” It refers to the first day of the month in the kabbalistic calendar. This event marks a beginning and gives us the gift of spiritual renewal, an opportunity to set new goals and objectives. Each kabbalistic month is governed by the lunar period; therefore, it is linked to the New Moon, although they do not always occur at the same time or in the same sign. Remember that the New Moon is the conjunction, the moment of meeting, between the sun and the moon. Rosh Chodesh is the moment when the moon is born, determined by the Sage’s mathematical formula. This explains why the New Moon occurs in the sign of Scorpio when we are actually beginning the kabbalistic month of Kislev (Sagittarius).
Sagittarians are known to be natural philosophers, teachers, lovers, communicators, and friends. They like to travel, they love their freedom and space, and they are interested in world exploration, as well as the study of human behavior, culture, and religion. They share their knowledge with whoever seeks it. This month we all have the power to be both curious students and thoughtful teachers. Therefore, the tool we will focus on this month is deep study, specifically, learning for the sake of connecting to our souls more deeply.
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TIPS FOR PARENTS
- The letter Gimel, one of the two Hebrew letters controlling this month, created Jupiter, which controls expansion. Jupiter represents the desire to learn, to know, and the fields of science, biology, education, art, and music. Sagittarians are born optimists; for them, everything is always okay and always arranged in the best way possible. Optimism, unlike fear or pessimism, fuels our ability to be open to learning and experiencing new things. We all get stuck in our routines, but this month is an optimal time to try something new with great excitement. Whether it’s major or minor, just change things up and trust your openness will foster courage and curiosity in your children as well.
- Sagittarians are known to love a good challenge. This month we may all be a little bit more risk-oriented, so it is important to pay attention to when and why we are taking risks. Sometimes the adrenaline rush of a challenge or the thought of being a hero is more important to us than the true purpose behind the challenge, so we get lost along the way, even overwhelmed. Before taking any risks this month, pause, ask yourself: what am I seeking to receive and or contribute here, and is this a desire coming from ego or coming from my soul? Also, when you notice your children falling into risk-taking behavior, help them practice connecting the dots between cause and effect to understand the implications of necessary vs. unnecessary risks.
- Fire signs tend to move very quickly, and this can be channeled in both positive and negative ways. Throughout the month, practice slowing down and embracing the smaller, seemingly trivial details in life. Notice how a slower pace allows you the time and space to truly appreciate your life, consider all your options, and act with more clarity. On the flip side, when you find yourself stuck in any negative, heavy emotion, you can tap into that fiery speed. This month we all get the gift of being faster to forgive and move on. Practice empathizing with your child’s feelings while also encouraging them to realize they can transform and let go of any negative feelings as soon as they decide to. The lighter we are with ourselves, the lighter our children will be with themselves and others.
- Now is a better time than ever to consider the age-old phrase, “think before you speak!” Our Sagittarius friends are notoriously lacking in tact and therefore, this month invites us to pay closer attention to what we say, why we say it, how we say it, and when we say it. As a parent, we want our children to feel safe and free to express themselves, but it is important for them to understand they cannot say everything they think. Without attaching any shame to the conversation, speak to your children about the power of their words. You can empower them by letting them know when they say things that impact you positively and educate them by letting them know when they say things that are hurtful, especially when they don’t realize it. When you make the mistake of saying something you don’t really mean or hurting someone’s feelings unintentionally with your words, you can use these moments as teaching moments to humble yourself and let your child know adults struggle with their words as well. No one says the right thing all the time; we’re all in a process. Simply creating a loving dialogue around speech will already start to help your children realize words have power.
- While one of the gifts of this month is the openness to trying new things and change, taken to the extreme, this can result in lack of commitment, which is one of the vulnerabilities we face this month. Sometimes, consciously or unconsciously, we resist commitment because we hold the belief that commitment means loss of freedom or some form of confinement. Challenge yourself to reframe commitment as grounding; when you commit, you immediately gain clarity and increase your ability to manifest blessings – be it with a job, relationship, new habit, etc. When your children see you make a commitment and follow through with it joyfully, it teaches them commitment is not scary and lets them know you are trustworthy and reliable.
TIPS FOR KIDS
- The letter Gimel, one of the two Hebrew letters controlling this month, created Jupiter, which controls expansion. Jupiter represents the desire to learn, to know, and the fields of science, biology, education, art, and music. Sagittarians are born optimists; they always see the good and are hopeful things will work out. Optimism is the force that makes us feel safe and excited to learn and try new things. We all get comfortable eating the same foods, wearing the same clothes, playing the same games, hanging out with the same friends, etc. Sometimes trying something new feels like it could be boring or even scary, but it’s quite the opposite! New experiences give us the opportunity to learn, have fun in new ways, connect with more people, etc. Try something new this month and see how much fun you have. Even if you try something and you don’t like it, you will have learned something new about yourself and the world, which is awesome!
- Sagittarians are known to love a good challenge. Do you ever feel like you want to do something a little scary or maybe even dangerous, just for the thrill of it? We all are tempted to take risks sometimes, but it is important to pause and ask ourselves: is this a risk worth taking? Speaking up in class when you are shy may feel risky, but that is a risk worth taking because your voice matters, and when you speak up, you are being brave. Riding your bicycle without a helmet because it seems more comfortable or you just want to test what might happen - that is not a risk worth taking. Anytime your safety is in question, it’s a good sign the risk is not a smart or even fun risk to take.
- Fire signs tend to move very quickly, and this can be both a positive and negative quality. Throughout the month, practice slowing down and not skipping over details or things that seem unimportant. For instance, have you ever noticed you rush through your homework so fast to be able to go play, then later realize you made a lot of mistakes or forget something silly like writing your name on the top? Notice how slowing down can feel peaceful and give you the time you need to do things well. On the flip side, when you find yourself feeling something negative and you can’t seem to shake the feeling, almost like your mind and body are forcing you to feel bad, you can tap into that fiery speed and choose to let go of the feeling. For instance, if someone hurts your feelings, you can let them know, then choose to forgive them and give them another chance instead of holding on to any hurt.
- Now is a great time to remember something you’ve probably heard many times from your parents - “think before you speak!” Our Sagittarius friends tend to say everything on their minds, and in doing so, they sometimes accidentally hurt people. Before you speak, ask yourself – is what I’m saying – kind, true, and important? Think about how your words will be received by the other person. Try to choose your words carefully and remember your words have power. Your words can make people feel good or bad about themselves.
- While one of the gifts of this month is the openness to trying new things and change, we can sometimes jump around from one thing to the next instead of committing and following through. Having to choose one thing to focus on or complete start to finish may not always feel fun at first, but in the end, it leaves you feeling accomplished and proud. Challenge yourself to stick with things even when they get hard, and remember that you are capable of doing hard things. For example, if you sign up for a sport, give it an honest try, and even if the first practice or game is hard, keep going. You don’t have to play the sport forever, you don’t even need to play the whole season, but if you committed to being on a team, it’s worth giving it more than one try before stopping. Or, if you tell your mom or dad you’re going to clean your room then start to get distracted with a fun game with your sibling, remind yourself you made a commitment and finish cleaning your room before you play the game. This may feel annoying in the moment when all you want to do is go play, but once you finish what you committed to, playing will be way more fun!
The Kabbalists teach that the 72 Names of God are powerful instruments we can use to align our soul with different expressions or spiritual frequencies of the Light of the Creator. Each 72 Name of God is associated with a specific set of days in the Kabbalistic calendar. By connecting to the name associated with each set of days, we gain key insights into the opportunities available to us during these days.
- Kislev 1-5 (Vav Hei Vav – Happiness): Every day, we have the ability to choose to be happy. Some days this choice is more difficult and seems out of reach. In these moments, practice being kind and patient with yourself and challenge yourself to extend yourself towards another human being. This could be as simple as picking up the phone and checking in on a friend. When we open our hearts and share of ourselves with others, the joy we create for others returns to us.
- Kislev 6-10 (Daled Nun Yud – Enough is Never Enough): Kabbalah teaches that desire is our driving force in life. The bigger our desire, the greater our potential manifestation. However, it is important to find the balance between appreciating what we have while simultaneously not limiting ourselves and always desiring more. It is also important to constantly check in on the nature of our desire. During these days, ask yourself: why do I want what I want? Is it for the self-alone or for the self and others? The more expansive our desire, the greater the potential for blessings.
- Kislev 11-15 (Hei Chet Shin – No Guilt): The Kabbalists explain that the greatest short-circuit we make is not when we fall, but when we beat ourselves up for whatever fall we may have, and in doing so, never truly correct the fall. There is a difference between being accountable for our mistakes and beating ourselves up. Guilt does not help us grow. Every time guilt comes up for you, practice looking forward, not backward; ask yourself what you can do differently and commit to changing. Change doesn’t necessarily happen overnight, and you may fall again. Don’t let guilt seep back in; stay patient, kind, and committed.
- Kislev 16-20 (Ayin Mem Mem – Passion): Life is always gently whispering to us, "Wake up, wake up! During these days, we may hear this call particularly strong. Listen to the call of your soul. What are you excited about? What desires have been dormant that you can re-awaken? Whatever you are currently working on, be it in a relationship, your work, your home, etc., bring your soul into it. Passion inspires others to rise to the occasion as well. Observe what happens in the world around you when you bring passion to all that you do.
- Kislev 21-25 (Nun Nun Aleph – No Agenda): There’s a story told about a man who has a dream one night. In the dream, the Creator shows him a boulder and tells him, "I want you to go out and push that boulder." So in the morning, the man gets up, finds the boulder near his home, and starts to push it. He pushes it for a day, a week, a month, a year, two years. After two years, however, he gets tired of pushing the boulder. In fact, he’s completely forgotten about his dream. And so he lives out his life and eventually passes on. When he comes to the Gates Upstairs, he is greeted by a group of angels who tell him, "Sorry, you didn't finish your work on Earth. You're going to have to go back down again.” Stunned and upset at the angels’ pronouncement, the man asks, "What do you mean I didn’t finish my work? What is it that I didn't do?” The angels say, "You were told to push the boulder. You were told to do your work. You were told that it doesn't matter what’s at the end of the road; what matters is the effort along the way. The Creator didn’t tell you to move the boulder. That's His job. He told you to push the boulder.” The boulder in this story is a metaphor for the individual roles we need to fill and the efforts we are called to make in our lives. The Creator doesn’t ask us to create perfect outcomes. That is not our job. Our job is to be involved in the process. Our job is to strive each day to come closer to eradicating as much negativity as we can. It’s only by doing the small steps for ourselves, by striving to increase our love and decrease our agenda by perhaps one degree each day, that we can together change the world.
- Kislev 26-30 (Nun Yud Tav – Death of Death): In Kabbalah, we learn that death is not just physical death; death refers to endings or lack of continuity. We inject continuity and life-force energy into everything we do when we invite the Creator into our process. The beauty of this is it can be so simple. Throughout the day, in your mind, just keep asking the Creator to be with you and guide you. You can ask as many times as you want in as many ways as you want.
- Parents: We challenge you this month to put on your scholar cap and embrace deeper study! Kabbalah is equally as deep as it is practical, and now is an opportune time to embrace the deeper side. With the energy of Sagittarius, you have the support to dive into more complex concepts. Deep study isn’t just about learning; it also awakens awe and appreciation for how vast the Light of the Creator is and how lucky we are to have access to such deep wisdom. Let this awe and appreciation carry over into your parenting. No matter how challenging any moment or day may be with your kids, remember, you have the most important job in the world, and you are so lucky!
- Parents, you may take the opportunity this month to foster new learning in your kids. Learning at school and learning with your family are two very different types of learning experiences. Do not underestimate how you can open up your child’s world simply by spending intentional time with them, learning something new together. This may look like taking them to a museum neither of you has been to before, playing a trivia or bingo game you’ve never played before, or reading a new book/book(s) together. Use these intimate learning moments as an opportunity to boost your child’s confidence by asking them their thoughts and validating all of their unique perspectives.
- Kids, is there a topic you’re interested in and haven’t had the chance to explore or maybe don’t think you’re smart enough to understand? Time to explore! Share your interest with your parents and let them help you find a way to expand your knowledge in this area. Maybe it’s an after-school program, online learning group, or an advanced book you want to read. Know that with perseverance and passion, you are capable of learning anything you set your mind to.
EXPAND YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS