This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2019.
We learn that those who reincarnate under the sign of Pisces come to this world with their final work to complete. Such a soul has traveled through many lifetimes and the Pisces is on this earth to complete its cleansing and purification. In this month of Pisces 2, we are all experiencing the finality of the zodiac, and with it appears our spiritual residue and the aspects within ourselves that need purification. Not only Pisceans are afforded the opportunity this month to tie up loose ends and be purified -- we all will be experiencing this energy. Thankfully, the Creator is always watching over us and offering us the love and assistance we need. This week, as we read the final portion of the Torah that is read in the month of Pisces, we are given the gift of spiritual cleansing and purification. We are bathed in the Piscean waters and are made whole once again, bestowing us with the renewal of spirit and the purest of hearts for time ahead.
"We all will be experiencing this energy."
Our portion this week is Shmini, and it is read this week on what is called Shabbat Parah. Shabbat Parah is the Shabbat of cleansing that always proceeds right before the beginning of the new astrological year and month of Aries. The Creator is always providing us the antidote before chaos strikes, and this week we are given the restoration we need to begin the new year with our best foot forward. Shmini describes the actual purification of the Israelites, led by the priests, Aaron and his children. Shmini takes us to the moment right after the priests had been ordained and their work of healing began. Unfortunately, two of Aaron’s children perished during this process. The purification and sacrifices required very specific behavior and dealt directly with the Creator -- the energy was beyond anything comprehensible. Like dealing directly with the sun, the energy had potential to cause a disaster, as it did with Aaron’s children. But Aaron understood immediately his great loss was a cleansing and balancing of his own karma. Aaron knew of his integral part in the creation of the Golden Calf, the substitute idol for Moses. He knew that he had diminished his only protection and Light by creating this replacement for Moses and the Creator. As a result of this mistake, he knew that his sons were taken from him. His great loss was a necessary cleansing and balancing of karmic energy that was a part of Aaron’s unique process. In addition to this karmic balancing of energy, we have Shabbat Parah. Shabbat Parah means Shabbat of the Red Heifer. The Midrash tells us that the Red Heifer was the mother of the Golden Calf. How is it possible that a sacred sacrificial animal gave birth to a golden idol? This clearly shows us that there is a metaphysical connection between the Golden Calf and the cleansing power of the Red Heifer. In this additional portion of Shabbat Parah, read this week in conjunction with Shmini, we read of the sacrifice of the Red Heifer. Miraculously, through the Red Heifer sacrifice, the entire fall of the Israelites with the Golden Calf is eliminated and cleansed. Aaron’s story and Shabbat Parah both provide us with one of the greatest opportunities for spiritual cleansing, as well as a settling of karmic debt for the entire year. These gifts come to purify us of any mistakes we have made, making us new and ready for the blessings to come.
"These gifts come to purify us of any mistakes we have made."
In life, we sometimes ask ourselves, “Why is this happening to me?” Life can be full of challenges and difficulties. Many times, things do not go our way and road blocks beset our path. Sometimes, God forbid, we may even experience unbelievable pain and loss, like Aaron. It is in these moments, if we can be open to it, we can remember that the universe is built on compassion and love. The Creator is always sending down the most merciful path so that we may continue the evolution of our souls. We are first sent a pebble, then a stone, and then the brick. Difficulties are there to open our eyes and to examine where we have gone off course. Challenges appear in our lives either to cleanse us, help us to learn a lesson, or just to open our hearts a little more. In our times of sadness, do we not learn empathy? In times of worry and fear, are we not inclined to turn our eyes above and ask for help? In our own pain, do we not become enlightened to the pain of others? Whatever challenges we face they are placed before us only and unequivocally for our own benefit and growth. It is in these final days of Pisces, we accept the challenges that we face, knowing we are the ones who benefit from the cleansing they bring. Shabbat Parah, with the reading of portion Shmini, provides the valuable gift of the merciful cleansing of our soul.
This week in your meditation, take yourself to the ocean shore. See yourself standing in front of the beautiful blue water that extends far beyond your vision. The sea is crystal blue and without waves. The sun shines in a cloudless sky and the day is warm. Slowly enter the water and bathe in its warmth, allowing it to surround you. Let yourself sink below the surface, submerging yourself completely. Feel the water cleanse you. You are now free from the past and free from your mistakes. You are purified. You feel lighter and without limits. There are no more obstacles in your path. See your life filled with only blessings. See yourself renewed in your connection to your own soul and the Light of the Creator. The covering around your heart has been washed away. You feel your heart open. You are ready to give love to all who need it and open to receive all the love you need.