New Moon Meditations

By Dr. Terry Segal | tsegal@atljewishtimes.com

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan is observed Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Cheshvan’s Zodiac sign is Scorpio; Hebrew letter, nun; tribe, Menasheh; sense, smell; and controlling organ, intestines.

Often this month is referred to as Mar (bitter) Cheshvan, with no holidays to celebrate. Some believe that Cheshvan is set aside as the month in which the Moshiach will arrive to create the Third

Dr. Terry Segal

Dr. Terry Segal

Temple and also that Moses will reincarnate to return as the Moshiach.

The 11th is the yahrzeit of our matriarch Rachel, who died while birthing her second son, Benjamin. This is the Jewish Mother’s Day. To honor her memory, we strive to become our best selves, exhibiting principles and behaviors that would make our mothers proud.

Water is highlighted during Cheshvan, whether through the tears Rachel cried when her children were exiled or from the rain that fell during the great flood, lasting from one Cheshvan until the next during Noah’s time. In Israel, the focus is on preparation, plowing the land and planting seeds that rely on water for growth. On the 7 Cheshvan, prayers for rain begin.

Our task is to integrate personal discoveries made during the holidays into our daily lives and routines. We cleared our spiritual and emotional weeds, nourished our souls, and now must distinguish between the thoughts and behaviors that will move us toward or away from the mark. We must flip the energy from mar to ram (elevated).

The Zodiac sign is Scorpio, represented by the scorpion, whose positive aspects are loyalty, passion, resourcefulness and dynamic personality. When out of balance, scorpions exhibit jealousy and obsessiveness and are power-driven, suspicious, manipulative, controlling and inflexible. There’s no middle ground with scorpions, only black or white, with the ever-present stinger on the scorpion’s tail in between. It is reminiscent of the snake’s venom in the Garden of Eden.

The Hebrew letter this month is nun. In our time, it’s bent over and constricted, but the belief is that with the arrival of the Moshiach it will extend itself into a final nun.

The tribe is Menasheh, the firstborn son of Joseph. The name contains the letters of neshama, or soul. Menasheh had the gift of turning darkness into light. In much the same way that the pains of childbirth are dimmed once one beholds the beautiful baby, Menasheh had the ability to transform the difficulties of the exile.

The sense is smell, which is considered the only sense not tarnished by sin in the Garden of Eden. It is also the sense associated with the Moshiach in the Book of Isaiah, which states that “he shall smell with the awe of G-d” and that “he shall judge by smell” to connect the Jewish souls to their Source and to their tribes of origin. The sense of smell is appreciated by the soul rather than by the physical body.

The controlling organ is the intestines. In the Torah laws, fats in the intestines created the pleasing aroma on the altar for G-d. In traditional Chinese medicine, the intestines are linked to the lungs, which represent grief. The small intestine sends waste down to the large intestine so it can be excreted.

Fiery Scorpios can retain too much heat as a result of toxic relationships or environments. It’s held in the body as stagnation from poor dietary choices, grief or pent-up anger that’s not released. This can appear as an inability to let wasteful things go. Holding on to anger and resentment accumulates toxic energy. Water, again, is important in flushing out the immobility that produces imbalance.

Meditation focus: Imagine your own small parcel of land. You’ve just cleared the weeds, tilled the soil, and amended it with composted, organic material. It’s now rich and fertile. You’ve divided rows for planting and are ready to drop in seeds that you’ve carefully selected.

Visualize yourself nurturing those seeds, protecting and watering them through the winter. See them in spring, growing strong, rooted to the earth but pushing up the soil as they reach upward toward divine light. Nourish and grow your spirit in the same way.