Rosh Chodesh Nisan begins Tuesday, March 28.
The first day of Nisan remains a historic day. Two weeks before the Exodus, Hashem showed Moses the sliver of the crescent moon and instructed him in the observance of sanctifying the new moon each month. This gift of mastery over time has allowed our holidays to stay on schedule, within the same season and phases of the moon each year.
Nisan is the beginning of our months of the year.
Passover 2017 starts at sundown Monday, April 10, the 15th of Nisan. The full moon on the night of the 11th is called the Full Pink Moon, from the flowers of spring, which include the abundant pink moss or wild ground phlox. Nisan is the one time each year when we perform the mitzvah of blessing the flowering trees when we first see them.
The Festival of Freedom celebrates our release from slavery in Egypt. We view the journey as if we ourselves had come out of Egypt.
We recognize the symbolism in the Exodus. The actual boundaries and restrictions of our ancestors become lessons in expanding our consciousness in the present.
It’s said that we all possess superpower qualities during Passover. It’s our spiritual task to use them to transform and transcend our perceived restrictions.
One way to achieve this is to be outside in nature, connecting with the grid of Mother Earth and linking ourselves as a conduit between the past and future. We witness the seasonal renewal and strive to increase our wisdom and deepen our souls.
During Nisan, and especially with daylight saving time, we have the opportunity to use the energy of increased light for new growth and beginnings.
We can also sit in meditation, observing the phases of the moon, as we focus on the 10 sephirot, or qualities of divine attributes, through which Hashem is revealed to us in the physical and metaphysical realms.
We have the potential to undergo higher vibrational tuning, like turning the pegs on a violin. The intentions we set this month to overcome our struggles last throughout the year.
Regardless of the chaos in the world, the moon, our ancient timepiece, rhythmically appears and disappears in the night sky. We align ourselves with the waxing and waning energies, the phase in which it’s hidden from sight, and its return to full brightness.
The zodiac sign of Nisan is Aries; Hebrew letter, hey; ruling planet, Mars; tribe, Judah; sense, speech; and controlling limb, right foot.
Those born under the sign of Aries can be spontaneous, courageous and energetic. They may also possess negative characteristics of being impatient, headstrong and impulsive.
In preparation for Passover, when we search for the hidden breadcrumbs by candlelight, we must also search our souls.
The Hebrew letter hey is a release of breath to let go of negativity. Hashem used the sound of this letter to speak the world into being.
Mars, the red or warring planet, rules at this time, so from the new moon to the full moon on Passover, our wars and conflicts are determined for the coming year.
It has been such a year of contention and divisiveness. Consider what your part has been in this emotional expression. Consciously choose how you’ll respond in the year ahead.
Nisan’s first tribe, Judah, means “to give thanks.” The sense of speech is prominent. Our president and the media have been warring over words written and spoken. On Passover, we fulfill the mitzvah of telling the story of our people through reading the haggadah, which means “telling.”
The controlling limb is the right foot. Taking steps in the right direction allows forward movement, but there must be balance between the right and left. As of now, there is not.
Meditation focus: Be still and consider the various ways in which we are enslaved in our current world. Are you a perpetrator or victim of negative beliefs? Do you enslave or are you enslaved as a woman, a person of color, a person of privilege, a person of a particular sexual orientation, gender or religion? Be free and free others.