Shevat: Building Your Spiritual Home Base
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Shevat: Building Your Spiritual Home Base

Rosh Chodesh Shevat began Jan. 7 and continues through Feb. 4. The New Moon on the Hebrew calendar is calculated at slightly different times than the astrological calendar.

Rosh Chodesh Shevat began Jan. 7 and continues through Feb. 4. The New Moon on the Hebrew calendar is calculated at slightly different times than the astrological calendar. The Jewish day does not have a specific length, but has been marked by the reference, “…there was evening and there was morning…” One day ends and a new one begins when there are three stars visible in the night sky. A “day” is from sunset on one day until sunset on the following day.

The astrological New Moon, when the moon passes between earth and the sun, began on Jan. 6, bringing with it a partial solar eclipse. This one could best be seen in Siberia, but the total lunar eclipse, that occurs between Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, is expected to be visible from all of North America. It’ll begin at 9:35 p.m. EST on Jan. 20 and end at 2:50 a.m. on Jan. 21. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow of the earth. This full, white moon can appear to have a red cast, giving it the name of the “blood moon.”

Eclipses invite us to consider what’s shining brightly in our lives vs. what’s hidden or partially obscured. There will be five eclipses in 2019. The total solar eclipse on July 2 will be another one of those unifying events where everyone’s trying to catch a peek.

Our task for Shevat is to build a bridge to Hashem in order to bring divine wisdom from the highest spiritual platform to our everyday lives.

What if we integrate our secular New Year’s goals with our Jewish New Year plans to turn toward Hashem? Instead of evaluating goals annually, why not do it seasonally? Pick an overarching goal for the year, but take actions each month with these astrological forecasts to help stay on track.

New Moon influences last a month, while eclipse influences span six months. This Shevat’s solar eclipse energy is harmonious for building a spiritual home base, a physical dream home, starting or growing a business. It supports projects that promote creativity or artistic endeavors, especially those that are helpful or charitable to others.

Astrologers agree it’s a time of great possibilities if we discard old structures and habits that don’t serve the highest good in favor of fresh approaches. As we move out of Capricorn and into Aquarian energy, the craggy rocks that the goat steadily climbed suggest that we can be a solid support or rock to someone else. It’s a beautiful way to offer acts of tikkun olam.

Shevat’s zodiac sign is Aquarius, the water-carrier. Water has certainly been a theme for us here in Atlanta for the past few months. We’ve had so much rain. Most people have been complaining about the weather. If we use this topic to flex our spiritual muscles, we can change our perspective about all of the rain. Instead of imagining the water-carrier dumping his overflowing vessel of water down on our heads, what if we viewed it as Hashem showering us with blessings? Water is a vital element of life. Without it, plants and people die.

What if we seek and search for positive imagery that supports a kinder, gentler view of the world? Remember the lyrics from the song, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and sung by B.J. Thomas? He reprimands the sun, saying that the sun is not doing its job. Then he declares that the blues he associates with the rain will not defeat him and that he won’t find himself crying. Then he comes to the realization that he’s “never gonna stop the rain by complaining, because I’m free, nothing’s worrying me.”

Then there’s the image of Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain,” defying the depressed mood that many associate with rain. Annie’s view that “the sun will come out tomorrow,” at least metaphorically, becomes possible if we change our perspective.

Meditation Focus: Is there someone you could mentor? How can your wisdom benefit others? Can you simplify your life and let go of objects or relationships that dull your spirit? Can you be a ray of sunshine?

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