The number one, most frequently asked question in personal consultations is the obvious one. It comes in a few different forms and with a number of preset reference points.
What should I do with my life?
What’s my purpose here on earth?
What does God want from me?
Where is my birth sign leading me?
Is there insight from mysticism and reincarnation?
There are many books about the last question from the point of view of Kabbalah. The best known is the Gate of Reincarnations translated into English by Rabbi Pinchas Winston. There is also the Book of Reincarnations. I have spent a few years reading these two core sources with some very learned and experienced scholars. This has helped me formulate answers to the question of what I should be doing with my life. Reading the Book of Jonah as an allegory is another valuable exercise. Jonah represents the soul and its journey through human existence. This can be a very rewarding encounter with a book of the Bible we think we know well.
Here is my summary of the tests I have found in mystical books and Bible commentary. Ask yourself these questions. Note the effect of your answers on your state of mind. Which gives you the chills?
What is the hardest thing for you to do, feel, or experience?
What is the easiest, most natural, or happiest thing for you to do?
What is the one thing you are ignoring? You place it in a corner or up high on a shelf. You let it gather dust or you take it out of its hiding place every day. It is a huge factor, maybe the factor in your life yet you have never let it shine and grow and lift you up.
I have been thinking and that's sometimes a good thing. Why have I taken so long and spent so much energy avoiding the elephant in the living room? For me, that's astrology as explained by the Chassidic Masters. I like elephants. They do no good to themselves or people or other animals while they are sitting in my living room.
Elephants work and that may be cruel and inhumane. They entertain at the circus and inform us at the zoo. They marry and have families. They bring joy, think Ganesh.
This cannot be a coincidence. Ganesh is the elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings, who is traditionally worshipped before any major enterprise and is the patron of intellectuals, bankers, scribes, and authors. Ganesh is a remover of obstacles and has the ability to overcome anything to get what he wants. He came to mind for a reason - to reinforce my decision to write and share my writing with a wide audience.
Hinduism is the world’s third-largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. I am convinced that there is much more common ground than differences. There is an overlap of ideas and some thoughts have traveled from one to the others. I am committed to sensitivity to our many points of origin in terms of faith.
Astrology as I learn and share it is my destiny.
I have been learning and teaching for years. Talking to people individually using the study of the classic texts is what I call a reading. I do not use complex charts. It would be nice to look at a chart and say with conviction “do this”. Kabbalistic astrology helps us understand ourselves and the world around us. It raises questions and provides possible frameworks to help structure our lives. All of us are unique and our lives are filled with contradictions and there are no precise directions in this form of astrology. That’s a good thing.
The month of Cancer, the crab, and how I met myself.
Put aside everything you know about astrology. We are going to look at a month according to the Hebrew lunar calendar with the wisdom of Jewish Mysticism. This is my birth month so it has a lot to say to me.
My discovery of Kabbalistic astrology began with a fall-off-the-seat moment. I always thought of myself as a Leo. I am not a natural leader. I avoid the spotlight and I certainly do not roar. Aligning my understanding of myself with the lunar calendar and the Astrology of the Jewish Mystical Tradition changed everything. It is a simple matter to find out your date of birth in the Hebrew calendar. Type the question into the Google search box - convert my birth date from Gregorian to Hebrew and then the date you want to translate.
Cancer and the Hebrew month of Tammuz.
The Book of Formation gives a list of five things about each month. Later works add to the list. At this point, we are interested in one of these original factors and three from later sources. These are, for me, the most dramatic elements of my birth month. The big revelation started here.
Sense of the body - Sight
Bible verse - Esther 5,13 . . . . But all this is worth nothing to me
Tribe - Reuben - How Reuben got his name - Genesis 29,32 Leah said “Because God has seen my affliction”
Gemstone - Ruby (connects to the name Reuben)
This is just the beginning of the list of factors for this month. There are a lot more things and more than one version of the core texts I have taken this from. What strikes a chord inside you is the most important point. For me, this one is intensely personal. It’s about my default self-definition. The line I say all the time are those words from the Book of Esther and it was a eureka moment when I first saw it in writing.
The Verse of the month
It’s five words in Hebrew. Half a verse in the Book of Esther. It is Kabbalah in the literal sense - received Tradition that this verse is foundational to this month. Here is how it works. God has a name. It is four Hebrew letters and the letters combine differently for each of the lunar months. The particular combination of letters for each month fits onto a part of a verse in the Hebrew Bible either as the first or last letters of words.
This is it for the month of Tammuz (July - August) on the Hebrew lunar calendar. Esther 5,13 . . . . But all this is worth nothing to me . . .
In the Book of Esther, the evil antagonist, Haman, is raised to high office by the king. He is given great power and wealth, yet he cannot bear to see the one man who does not bow to him. “All this is worth nothing to me as long as I have to see that man”.
Everyone has to bow to me. Does that sound familiar? How can there be one person who does not acknowledge my greatness, success, talent, whatever it is you need to have worshipped?
What about another way of this line working in our minds? In all my life I have never demanded or expected honor. I avoid conflict like the plague. How does this line fit in my life?
Things are going well. But there is a cost. I write and teach and inspire people but I am left exhausted. It takes me a day to recover from a large program. It is clearly not worth my time and effort if I lose a day after as well as all the time I put into the preparation. This is my default thought at the end of most days and at the beginning as well. This is the thinking that I descend into when I finish something. I was born this month and this is my number one challenge. This is what I am here on earth to overcome. This is where my birth sign is leading me. When you get this level of insight you know it and you feel it.
There are some things that are not worth the effort. But when it comes to sharing transcendent wisdom with the power to help people, this thought is from the dark side. It is the line of the bad guy in the story. And the reason we meet the bad guys is to push us to be our very best - see them for what they really are. This too is an aspect of this lunar month - sight. How we see things. Is this thought a helpful friend, a bitter enemy, or a resistance exercise to build my spiritual muscles?
Let’s look at our default thoughts. They are here for our good. Including and especially the unpleasant ones. Contact me and we can open the door to a new level of wisdom with the power to inform and energize your choices.
What should I do with my life? The one thing that is the hardest and the easiest at the same time. The one thing I have been trying to ignore.
We are not talking about the months in order or as they occur this year. In the course of time, we will be looking at some of the factors of all the months and introducing the thirteenth month. Crystals and birthstones will be the subject of a future post.
Here is a list of the months of the year in Hebrew and their equivalents.