Every year in January, I get on my soap box about how January is not the right time to set new goals and intentions, or embark on major change.
People often ask me, if not in January, then when?
Today begins the most potent time of the year for change and transformation. Still in the energy of last week’s equinox, today we observe the New Moon, a monthly opportunity to seed new intentions.
This New Moon, in the sign of Libra, also begins the month of Tishrei on the Hebrew calendar, and Rosh Hashana, the spiritual Jewish New Year.
All of this is related. We are in the season of change.
About this New Moon in Libra, astrologer Chani Nicholas writes,
This New Moon is a pocket of energetic gold in the midst of some defining astrological action, but it’s demanding that we take part in our own alchemical processes if we want to get to it.
The Ten Days of Teshuva is an Alchemical Process
This is a wonderful way to describe the energy of the Ten Days of Teshuva, which begin with Rosh Hashana and end on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.
Teshuva is often translated as repentance, but it’s root is from the word that means “to return.”
The Ten Days of Teshuva is about returning to our true selves — who we are when we are not locked in fear, not caught up in the reactivity of fight-or-flight mode.
This is a time for the deep inner work that catalyzes transformation.
On Rosh Hashanah, the spiritual new year, we are called to begin this process by the sound of the Shofar, the Ram’s horn that itself serves as a vehicle for an alchemical process: turning breath into a piercing wake-up call. The sound awakens us from the trance of fear and brings us back to presence, asking us to consider the fundamental questions such as who we are and why we are here.
As Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks explains, during the high holy days from Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur,
we step back from our life like an artist stepping back from their canvas, seeing what needs changing for the painting to be complete.
It’s the ultimate sacred pause; a time to consider where we are going and what’s most important to us.
This is not just about “goal setting” — this is about defining the purpose for our life and creating the compass that will guide our decisions.
- Why are you are here?
- What are you meant to contribute to the world?
- What are the values and morals that will guide your choices?
If you want the energetic pot of gold, you must be willing to engage in the work.
This is the time to examine your life and commit to the path of transformation. The journey to return to your true nature is beginning.
Are you in?