Tapping the New Moon's Magic

The new moon of the Jewish month Elul is upon us: fresh and invigorating. The Hassidic masters taught that this is the month when the Divine forces cross over to our human realm, to listen closely to our prayers, commiserate with our human pain, and give us strength to grow beyond ourselves. In Elul we get a burst of energy and initiative to break old patterns, throw off stale grievances, and go, as the poet Rilke says, "to the limits of our longing."

What do you long for, wish for, pray for this month?

Now is the time to remember our capacity for magic! Each of us holds enormous power to transform our reality, to access hidden forces with which to influence our world. But more than ever, our magic to influence the world also requires a bold willingness to face what is going on around us. As I write these words, over two thousand fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest. This gorgeous fertile forest is home to roughly 350 indigenous tribes, and thousands of species of birds, fish, insects and plants, all of which are threatened by extinction. 

The damage to the Amazon goes far beyond Brazil and its neighbors. The area's rainforest generates more than 20% of the world's oxygen and is home to 10% of the world's known biodiversity. The carbon released by the fires will take decades to be re-absorbed, creating a huge impact on global emissions for the entire world.

Today I carry this woe, but there are so many others: the latest shooting in Texas, the hurricane heading for the Southeast, the plight of refugee families and asylum seekers at our borders… Are we willing to witness our own and the world's traumas?

After a summer of tragedy in my own life, I have been humbled by the pain of human loss, and I have returned to the principles of trauma healing that I learned from many wise people in Wounds into Wisdom. They have reminded me that the road to healing begins when we 

  • Face our losses

  • Harness the power of our pain, and

  • Find like-minded people with whom we can share, pray, and act.

These first three of seven principles for healing personal and cultural traumas have helped me to rise again. I offer them to you at the portal of this new month, to help reaffirm the magic that lives within us. Yes, we can transform ourselves and our world, but we must be bold enough to stare into the ashes of our failures, as individuals, and as a culture… And then to act with others!

This fall, my offerings are all about tapping our magic to repair the world—loosening the chains of our self-doubt to access the guidance and protection of our wise ancestors and angelic helpers. Join me for my new online course on ancestral healing and Kabbalah; as I lead New Year and Yom Kippur services in the LA area; and as my fall book tour continues to Oregon, California, and Florida.

Devastated by the news coming from Brazil? Here are some more ways you can take action to help in the face of the Amazon fires.  

Tirzah Firestone