Did you know that scorpions glow in UV light? If you were to venture out to scan the nighttime desert with a UV flashlight, you’d find these nocturnal creatures emitting a mesmerizing blue-green glow against the shadowed sands. During this month of Scorpio (represented by the scorpion), we, too, can use this time of waning sunlight to access our inner glow. We can stop to remember that the light is always within us… and that it’s up to us to turn up that dimmer switch so that we can share more of our best selves with the world!
Called Mar Cheshvan (meaning “bitter Cheshvan”) in Hebrew, this month brings a rare respite from holidays or celebrations. Its name evokes an absence of sweetness and a hint of gloom with the approaching darkness of winter. Well, I say, forget the doom. Forget the gloom! Because hiding within the shadows of these seeming negatives are great opportunities for inner growth. We can turn the bitter (Mar) around to read as Ram, or exultation. We can use this quieter time to absorb last month’s flurry of contemplations and celebrations to reap their benefits in the year ahead.
Another interesting note about scorpions–which, by the way, happen to be fascinating creatures: a study led by biologist Dr. Douglas Gaffin revealed that their fluorescence is a result of their ability to be “whole body photon collector[s].” This remarkable trait has helped them survive and thrive since long before the dinosaurs! During this month of Scorpio, we, too, can practice some spiritual light-gathering of our own. How? We can start by consciously bringing more awareness to all that’s good in our lives. As Kabbalah teaches, wherever we place our consciousness automatically increases in power.
Today, ask yourself where the light is in your own life. Often, that light has been generated from challenges or times of darkness. In fact, it is often through these moments that we find ourselves emerging with increased powers, new reasons to be grateful, and yes–more light to sustain us and to share with the world!
A few weeks ago, our daughter Abigail became a first-time author with the release of our co-written book, The Gift of Being Different. In it, she shared how, because of and through her challenges with dyslexia, she discovered other, even greater, gifts. This is so often the case! I know that every one of my personal challenges has also held hidden blessings. There were many times when I, too, was led to believe I wasn’t good enough. Or pretty enough. Or smart enough. But such times force us to look inward and to find strength there rather than from any external place. This is a month for dusting off that inner light and, like those luminous creatures in nature, daring to pierce through that gloom to bring more awe and wonder to our own lives.
The sign of Scorpio is also a highly emotional sign, connected in Kabbalah to both water and fire (and we’ve all been warned about the dangers of that scorpion sting!). Watch out for sudden surges of anger or emotionality, sometimes over the smallest of things. I remember once witnessing a heated argument between two women over how long a piece of bread should be toasted to reach the ideal level of “toastiness.” There were angry words. Tense tones. And eventually–believe it or not–tears.
Looking back, I’m sure there must have been more to that exchange than met the eye (or the toaster). But that’s the sort of thing to watch out for this month–what I now call “toast moments.” During this volatile cosmic window, remember to take a breath before reacting. Then, instead of battling, we can pour some tea and serve up the butter and jam–with toast of any shade!
Let’s turn the bitterness of mar into the triumph of ram this month by keeping the focus on increasing our inner light in every way possible. Let’s be more grateful, calm, and kind to ourselves and others. Let’s look for the silver lining in life’s tough moments. And above all, let’s make an effort to reconnect with those people, activities, and thoughts that bring a spark of positivity and excitement to our days.
Because ultimately, if it lights you up inside, it will light you up on the outside, too. And, despite the earlier dusk and the lull of the moment, the more we turn up our inner glow, the more it will shine wherever we go!