Holidays & Time Zones

The Power of Being in the Desert

The month of Sivan, or Gemini, is a very important month, and as we know, when we have the consciousness of what’s available to us each month, we can receive all the seeds of great blessings and Light for that month. Therefore, I would like to share one of the gifts available to us as we enter the month of Gemini.

The kabbalists teach that what historically occurred on a certain day - for example, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or Pesach – is really a re-awakening of Light that was once revealed on that day. So, each time that day comes in the yearly cycle, we all have the opportunity for the great Light and blessings that were originally awakened then.

So, there is one thing that we learn about Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon, or the first day, of the month of Gemini. It says in the Torah that the Israelites left Egypt and entered into the desert. And we want to understand the spiritual concept of the desert, because it plays a very significant role in our spiritual work and development. Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon, of Gemini, is the day the Israelites arrived in the desert. Therefore, there is a special connection between this day, and this month, to the power of the desert.

What is the power of the desert? The Zohar says something which would seem to indicate that the desert is not a very positive place. It says it is not a coincidence that things don't grow in the desert or that people don’t usually live in the desert; it is because the desert is the place the Negative Side controls. We know, of course, the Negative Side is everywhere and we invite It often into our lives in many different ways, but there is one place physically in the world where It is strongest, and that is in the desert. Therefore, we would assume that is not a place one would want to be or would go to be connected to great Light. However, we find the opposite to be true.

On the sixth day of this month, the month of Gemini, after entering into the desert on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of Gemini, there was the great revelation at Sinai. As the Zohar and kabbalists teach us, this was the place and the time when the Light of elevating beyond nature and death, the Light of Immortality, Bila HaMavet LaNetzach, was revealed in the desert.

But why was it revealed in the desert? If you are going to choose a place to give great Light and blessings, wouldn’t you choose a place of Light? If we are told that the desert is a desolate place where nothing grows, where there is no life, because it is the place the Negative Side controls, then why reveal that Light there? Why have the Israelites there, in the desert, at the time of this great revelation?

We have to understand the concept of the desert. What is the desert, and what is the desert in our lives? The desert represents the places we do not want to go, the places that scare us, the places that make us uncomfortable. And often, even for those of us who want to connect to the Light of the Creator, who want to be spiritual, who want to grow and change, there are certain things that are just too much for us, too uncomfortable, too scary, and so we remain in the place where the work or the change is relatively easier for us. We know we have to grow and change, but we become overwhelmed by being in certain places or experiencing certain things.

The Zohar tells us that the greatest Light we will reveal is not the Light revealed in comfortable places. The desert is the place where the greatest Light will be revealed. The desert, as we learn from the Israelites, is the place where Immortality will ultimately be revealed. And therefore, when it says that the energy of the first day of Gemini is that of entering into the desert, it means that we want to become awakened to ask ourselves this question: If I really want to accomplish what my soul came into this world to accomplish, if I really want to transform, if I really want to connect to the totality of the Light of the Creator and the blessings that come with that, then how much time am I actually spending in the desert?

Because, as the Zohar tells us, the Israelites could not have received that great Light and revelation anywhere else in the world, except in the place the Negative Side controls, the most challenging, scariest, and darkest place. So the choice that we often make when we are overwhelmed is to take a step back. When somebody does something to us that really upsets us, for example, we go away from them, and that choice not to be in the desert - all those choices we make not to go towards those places that scare us, or that make us uncomfortable - make it so that we cannot and will not receive the great Light and blessings we are meant to receive, nor change or transform in the ways that we are meant to and for which we came into this world.

Therefore, one of the gifts of the month of Gemini is the understanding that we need to, and hopefully now desire to, spend some time in the desert. It does not mean we spend all day there every day; we need to refresh and be comfortable at times. But, we now know that if we are in the place of comfort all the time, if we are not pushing ourselves into the desert sometimes, then it is not possible for us to change and grow in the ways that we are meant to or receive the great Light we are meant to.

And so, this is the month, and specifically the first day of the month, when we want to make the choice to begin stepping into the desert. To begin pushing ourselves with this consciousness and understanding into those places that make us uncomfortable, into those places where we do not want to be. That is where the great Light is revealed. Why is the Light of Immortality revealed in the desert and not in more spiritual places, not in more comfortable places, not in better places? Because any amount of great Light, blessings, and growth must come to us when we are pushing ourselves to be in the desert.

That is a gift of this month of Gemini: the consciousness, and therefore, the desire, to push ourselves to spend time in the desert. Yes, this makes me tremendously uncomfortable. Yes, this person hurt me in a way that really upsets me and I want to take a step back from them, but I won't. Yes, this situation is too overwhelming to me, and it is not a place I want to be; it is a place that scares me, and makes me uncomfortable, but I am going to take a step into it, into the desert, where the great Light is revealed. In the desert is where great transformation occurs, and is the place from which we can receive our greatest Light and blessings.

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