And on your day of gladness, and on your festivals, and on your new moons…."--Num. 10:10--
When we have New Moon, the sun will also be in the same sign. It is time to celebrate the arrival of the New Moon once again, which means it is a time of rebirth, of new beginnings and offers us an opportunity for another cycle of growth in out lives. It is a time to plant the seed of whatever it is that you hope to grow. What is it that you hope to create in your life? Where is your attention focused? This month, we find ourselves in the sign of the Leo, a fixed sign. Leo is a sign of expression. Ruled by the Sun, Leo is about expressing ourselves in a creative way. This is the time to make changes in a most creative and unique way.
Speaking of the New Moon, I have mentioned several times that Jewish mysticism and beliefs have always fascinated me. Their lives are so entwined with the cycle of the Moon. So, when I came across the book Dancing in the Footsteps of Eve, Retrieving the Healing Gift of the Sacred Feminine by Heather Mendel, I couldn't help but add it to my Kindle library. Mendel, a feminist who practices reformed Judaism who writes about discovering the power of the feminine aspect which has been diminished in the patriarchal world. In this book I learned about Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) is a gathering now being observed by many contemporary Jewish women. (By the way, I highly recommend this book for every woman to read.)
From the talmudic period to our own day, Rosh Chodesh has been especially sacred to Jewish women. It is the monthly celebration of the New Moon. It literally means First of the Month...i.e. in the Hebrew calendar the first of each month is ushered in by the appearance of the New Moon. For at least 2,000 years Jewish women have celebrated the appearance of the New Moon. According to legend, it began when the Israelite women wandering in the desert refused to give up their gold for the building of the golden calf, thus earning them a special celebration each month, and in the past, it was a day on which women were free of family chores.
In ancient times, the new moon ceremony was a significant ritual, especially for women, because it celebrates the monthly cycle of fertility. It signified the renewal of God's presence each month through the female aspect of God, the Shekinah, yet in practice, it was no longer taken seriously by modern women, until...
....in the early 1970s, when Jewish feminism was being born in the United States, a group of American and Israeli women living in Jerusalem began gathering monthly to explore and create new rituals and re-create the old rituals based on the celebration of the New Moon. Now, today, in the modern day United States, Jewish women have formed groups to meet on Rosh Chodesh and discuss recite poetry, light candles, discuss texts, recite prayers, and mark the time as their special moment as they enjoy one another's company.
Just before the New Moon is sighted, the arrival is announced to the public as follows:
This is a sign of beginning anew.
Blessed are You, as we start all over again.
New Moon, ancient light...
May my spirit rise to meet you.