A Spiritual Time for Growth: The Blood Moon and Shabbat

Shelby Parks
4 min readJul 26, 2018

This Friday, June 27th, we will experience a full moon combined with the energy of a lunar eclipse, bringing forward a profoundly transformative time. A lunar eclipse is often referred to as a blood moon, for when the moon is in complete eclipse, it becomes illuminated by sunlight that is filtered and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the color to appear red.

The full moon presents an opportunity for rebirth; a time to release yourself of something that no longer serves you and to fully let go. Whatever it is, it is a time to reflect on yourself, and your needs. We must enter into this full moon and lunar eclipse through a positive lens, seeing it as an opportunity for change rather than one of misfortune. Oftentimes this may call you to leave what is comfortable to allow room for growth.

During a lunar eclipse, the shadow of Earth falls across the Moon, ushering in unconscious feelings to the surface and into present reality, forcing us to come face to face with emotions and attachments that are no longer serving our needs.

While this change may be sudden and feel heavy at times, we must remember that this is the Universe’s way of lending a hand for our own evolution and transformation, leading us to where we need to be. While much of the lunar eclipse is around endings, it is necessary to see that to make space in our lives, we have to find the strength to say goodbye in order to embrace change and welcome new beginnings.

This is also a reminder to be mindful of the cycles of nature and the effect they have on our lives.

For those unaware, the Jewish calendar is rooted in the cycles of the moon. Each month follows the lunar month, beginning on the new moon. This eclipse, in particular, will take place on Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the month of Av. The concept of renewal is integral to the lunar calendar, and specifically to the month of Av as we reflect and remember our history while remaining open to the change that is coming.

Av is the 11th month on the Jewish calendar and is tragically unique in that one of the worst disasters in the Jewish history took place.

On the 9th of Av, the first and second temples were destroyed as well as many other catastrophic events including the expulsion of Jews from Spain and the beginning of WWI. What we can take from this is that the same covenant that promises suffering, also promises redemption. So, while the 9th of Av is a reminder of disaster and despair, Av is also a time for hope.

The 15th of Av is a time of joy when new beginnings are celebrated. Oftentimes this is a day predestined for finding one’s soulmate and is considered one of the happiest days on the Jewish calendar. It is a time in which we begin again, not only of who we do not wish to be, but who we can become. Let this Av bring you joy, solace, peace, and acceptance.

Shabbat, the centerpiece of Jewish life, begins on Friday at sunset and ends on the following evening after nightfall. Shabbat is a day of rest and reflection, allowing us to unplug from the chaos of day-to-day life and devote ourselves to spiritual enrichment.

As we enter Shabbat and welcome the lunar eclipse, it is a time for openness to change and for the end of what is no longer for us. On this Shabbat, we will experience a spiritual transformation and must be open to the new beginnings that lay before us. And above all, we must open our hearts to knowing that the change that is happening is not happening to us, but for us; change always has a purpose, many times beyond what we can understand in the moment.

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Shelby Parks

Harmonizing people’s relationship with themselves & the natural world through storytelling.