The new moon has come around again, and with it, a new month. We are now in the month of Elul, both the sixth and twelfth month of the year depending on if you are looking at the liturgical or civil calendar. On the Gregorian calendar, Elul falls during the months of August and September. It is the final month of summer before the wheel turns toward Autumn.
The Great Love Story of Elul
The letters forming the word Elul are also an acronym for אני לדודי ודודי לי (ani l’dodi v’ dodi li) which means “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” This is the first line of Song of Songs 6:3 and is seen to represent the love story between the Divine and creation. The month of Elul marks a moment in time when we remember and honor this great story of love.
This can be seen with the constellation Virgo taking center stage during the month of Elul. Virgo, or the Virgin, doesn’t specifically mean a woman who has never had sexual relations. Instead, it refers to a young woman who is coming into her sexual prime. She is just beginning to experience her sexuality and develop an identity around such. She has moved from childhood to maidenhood and is defined by her youth and the fact that she hasn’t reached motherhood.
In this love story, the Creator loves the betulah (virgin) and she turns her love toward the Creator. We see this in the balance of the divine masculine and feminine with Mercury being the ruling planet of Virgo. The unity of the masculine and feminine is seen through the representative letter yud (י). Yud is a dot that begins each of the other 21 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Raysh, the letter representing Mercury, flows from the initial yud that is placed on paper. With yud representing Virgo, we see the divine dance of masculine flowing from feminine and the feminine being enveloped within the masculine.