The mazal of Elul is Betulah/Virgo:
The essence of Elul is Ma'aseh/Action
Its essence is also Ani L'Dodi v'Dodi Li:
The above are also discussed in the Elul PDF of Rav Itamar Schwartz's shiurim:
Elul corresponds to the Tribe of Gad:
Rosh Chodesh Elul starts Saturday night, so this is a good time to look at getting into the Elul mindset.
One valuable aspect of the Elul PDF is how Rav Schwartz discusses his own struggle in his late teens (pages 2-6).
He was an FFB top learner in Ponevezh yeshivah, but felt empty inside.
He tried different things, like a hotel vacation, plus new & supposedly exciting food, but immediately realized the fleetingness of such things. (And also, such alternatives aren't always as enjoyable as promoted.)
But the young Rav Schwartz turned to Hashem, realizing that rather than looking outward for fulfillment, the solution lay in delving deeper into Judaism—deeper into one's heart.
The importance of reading this story lies in its commonality (many people encounter this challenge) and also how he eventually overcame this emptiness.
In popular reading, the challenged young man or woman finds "fulfillment" by secularizing life—sometimes minimally & sometimes by going completely off the derech.
Negativity & anti-spirituality win the headlines & space in so many publications & websites, so it's easy to assume one's emptiness derives from too much religiosity rather than superficial religiosity.
Yet for those who respond to empty mitzvot by taking the plunge into a deeper & richer Yiddishkeit (including those who left & then came back to take the plunge), it's a deeply personal journey...so it's not discussed as much as the secular option.
Add to that the reality of when such people discuss their journey of deepening enrichment, they often face hostility & rejection by those who either don't wish to try it or who rejected the deeper option and chose the wider world instead.
It's clear that Rav Schwartz was a deeply sensitive young man. I'm grateful for his courage and sincere desire to encourage us by sharing a deeply personal part of his own journey.