The Sun’s shift into Leo is the time to shine. We are off the hook for the merest of moments as the focus of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter have only Mercury to oppose them. You’ll feel your shoulders relax and the knots in your neck release when Mercury slips into Leo on August 4th, no longer answering to the heaviness of Cancer and shifting our emotions with the moon every 2.5 days.
In the first week of August, the celebration of the 1st harvest of grain is celebrated. At Lughnasadh, people would assemble and play games, to give thanks for the abundance and plenty of high summer. It was the time to begin reaping what had been sown in the early Spring, the community working together to gather up the good from the hard work of the months previous.
The first loaves of bread from the season’s grain were baked. The last sheaf would be brought into the hearth of the house to be returned to the earth and plowed back in at the next planting in Spring. Vegetables, flowers and herbs were collected into a cornucopia and laid out on an altar to be blessed. The rest of the first harvest was stored for later use, some set aside in root cellars, saved fermented or made into infusions.
Talented artisans and healers would set up shop in the village green to be celebrated for their skills and to hawk their wares. The Sun in Leo is the height of the natural world, and the traditional time for festivals and harvest magic. In my training as an herbalist, I glean plants and flowers of the season using electional astrology and talismanic magic, cull them at the time specific to intention and craft them into elixirs. These tinctures, flower and gem essences can be used externally and internally.
If you are in need of alignment with the magic and mystery of the Universe, turn to our trusty solar system and the celestial healing of earth and sky. Allow the plant and gem teachers to combine their intelligent guidance and gently support you in service to your evolution.
We need the support of the natural world now more than ever. We are living through a time when Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter are all in the sign of Capricorn, symbolized by the goat with horns and fish’s tail.
The star Capra was named after Amalthea, a nurturing nature spirit that took the form of a goat. She was entrusted with the sole care of infant deity, rearing him on her milk in a cold dark cave. Amalthea allowed herself to be fashioned into an invincible shield, the Aegis, to provide protection from Kronos, the god of time. Her actions set aside personal interest as a sacrifice for the greater good to safeguard future abundance. The harvest season’s plenty was collected in one of Amalthea’s horns, to create the Cornucopia. The little she goat was immortalized in the sky and the Fixed Star Capella is said to be her horn.
The goat embodies the lessons of Capricorn which show us how to survive under difficult conditions, withstand hardship, making the best use of our skills and what is provided by our surroundings. Know that shouldering responsibility, especially when the world is full of challenge, begins with self care.
The weekend of August 15th starts with sweetness and comfort as the Moon conjoins Venus in Cancer. Rest that day and motivate in the following two days as trines to Mars from Mercury and Sun engender activity and communicating with confidence.
The New Moon at 26°35′ Leo occurs on August 18th. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is “The Luminescence of Dawn in the Eastern Sky” which brightens the world, promises new opportunities, and strengthens us in preparation for the next cycle if challenges. We will need resilience and patience when Mars meets in the first of his squares with Saturn on August 24th. Until then, slough away the dross of the past months and take some time now to shine.