August was originally named Sextilis in Latin because it was the sixth month of the Roman year. Now it’s the eighth month, but October (Octo= 8) was already taken. Because… Because… *sigh*
Here in Georgia, we’re all pretty grateful to have gotten through July. August tends to be a little drier and less humid than July, which feels like heaven even though it’s still crazy hot. Or maybe we’ve just gotten used to the misery. Everything takes on a bit of a brown or beige cast. The grain is golden and ready to be harvested, and even the leaves of the trees are a darker, duller green than they were in May or June.
The flowers seem to have given up, but I’m seeing more and more critters, including a grey, cross-eyed kitty that needs to be taken in and neutered. I’ve also seen a lot of house wrens, squirrels, and turtles. I had a cicada gift me with a casing on my front porch, and it was very symbolic of a particular transformation I’m going through right now. We also have a new opossum friend who’s been hanging out on our back porch, and we’ve been sprinkling a small handful of cat food for him once in a while. His name is Louie.
To me, August marks the month of getting ready for DragonCon, which means that Autumn is on its way. The year is at the precipice of the downslide towards Winter, and any slightly cool night feels full of promise.
New Moon in Leo, August 11th at 5:57am (partial SOLAR ECLIPSE)
Full Moon in Pisces, August 26th at 7:56am
August 7th- Uranus goes retrograde at 9:20am in Taurus
Perseids meteor shower peaks August 11th-12th.
August 19- Mercury goes direct at 12:18am in Leo
August 27- Mars goes direct at 10:19am in Capricorn
Celtic Tree Month:
Holly (July 8- August 4): Protection, enjoying and celebrating success (nearing first harvest), renewal/restoring your direction, rebalancing your energy, moving towards your purpose, energizing. Truth, unconditional love, sacrifice, reincarnation, protection, luck, dream magick, male counterpart to feminine ivy.
Hazel (August 5- September 1): Wisdom, intuition, studying ancient knowledge, fertility and good luck, divination (including hazel rods used for divining for water), poetry and science, playfulness and enchantment, healing arts.
August 15: Assumption of Mary
August 19: National Aviation Day
August 21: Senior Citizens Day
August 22: Eid al-Adha
August 25: Raksha Bandhan
August 26: Women’s Equality Day
August 4- August 10: Panathenaea- Greek festival of Athena as daughter of wisdom
August 7: Gaia Consciousness Day- A day to meditate on the earth
August 11- August 12: Metageitnion Noumenia- Old Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses
August 14- August 15: Feast dedicated to Aphrodite and Eros, honoring love and passion
August 16- August 17: Feast of Artemis as punisher of wrongdoers
August 19: Roman Vinalia, honoring the first grape harvest
August 22- August 23: Festival honoring Athena and Zeus as protectors of city and state
August 23: Feast of the furies, who punish criminals
August 24: Roman festival honoring Ops, goddess of grain and harvest
Themes for the month:
The grain harvest, sacrifice of the grain god, the sun still in it’s strength- but sliding towards Autumn, back to school.
General activities for the month: Going outside at night when the heat finally breaks a little, gathering supplies for Autumn crafts, baking bread to enjoy the grain harvest, making corn dollies, eating the summer veggies that are still plentiful right now (corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, avocados), relaxing, listening to the cicadas during the day and crickets at night, anticipating autumn.
Herbs I’m using: Dill (goes great in a dill/cheddar/beer bread I like to make), Cilantro (so many salsas and guacamoles to make at this time of year!), Mugwort (I’ve been using the tincture in my water bottle when I’m doing some spiritual work.
Stones I’m using: Sardonyx (I found some lovely, lilac-colored pieces that I’m obsessed with, very emotionally soothing), Citrine (mirrors the golden color of everything and also it’s energizing when all I want to do is wallow in the heat), Moss agate (I’m trying to grow some things that I’ve been steadily farming).
Goddess of the Month: Demeter. She’s Persephone’s mom (I’ve been working with Persephone quite a bit), but also the goddess of grain and the harvest. So she’s extremely timely at this time of year. Everything golden and abundant and sunny falls under her domain.
3 card reading:
Death reversed: So here, it looks like we’re finally on the other side of a difficult transition. Something has died to us already, and it’s time for something new to be reborn. This is good news, and we have a new life to start from the ashes of the old. We can see this as a fresh start and a way to really examine what we want our new lives to look like!
10 of cups reversed: This also symbolises the death of dreams that we had. We had a concept of a happy house, a perfect marriage, loving family, etc., but it turned out that that wasn’t the case. As in the death card, if we can let go of what we thought was our ideal, we can actually examine what truly makes us happy. Is it possible that the perfect life that we had dreamed up actually turned out to be a trap?
Temperance: What we really need right now is to find balance. We need to balance our ideals with the reality that we have in front of us. There’s a happy medium there, somewhere, and if our lives take a completely different turn than we originally thought we wanted, we need to balance that new reality with our expectations as well. This may also point back to the 10 of Cups reversed, as we can really examine our relationships here. Are we balancing work time with time we spend with our loved ones? Are we showing them fairness and good judgment if they disappoint us?
Special Guidance is Lakshmi. Lakshmi tells us “Stop worrying. Everything is going to be fine.” After the death of our previous selves and the death of our expectations of life, we can experience a lot of stress for the future. But it looks like we have good things coming up. We’ve learned the skills from our past to make our lives into what we really need and love!
The Harvest Bow
By Seamus Heaney
As you plaited the harvest bow
You implicated the mellowed silence in you
In wheat that does not rust
But brightens as it tightens twist by twist
Into a knowable corona,
A throwaway love-knot of straw.
Hands that aged round ashplants and cane sticks
And lapped the spurs on a lifetime of game cocks
Harked to their gift and worked with fine intent
Until your fingers moved somnambulant:
I tell and finger it like braille,
Gleaning the unsaid off the palpable,
And if I spy into its golden loops
I see us walk between the railway slopes
Into an evening of long grass and midges,
Blue smoke straight up, old beds and ploughs in hedges,
An auction notice on an outhouse wall—
You with a harvest bow in your lapel,
Me with the fishing rod, already homesick
For the big lift of these evenings, as your stick
Whacking the tips off weeds and bushes
Beats out of time, and beats, but flushes
Nothing: that original townland
Still tongue-tied in the straw tied by your hand.
The end of art is peace
Could be the motto of this frail device
That I have pinned up on our deal dresser—
Like a drawn snare
Slipped lately by the spirit of the corn
Yet burnished by its passage, and still warm.
My personal tides: We’re going to be moving in the next several months, and so I’ve been thinking a lot about what ‘home’ means to me. I’m also thinking about how I can take this transformation and slingshot myself into a new start. What do I really want to make of my life? What’s REALLY important? Is it the stuff that I’m surrounded by, or the new life that I can make if I leave a lot of old baggage behind? The card reading above SUPER resonates for me right now.
My personal goals: Here in the last few days of July, I’m frantically trying to finish Camp NaNoWriMo (and yes this post counts towards my word count- not the poetry just MY words). So in August, I’ll be able to do some things that I put off because of Camp, like running a Werewolf game and getting ready for DragonCon. I also want to record some of the guided meditations that I’ve written this month, and put them ‘out there’. I also want to continue spending at least one hour/day on a personal project. It sounds easy enough, but with chronic illnesses it’s not always that attainable.