July was named after Julius Caesar, as it was his birth month. Previously, it was known as Quintilus because it was the 5th month of the old calendar. It became the 7th month when January and February were added to the beginning of the calendar, and a year became 12 months long. If you didn’t know it already, it’s usually the hottest month of the year. (Boy howdy!)
Here at Ravenson Manor, the morning glories have just shown up, and the hostas are in full bloom. My salvia is doing great, and so are the sedums. I found out that we have an apple tree and a Rose of Sharon tree, and I’m excited to see the apples ripen and make tea from the Rose of Sharon. I’ve made friends with some of the neighborhood kids, and I’m looking out of my office window to see that the neighbors are hanging a pinata right now. Looks like there’s going to be a birthday party!
I haven’t seen much wildlife, mostly robins, cardinals, and brown doves lately. I think that the neighborhood stray cats scare everything else off, but they’re awfully cute too. I plan to plant some catnip for them to enjoy.
I feel so at peace here. Even in the sweatiest depths of Summer misery, there’s such a beautiful energy of growth and abundance right now. We’re getting lots of squash, carrots, cucumbers, and blueberries from the CSA farm, and everything just feels really exciting and lush. As if there will never be hunger or lack or anxiety. I love it!
July 2- New Moon in Cancer, 3:16pm EDT
July 16- Full Moon in Capricorn, 5:38pm EDT
July 31- New Moon in Leo, 11:11pm EDT
July 7- Mercury goes retrograde
July 30- Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower begins
Celtic Tree Month:
Oak (June 10- July 7): Solar magick, health, success, prosperity, blessings, bravery, endurance, strength, deep emotions, love, nurturing our family, mediating conflict, healing wounds, sovereignty, rulership, power, strength and endurance, justice and nobility, honesty, male fertility.
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.
July 4: American Independence Day
July 14: Bastille Day
July 22: Tisha B’Av (Jewish holiday)
July 22: Parents Day
July 2- July 3: Feast of Greek Hecate
July 3- July 4: Hekatombaion Noumenia/Old Athenian New Year, festival honoring all gods and goddesses
July 5- July 6: Feast of the Charities (goddesses of beneficience)
July 6- July 7: Feast of Greek Aphrodite
July 14- July 25: Old Norse/Icelandic Midsummer. A community gathering, time to give offerings, and celebration
July 18- July 19: Synoikia. Greek festival ceelbrating cooperation of the states.
July 20: Slavic festival of Perun (the Thunderer)
July 25- July 31: Panathenaea, celebrating Athena
July 31: Lughnassadh. Old Celtic festival of the grain god Lugh and thanksgiving for the grain harvest
Themes for the month: Nearing the grain harvest, ripe Summer vegetables and fruits, celebrating independence, fighting like hell if you see your independence being challenged, bringing the seeds of intention that we planted in early Spring to fruition, celebrating the sun and greenspaces at the height of their power, beginning to can and preserve the fruits and veggies as they become ripe, enjoying the long days and the energy they bring to get things done!
General activities for the month: Cookouts, canning, enjoying the late evenings and fireflies, fireworks, letting the strength of the sun shine light into the dark places in your life, herbcraft and greencraft, finding cool bodies of water to immerse yourself in, Summer blockbuster movies, enjoying the leisure that extra daytime hours privides.
Herbs I’m using: Rose of Sharon (I have a tree in my new yard, and I’ve been collecting the flowers to dry for making tea!), fresh peppermint (From the CSA farm we joined- I’m also drying some for later use), white clover (Our yard is mostly clover, and the bees are loving it. It’s also great for tea!)
Stones I’m using: Apophyllite (I bought two gorgeous points for another project I’m working on, and I can’t seem to put them down), amethyst (I’ve been placing my large pieces and geodes around the house as I unpack them- serenity and spirituality are a good thing!), moquai marbles (I found a set I bought for a project and remembered how fascinating they are)
Goddess of the Month: I’m going to be working with Sarasvati and her powers of creativity and expression for the month of July as I participate in NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping that the words will flow through me like the waters of her sacred river.
3 card reading:
First, we start with the 9 of Wands. So in the beginning of the month, we’re feeling the need to fight for what we’ve created. We need to be vigilant and defend ourselves and persevere. If we’ve been fighting for something, we may get a second wind which will help us be victorious.
Next, we see the 6 of Discs. So we can look forward to some sort of bonus or gift. This can be a result of our efforts, but usually it’s just a gift from a surprise benefactor. Look around and see who in your life helps you in those surprise moments, and express your gratitude.
Finally, we have the 3 of Discs. So while we’re receiving these gifts and fighting the good fight, we’re also doing work that we’re really proud of. This is the season to remain steadfast and keep improving your processes, and you will receive recognition for your work!
Our special guidance card is Fox. This image is snowy and Wintery, but the message is the same no matter the season. Now is a time to choose carefully what we want to express and what we want to reveal. Sometimes we can do well to remember that it’s fine to keep some things hidden and secret, just for us. As long as you cause no harm through your secrecy, it can be a valuable boundary to keep hidden things from outside influences.
By Harold Vinal
How can I remember
Autumn and pain,
When trees hold dreams
In their arms again?
How can my heart break
Till it cries?
The joy of summer
Has made me wise.
I can’t remember
What hurt me so-
Autumn and winter
Were so long ago.
My personal tides: We’re in the last push to get our move finalized, have a yard sale, fix or tow Husbear’s car from the driveway at the old place, and get this place ready to start having people over. I’m so excited! It feels like the last little straggling threads of our connection to our old life are almost severed, and I’m being slingshot into this next incarnation where I actually make time to write again and finish projects that I’m actually able to focus on. I finished painting my office just in time to start Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m using it to motivate me to do some serious work.
My personal goals: I set my Camp NaNo goal at 25k words, and I think it’s doable! I also want to finish the unpacking and cleaning here so that we can actually have people over instead of just making the excuse that we just moved and can’t be held responsible for being slobs. I’m also trying to get my altar shelf refinished and decorate in time for Lughnassadh. More on that will be forthcoming! 🙂
Let me know what you’re up to this hot Summer. Blessed be! <3