July is the 7th month of the year, named after Julius Caesar because it was his birth month. The ‘Dog Days of Summer’ begin in July as well. They’re associated with the star Sirius “The Dog Star”, which is rumored to bring drought, lethargy, madness, and bad luck with its return to the night sky. The word Sirius comes from the Greek, meaning ‘Scorcher’.
It’s the warmest month of the year, and here in Georgia, the heat is stifling. The AC in the car and house can’t keep up, and our days are spent trying not to overexert ourselves or find cool places to retreat to. The local flora is thriving, however. The mimosas are in full bloom, Queen Anne’s Lace festoons the roadsides, and tiger lilies celebrate the colors of the sun. I’m seeing crows a lot, but not much else. I think everyone is finding cool places to hide. Or I may not be seeing them because I’M the one hiding.
It’s also National Hot Dog Month and National Ice Cream Month. Enjoy!
New Moon in Cancer, July 13th at 10:47pm
Full Moon in Aquarius, July 27th at 4:20pm
July 10- Jupiter goes direct at 11:59am in Scorpio
July 13- PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE! It will only be visible in the extreme Southern hemisphere due to the angle of the moon in relation to the sun, but we can still use that energy of death and rebirth! Think of things you want to let go of as the sun darkens (even if you can’t see it), and think of things you want to invoke or bring forth as it lightens again.
July 26- Mercury goes retrograde at 12:57am in Leo
Alpha Capricornids meteor shower peaks July 26th-27th.
July 27- LUNAR ECLIPSE! It will be in the afternoon here in the US, though, so we won’t be able to see it. (Totality at 3:21pm EST) We can still use the energies of the lunar eclipse to progress something forward a month, as the lunar eclipse encapsulates a full waning and waxing lunar period, back to full, in a few hours. This is great for internal work.
Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower peaks July 28th-29th.
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: Independence Day (United States)
July 22: Parents Day
July 22: Tisha B’Av (Jewish holiday)
July 12- July 13: Festival of Hekate, as guide through transition and crisis
July 13- July 14: Hekatombaion Noumenia- Athenian new year. Festival where offerings were made to all Greek gods and goddesses.
July 14- July 25: Icelandic Midsummer Althingi- gathering where Forseti and Tyr were honored as gods of justice and self-sacrifice. Community decisions were made.
July 15- July 16: Feast of the Charities honoring the Roman goddesses of beneficience
July 16- July 17: Feast of Aphrodite, a day to honor peace and compassion
July 20: Feast of the Slavic god Perun
July 28- July 29: Synoikia- Greek festival of cooperation honoring Aphrodite and Eirene, goddesses of friendship and peace
July 31- August 2: Lughnassadh- old Celtic festival of goddess Tailtiu and god Lugh
Themes for the month: In the US, we celebrate the 4th of July and our country. That’s tough for a lot of people right now who are feeling the pain of what our government is doing to its people. So while we would normally celebrate our great country this time of year, this month may be better spent finding ways to protest- writing your congress people, donating to human rights organizations, or even just praying for lawmakers to act with compassion and love instead of greed or fear. If we’re going to celebrate the freedom of being American, we may want to exercise some of those freedoms in service to the oppressed.
Also, we’re working towards Lughnassadh at the end of the month, so it’s time to start thinking about the first harvest of our efforts for the Spring and Summer. Think about your efforts as golden grains, grown from your intentions. What are you harvesting from your hard work?
General activities for the month: Doing whatever it takes to keep cool! Weeding your garden, swimming, spending time near water, fireworks, cooking out. Baking bread for Lughnassadh.
Herbs I’m using: Peppermint (cooling and energizing), lemongrass (the oil is great to use in a mosquito repellant spray- which I keep in the fridge to keep it cool), basil (SOOOO good and fresh right now!)
Stones I’m using: I’m feeling really drawn to lunar and watery stones, perhaps because I’m craving the coolness of the night and water. Moonstone, girasol rose quartz, aquamarine, larimar. I’m just letting their cool, refreshing energy wash over me.
Goddess of the Month: I’m still really working with Persephone quite a bit. There’s just so much to unpack with her story, and I feel connected to her as a goddess who embodies grace through transition. Right now, I’m putting an altar together for her bit by bit, and it’s a joy to be able to offer that as a devotion to her.
3 card reading:
First, we have the 5 of Discs reversed. So we’ve been stuck in a time of poverty, whether that be financial, spiritual, or social. But it’s reversed, so we’re seeing a way out of that. If we’ve been stuck in a bad situation, we can count on that coming to an end. Something will be coming along to help us get back onto our feet, and it’s about time!
Next we see the 3 of Cups reversed. So this isn’t the best time for socializing and communication right now. I feel like this has a lot to do with Mercury and Jupiter going retrograde this month while Mars, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto were already in retrograde. Everything is a bit topsy-turvy, and there may be trouble in communication, especially in close friendships and relationships. So just keep that in mind, and try not to let little problems become big problems right now. This is a really good time to do internal work instead of spending too much time focusing on external things.
Finally, we have The King of Swords, and the message here is clear. Think before you act. Use your reason and intellect to work through your problems, and try to maintain your clarity of thought and purpose. Rationality should be your key word for this month. In a month where everyone is hot and miserable, all these planets are retrograde, and we have a lunar and a solar eclipse, that’s pretty good advice.
For our special guidance card, we have Horse. Horse reminds us to just keep moving. She has a lot of associations with travel, movement, and also the life/death/rebirth cycle, which speaks to the eclipses we’ll be working with this month. So I feel like the advice here is to use the momentum of the eclipses to work through old things so that we can let them go and propel ourselves forward into a different, better future.
An Afternoon in July
By Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon
How hushed and still are earth and air,
How languid ’neath the sun’s fierce ray—
Drooping and faint—the flowrets fair,
On this hot, sultry, summer day!
Vainly I watch the streamlet blue
That near my cottage home doth pass,
No ripple stirs its azure hue,
Still—waveless, as a sheet of glass
And if I woo from yonder trees
A breath of coolness for my brow,
They’ve none to give—not e’en a breeze
Rustles amid their foliage now;
Yes, hush! there stirred a leaf, but no,
Tis only some poor, panting bird,
With silenced note, head drooping low,
That ’mid the shady green boughs stirred.
Oh dear! how sultry! vain to seek
To while the time with pleasant book,
Soon drowsy head and crimsoned cheek
Oblivious o’er its pages droop—
And motion is beyond my power,
While breathing this hot, scorching air,
It wearies me to raise the flowers,
That lie so close beside my chair.
See stealing, wearied from their play,
The flushed and languid children come,
Saying that on so hot a day
They’d much prefer to stay at home.
Themselves upon the ground they throw,
Cheeks pillowed on each rounded arm—
And fall asleep soon, murmuring low,
And wondering “why it is so warm?”
If yonder patient sheep and kine,
Close shrinking from the sun’s hot flame,
Had man’s gift—“power of speech divine,”
They surely would repeat the same—
Each blade of grass, each fainting flower,
Would whisper to the shrubs and trees,
How much they longed for evening’s hour,
With cooling breath and grateful breeze.
My personal tides: Right now, I’m at the precipice of so many huge, major changes, but I’m stuck. I can’t do anything until things that are out of my control fall into place, and it’s making me kind of crazy. So I’m learning patience and doing inner work to prepare myself for the eventual shift. I’m hoping things shake loose soon! (I could really use that reversed 5 of Discs energy from above.)
I’m also taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, because it’s a nice, quiet, cool, indoor activity that will help me feel accomplished. I suppose that’s all part of the alchemy happening now.
My personal goals: Complete Camp NaNoWriMo with 30K new words written. Submit a short story for an anthology that I’m intrigued by. Clean/organize/purge as I can without giving myself heat stroke.