Summertime and the livin’ is easy. — Ira Gershwin
How different late July and August is from early summer when the air is not yet overly hot or heavy and the season is new and tender as a promise. Late summer everything is slower and steamier, a reminder that we need to relax our pace, rest and make time for pleasure. Our needs become simpler; a shady nook (preferably with a hammock), a gentle breeze, the perfect peach, a walk along the shore. In summer we need to let go of our routines and responsibilities, follow our whimsy, and let our inner child lead the way.
Once again we meet at the Astrology Café, our secret refuge, our cozy sanctuary. In the courtyard outside the café folks sit on the stone benches under the old apple trees or around the fountain drinking cold lemonade with mint from the garden, or chilled wine. Brightly colored lanterns hang from the trellis overgrown with wisteria. Guitar music drifts out from the café. The scent of Jasmine and honeysuckle mingle with the warm night air. It is late now but still light; that mysterious time that occurs in the far north during summer. It’s as if a veil parts between the two worlds and a threshold opens to a luminous place both ancient and eternal. Above, the Asala Full Moon rises in the clear blue sky. Welcome home, dear friend; you have been missed. Oh, the summer night has a smile of light and she sits on a sapphire thrown. – Barry Cornwall.
If you are a dreamer come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer. If you are a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! – Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
Come in and make yourself comfortable. The café is decorated with summer flowers; roses, day lilies, and giant sunflowers. A soft breeze drifts in through the windows. There are old friends and new. We have a lovely summer salads: grilled eggplant & zucchini with feta and mint; roasted Moroccan carrot salad with chickpea or baby lettuce, basil and olive bread salad. There are cold soups (chilled lemon basil avocado, summer minestrone or cucumber gazpacho with watermelon mint) along with an assortment of goat cheeses and homemade breads still warm from the oven. For dessert we have Kate’s Southern peach cobbler served with vanilla ice cream, rhubarb almond crumb cake, black raspberry ice cream sandwich, non-gluten macaroons (chocolate, lavender-honey, pistachio, salted caramel) or perhaps a bowl of fresh sweet berries (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) sprinkled with rose water and coconut. Let us treat you to a Bellini made with fresh peach juice and champagne or iced Viennese coffee, Chai, herbal tea, cider, or wine.
When you are ready, follow me up the winding stairs, through the library (watch out for the cat), down the corridor, and up to the tower room where our wise friend, the crone waits for us. Our friend greets us at her round wood table with her Runes, Medicine Cards, stones, and crystals spread out before her. The sacred statues, Kwan Yin, Mary and Buddha glow in the candle light; there is a faint scent of rose and lavender in the air and behind her, through the bay window, the luminous Full Moon rises. She smiles warmly and motions us to join her at the table. Please sit; the night is young and there is much to discuss. Our wise friend reaches for the Animal Cards, shuffles and chooses one. It is Hummingbird. Hummingbird is a symbol of joy, lightness of being and an invitation to draw more sweetness into your life. Listen closely; perhaps there’s a message here just for you.
The song of Hummingbird awakens the medicine flowers. Hummer sings a vibration of pure joy. Flowers love Hummingbird because nectar-sucking brings about the reproduction of their families. Plants flower and live because of Hummingbird.
Hummingbird can fly in any direction – up, down, backwards, and forwards. Hummingbird can also hover in one spot and appear motionless. Great Spirit created Hummingbird to be slightly different from other feathered creatures. To Brother and Sister Hummingbird, life is a wonderland of delight – darting from one beautiful flower to another, tasting the essences, and radiating the colors.
If Hummingbird has flown into your cards today, get ready to laugh musically and enjoy Creator’s many gifts. Drop your judgmental attitude and relax. Hummingbirds will no doubt give you a flash of the spirit, darting here, there and everywhere. Get ready for a strange new burst of energy which may send your senses reeling.
Follow Sister Hummingbird and you will soon be filled with paroxysms of joy, and experience a renewal of the magic of living. (Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson)
The Aquarius Full Moon – July 31
The Corn Moon, Barley Moon. Also known as the Asala Moon
The Asala Full Moon offers an opportunity to align with the power of the divine will
The Full Moon illuminates what was planted at the New Moon; it is a time of harvesting, manifestation, creativity, and abundance. When the Moon is full it produces the greatest amount of light; it reveals whatever has been buried and exposes what needs to be seen. The Sun is in colorful Leo, the sign of the lion, performer, and king; this ardent sign represents our individuality, our special gift, our singular song. The Moon is in broadminded and intellectual Aquarius; the sign is associated with community and collaboration. The Sun in Leo renews our visions and our creative dreams. The Moon in Aquarius shows us how we can accomplish them by collaborating with like-minded people and groups. What are your creative goals and personal projects? This Full Moon can move you closer to fulfilling them.
Once in a Blue Moon.
The last Full Moon and New Moon were both dominated by Mars, Uranus and Pluto making July a particularly intense and volatile month. But this second Full Moon, this Blue Moon, has no sharp edges or hidden agendas. Venus turned retrograde on July 25 at 00 Virgo and slips back into Leo on July 31. Venus retrograde (through September 6) asks us to reexamine our relationships, our values, and creative projects. Are they aligned with our deepest needs? Do they bring us joy? On August 4 the goddess of love and Jupiter rendezvous for the second time and like the Hummingbird spread their sweetness. Mercury (in Leo) makes a lovely trine to retrograde Uranus, exact on August 2, liberating old thought patterns and firing up new ideas. And on August 1 Saturn turns direct, completing its retrograde phase that began March 14. On August 6 Mercury joins Venus and Jupiter but squares Saturn inviting us to dream big also work hard to make those dreams real.
This Full Moon urges us to fearlessly and generously shine our light, so that we can see and be seen by those who share our vision and mission. Be yourself. Contribute your gifts. Find your tribe. –Stephanie Austin (The Mountain Astrologer)
Leo is famous for being the creative genius but the Lion’s is also associated with pleasure, play and joy. The sign Aquarius represents the courage to be true to our ideals. Most of us are willing to take on extra projects or chores but are you brave enough to allow yourself to have fun? Can you handle some delicious downtime? There will always be problems, challenges and unexpected changes; it comes with the territory. But occasionally we need to stop pushing and struggling and start allowing and receiving. This Blue Moon brings us some good will and grace and reminds us that life can be easy, dreams really can come true, and sometimes the good guys win. “The world will give you that once in a while, a brief time-out. The boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat up life”. -Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
But is it really such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one’s life, is it so awful to…nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favorite fountain? And then do it again the next day? –Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray Love)
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing; spend an entire week, weekend, or even a day with no agenda, schedule, or pressure? How long has it been since you got away from your day-to-day life, your work, and your worries? We delete old emails, clean out clutter, and go on cleansing fasts. Yet how often do we empty our mental and emotional clutter, turn off our cell phones, computers, televisions, and go on a media fast, or a silent retreat? What a concept! Our bodies, minds, and psyches need rest just as much as they need improvement. August is the ideal time to unwind, unplug, restore and refresh. How beautiful it is to do nothing and then to rest afterwards.
Stay close to anything that makes you feel glad to be alive. Hafiz
Dear Friend, It is getting late here in the tower above the Astrology Café and our evening has come to a close. I am deeply grateful for our time together. Outside the old owl has settled on the branch of the Alder tree. The Moon, high in the night sky, is as round and full as a pumpkin. Remember, we are in the time of Leo, the Hummingbird and pure joy. Give yourself permission to bask in this beautiful, sensual season. Say “yes” to life. Say “yes” to being happy, being grateful and feeling good. All is well, you are loved, Virginia
The Roses, By Mary Oliver
One day in summer
has already been more than enough
the wild beds start
exploding open along the berm
of the sea; day after day
you sit near them; day after day
the honey keeps on coming
in the red cups and the bees
like amber drops roll
in the petals: there is no end,
believe me! to the inventions of summer,
to the happiness your body
is willing to bear.
My sister Kate’s Southern Peach Cobbler
1 Stick of butter Melt in baking pan and set aside.
1-2 cups of peaches Set aside. You can substitute any summer fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, nectarines or boysenberries.
1 cup of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet.
Pour the combined mixture into the pan with the melted butter.
Add the fruit settle.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.