Summer Astrology Café 2014

Summer comes luscious as amber and honey. –Steve Wilson

No matter how busy you are or what demands you have, no matter where you are (at the beach or in a board meeting) summer’s presence is as pervasive and powerful as the sun itself. It pulls, it beckons, and seduces. Who can ignore the farmer’s markets and road side stands with their bushels of ripe corn, giant zucchinis and sweet melons, juicy peaches, and bouquets of fragrant basil? Who doesn’t feel like a kid again at the prospect of an hour in a hammock, a picnic, an ice cream cone on a scorching day, a moonlight sail, or a swim in the lake? In August everything is bigger, brighter, stronger, and sweeter. “The sun of this month cures all.” –Anne Sexton

Here at the Astrology Café folks linger outside in the courtyard, around the fountain or sit on the stone benches under the old apple trees, sipping chilled Bellinis, or iced tea with fresh mint. The garden is overflowing with wild roses, day lilies, and fresh herbs. Brightly colored lanterns hang from the trellis overgrown with wisteria. There’s a delicious breeze, a sweet scent in the air, and the sound of gentle guitar music from inside the café. Above the luminous Asala Moon floods the courtyard with its light and magic. Welcome back, dear friend, you have been missed.

“If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, 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 inside and make yourself comfortable. The lights are low, the candles are lit and there’s friends both new and old. We have generous salads; chilled soups (golden gazpacho made with yellow tomatoes; potato-leek; or avocado, radish, and basil) all with creamy goat cheese or fresh mozzarella along with crunchy whole grains breads. There’s a blueberry-peach cobbler, still warm from the over served with homemade lemon-vanilla ice cream or double cream, salted caramel chocolate tarts, Meyer lemon bars, even non-gluten cupcakes; red velvet, butter pecan, dark chocolate, or creamy vanilla. Or perhaps you would like a bowl of summer fruit (raspberries, strawberries, apricots, and melon) sprinkled with coconut and rose water or a scoop of grapefruit-pomegranate sorbet. To drink there’s iced Viennese coffee, herbal tea, Bellinis (fresh peach juice and champagne) and Sangria. When you’re ready follow me up the staircase (watch out for the cats) past the library, down a corridor, through a door, then up a narrow, winding stairway to the tower where our old friend, the crone, the wise woman is waiting for us. She’s been waiting all along.

Our friend is ensconced in her cozy tower sanctuary. The room is lit by candle light and filled with the faint scent of lavender and rose. Around the room are her sacred statues; Kwan Yin, Mary, Buddha, St. Bridget. She is seated at her round oak table; spread out before her are Runes, favorite stones, cards, and crystals. Behind her, through the bay window, the Full Moon rises in a sapphire sky. She looks up and greets us warmly and beckons us to join her. Take a seat dear friend for the night is young and there is much to discuss. She reaches into her purple velvet bag and chooses a Rune; it is Dagaz, the Rune of Breakthrough and Transformation. Listen closely; perhaps she holds a message just for you.

“Here is the final Rune belonging to the Cycle of Self-Transformation. Drawing it makes a major shift or breakthrough in the process of self-change, a complete transformation in attitude – a 180 degree turn. For some, the transformation is so radical that they no longer continue to live the ordinary life in the ordinary way. Because the timing is right, the outcome is assured, although not, from the present vantage point, predictable. In each life there comes at least one moment which, if recognized and seized, transforms the course of that life forever. Rely, therefore, on radical trust, even though the moment may call for you to leap, empty handed into the void. With this Rune your Warrior Nature reveals itself.  A major period of achievement and prosperity is sometimes introduced with this Rune. The darkness is behind you; daylight has come. However, as always, you are reminded not to collapse yourself into the future or behave recklessly in your new situation. A lot of hard work can be involved in a time of transformation. Undertake to do it joyfully.” –Ralph Blum (The Book of Runes)

The Aquarius Full Moon – August 10, 2014
The Corn Moon, Barley Moon. Also known as the Asala Moon

Full Moons are power times; they represent a culmination, a time of manifestation, creativity, and abundance. When the Moon is full it produces maximum light; illuminating whatever has been buried, revealing what needs to be seen. This Full Moon is one of five SuperMoons this year; a SuperMoon generates a greater pull on the Earth’s tides as well on our own emotional bodies, accelerating potential shifts in consciousness.

The Sun is in dramatic Leo, the lion, artist, performer, and king; this passionate sign represents the individual, our special gift, our story, our singular song. The Moon is in progressive Aquarius; this intellectual sign is associated with community, causes and the power of collaboration. The Sun in Leo rekindles our visions and our dreams. The Moon in Aquarius shows us how we can accomplish them by joining forces and making changes. This Full Moon asks us to remember who we are and what we have come here to do.

Tough love Saturn in obsessive Scorpio challenges the Sun and Moon, creating a stressful T square. It can feel as if we’ve hit a wall – especially for anyone with planets in the mid-degrees of the fixed signs; Taurus, Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius. But the wall isn’t there to keep us out; it’s letting us know that our old tricks won’t work anymore. Saturn is asking us to face our fears, examine what isn’t working and look at where we have abdicated our power. There’s a real opportunity to break old patterns but we have to step up and take responsibility.

The plot thickens. Saturn went direct at 16 Scorpio on July 20. Uranus turned retrograde at 16 Aries on July 21. Saturn and Uranus make an inconjunct (also known as a quincunx), an awkward aspect but also an ingenious one; they will be doing this dance through the end of August. Just to make sure we learn the lesson, aggressive Mars in Scorpio joins the party from mid-to-late August (Mars and Saturn are exact on August 25) turning up the heat and adding pressure to this aspect. An inconjunct is an extremely edgy and creative aspect. It involves two signs that have nothing in common. Scorpio wants to dig deep and expose wounds; Aries craves big risks and bold moves. The key is to find an equally edgy solution by creating a something new that includes both. You can’t push or plod through; it’s not about fixing, tinkering, or improving. It’s a bigger perspective, a new paradigm, a whole restructuring.

Electric Uranus (in fiery Aries) makes a positive trine to the Sun (at the Full Moon) suggesting the solution is radical and original. Make room for the both Saturn in Scorpio’s need for deep psychological truths and Uranus in Aries’ demand for excitement and adventure. Some of the most delicious recipes, brilliant inventions, and popular brands are composed of ingredients that shouldn’t work. Keep opening your heart and expanding your vision, honor the process. Like lavender ice cream or prosciutto and melon or white chocolate and caviar, this aspect requires a brand new recipe that includes both ingredients.

Creating and Collapsing

Recently artist and author Susan Kennedy ( had a free seminar on the subject of Creating and Collapsing. Like the inconjunct, these two subjects don’t seem to go together and yet giving yourself permission to collapse when you feel stuck or blocked can actually improve your creativity. “When you can’t “figure it out,” quit. Do something else, anything else, to distract yourself from the “problem” so that a solution can arise without your doubts or fear blocking it. Tend to your negative feelings separate from your creations.” Susan advises. Personally, I have found that the more I collapse, the more I create. Instead of slogging through when I feel stuck writing, I unplug, forget about what I should do and shift the energy by taking an inspiration day, going for a walk, or doing something completely different. This allows me to move forward more freely and with fewer constraints. Just as we need progress and improvement we also need rest and rejuvenation.

The Cure For Exhaustion

“Anything or anyone that is does not bring you alive is too small for you” –David Whyte

On his beautiful CD, Midlife and the Great Unknown, poet David Whyte asks the question: “What are you really tired of?” That’s an important question. He tells a story about his own life when he was exhausted doing work that wasn’t inspiring and at the same time struggling to move forward with his poetry. One night over a bottle of wine, he asked his good friend, Brother David Steindl-Rast (a Benedictine monk) “Tell, me what is the cure for exhaustion?” Brother David replied, “You know David, the cure for exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The cure for exhaustion is whole heartedness.” What brings you alive, dear friend, what makes your heart sing? The sign Leo and summer are both about pleasure, play and saying “Yes” to life. Get back to the things you love and bring you joy. Experiment and explore new fun things this season. We all need fresh inspiration for living, loving and creating!

“Work is not always required…there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.” –George Macdonald

Beloved Friends, It is late here in our tower room above the Astrology Café. The candles have all burned down and outside the old owl has appeared on the branch of the Alder tree reminding us that it is time to say goodbye. Your presence has been a gift; thank you for sharing this time with me. Take pleasure in this beautiful season. Dare to slow down, breathe deeply and give yourself time to rest and restore. You are worth it! Love yourself, feel good, be grateful. All is well, you are loved, Virginia

Be sure to connect with me on the Virginia Bell Astrology Facebook Page, check this website for updates on the New/Full Moon each month and read my blog:

The Meaning of Birds
From Charlie Smith’s book, Indistinguishable From the Darkness

Of the genesis of birds we know nothing,
save the legend they are descended
from reptiles: flying, snap-jawed lizards
that have somehow taken to air.
…But what does it matter
anyway how they got up high…?
…We are often far
from home in a dark town, and our griefs
are difficult to translate into a language
understood by others.
…But still, it is morning again, this day.
In the flowering trees
the birds take up their indifferent,
elegant cries.
Look around. Perhaps it isn’t too late
to make a fool of yourself again.
Perhaps it isn’t too late
to flap your arms and cry out, to give
One more cracked rendition of your
singular, aspirant song.