Lammas, an ancient first-harvest festival of wheat and grains, is celebrated Aug. 1 in the northern hemisphere (southern hemisphere Feb. 1). Grains, ground into flour and made into loaves of bread (and communion bread) were later brought to village churches for blessing. Pieces of the blessed bread were then placed in barns to protect the remaining stored grain for the coming year. A primary part of the festival was reaping, a village celebration.
Shakespeare refers to Lammas Eve as Juliet’s (Romeo and Juliet) 14th birthday. Today, Lammas reminds us it’s time to “reap” (recognize, give thanks for) what we have sown (done) in the past year and to prepare for the coming autumn/winter. August in the northern hemisphere is when the heat is most intense. We look forward to the cooling days of fall when the apples are crisp and the last of the corn, chilies and tomatoes are harvested. In early religions the grain harvest represented the cycle of life and death. Stories were told of Persephone taken to the underworld and grief-stricken Demeter, her mother, grief-stricken, making the leaves fall (portraying winter). But before the autumn season, there was festivity, celebration, gathering fruits and grains and baking the first loaves of bread.
Let us too give pause, recognizing our abundance, beautifying with grape vines, leaves, sheaves of wheat and oats, making corn dollies, sharing late summer fruits, celebrating skills, talents and craftsmanship and baking bread together from the first harvest.
Esoteric Astrology as News for the week of Aug 1–7, 2013 For Sun and Rising Signs
Aries-March 21–April 20
You’re like the star of the month. Your powerful leadership qualities are called to do tasks no one else can perform. This helps you gain real confidence and a sense of new creativity. You discover that not only do you initiate new projects but you’re also very competent and skillful. Maintain balance by being dignified, understanding and kind in all situations. You are an influencer.
Taurus April 21–May 21
You shine for those who love you. Your reflection always in their hearts as they experience your nurturing playful qualities. Not everyone experiences them. Only a select few. You’re not concerned with public identity or social standing. You are able to lead people in ethical judgments, taking responsibility, and accepting their duty. Many do not understand responsibilities, ethics or duties until they meet you.
Gemini May 22–June 20
You must always speak from your center of truth. It allows people to know you’re authentic. You must continue to discover your creative voice. Using it gives you the courage and self-confidence to speak always from the heart, never from the lower mind. It’s important to know the difference. One unites, the other separates. You want to attain self-realization and unite with others. Then you must know your heart and follow it. No stepping back.
Cancer June 21–July 20
You always bring something good, nourishing, unusual and new to the table. You shine when people around you demonstrate that they love you. But you also hide under a shell because often you’re shy. Sometimes people don’t hear or understand you. Some do. Both are OK. Maintain your authority over your personal resources and finances, giving this up to no one. When you give without expectation, there is a hundred-fold return.
Leo July 21–August 22
Happy Birthday to Leos, the heart of the zodiac, the Sun babies of the zodiac. When you use your personal power to help others you shine like the Sun. During your birthday month allow yourself to be dramatic, at one with whatever you love, flamboyant, expressive, creative, radiant and benevolent. Just not a dictator. That will tarnish your image and make people back away. Be good to everyone. Show them the kindness of benevolent royalty.
Virgo August 23–September 22
Your new fluency is creativity, in all its forms. It’s a Leo, Pisces, Virgo creativity. Much is yet unknown to you about this creativity. However, should you begin a creative project, the outcome will simply flow from your heart into your hands. Consider yourself an artist, recognizing your gifts with pride and humility. You need to become lost in solitude to discover this process.
Libra September 23–October 22
You’re always a star of the party. Your smile lights up everyone’s state of mind and, like the love from Sirius, goes directly to their hearts. Many admire your ability to share, your straightforwardness, your generosity. It’s good, as you shine your benevolent light on everyone, to allow others to be in the spotlight, too. They feel special but more importantly they realize true leaders lead and follow simultaneously. Willingly.
Scorpio October 23–November 21
At times we must all do what makes us uncomfortable, moving away from caution, gambling on being on the edge of life, knowing it’s still safe. You need a bit of style. What defines style for you? Whatever it means to you, adopt it. You’ll find you’ve stepped out of your self into a place that has more zest, zing, color, seasoning, excitement, exhilaration. You need a little thrill, some anticipation and pleasure. Your destiny is not to be boring.
Sagittarius November 22–December 20
It’s important to know what your ideals are, making lists of them, reviewing, crossing out, adding to them. Ideals emerge from visions so it’s important to understand your visions, too, maintaining those visions even in adversity and during a time of despair. You have a central purpose ... to express the truth of what you believe. You’re also to have concern for others and not be someone limited to self-concerns only.
Capricorn December 21–January 20
Sometimes you’re a mystery to others. Hold onto that mystery; it has a special tone, color and vibration. It can hold your creativity and passion. Allow instincts and intuition to guide you. You always have dignity, even when situations are most difficult. Life is complex these days. Tune into all that’s unspoken around you to understand the deep core of reality attempting to contact you. It happens mostly in gardens
Aquarius January 21–February 18
You flourish in the warmth of others seeking lovers to balance you so everyone is equal. For now you hold onto your personal power. Something’s very instinctual about you, deep like dark streaming waters. You sense those you can and cannot trust, those using you for gain, and those who are loyal. You’re aware of setting aside childish behaviors. You become playful and laugh a lot, shining in the Sun.
Pisces February 19–March 20
Always Pisces must remember to maintain a distinct sense of self in relationships. This can be a difficult task and test. Pisces, ruled by Neptune, can blend into others, into people, places and events until they’re lost and without identity. Pisceans, like Libra, are always seeking balance. Pisces seems drifty and confused a lot but behind that façade is a very logical and mathematical mind. We’re never fooled.
Risa is Founder & Director of the Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute, a contemporary Wisdom School in Santa Cruz, CA.
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