Lunar Lammas and the Blessings of Late Summer

As I awoke this morning, a certain crispness in the air got my attention and propelled me to layer with more than usual upon getting out of bed. While the sliding glass door that opens to the outside of the bedroom is always left a bit cracked at night to let in fresh air, this morning brought an unexpected chill! This after me having just remarked last night about the days getting noticeably shorter, though it's still not yet dark until about 8:30pm. Yet the changes for me felt marked, and they carry with them the arrival of Late Summer. In Chinese Medicine, there are not just 4 seasons and 4 elements as we tend to work with in the West, but 5. And the fifth is that of Late Summer, arriving around the 3rd week of August and lasting until the Autumn Equinox around September 21st. In the Five Phase Cycle, Late Summer corresponds Earth, and both the Spleen and Pancreas, as well as the flavor of sweet. And as we are still in the Leonine phase of the Western zodiac, marking a time of celebration, merry-making, creative expression, and play, this is considered to be a time of gathering experiences that bring us joy and delight and storing them for the autumn and winter months ahead. Not that we're not allowed fun then, but play has quite a different feel to it in the winter versus the summer, as we well know! The Spleen is associated with memory, or as my teacher has said, with the library of banked experience stored in the mind. I love this correlation! We're reminded to take the time to enjoy ourselves in the warmth of the summer so that this warmth can be carried with us as the year continues and gets cooler.

Today also marks what's considered Lunar Lammas (English), or Lunar Lughnasadh (Celtic). This time of year corresponds to the beginning of the harvest, which would have technically begun 2 weeks ago with the New Moon in Leo, and yet the Lunar connection here with the Full Moon in Aquarius and the true feeling of Late Summer beginning is completely synchronistic. We are reminded to bask in the activities of summer because the Fall is coming close on its heels. And better to do this under the light of the Full Moon, letting it spark our creativity, reminding us to gather with those with whom we enjoy celebrating life, those who remind us of who we truly are. Authentic being, authentic speaking, authentic expressing are beautiful ways to play with the Full Moon in Aquarius while the Sun is in light-hearted Leo. And it's important to remember that creativity and authentic expression come in many different forms; it's not just about the performer archetype of Leo. Aquarius reminds us that the ways of expression that feel truly resonant with who we are are valuable in the world, and the world needs these expressions as part of the whole. So whatever is being called to life from within you during this time is important to be recognized, honoured, and shared.

On this note, I'm finding the need to let my own voice have room to shift in the ways that it needs to as life unfolds. While I thoroughly enjoy sending out e-newsletters and have for years, it feels like rather than simply working with the New Moons and Full Moons each month, there's a deep calling from within myself to be sharing in a bit of a different way. The Moon is something so powerful to me that it can't be encapsulated, but writing about it gives me the feeling of a deeper connection to it and the energy it's carrying with it at specific times of the year. At the same time, so much more happens in the Cosmos on a daily basis, and many of the transits (movement of the planets in the sky) taking place are hugely transformative events that can truly shift the fabric of one's being completely. In working with clients and indeed myself, I see and feel the intensity of certain rites of passage taking place and recognize that the position of the Moon must be experienced and understood in the midst of these larger initiations that sometimes last 4 years.

For example, the planet Pluto or Hades, which we jokingly call the "god of hell," is a planet that is also acknowledged as the Lord of the Underworld and the Lord of the Riches. This Underworld is the unconscious realm that lives within us all. It's a place where we store our traumas and wounds (Spleen connection!) until we're ready to heal and integrate them so the energy that has been stored as a wound can actually be used for positive expression in the world. Think of the famous scientific truth, "energy is neither created nor destroyed, it is only transformed." Yet if we never explore the unconscious realm, probing the depths of our psyches for patterns that have been created from hurt and pain in this life, including ancestral and karmic patterns that have been stored by the brain and body in this way, the result is a tendency to blame and project negatively onto others because we haven't visited good ol' Hades. Pluto is about power and empowerment and our ability to alchemize the wound, turning it into nectar. This is a Tantric Yoga concept, yet one that practitioners who work with energy have been aware of for many years. If we're given lemons, we learn to make some darn good lemonade. Or perhaps a sugar free version of this. Or some concoction I haven't even considered, bringing our unique Aquarian energy to the table. But I think you get the picture! So when we're from about the ages of 37-40, transiting Pluto squares natal Pluto in the chart, a big deal. It's inviting those individuals who dare to unearth some deeply-seated wounds, generally from this lifetime as well as others (if you're not open to this possibility, think familial patterns, which is completely accurate as well) to go into the dark, murky, unconscious realm, investigating the parts of themselves that are still caught up in a traumatic event, dragging it with them as they go through life, and to work with this trauma in a healing, transformative, alchemizing way. This might be through psychotherapy, hypnotism, shamanism, meditation, skillful use of psychedelics (welcome to the Age of Aquarius, everyone!), EMDR, letter writing and burning (one of my personal faves), or a tool/practice I haven't mentioned. But if we are to be the people we came to the planet to be, this work must be done. And it's one of my favourite aspects of my practice! Seeing where stored up patterns that are no longer serving people live in the natal chart and in life, and giving people tools for working with these energies in more integrated and healing ways is incredible! I've always been a fan of aiding people in their journey of transformation, and I feel incredibly blessed to have found such powerful tools for doing this work. So in light of the Plutonian square and the Aquarian Full Moon, this is what feels authentic, resonant, and real. This is where my truth lies, and I'm excited to see where the journey of life continues to lead as I weave more and more Chinese Medicine into the Evolutionary Astrology and Yoga as Transformation mix. The sky is the limit!

Continuing with the Pluto convo, the Pluto square is certainly not the only time we experience these kinds of opportunities! Pluto is currently at 21° Capricorn, so if you have any symbolism in your chart around this degree of Cap, Cancer, Aries, or Libra, you're getting an opportunity to do this work in your life right now! And Pluto is generally pretty obvious, so you're probably feeling this in different and likely uncomfortable ways. This will be especially true for people born around 1949-1951, as Pluto will be calling them to look at some karmic/familial past beliefs and patterns that need some transforming. Pretending that everything is hunky dory when it's really not, especially with regard to close friendships and relationships, isn't healthy. Addressing and getting to the root of an issue that has been unhealthy for years is freeing and medicinal in ways the mind can't imagine. And if I had your chart in front of me, I could tell you how this planet's transit through the sky is effecting you too! Suffice to say that most of us will do this work now or later, and that we're living in unprecedented times to do what's called "shadow work" in many circles. We are blessed to have such tools for healing, as many of our ancestors did not. The more we use them, the more capable, empowered, and bright we become.

What are you celebrating under the light of this Aquarian Full Moon? What is most authentic to you right now and needs to be expressed? How are you gathering experiences of joy and delight for the Autumn and Winter to remind you of Summer's warmth?

May you bask in the beauty that this Life expresses around you and deep within you.