At July’s arrival, we find ourselves in the sultry days of summer!
We tend to experience happier, calmer times when connecting to nature or traveling to the shores and swimming in bodies of water. We experience the summer evenings lasting a bit longer with illuminating stars and an abundance of fireflies. This is because July brings feelings of abundance, the sweet bloom of life and dare I say – a little more confident – You! Berries and veggies are ripening on the vines and plump with the promise of fulfillment. Our gardens are beginning to offer up the literal fruits of our labors. We arrive at the so called “Dog Days of Summer” which traditionally are the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11. The timing and name is no coincidence as this time of the year coincides with the morning rise of the Dog Star, Sirius. It is also the month of astrological signs Cancer and Leo, marking a time when we finally come out of our shells and into the spotlight (or sun).
As summer is in full swing and the air is heavy with humidity and warmth, the end of July brings us the Blessing Moon. During the Blessing Moon, it is a superb time to go to the ocean and make an offering to the greatest of all Water Goddesses, Yemaya. Yemaya is known as the Mother Sea Goddess of Yorùbán origin. Called an Orisha, She is considered the Great Mother (some find her similar to Mother Mary) and Her aspects can be found in all Oceans (on the surface). Some devotees claim that when the water breaks on the shore and produces white sea foam, that it is, indeed, Yemaya coming to greet you. She is the source of all the waters, including the rivers of western Africa and especially the River Ogun. Her name is a contraction of Yey Omo Eja, which means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish.” A simple ritual to be blessed by Yemaya is as follows:
Gather 7 dimes (7 is Yemaya’s sacred number) and a slice of ripe watermelon and bring to a beach. Sit and watch the waves for a little bit, thinking about what you would like to improve in your life as well as give thanks for. When you are ready, stand up and rub the slice of watermelon on your feet while holding the dimes in one of your hands. Walk towards the ocean but make sure to approach the sea with respect. It is bad luck to “charge” the water when working with Yemaya. What most do is this – when they are ready to walk into the water to drop their dimes, they turn so that they are walking into the water sideways. Once you have the ocean touching your watermelon-ed toes and feet, you can turn to face the sea directly. Now you can toss your coins into the Ocean. If you have more time, fully submerge yourself and make an offering to Yemaya with a special crystal like mother of pearl, pearls, larimar, turquoise, moonstone or a clear quartz.
Make sure to take it easy and not only embrace the summer slow-down but enjoy doing nothing! The New Moon on July 12 is also a Solar Eclipse in Cancer. This is a very self-nurturing influence, so take the opportunity to work with this energy and be kind and generous… to you. Cancer rules the stomach, sinuses, body fluids, and breasts. Pay extra attention to these parts of the body around the time of this New Moon. As the jasmine flower is governed by the Moon—the planetary ruler of Cancer—enjoying its aroma can help support the energy of this New Moon. Jasmine arouses our ability to connect to the divine feminine within us. Sprinkle a few drops in a bath and soak in its feminine power.
Astrologically, we have 6 planets retrograde (with one – Jupiter in Scorpio – turning direct on July 10th) as well as the 2 Eclipses in July.
Eclipse season is a good time for completing shadow work. The best way to work with this energy is to slow down; meditate, be reflective, journal and think about where we may be blocked or stuck. It is there, where the residual energies we carry, need to be broken down now that it has fulfilled its purpose so that it can be revitalized and re-purposed in a new way (especially during the week of July 9 – July 16).
Face old fears, and try not to avoid them. Be bold and walk right into them because only then will you learn to understand what fuels insecurities and flawed belief systems. After July 16 and through the Lunar Eclipse of July 27th, we can secure a more positive energy surrounding our old beliefs and conditions, thus allowing them to transform. Those of us who face our shadows and deepest wounds will be rewarded. The Lunar Eclipse is in Aquarius and is often called the Blessing Moon but it is not only about the blessings we wish to receive but the gratitude we have for all the blessings currently working in our lives.
We at AHA are extremely grateful for all of you, too! And to show our appreciation, we will be offering remote Reiki and Healing requests during these Eclipse times. Check the AHA Facebook and Instagram pages for more details!