This week we are now into Virgo season. The sun moved into the sixth sign of the zodiac yesterday afternoon. Virgos are very precise and organised and great at sorting through details. As a gardener I always have to sort, plan and decide what to do with all our produce at this time of year. We often get a glut; at the moment we have loads of courgettes, last week it was cucumbers and we haven’t reached peak tomato yet! In the light of this we are busy pickling, preserving and freezing our veg. Virgos are very industrious , so with both the sun and Mercury in this efficient sign it is a good time to get busy and prepare for the winter months ahead. Cucumber and courgette pickle any one?
As it was drier today I had my new moon fire- the wood was damp because I forgot to cover it. Yesterday’s rain got it well and truly soggy. Never mind, the fire was smoky and reluctant but worthwhile. Today was rather windy so perhaps it was just as well that the wood and twigs were damp or things could have got quite excitable!
My plants loved the rain and have perked up no end, we do water them regularly but you can’t beat a good proper soaking.
Wednesday 19th August
Today is the new moon in Leo. Since the beginning of lockdown in March I have got into the habit of having a new moon fire on my allotment. As luck would have it, after all this heat and sun, it was very wet today so I didn’t do it . I will try tomorrow-as I do like to mark the turning of the lunar months.
New moons are a good time for new starts, I like to look back to see what I started the previous month and review it. What was my intention for last month? Did I do what I wanted to do? How did it work out? Do I want to adjust, continue or start something new?
This new moon is a fiery one with sun and moon in Leo making a positive aspect to go getting mars in fiery Aries. They are also both making a positive aspect to the moon’s north node in the third fire sign; far reaching Sagittarius. So this month is a good time to set goals regarding your actions and passions. Talking about action, I have finally been able to return to my exercise classes after a long break. I enjoyed it but was a bit rickety the next day! Still, I am determined to carry on.
Wow it has been HOT this week- over 30 degrees C. Despite this my husband managed to clean the carpets, they look so much better, even if he was melting! Thank you. The evenings have been fab for sky watching. we have had wonderful views of Saturn the ringed planet and Jupiter, the bright gas giant, low in the South after sunset. They are quite close together and Jupiter rises and sets slightly earlier than Saturn and is to the right- West of Saturn. They will remain visible for the rest of the year. By October they will be both be direct and will gradually get closer together. They will finally meet up on 21st December for a conjunction in early Aquarius; a coming together of the planet of expansion and the planet of restriction and control in the sign of social change. This will be a challenging time.
Meanwhile, we have been enjoying more sky watching delights in the form of the meteors the Perseids. Both Monday and Tuesday evening my hubby and I laid out on the grass after dark and watched for the meteors. We were very lucky, we hadn’t been there long before we saw our first one, we soon got our eyes in and saw quite a few.They are very bright; we saw six the first night and ten the next. We missed the best night, Wednesday, but my neighbour was out sky watching and said she saw loads. It is definitely a fun way to spend a warm summer’s evening or two ! The earth has now moved on from the meteor shower now, but next August we will be back in that same part of the sky, and have another chance to see the Perseids, so put it in your diary for next year. I know I will.
We also saw Mars, which rises later in the evening than Saturn and Jupiter and is very red and bright. Like Saturn and Jupiter, it will be visible for a few months yet, so if you get a chance to do so, have a look!
The weather has finally broken and it rained all day today , so no chance of sky watching at the moment. I am sure though that the clouds will clear in a day or so , letting us see the beautiful heavenly bodies again.
I am happy to say that last night’s zoom meeting went off well. We had 8 people which gave everyone a chance to comment on the chart. There was quite a bit of chat and lots of relevant comments. The great thing about zoom is that we can have people from all over the place and we had some people from Norfolk but others from further afield too whcih is always good. Thank you to everyone who came along .
Sunday 2nd August
It’s August already and yesterday was the Pagan festival of Lammas (loaf mass) or first fruits. This is the midway point between the Summer solstice in June and the Autumn Equinox in September. I like to mark these points and to appreciate the turning of the year. On our allotment we have plenty of ‘fruits’; our courgettes are extremely plentiful. I planted a load of seeds just after lockdown and they have all taken and grown and grown! My friends and neighbours are still quite appreciative of our courgettes, but in a couple more weeks they may reach the stage where they politely refuse them! We also have beans, spring ( a bit late but hey who cares! ) onions, cucumbers and beetroot. In the hedges up our lane and around our veg patch the wild fruits are ripening. The sloes, crab apples, blackberries and hawthorn berries are all colouring up and sweetening in the warm sun. In our small garden, the pears and apples are ripening and I managed to buy some plums from an honesty box by a person’s gate in a neighbouring village. They just about had time to settle into the fruit bowl before we scoffed them! Norfolk is great for home grown produce, there are lots of little treasures to be found in home made stands outside people’s houses and you never know what you are going to find.
This month’s full moon is tomorrow, Monday 3rd August so it falls really close to Lammas. This full moon is in group orientated Aquarius opposite the sun in creative Leo. These two signs are both fixed, determined signs and represent opposing principles, I think of it as the axis of self expression. When this axis is illuminated, ( as it is at the moment) it is a time to look at how we express ourselves and our individuality and how we fit in with the group. It is also a good time to appreciate our gifts, whether that be homes, our skills, our relationships the things we have created, or all of the above. It certainly is a very fruitful time.
With the sun in Leo is also a good time to enjoy ourselves, and although our options are more limited than usual this year, it is still worth finding time to do things which we can enjoy. I love to walk in nature and my husband and I visited a local country park the other day and did a bit of butterfly spotting. This is not always easy, they shift a lot faster than I do! We saw quite a few though, loads of silver washed fratillaries – which are actually orange! They get their name because they have a silver underwing. We also saw quite a few holly blues and loads of gatekeepers which are small, brown and skippy with brown eyes on their upper wings.
So back to the full moon, it rises at 9.12pm BST on Monday 3rd August so I think I will be out looking at the south eastern horizon at that time. To me that is such a magical moment when it slips up above the horizon. I am always impressed by its time keeping abilities. If only I could always be so punctual. Have a good day and happy Lamas and full moon.