The Festival of Lammas
This festival of Lammas (also known as Lughnasad) is celebrated at the beginning of August when we see the colours of ripening crops and fruit. Everything’s getting ready for harvest. Flowers are abundant, nature is blossoming and our hedges are so full of wildlife. The passion and joy is just what this agricultural festival is all about!
It’s known as the festival of Lammas in Anglo-Saxon as it relates to the first loaf made from the first crops.
It is also known as Lughnasad after the Celtic Feast of the sun god Lu. Lu was the god of the sun and his spirit was said to be held in the corn.
What is the Wheel of the Year?
It has always made so much sense to me to be in touch with the ever changing way that our Earth, Gaia, interacts with the Universe. By observing the stars and the planets we learn so much. And the Sun, as we observe it through each zodiac sign, brings a rhythm and a cycle to our days, months and years.
By watching this rhythm unfold we find ourselves in tune with the natural cycles, the agricultural year and the turning points within the year celebrated by our ancestors. Ancestral memories are buried deep inside every one of us and, by raising them up into our awareness, so we are connected to the whole in a very real way. We see time moving on, but not in minutes and hours and days necessarily, more in the cycle of life and death and rebirth.
Life, a spiral of life.
What can we do for the festival of Lammas?
A tradition, at this time, is to make a corn dolly from the first corn that’s harvested. The dolly is kept in the home as the seed for next year’s sowing. So there we have the cycle again and an attunement with nature.
We give thanks as we watch the crops ripen and begin the harvest. It’s probably a time to keep tidy or clear so that we can see what’s there.
It’s all around seeing what is coming to fruition at this time of the year. Bread being baked. Berries and juices. Celebrating all of that is nature’s bounty. And your own of course!
And the wonder, because there’s a mystical side as well. There’s a symbolic side to every single Festival, and we will light fires in the evening to celebrate, to enjoy, to extend our day. It’s also a time, August when we tend to see crop circles appear.
What can you vision?
What’s come to fruition for you this year?
What will you truly be taking forward to Harvest Festival in September in acknowledgement of your gifts?
Would you make your own corn dolly or perhaps paint a stone?
In some small way find something to take this energy, this amazing abundant sun filled passionate, joyful energy, forwards.
As always, with love from Alison.
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Cycles & Rhythms
Our ancestors watched the seasons, the cycles & rhythms, of the year with great interest. It was with the knowledge that the basic building blocks of life itself depended on the elements brought in by each season. Food, warmth & shelter all depended on the Sun and Moon giving the different energies to the abundance of crops. Light and warmth from the Sun & Moon made travel and socialising possible at different times of the year. Time was measured and plans made by these most natural of calendars. I’m concentrating on the Sun and the Moon for this article yet it is worth remembering that the other planets have their own cycles and rhythms. All adding into the curious and amazing blend of energy available to us all from living in this Universe!
The Sun is our star. It is by the position of the earth in relation to the Sun that we know the time of day and the season of the year.
And so if we consider this celestial body for a moment, and appreciate that the Sun is a star that constantly burns in the sky, then it follows that it sends us light and heat in order for our planet earth to have life.
Our planet Earth orbits the Sun. However it takes more than the 365 days of our Gregorian calendar (only in use since approx. 1582) year. We add a leap day every four years to make the calendar ‘fit’ with the rate of orbit. And so we need to consult an ephemeris for a particular year in order to be certain of the exact day/time that the Sun will appear in the next zodiac sign. The Sun entering a constellation (from our perspective) may be from the 19th through to the 23rd of a month.
There is no such thing as a planet being on a cusp. A star/planet will always be in one sign or another and this will vary from year to year. By consulting an ephemeris we find the exact day/time. Are you ‘on the cusp’ and unsure about your zodiac sign? A reputable astrologer will be able to work it out given your date of birth and year!
And now we consider the cycle & rhythm of the moon. From the sliver of light that is the New Moon, through the growing towards fullness. Then the diminishing of energy to the darkest of the cycle before the next new moon. The Moon has no light and reflects light from the Sun. The amount of moonlight that we ‘see’ shows us the phase of the moon.
New Moon = astrologically in the same sign of the zodiac as the Sun as it occupies the same part of the sky. We only see a very small amount of light growing as the Moon separates away from the Sun.
Full Moon = astrologically in the opposite sign of the zodiac as the Sun as these two celestial bodies are opposite each other. And the light is at the fullest, maximum beam, as the Moon reflects the full amount of light available to it from the Sun!
Symbolically we can look at this cycle as:
New Moon = new beginnings, inspirations, joy of the light returning
Growing / waxing = light & energy. What has been planted at the new moon grows and expands.
Full Moon = appreciation of growth, celebration. This is a time of maximum light and vibrant energy.
Lessening / waning = time for the energy to be grounded, embedded and thought about.
Dark of the Moon = no moonlight and a time for inner reflection.
There is a power and usefulness in observing the cycles & rhythms of the earth, and our universe, for the key to how we ‘fit’ in! And even more information to our belonging in this Universal system of ours is the observance of the 8 seasons of the year. Here is a link to an article about the cycle of the Wheel of the Year through the astrological & agricultural seasons – just click the image:
I have a special offer right now for your ‘Summer Solstice Star Map 1-1’ consultation <<link here>>
I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the Cycles & Rhythms in astrology. There are many more as, just like our home universe, the information and potentials are ever-unfolding.
As always, with love from Alison x
PS – Here is a link to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and some information about the Gregorian calendar which you may find interesting! <<Gregorian Calendar>>
Are we in the Age of Aquarius?
Consulting our history books shows us that astronomers as far back in time as Ancient Egypt recorded that planet Earth’s movement, in relation to the constellations, had a greater cosmic cycle of around 26,000 years. And this cycle became known as the Great Year with each constellation visited for approximately 2000 years.
The astronomy of the ‘Precession of the Vernal Equinoxes’ is complicated, fascinating and would require at least an ‘age’ of its own to fully explain. Are we leaving or have left the Age of Pisces? And are we now entering or arrived at the Age of Aquarius? You probably already think that I made a mistake by saying we have moved from Pisces into Aquarius – please bear with me!
You see the Great Year is based on the Equinox pointers to constellations and moves the opposite way to the Sun’s path through the zodiac. The Sun/moon gravitational pull is unequal. The result is that we know the Universe certainly does not move to the tune of the calendar in use by humans!
We may not be able to say the exact time of entry (!) but it is safe to say that we are in the Aquarius arrivals hall. I work on the premise that there is no cusp. A planet is either in one constellation or another and we are planet Earth and so (imo) now IN Aquarius!
So what is Aquarius?
Aquarius is depicted as the water bearer however is actually an air sign. Now ruled by Uranus the ‘older’ rulership was by Saturn. Putting those two planets together can sometimes seem at odds with each other. And yet, when we delve deeper, there is an energy blend that gives so much great potential for newly built structures and quite brilliant systems. And, of course, a need for awareness of boundaries in the online world. We may see an incredible creativity about to emerge or emerging. There is no way of knowing just what the next two thousand years will mean for us however maybe new technologies, new ways of communicating and contacting life beyond our known Universe!
What will/does this mean for us?
Do a quick search and you will see many ways to look at this however I’m going to concentrate on just a particular thought process.
Humans create Technology … Technology leads to Connections …
Connections with Humanity … Humanity creates stunning Creativity …
Will we remember our roots?
As we move into this new era and age it becomes more crucial, not less, that we remember why we are here. See the evolution and the great expansiveness of our reaching out all around the planet and beyond. And about anchoring ourselves on the Earth by taking care of ourselves in mind, body and spirit.
Is this the Age of Aquarius? ‘YES’! And our brilliant, helpful, inspirational Universe shows us new ways of connecting and evolving. Perhaps one challenge, and we have had an introduction to this throughout 2020, will be to reach out to each other as much as is possible. Don’t forget to smile and chat in real life!
Please delve into your ancestral roots and memories to hear the gentle whispers from times gone by. There are many forms of communication and that, also, will become much more apparent as we move into this new Great Age!
I have business and personal appointments available if you’d like to know how your own astrology ‘fits’!
Please do book a call if you’d like to know more! <<book here>>
As always, with love from Alison x
When we start to know more about Venus we see not only that Venus shines brightly in the sky, and often can be seen quite visibly even in daylight, but so much about the planet offers us keys to understanding more of what helps us shine. Venus rules both Taurus (April into May) and Libra (September into October) which offers clues as to her influence for both growth and harvest. Venus loves abundance and to encourage more. However there is so much more to know about Venus!
In the mythology surrounding Venus, named for the Roman Goddess, it is said that she gave birth to Cupid who would fire his arrows and cause love between two human beings.
Her Greek equivalent is Aphrodite and both have stories of love, beauty and passion. This image is from the birth of Venus as symbolised by Botticelli and it is stunning in the depth of symbolism and colour. I mention colour as the colours of pink and green symbolise Venus energy.
And so, If we think about how Venus shines brightly in the sky, we also then apply it to our birth charts to see where, or how, we expect to shine in the world. She will show us what we love and how we approach art and music. And, if setting up a business chart I would also look to see how best to use the Venus energy to make sure your business shines too! Especially as Venus also symbolises the growth of money as well as the beauty, love, abundance, greenery, growth and harvest. Think how much that helps us all as we move through our lives! And then consider your business as at the heart of a union with … you.
Venus rules the Friday in our ‘days of the week’ and it is interesting to see her influence. That Friday feeling of catching up with friends, planning a great meal, enjoying the prospect of a weekend ahead – all of those (and more) put us into a space of feeling inspired or happy. Venus as Friday <<read more here>> and a day of self care.
And so, as you go about your day, whether Friday or another day, look at where your attention falls for the beauty in life. Nature is truly abundant and has much to teach us. And watch the stars for a sense of just how close their starlight is to us.
As always, with love from Alison x
PS – Give your life the cosmic edge by following the moon in practical ways! <<download here>>
How I work may not be as another astrologer would or, indeed, may not be how you would if you are an astrologer. However it is how I work and have done for many years and this article may, I hope, give you an understanding of how you can approach your own astrological journey and give you a thought that there may be more to astrology!
Whether you have had your chart prepared for you, or have an interest sparked by reading your horoscope, you will very quickly see that there are more books, and texts, about astrology than you and I could possibly read in our lifetimes.
This is me in consultation at a Mind, Body & Spirit Fair and I so look forward to when we can do this again!
I was born in August and this gives me a Leo Sun. I never felt like a Leo Lion was supposed to though. No roaring for me and you would usually find me in a corner of the playground hoping break time would be over quickly and that I wouldn’t have to speak to anyone. And as for going out on stage … well I tried … but I was much happier in the wardrobe department or even prompting!
And then, a lot of years later, I learnt how to read the symbolism of tarot and decided to give astrology a chance. What a life changing decision. My chart was duly drawn up and read for me by a leading astrologer.
Light bulb moment!
So much suddenly made sense. My Leo Sun is in a particular position in the sky inspiring me to help others shine. And as to all of my other planets – it was as if someone had suddenly given me a manual to understand me!
And, ever since then, my respect for astrology has grown along with reading, writing and experiencing it!
The Craft of Astrology
I learnt how to set up an astrology chart before computer programs were the norm. Drawing up a chart is an amazing thing to do and, even though I use a computer for the basic birth chart calculations now, I find so many more insights when I sit and draw it by hand. So I will often copy a chart from my screen and draw the planets, stars, asteroids and planetary movements. It becomes a work of art, my craft, and truly fitting for the honour of interpreting a chart for someone.
The best advice I give to anyone who really wants to understand astrology (a life long process I can tell you!) is to watch it unfold. After initially learning I very quickly began reading charts 1-1, at camps and at festivals all over the country. I have given workshops and talks over the years and added in learning from talking to people. Curiosity is probably one of the best traits to have as an astrologer!
A computer will, very quickly, give you a chart and even offer generic interpretations but it is up to the astrologer to:
a) check a chart is correct
b) look at it as a whole and not just individual planets as a chart tells a whole story
c) offer interpretations – remember that nothing is fate as we all have choices all of the time!
d) apply planetary transits from the past to begin to make sense for the now and future trends.
The stars, planets, our earth and the Universe are constantly moving around and changing their patterns. And so a unique pattern of the stars in the sky is available for every birth. It may be that you wish to know more about the birth of yourself, the start of a business, a purchase you are about to make or the launch of a book or course. All of those ‘births’ will have a chart available for the moment. And that natal chart will remain the same. It is the blue-print and map of all potentials and possibilities and we can choose whether to be in flow with those energies … or not!
Your/the birth chart remains the same. But the planetary energies and influences change giving more opportunities for growth and … well … those choices!
And, as if looking at planetary transits (the patterns made) isn’t a big enough deal, we can learn so much about ourselves by seeing what happened during a previous and similar pattern made and so be prepared for what is to come.
What I use
Behind the scenes and my ‘tools of trade’ are:
almost 30 years of reading charts, studying, giving talks and workshops, working professionally AND of course using astrology daily for myself!
my own daily practices of watching the stars unfold their amazing stories;
100 year + 50 year + individual yearly ephemeris;
pens and pencils for writing my notes down and re-creating the charts;
an excellent computer program called Time Passages from astrograph.com which has basic through to professional packages and has brilliant customer service.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse behind the scenes of how I work. I love talking astrology so please do look at my website for more blogs and how to work with me!
As always, with love, from Alison x
PS – download Your Cosmic Edge – a guide to working with the moon! <<download here>>