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Digest, Develop, Deepen

However radically diverse our values, beliefs, aesthetics, and lifestyles, we humans share many common denominators. A few we'll be working with this month are -

We all need various forms of human connexion and a sense of belonging in order to be happy and healthy.

We all experience mysterious and changeable things called emotions that color how we experience the world.

We all possess a humble organ called a stomach that is an initial landing pad for our food after it's been swallowed. This humble little organ, the size of your two fists put together, has a big job. It is the gracious party host that welcomes your food-guests into your body, and decides who sits with whom, and how to get the most beneficial interactions started in the digestive process that keeps you fueled throughout your day and throughout your life. Your stomach also knows who to send right out the back door, so as not to harm the fine mansion of your body, or disturb the rest of your esteemed guests as they mingle and dance.

Summer Solstice: 6/20/17 at 9:24 PM PDT

According to the summer solstice chart, summer 2017 both cultivates and requires a delicate balance in us. Balance without keeps us upright, even when we're on unsteady ground. Balance within - A.K.A. equanimity - keeps our thinking clear and our actions decisive and skillful, even when we're in an emotionally charged situation, environment or relationship. Equanimity is not a denying of emotions, but rather a maintaining of poise in the midst of emotions. This is the lesson of this particular summer - FEEL and feel deeply, yet maintain your wisdom and grace.

Herbs of Summer 2017:

The energetic herb of Summer 2017 is AGRIMONY. This is an herb of Jupiter, a planet that is traveling through Libra (the sign of balance) now, and at the focal point of two configurations in the solstice chart. It is also an herb that develops the potential of true equanimity. I recommend taking Agrimony as a flower essence, or the tincture in micro-doses (one to three drops per day) throughout this season.

For more general herb use, summer is a good time to increase your intake of FLOWERS in teas. Flowers are generally cooling, mildly cleansing, and lightening. Flowers teach us to open into our fullness, to express our beauty, and to let go and trust that more beauty will come.

HIBISCUS for a cool yet vivacious alertness,

CHAMOMILE for calming crankiness and soothing inflammation,

CHRYSANTHEMUM for calm, clear sight,

ELDER to open the upper airways and renew the spirit,

HOPS for calming the tummy and the mind while stimulating creativity and growth,

YARROW for strong sensitivity with good boundaries,

LAVENDER for a keen calmness

ROSE to soothe, protect, and open the heart.

Sun in Cancer: 6/20/17 (PDT) - 7/22/17

There is logic, story and rhythm to the zodiac. Last month, as the Sun (source, potency, conscious awareness) moved through Gemini, we gathered and tasted many delights and curiosities. As the sun moves through the sensitive sign of Cancer this month, we have the opportunity to digest, assimilate, and process all the diversity we imbibed last month. And this is the most perfect thing for us to do now in preparation for next month, which will be wild. You will need this nourishment then, so do take it in now.

Oh, and some bits of last month's tastings are simply not right for you in the longterm, and you'll do well to let them go. Like your gracious stomach host, show them quietly to the back door.

What nourishes you in ways that feel GOOD? - Foods, people, activities, places, & forms of rest

What do you nourish in a symbiotic way that also gives you energy?

What do you nourish with no return? - How can you best let that go?

Time to Learn about Anger...

Willful Mars leads the way in emotional Cancer this year, indicating we need to pay attention to anger when it comes up, explore the underlying roots of what we're angry about, and respond to those roots appropriately. This is, of course, quite different from lashing out and burning bridges willy-nilly (see chamomile below). It's also different from pretending everything is okay when it's not (see agrimony below). The path you want is the twisty, disappearing-reappearing deer-run that lies between those two highways.

Herbs for the Cancer month:

Chamomile is a great herb for this month - a soothing support to your stomach that gentles the emotions, and specifically resolves anger, whether in the subtle form of whining or other not so subtle expressions. Agrimony, on the other hand, is a great support for dealing with suppressed anger. Both of these herbs benefit the liver, which is the organ most affected by anger. And when the liver is happy, it's better able to support the stomach's processes. Impatience is another subtle form or precursor of anger we may be prone to. For that, I recommend IMPATIENS FLOWER ESSENCE or the classic Five Flower Formula, A.K.A. Rescue Remedy.

Super New Moon in Cancer: 6/23/17 at 7:31 PM PDT

Just a few days later, we have our second of two super new moons in a row. When a lunation begins with the moon so close to the earth, the seeds (actual and metaphorical) we plant on that day are given an extra push of nourishment, encouragement and general, all-purpose oomph. The nourishing Cancer new moon also happens to be one of my two favorite planting moons for actual gardens, especially for starting seeds.

Cancer is a sign that does not plan. It follows its nose, improvising as it goes, and moving from one experience to the next. But there are benefits to planning, and although Cancer has nearly half of the major bodies of astrology in it at this new moon, other signs are speaking quite clearly through the rest of the planets. So follow your feeling sense, which is very in the moment, but be aware that there is a need to plan now too.

What flowers and fruits do you want to populate your garden?

What seeds will you plant to ensure such yields?

What structures and plans can you set in place to help you tend those seeds?

Herbal Recipe for the Cancer New Moon:

I recommend a SUNSET warm-infusion of flowers for folks in the Americas (see above for flower recommendations - pick one to three flowers for best effect) to welcome the tenderness of this sensitive lunation. This will potentize your herbs with an honoring of both endings and beginnings - the moon's new beginning for the month, and the sun's skywards ending for the day. Use 1/4 cup of dry flowers or 1/2 cup of fresh flowers in about a quart of warm (not boiling) water, steeped in a clear glass jar. Start your brew at the new moon, and end it as the sun dips below the horizon. West coast folks, this only gives you about an hour of infusion time.

Chiron stations retrograde: 7/1/17

Chiron is best known as the wounded healer of the solar system, but its influence runs even deeper than that archetypal pattern. Chiron is a bridge - between our inspiration and our ability to manifest our inspiration, and between our animal and divine natures. The wound we all carry is the difference between the two sides of those rivers. Let's put it this way:

What's your relationship with imperfection, generally?

Where's your sore spot about imperfection?

How might forgiveness or some other form of letting go soothe this pain?

We all carry some wounding around something we experienced as less than perfect. Maybe it was our relationship with one or both parents, or the physical body we inhabit, or our ability to communicate, or our sense of belonging, or our gender, or our ability to feel seen, etc. That's Chiron: the place where we feel the pain of imperfection. Chiron is in the last year (roughly) of its transit through Pisces (there since 2010) - a sign with a keen relationship with perfection, so we are feeling this keynote of Chiron extra strongly now.

Chiron is far enough out from the Sun that its retrogrades don't produce the kind of mayhem that the retrogrades of the inner planets of the solar system do. But it's still worth noting which direction the farther planets are moving, and it's especially worth noting any significant events that occur within the week around Chiron's station.

Grand Water Trine: 7/3/17 - 7/4/17

Here's a little blip of opportunity... or just a highly emotional couple of days, depending on how consciously you work with the energy. During these two days, the Moon forms a Grand Water Trine, first with the Sun, Mars and Neptune, and then with Mercury and Chiron. A likely positive scenario is you get emotionally stirred up on 7/3, and then healing awareness happens on 7/4. Another likely scenario to watch out for is getting overwhelmingly emotional on 7/3 and responding to that with some form of escapism or addictive behavior. If that happens, hang in there! You still can garner that healing awareness the next day (each dawn holds the promise of redemption), but it will require more humility and commitment.

Questions to work with at this time:

What are you feeling?

What do these feelings remind you of from your past experiences?

What happens when you allow yourself to both experience your emotions AND compassionately witness your emotions without getting caught in the story that surrounds them?

Full Moon in Capricorn: 7/8/17 at 9:07 PM PDT

Both the new and full moons have been raucous for the past few months. That stormy theme continues with this full moon, so remember to work wisely with anger if it comes up in or around you.

The energies of Pluto (empowering or suppressing), Mars (assertion &/or anger), Jupiter (expansion or over-inflation), Uranus (insight &/or upheaval) and Neptune (profound presence or escape) are drawn into this full moon as well, bringing the potential for great volatility, as well as deep healing and empowerment. Remember the theme for summer is BALANCE, so notice if you're leaning too far in any part of your life, adjust yourself accordingly, and that will likely calm your emotions enough to help you act more clearly and cleanly.

The full moons near the summer solstice (6/9/17 & 7/8/17 this year) have a particularly full quality because the summer solstice is the culmination of the sun's yearly cycle, when the solar power is most present. Consider how you feel when you've really filled your stomach during a meal: as my partner likes to say, "no room at the inn!"

This is why we must honor our stomachs now, and digest. Everything we've taken in - information, experience, food, etc. - needs time to either work its way into the fabric of who we are so we can express our nourished selves fully and creatively, or be released as something we are not.

What belongs in the fabric of your life?

How can you welcome those things more fully into your life and being?

What doesn't fit into the fabric of who you are?

How can you release those things with grace?

Herbal Recipe for the Capricorn Full Moon:

Here are two recommendations to meet this energy well. Pick one or both, as you like.

Option 1: HORSETAIL infusion

This herb helps you find your inner mettle, and build and support those right structures in your body and in your life. Feel free to add some OAT STRAW and LEMON BALM for calm and flavor. Steep 2 Tbsp dry herbs in a pint of boiling water, covered for two hours. Make and drink this BEFORE the full moon peaks. This will help you harness the moon's building energy for this building formula.

Option 2: CHAMOMILE tummy oil

Combine 1/4 cup dry chamomile flowers and 1/4 cup olive oil in a saucepan, cover, and leave it on a low flame for four hours, stirring occasionally. Strain and squeeze through a cheesecloth, and bottle the oil. To use, pour a few drops of oil into your palm, rub your hands together to warm the oil, and then massage the oil into your belly. This is a great thing to do before going to bed to help you digest the day. Also a nice tummy remedy for kids.

Next month...

Wop-boom-bam! Both Mercury and Uranus station retrograde, and we have two new moons in Leo - one of which is also a full solar eclipse. Sandwiched between those new moons, we have a partial lunar eclipse. Feel free to contact me or schedule a private consultation or healing in the meantime. I always love to hear from my readers :) Here's wishing you a month of laying wise and solid foundations of rest, nourishment, self care and clarity so you can harness the opportunities and breakthroughs of what will certainly be a wild Leo month. Peace, Rae

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