top of page

Your Growing Heart

I wanted to tell you, this month, about how Leo rules the spine - that central structure that keeps us upright, that center of nerve activity, that center of intra-organism communication. I wanted to urge you to notice the stance that originates from that spine -

Are you caving inwards,

or thrown back in surrender,

or comfortably open... welcoming, yet patient?

That is still an important and timely inquiry, but when I sat down to write this blog, it was Leo's rulership of the heart that whispered in my ear.

The heart represents a different kind of center. A center based on love and connexion, rather than on stance, inner structure, and inner communication. Hearts have rhythm to them. They expand and contract throughout our lives, like wings beating, offering us the freedom of living, the freedom of pulling inwards and then reaching back out again.

Sun in Leo: 7/22/17 - 8/22/17

When the sun transits through the sign of the lion, it is time to live from our heart.

One half of this story involves tapping into our purpose and vitality, and letting our speech and actions arise from that place. That's the heart expanding.

But the heart also needs to contract. This is how it draws in nourishment (or blood in the case of the physical heart), so it has something to direct outwards on that next beat of expansion. Half of our work this month centers around taking in what we love. Listen to what you love to hear, whether it's music or the voice of a friend, loved one, or teacher. Read what inspires you. Go to the places that feed you. This enables you to expand outwards from your strength.

Why taking in what you love is so important:

Let's suppose you take in things that irritate you, whether through reading, discussing, listening to, or - especially - thinking about things you don't like. If you're just taking in the icky stuff, the tendency will be to react to what you don't like from a place of irritation, similar to how your digestive system reacts to food poisoning. If you have a stockpile of what-you-love built up inside, you can connect the icky stuff with the lovey stuff, and respond to what you don't like from a place of love and strength.

The difference:

React comes from a root word that implies driving out, while

Respond comes from a root word that implies making a sacred offering.

New Moon in Leo: 7/23/17 at 2:46 AM PDT

This is the first of two new moons in Leo this month. This is the tender one, in the first degree of Leo, indicating we'll be tapping into a pure and innocent approach to the lion's energies.

The heart contracts:

How can you be more generous towards yourself?

The heart expands:

How can you be more generous towards others?

This is also the new moon that precedes the full solar eclipse in Leo (see below). We can use this lunation (the period between this new moon and the next new moon) to anchor ourselves for the big changes and revelations that inevitably occur during eclipse season. If ever there was a time to nourish your heart, it is now.

New Moon Herbal Recipe:

It's time to soothe and encourage that little tick-tock machine in your chest. Give it some herbal love with this solar infusion: Put 4 Calendula blossoms, 1 Tbsp of Jasmine flowers, 2 Tbsp of Rose petals, and 1 Cardamom pod or a pinch of cardamom into a quart mason jar. Fill the jar with warm or room temperature water, and place in the sun for four hours. Strain, add raw honey and a dash of cider vinegar if desired, and drink throughout the day. This formula warms and soothes deeply held heart-pain, helps us loosen our grip on that pain, reminds us of the sweetness we yet have access to, and helps us open our heart.

Uranus stations Retrograde: 8/2/17 (PDT until 1/2/18)

Insights and events that shatter what you thought was true. Liberation of stuck energy. This is the stuff of Uranus. When Uranus is direct, we activate and innovate our lives. We electrify our communities. We make bold changes, or deal with the drastic changes that come our way.

When Uranus is retrograde, we do behind-the-scenes work that integrates and enables such liberation. We make internal innovations. We cultivate insight. This is the gear we're switching into as we approach the eclipses.

You've changed. The world has changed.

What does freedom mean to you NOW?

What internal shifts in perspective and attitude will move you towards that freedom?

...& once you've mastered that...

How can you inspire that freedom in others?

Take note of any interesting events or exchanges that occur around the day of Uranus' station (roughly 8/1 - 8/4). This will help you understand your own current path to liberation.

Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: 8/7/17 at 11:11 AM PDT

Let's segue into this eclipse by first noting that Uranus - the planet that stations retrograde 5 days before this eclipse - is the ruler of Aquarius, the sign where this eclipse occurs. This is one of those moments when I feel like some unseen force is taking a highlighter to the planetary events of the time.

What freedom is available to you right now?

In what ways are you holding yourself back?

The same chemicals that create the expansion and contraction in our heart enable a butterfly to flap its wings. Engaging with what we love IS the freedom we seek. At this partial eclipse, the moon is in Aquarius (innovation, but also emotional disengagement), while the sun is in Leo (self-expression with wholehearted engagement). As the earth's shadow passes over the moon on this day, we are urged to question any ways we may express the shadow side of Aquarius:

In what parts of your life - relationships, work, projects, etc - is your heart not engaged?

Are you able to re-engage your heart in those activities or relationships?

If not, how can you let them go?

Think of all the energy and time you'll liberate if you release what does not resonate with the finely tuned strings of your heart.

One last tip...

Both Aquarius and Uranus relate strongly to the internet and to virtual communities, and both of them are at a point of release now. This first week of August is a great time to replace some of your social media time with in-person, heart-engaged interactions.

Lunar Eclipse Herbal Recipe:

And now, I share with you one of my favorite drinks... Herbal "Mocha" with Reishi. All mushrooms resonate with Aquarius' sense of community, and Reishi in particular nourishes the heart, while the bitter flavor and warmth of the other herbs stimulate the heart. Brew this with some friends, and drink to everyone's wholehearted and interconnected engagement in life.

Simmer, covered, in two quarts of water for 10-20 minutes:

3 Tbsp. roasted chicory root

3 Tbsp. roasted dandelion root

2 Tbsp. reishi mushroom (or 1 Tbsp if using powdered reishi)

4 whole cardamom pods (or 1/4 tsp cardamom powder)

1 stick of cinnamon (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder)

Strain, and add 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder, and share with your friends. Add honey and/or mylk of your choice.

Although it's bitter, I don't recommend coffee right now. It's too stimulating, and that's the last thing we need during eclipse season. But a little kick from cacao is A-O-K.

Mercury stations Retrograde: 8/12/17 at 6:00 PM PDT (until 9/5/17)

This Mercury retrograde begins in Virgo, and moves back into the penultimate degree of Leo. Watch that space. More is brewing in that area of the zodiac (see Full Solar Eclipse in Leo below).

Your keywords for this retrograde are:




Feeling stuck? Clean out a drawer. Delete unnecessary files and photos. Make room for more of what you love.

Reorganize things in your physical and digital space. The order you create will help you understand what your priorities are. Or you can work the other way around - assess your priorities, and then create an order that reflects that.

Another way of using this Mercury-retrograde blending of Virgo and Leo imperatives is in taking a look at how you live on the day-to-day level:

What's the first thing you do when you wake up?

Does that reflect what you love?

If not, what's an initial daily action you can take that reminds you of why you are here on this planet in this body right now?

Full Solar Eclipse in Leo: 8/21/17 at 11:30 AM PDT

This is the Big Event of the summer. You've already been feeling it for a few months, and you'll continue to feel its effects integrating in your mind and in your life for several months after August 21st. This eclipse is a moment of deep, deep contraction that enables a much greater expansion than we are currently capable of.

Let's get back to your growing heart.

What's it saying right now?

buh-boom, buh-boom

That's the voice of your physical heart - that little organ the size of your fist that uses butterfly wing chemicals to keep your blood flowing and to keep you alive.

whisper, whisper

That's the voice of your esoteric heart - that inner companion that says things like, "Yes, yes, this is good! Let's do more of this," or "I sure do long for..." This is what tells us WHY we are alive. We are here to do what this little voice bids us, to engage in those things we love, and to spark love in the hearts of others by doing what we love.

Take a moment to look back on your life...

Consider the decisions you made based on a sense of duty or fear or lack.

How did those experiences unfold?

How did you feel as those experiences ran their course?

Are you happy with the outcomes of those decisions?

Now consider the decisions you made based on love.

How did those experiences unfold?

How did you feel as those experiences ran their course?

Are you happy with the outcomes of those decisions?

Taking all that in...

What will you choose now?

I'm not saying love is a pain-free experience. But neither is living a life based on fear. Pain is unavoidable, whereas love is...


Solar Eclipse Herbal Recipe:

Make yourself a solar infusion on this day (see new moon recipe above for ratios). Use the herbs that call to you. Maybe you'd like Borage for courage and strength, or Rose to encourage your heart to open, or Calendula to heal heart-wounds and honor the sun as it travels through the sign of its strength, or Fennel to help you assimilate all the changes in your heart and mind as Mercury retrogrades and the luminaries are cast in shadow.

Or maybe your heart has some herbal suggestions of its own. Trust that above all else.


I saved the penultimate paragraph for a word on the penultimate degrees of signs. There's a lot of activity (several planetary stations and a full eclipse) going on in that 29th degree this year, so we'll do well to consider:

What bigger life chapters need to come to a close sometime soon-ish?

What preparations can you make so you can end those chapters well?

These endings may be internal - ways you change from within that shift the overall course of your life.

Next month...

Mercury and Saturn station direct as we ease down off the high energy of eclipse season. Until then, feel free to schedule a private consultation or healing session if you need some support through this month's fiery roller coaster. Or contact me - I always love to hear from my readers. Here's wishing you a month of heart-opening joy, LOVE, and breakthrough, Rae

Search By Tags
Elsewhere in the Ether:
  • Instagram
bottom of page