August 2014

August 2014 Astrology Trends

Venus sings her song at this month’s opening to highlight where we might wish to be mindful in our spending habits, our relationships, and our romantic liaisons. We may wish to spend or be extravagant, especially when it comes to our families and loved ones. However, with Venus in major aspect to both Pluto (August 1 through 3) and Saturn (August 1 through 6), I think we are being asked to understand that demonstrations of love go much deeper than materialism. For my part, I really wanted to get my Leo husband the latest-and-greatest new laptop/tablet combination, but the truth of the matter is that we have bills to pay at this time and the most loving thing for me to do is stay the course with our financial plan instead of spend the money. For now, we will wait until Christmas and then see how we are doing. I will have to watch the deals pass us by and have faith that the gifts I am giving from the heart will make him just as happy, and that the 5-year old laptop he has will hold out through the Fall months.

With Jupiter in optimistic Leo, it can seem easy to reach out for whatever we wish to have at this time, so being cautious is not at all easy. This is the shadow of Leo, and using the morality tale from the beginning of the month that Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn are giving us as a gift could help us ride through August with that idea in mind.  As Venus joins the Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter in Leo on August 12—with all its joy and lovely, happy energy on the high side—we also need remain aware of the shadow—a grandiose approach that can focus on the self while being a bit blind to the big picture. It could land a person in hot water later if one’s not careful. On the other hand, taking risks of the heart—to express oneself honestly in a difficult situation after reflecting on smart ways of doing so… To give of one’s time generously to a good cause in a way that lifts your spirit… To get creative with DIY… These are ways to give that do not empty your bank account. Think of high-side gifts to give, whether to others or to yourself, and you will be using these energies wisely.

Indeed, the Aquarius full moon on August 10 is a great time to consider and consolidate the unique gifts you have to bring the world. One of my most important mentors, Elise Hensley, taught me that our greatest weaknesses become our greatest strengths. The things I thought I should change about myself in order to adapt to society, once accepted, were actually the best things about me. Now I feel I can create a small place in the world that is peaceful and happy instead of feeling as if I have to adapt to something foreign to my true nature. The Aquarius energy at this time can help you carry out a personal revolution, at whatever point you find yourself, in order to establish personal freedom and happiness.

In fact, Jupiter leans into this same theme as it aspects Neptune all month long (August 4 through 24). This influence asks you to meditate on bringing your spiritual connection into a personal realm—to act from your direct experience as opposed to abstract concepts. What a fantastic month to connect with what is divine. There has never been a better time to shore up your practices—whether they are meditation, exercise, nutrition, study, or something else.

The Virgo new Moon on August 25 and the Sun entering Virgo on August 23 moves us into a healthy harvest season—a time of year that is as delightful as can be. Each day new wonders will appear, manifested through our hard work these past months, just like farmers who have been tilling, sowing, and feeding the soil. This can be seen both in plant life as well as in modern life all around us. The Virgo energy is such a moving, lovely time. Each day is a blessing. Each creative, heartfelt moment is inspirational. Let yourself make a wish on the new moon for what you wish to harvest from all your hard work throughout the Spring and Summer—for it has been busy and full of effort this year! In addition to Virgo’s classic association around checking in on all your health issues, no doubt you can feel a few new emotional, spiritual, and perhaps even physical muscles have emerged :)

Learn Tarot

You might like to see the 12 zodiac signs and their Tarot matches!
Major Arcana and Astrological Correlations

Aries: The Emperor
Taurus: The Hierophant
Gemini: The Lovers
Cancer: The Chariot
Leo: Strength
Virgo: The Hermit
Libra: Justice
Scorpio: The Hanged Man
Sagittarius: Temperance
Capricorn: The Devil
Aquarius: The Star
Pisces: The Moon

Learn Astrology

“There is a structure, rhythm, and series of Laws which are universal and intrinsic to the joining of the lower and Higher selves. These struggles and victories are different to each one of us in their outer forms, but absolutely united in their inner, essential energies and cyclic unfoldment.”
          – Alan Oken, Soul-Centered Astrology

Ram Dass is fond of saying about the topic of oneness that there are many paths to get to the same summit of a mountain. I have been chewing on the fact that Astrological symbolism is one of the most interesting and enjoyable paths to unlocking one’s sense of purpose as well as putting together the puzzle pieces between the lower self and higher self.  When you study astrology with a spiritual focus, you can see it from this stand point—that it is a tool used on the path to your higher purpose.

At present, we have two major “schools” of Astrology—western Astrology and eastern Astrology. Western Astrology is steeped in the tradition of independence and freedom of the individual to step outside of their chart and change their fate if they so desire. With a little elbow grease, the story goes, karma can be fixed up (kind of like a classic car can be restored). Eastern Astrology does not view the human being in such a mechanical fashion. I believe the view of eastern Astrologers would invite the fact that the individual chose a path prior to birth and fate exists. There is a destiny that can be read in an Astrological chart, and so for eastern Astrologers, it’s very important to get the placement of the stars in the current sky correct and to attend to astronomy as well as Astrology in a very precise manner.

Historically, cultural influences have had major impacts on Astrology as well. In Greek Astrology, the planetary gods lived with humanity and the thought centered around archetypes. This catered to Greek culture. In Hebrew cultures, Astrology themes centered around cosmic laws. In the middle ages, Astrology seemed to focus on themes such as predicting plagues and dealt with issues of sin and martyrdom.

It appears to have been difficult for the Astrologer to step outside his or her own culture or historical age. In particular, several Astrological texts of today are still reeling with the influence of Victorian times. Luckily, the evolution of the spiritual approach to Astrology is bringing in new thinking that is erasing much of the repressed thought that has marred western Astrological interpretation over the past few hundred years.


“If it is bent, it will be preserved intact;
is crooked, it will be straightened;
is sunken, it will be filled;
is worn-out, it will be renewed;
has little, it will gain;
has much, it will be confused.
For these reasons, the sage holds on to unity
and serves as the shepherd of all under heaven.”
~ Verse 67, Tao Te Ching

Things balance eventually. Having faith in this principle has been challenging for me in the past when I wanted the balance to occur instantly, like a pudding on the stove I could control with my own set of spiritual spoons. But this life is more than a dish that smooth and sweet, and I will not be eating it in one sitting. That’s what makes it so interesting and engaging.

Learning faith is something that is connected to every part of me. I need information from others—stories from them that provide a context for hope. I also need my own experience.  For this, developing an observing mind is critical and meditation is crucial for developing the ability to observe what’s happening as I navigate the world.

The observation itself becomes a form of making space in life, too. Pausing to see that I feel a little renewed after exercise, and I am breathing better. Pausing to observe that I made a sound nutrition choice and my stomach feels strong. Pausing to see that my throat feels easy. These things become a waking sense of trust in myself that I am serving as my own shepherd within the course of a day, in ways that used to elude me when I prioritized achievement over health.


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Be well!




August 2014 Special

Nourishment for the Body and Soul

Creamy Red Bell Pepper Soup

In August, the peppers and tomatoes start to blossom in backyard gardens all over the southwestern U.S., and hopefully in other areas as well. You can make this soup fresh from your garden with vegetables and herbs you’ve grown yourself! If you’re not a gardener, there’s nothing to distress about. Your local farmer’s market or organic market will have the ingredients in season.

Yield: 4 for dinner or more for appetizer or side-dish 


4-6 large red bell peppers
2 red chile peppers or other hot pepper
3 medjool dates or 6 smaller dates, pitted
3-4 cups almond milk or water
½ cup chopped parsley
1 TBSP chopped basil
3 TBSP Butter
1 cup chopped leeks or onions
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
4-5 chopped tomatoes (plum are ideal, but any will do!)
1-2 cups whole milk

OPTIONAL:  add 2 cups spinach at the end along with the tomatoes and corn for a boost of potassium!


Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or pot. Sweat the leeks and mushrooms for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the leeks are a bit translucent. (To sweat a vegetable means to cook over medium low heat, allowing a food to stew in its own juices.)

Meanwhile, use a high-powered blender to mix the almond milk (or water—whichever you prefer), bell peppers, dates, chile peppers, parsley, and basil. Blend for about 30 seconds.

Add the corn and tomatoes to the pot, and then pour the mixture from the blender on top of the soup. Lastly, add the milk.

Turn up to medium, stirring constantly. When the pot just begins to boil, turn down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve immediately.

Cranberry Blueberry Orange Oatmeal Bites


Nourishing Recommendations 

You can learn so much about Tarot from Susyn Blair-Hunt, my wonderful mentor, in her book, Tarot Prediction & Divination, Unveiling 3 Layers of Meaning. 
Tarot Prediction and Divination Unveiling 3 Layers of Meaning
 (Llewellyn also publishes the best selection of Tarot decks that I’ve discovered.)

Homeopathy and Core Synchronism have changed my life. First, I was immediately able to breathe after experiencing asthma-like symptoms for years. Many other improvements followed. Elizabeth Battarbee will be in Louisiana starting in July!
 Elizabeth Battarbee of Flourish, Doctor of Homeopathy

*Note: Elizabeth provides homeopathy services via Skype

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