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Jane's Perennial Garden, photo by Jane SherryWarm greetings from your co-Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.

This Aquarius Full Moon and Leo Solar Festival stimulates our sense of self, helps us to access our own inner vision and creativity, and promises that we can turn the discoveries we make during our inner journeying into practical long-term plans that will transform our lives for the better, while also benefiting friends, family and community in the days, months, and even years to come!

Jane’s Garden Report

The first phase of our Boca Raton mini-garden is in! We were warned by several knowledgeable local gardeners that it is very dangerous to plant during the heat of summer, but we received good inner guidance that this project would be successful, and so far we have been blessed with daily rains, moderate heat and (mainly) happy plants.

We discovered that in some ways the expert advice of the permaculturist we hired to start our garden installation was not necessarily the best advice, and we have decided to proceed on our own for the next phase of the garden installation.

We received advice from local nurseries that contradicted what the permaculturist told us, and the locals did not agree with one another on much of anything else. What we have seen so far has convinced us to take all “expert” advice under advisement, pun intended, and above all to adhere to our inner guidance going forward as we have in the past­­­­­­.

This requires that we do a lot of research on local plants, on our little microclimate and soil as well as these very different local seasonal conditions, since we are new to South Florida. It’s wonderful hard work and a little intimidating, but we realize that simply depending upon “experts” and their conventional wisdom is not a viable strategy for us.

“What’s New?”

Every morning I call my 93 year old mother who lives by herself 10 minutes away, to check in. She wants to know “what’s new” daily or twice daily, depending on how many times I speak with her. We are pretty boring, since we don’t have children and Mom doesn’t quite understand exactly what kind of “jobs” we have, so we don’t have a lot of conventional family “news” to share.

Usually I can give Mom some sort of wildlife report based upon which critters have shown up at our secret little suburban garden. She hasn’t spent much time out of doors for the last couple of decades so she’s a little out of touch with local critters.

Today at dawn it was a small dead frog floating in the pool along with a very much alive slender 16” long perky black snake with a red band around its neck. Time to fish them out of the pool. And although I heard guidance to just pick up the snake by its tail and chuck it out of the pool, and I’m not particularly scared of snakes, I wasn’t ready to do that AT ALL, especially with a snake I don’t know. And at dawn before I was fully awake.

Black Snake, photo by Jane SherryIt would have been OK to just pick it up though. 

It turned out that the snake was a non-poisonous Southern Ring Necked snake common to our area, very happy to be released from the water. It’s easy for critters to get into the pool, but most have a hard time getting back out because it’s a long way from the surface of the water to the lip of the pool.

Iguana, photo by Jane Sherry

We have seen a steady procession of reptiles and amphibians of every size and shape, from tee tiny frogs to the big bufo toads, known as “true toads” not to mention the RIOT of lizards sized from a half inch long to the foot long, big, fat, curly-tail lizards we think look like small alligators. And then of course, once in a while a lounge lizard, better known as an iguana, shows up looking all dinosaur-like in their extravagant spiky scales along their bright green backs. 

There are so many new birds to learn about in our new abode in South Florida where we moved last December. We’ve seen a gorgeous blue heron in mom’s neighborhood, we see the dinosaur looking anhingas regularly by the small lakes and water elements in town. Anhinga is a bird frequently seen in heraldic designs who hold their wings outstretched in order to dry them. 

Anhynga Bird, photo by Jane Sherry

We see lots of seagulls and storks and pelicans, egrets and ibises and mallard and Muscovy ducks. And of course we have some familiar songbirds in the yard: northern mockingbirds, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers and more!  

There’s often packs of ibises after the rain catching grubs in the grass,  processions of ducks with their ducklings off to the lake down the lane. We’ve even seen a foot long turtle ambling along back to the nearby neighborhood lake.

And of course there is the procession of Cuban Tree Frogs we've been capturing and releasing (several sets of them were mating!!!!) since the spring. 

Cuban Tree Frog, photo by Jane Sherry

Then there are the more humble creatures for which I am so grateful. I get very excited with every single giant earthworm who makes an appearance in the back yard. 

Bugs and Insects and bugs, bugs, bugs!

Yesterday, we played hooky in the morning and went to the beach where I saw four inch long colorful spiders amidst their gigantic webs in the trees on the path to the water. We are constantly finding an enormous array of bugs in and outside the house, many of which we’ve never seen before such as the crab spider who looks quite intimidating with its claw shaped legs in the front, but is actually quite harmless. 

Blue Heron, by Jane Sherry

When we lived in northern California, we laughed at how few bugs and insects were around, compared to farm country in upstate NY where we had formerly resided. Little did we know at first, it was probably due to the terrible drought we endured for almost the entire five years we lived there.

I am simply not built for withstanding drought. And I marvel at the ingenuity of desert peoples based upon my little experience in a place which wasn’t even a desert, yet to me, it felt like one!! To me, those golden hills, were not golden but dead grass. I never did shift into the right consciousness for CA.

Dragonflies, water element, elementals

The biggest change for us here is Water. It seems everywhere we turn there is more water -- water from the skies, water in lagoons, lakes, marshland and swamp and of course, the ever present ocean in all its glory. We have started collecting seaweed for the garden to add fertility, something I’ve always wanted to do as a gardener. The seashells we collect are being used on altars all through the house and starting to make their way into art projects as well.

The water pours from the skies bringing delight, bringing fresh rain to water our new plants and trees and fill up buckets for potted plants to be watered. We swim almost every day, a delightful and joyous way to move our bodies and some days we feel actually playful! It’s been a few years of slogging through Saturn transits which make simple things like play seem like special celebrations.

So we are watering our souls as well as our bodies and spirits with ocean water. We love frequent swims in our pool as well as being inspired by thundering, lightning rainstorms which come nearly every week. 

Be Happy, Mixed Media Altar Shadowbox by Jane Sherry

Our garden receives ample rainwater, so far. We are so grateful for the rains and yet aware that Florida also suffers from periodic drought, so I have been trying to bargain with the gods of the rains that we may be free of drought for a while at least. Five long years of dry weather has made me continuously crave those cloudy, rainy days and booming storms at night! 

A new animal spirit has come to our homestead as well in the form of dragonfly. We have noticed an orange colored dragon dipping into our salt water pool each afternoon as it flies above, then dips into the water, flits back up, dips back in then flies away. Its path reminds me of skipping rocks on a lake.

It’s as if Dragonfly, the guardian of dreamtime, has come to rest here with us and bless us with opportunities to improve our discernment, separate illusion from reality and help us dream our futures into being.

It is my fondest wish that you all receive the guidance from and blessings of the natural world in your lives that you may flourish, grow in self awareness and be better grounded in compassion, hope and inspiration.

Curtis’ Full Moon in Aquarius Cosmic Weather Forecast

Our stop-start experience with the garden and our difficulty with separating good advice from confused thinking is a good example of the energy of the last few months, when Saturn has been retrograde, combustible Mars in Scorpio has been inconjunct to explosive Uranus in Aries, and the Mutable Cross and Mutable T-Square put us all on a mutable merry-go-round where no matter how hard we tried to get ahead with the project, we seemed to keep returning to the place we started from.

As we approach the peak of the American Presidential race, which traditionally heats up after Labor Day, Mercury is retrograde until September 22, Saturn has turned direct in Sagittarius and is preparing for a September 10th reprise of the infamous square with Neptune in Pisces that has projected a fog of astral glamour, fear and paranoia around the world, it is more important than ever to exercise discernment in all that we say and do, and to remain steadfast in our approach to our goals, spiritual and material.

Needless to say it is important to analyze everything we hear and see in the mass media, evaluating truthfulness and recognizing hidden agendas where they may lurk beneath the surface.

The Full Moon occurs Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 5:26 am Eastern Time, or at 2:26 am Pacific Time, at 26° Aquarius, opposed by the Sun at 26° Leo. Astronomers differ as to whether this Full Moon is an eclipse full moon, or just a near-eclipse, but this Full Moon definitely generates a powerful positive energy signature that can be a welcome antidote to the tensions between the outer planets.

Moon in Aquarius is Sextile Uranus in Aries, and Sun in Leo is Trine Uranus in Aries. We can connect with our inner rebel and manifest our individuality in a positive, creative way if we choose to do so, and our own energies may be high, so we will want to remain calm and avoid over-stimulating our nervous systems. 

Full Moon Flight Over Boca, photo by Jane Sherry

This Aquarius Full Moon and Leo Solar Festival stimulates our sense of self, helps us to access our own inner vision and creativity, and promises that we can turn the discoveries we make during our inner journeying into practical long-terms plans that will transform our lives for the better, while also benefiting friends, family and community in the days, months, and even years to come! 

In order to calm our nervous systems, relax our minds, stimulate our intuition and keep us in the Universal flow, Jane and I are connecting with the water element.

We are swimming nearly every day in our salt water pool and visiting the beach weekly, where we spend time in the surf. Remember that if you can swim or walk in salt water you can purify your emotional body, remove toxins from your physical body, and stimulate your mental body, which will improve access to your inner spiritual guidance and strengthen your all-important powers of discernment.

When walking in the surf, be sure that your feet are covered in salt water. There are nerve endings in the bottom of the feet connected to all major organs, especially the solar plexus, which in turn is connected to all major body parts. Thus when you walk in the surf, you are purifying your entire body. This is the secret Jesus knew, and when he washed his disciples’ feet before the Last Supper, he was purifying all their bodies with one simple act. 

South Beach Boca, photo by Jane Sherry

If you do not live near the ocean, you might consider soaking in a long salt bath, which can also achieve very positive results. And if you don’t have access to a bathtub, any small tub which will hold your feet submerged in seasalt water would also be beneficial. 

Leo is the sign that rules the heart and the spine, and Aquarius rules the lower legs and ankles. This Aquarius Full Moon and Leo Solar Festival is the time when we are asked to center ourselves in our heart’s deepest desires, stand erect and stand strong, centered and grounded in our own truth.

We are further asked to consider our own Leonine heart-centered path of Spirit in relation to the impact our desires and our actions have on friends, family and community, the Aquarian ruled tribe to which we belong.

We are challenged to maintain our own truth and stay true to our own vision without being overwhelmed by the consensus reality being promoted by the mass media, and by groups to which we belong.

This requires a delicate balancing act, and that balancing act relies upon strong ankles, symbolically, the inner strength of Aquarius.

We are all realizing this year that we are fragile beings, dependent upon the communities in which we live for our well-being. We cannot be completely independent in our lives, any more than we can be completely dependent.

The political situation in America is dire. The vast majority of people feel they have no representation. The economy is only working well for the top 1%, and we are in a global environmental crisis.

Worry, fear and paranoia are understandable but regrettable responses to these difficulties.

But there is an antidote to fear. Gratitude is that antidote. Here is a short gratitude meditation for you to try. Just read the text below, sit and meditate.

Do not worry and be filled with gratitude

Release all worry, for worry is another great energy leak. Worry activates unceasing mental chatter, filling the mind with unhelpful speculations which, like ghosts, feed on our vital life force energy, depleting us and destroying our will. When we worry we cannot feel our love, we cannot concentrate our compassion, and we cannot perform compassionate acts of love.

Shells in Hand, photo by Jane Sherry

If worry arises in you, do not attempt to suppress the emotion, because this will only strengthen the unwanted energy, which will then resurface later. Instead, step back from this worry, and remind yourself that worry is not an element of your true nature. Remind yourself that worry is transitory. Make an effort to just be a witness to the worry. This will enable you to let go of the worry, to allow it to pass like storm clouds passing in front of the sun of your inner awareness. 

The antidote to worry is gratitude. When we are involved in deep feelings of gratitude for our many blessings, when we are filled with gratitude for our life, and for the present moment, there is no place in our hearts and minds for worry to reside.

Increase your feelings of gratitude by visualizing all the many beings that have worked ceaselessly through the years for many centuries to learn and transmit the spiritual practices that empower you in your spiritual practice.

Visualize the many hard-working individuals who have contributed to bringing you to this moment in your life.

Imagine the efforts of your parents, your friends, those who grow your food, those who build your house and your car.

Visualize the many blessings the natural world bestows upon you, including sunshine, rain and wind, trees and animal companions.

Feel their warmth and how they vitalize your body, your mind and your spirit. Let this warmth and vitality fill your being.

Rest in this soothing energy until you feel refreshed. 

Night Pool, photo by Jane Sherry

Meditation Moment: Water is the Magic Mirror 

“You are in contact with water every day and in different ways. But how many of you are aware that water, by its very nature and properties, is a physical expression of the universal Soul? Through the medium of water, the universal Soul sends messages. If you do not receive them, it is because your psychic channels are still blocked. But if you free these channels by nurturing pure thoughts and feelings, you will raise yourself up to the realm of heavenly water, which will fill you with its purity and transparency.

So learn to love water, to work with it. Fill a bowl with water, and lean over it while concentrating on beautiful, harmonious and poetic images. You may even see them, because water is the true magic mirror. But the main thing is to feel the presence of these images within you, because their etheric, light-filled substance nourishes the soul.”

-- Omraam Mikhail Aivhanov

Photo Credits from the top: Key Lime Tree with Perennial African Basil and Beautyberry, (a borrowed pic) Southern Ring-Neck Snake , Blue Heron, all other photos by Jane Sherry & Curtis Lang

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Curtis and Jane, South Beach Boca, photo by Jane SherryCurtis Lang, one of the Founders of Satya Center, is a Reiki practitioner/teacher, spiritual counselor with a background in investigative journalism, writing, editing and publishing for over 40 years. Prior to launching Satya Center, Curtis was an executive at Ameritrade.com. 

He has been an editor, publisher, investigative journalist, and restaurant reviewer, and has covered local, state and national politics, national security  issues, the Federal Reserve and global central banking, the banking industry, personal finance, new media and information technology, and privacy issues in the digital age.

Curtis Lang's work has appeared in WORTH magazine, The Village VoiceMother JonesThe NationAd AgeNew MediaNetGuideULTRAHouston City magazine, Texas BusinessThe Texas Observer and many more.  

Jane Sherry, one of the Founders of Satya Center is an artist, Reiki practitioner/teacher, spiritual counselor, creator of healing art talismans, healing gardens & loves to cook! She has a background in the visual arts before moving into the healing arts and has been a longtime lover of herbs & spices & cooking. She newly resides in Boca Raton, Florida. She works the Satya Center healing practice with co-founder and husband, Curtis Lang and co-operates the Satya Center Crystal Gallery and web portal. New gardens are being birthed now, here in the Florida sunshine, well watered by lots of beloved rain. You will always find crystals in among the herbs, flowers & vegetable gardens!