Aquarius Full Moon, Leo Solar Festival, Heliacal Sirius Rising, July 2021 Cosmic Weather Forecast

Welcome to the July 2021 edition of our Cosmic Weather Forecast by Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry. We pray that you all receive the grace and guidance you need to manifest your spiritual and material goals this month. Namaste!

Friday, July 23rd at 10:37 PM Eastern time we celebrate the Leo Solar Festival, the Aquarius Full Moon, and the conjunction of Sirius and Sol, a mystical moment in the yearly cycle sacred to Divine Isis, Goddess of Fertility and Mother of the Stars, which has celebrated by spiritual traditions around the world for thousands of years!

Sunrise Over Old Salem, Dog Days of Summer, 2021, photo by Jane Sherry

The wheel of yearly transformation has come round to the Leo interval of the seasonal cycle, which brings us heightened inner heat, fiery personal relations, peak summer plant growth, intensified sexual tensions, and electrifying moments of sudden release in every aspect of our lives. Life force energy is at its peak in plants, animals and humans, while dramatic thunderstorms mirror the inner elemental landscape of all sentient beings.

Astrological aspects indicate an incandescent Leo Solar Festival that will usher in a month only a drama queen or king could love. But if we play our cards right we can allow ourselves to accept a month of much-needed retreat and refreshing reflection that will set the stage for a new season of better than anticipated growth and inspired manifestation.

Lotus Flower
Poindexter Wildlife Preserve, Bethabara Park, Winston Salem
photo by Curtis Lang

We may find that solving our most pressing individual and collective problems depends more upon inner spiritual guidance obtained through equanimity and meditation than upon dramatic, sudden moves designed to dramatize or resolve longstanding issues. We recommend choosing yoga, nature walks, swimming, gardening, art work and meditation rather than escalating psychodramas.

Jane re-covering potatoes exposed by pounding rain
at muddy Bethabara Park Community Garden, Winston Salem;

Angelica, Tulsi, Golden Lemon Balm, Marigolds, Zinnias, Nasturtiums,
Eula Mae Feltner Half Runner Beans, photo by Curtis Lang

Ancient Romans called July-August, the season of the Sirius-Sun conjunction, when the Sun is in Cancer and then Leo, the diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days” of summer. The combined energy of the  conjunction of the two brightest stars in our sky was thought to create sweltering heat so intense it could drive dogs to madness. It is true that this period is often the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and today we associate this period with intense heat and humidity. 

Here in the Bethabara Park Community Garden, we are covered in sweat fighting infestations of destructive insects, uprooting the wild proliferation of weeds cropping up in the wake of summer thunderstorms in the mud, and harvesting an abundance of greens and beans.


Bees love the flowering anise hyssop plant in Jane's plot
at Bethabara Community Gardens, Winston Salem

At this time of year, we can sense the urgency in the air. Life calls to life and we recognize our kinship with other Earthly life forms working to capture the maximum amount of energy we can all gather from proliferating plant life at the zenith of its yearly life cycle.

We hear the buzz around us as pollinators pregnant with pollen rush to and fro. Birds call to one another across the garden, perch on fences and in the muscadine grape arbor, and hunt for worms, grubs and other insects in the rows between our vegetables and herbs. The cycle of plant growth is accelerating, and in North Carolina it is full on harvest time. Each day is a new challenge, and each day there is grand new growth to surprise us and keep us fully engaged in the dance of life.

Curtis in Face Mask, Bethabara Park Community Garden, photo by Jane Sherry

Today, Thursday July 22, on the eve of the Full Moon in Aquarius, we are reminded that we are part of a global ecosystem and that climate change is accelerating, leaving no part of the world untouched.

Over the last month, a catastrophic landslide after record rainfall in Japan left fifteen dead and dozens missing. Massive floods in Germany not seen on this scale for 1000 years have caused hundreds of deaths and many more are still unaccounted for. More than a million acres of the west coast of North America are on fire after temperatures soared to 122°F in late June, and we are not yet in peak fire season.

Those West Coast fires have spread an atmospheric ocean of toxic smoke all the way to the East Coast thanks to the jet stream and other transcontinental air currents. Air quality alerts, orange sunsets and a toxic haze engulfed New York City a couple of days ago, and now here in our Winston Salem garden we are seeing a brown haze all around, and the early morning sun has risen orange-red.

If you live anywhere near these vast plumes of toxic smoke and particulate matter you might want to know just how dangerous they are.

Toxicologists say that wildfire smoke ages as it travels across continents. The Sun and other chemicals in the air increase the toxicity of the smoke as it travels. It is the smaller particles that travel long distances as aerosols, and those small particles are more damaging to humans because they can penetrate deep into the lungs.

Jane in Korean N-94 Mask with fogged glasses, 
Bethabara Park Community Garden, Selfie

So, out of an abundance of caution, Jane and I are wearing masks today as we work in the garden. She has a Korean N-94 which is 99% as effective as an N-95 and I'm wearing a simple cloth mask. But something is better than nothing, isn't it?

"Be aware that not all face masks protect against smoke particles," explains Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health at Boise State University, in an article in The Conversation. "Most cloth masks will not capture small wood smoke particles. That requires an N95 mask that fits and is worn properly. Without a proper fit, N95s do not work as well."

No matter what the weather brings, working in the garden, we bend down and focus on what's happening right at our feet, but somehow we feel connected to cosmic forces, sensing the outpouring of Universal Life Force energy that impels hordes of deer, foxes, bees, butterflies, moths, caterpillars, worms, ants and beetles to feast upon the ripening fruits, vegetables and flowers.

This is the same energy that pours out from the Sun and the distant stars as electromagnetic radiation, now alchemically transformed by Earth's plant life into cellulose, oxygen and an array of mineral rich organic compounds essential to the lives of oxygen breathing sentient beings.

The Universe, Thoth Tarot Deck
by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris
In the garden during the Leo interval of the yearly seasonal cycle, we feel the same sense of connection to Universal Life and the vastness of the Cosmos that we achieve through meditation during the winter interval of the year, when initiates connect to the stars moving inexorably through the immensity of interstellar space, to the Christ Consciousness, and to the infinity of mirrors constituting Indra's Net. Those stars, that energy, and the element of Akasha, or Space are the womb and source of all life.

Sensing this Cosmic connection, we also connect with our ancestors across the globe, who venerated the Dog Star, Sirius, at this time of the year. Sirius is a binary star in the constellation Canis Major, easily visible in the Southwest night sky.

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, 25 times more luminous than Sol. Seen through a telescope Sirius radiates blue, green, pink, and white light. No wonder the Dog Star has fascinated astronomers around the world for thousands of years.

Canis Major in Southwest Quadrant of Night Sky,
screenshot of SkyGuide software

Sirius is considered a sacred star in spiritual traditions from around the world. Ancient Chinese astronomers associated Sirius with the wolf, while the Inuit called it the Moon-Dog. The Blackfoot tribe of North America called Sirius Dog Face.

Sirius conjuncts the sun from approximately July 3 through August 11, when the Dog Star rises at dawn. For the ancient Egyptians, this event, the heliacal rising of Sirius, coincided with the Nile river's flood season, a crucial moment in the agricultural cycle when additional valuable fertile black river bottom soil was deposited on the flooded fields, creating the conditions for a successful planting season to come. For this reason, the Egyptians called Sirius the Star of Isis, who was venerated as the goddess of fertility. 
Winged Goddess Isis
Collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain
This year the exact conjunction takes place on July 23, the same day as the Leo Solar Festival and the Full Moon in Aquarius! 

Echoes of that ancient Egyptian mythology can be found in the wisdom teachings of Western students of the Kabbalah, in Theosophical literature and among current New Age practitioners who view Sirius as the spiritual Sun that vivifies the entire night sky, enabling spiritual initiations on planet Earth by transmitting its uniquely powerful energy signature across 8.611 light years of interstellar space to Earthly adepts.

According to the mother of Theosophy, Helena Blavatsky, Sirius was said to be Isis in the heaven and was called Isis-Sothis, for Isis was said to be in the constellation of the dog, as is declared on her monuments, and Sothis is the Greek name for Sirius. 

                                                      Tarot Trump XVII, Rider-Waite Deck

Sirius is associated with Tarot Trump XVII, The Star. “The seventeenth numbered major trump is called Les Étoiles, (French for The Star), and portrays a young girl kneeling with one foot in water and the other on land. . .," recounts occultist and author Manly P. Hall in his book The Secret Teachings of All Ages. "She has two urns, the contents of which she pours upon the land and sea. Above the girl’s head are eight stars, one of which is exceptionally large and bright. Count de Gébelin considers the great star to be Sothis or Sirius; the other seven are the sacred planets of the ancients. He believes the female figure to be Isis in the act of causing the inundations of the Nile which accompanied the rising of the Dog Star. The unclothed figure of Isis may well signify that Nature does not receive her garment of verdure until the rising of the Nile waters releases the germinal life of plants and flowers.”

The Thoth Tarot Deck, a more recent deck than the Rider-Waite deck, uses a seven-pointed star to represent the Star Goddess Isis, and the symbolism of the Thoth deck emphasizes the Cosmic implications of the Sirius-Isis mythological complex, rather than the traditional references to the Egyptian mystery school tradition and the flooding of the Nile river.

Tarot Trump XVII, The Star, Thoth Tarot Deck

In the Thoth Tarot deck, the seventeenth Trump, called The Star, reveals Isis, the Virgin Goddess, pouring forth her cosmic waters from the transcendent realm into the material Universe, where they manifest as the energy called Shakti, materializing as the Milky Way, the array of stars that illuminate and enliven the entirety of the natural realm. Crystals dominate the near foreground by her feet. The luminous liquid poured forth upon the ground from her cup has crystallized into Platonic versions of the hexagonal natural quartz crystal wands we all know and love.

This symbolism resonates with the ancient idea that the Dog Star, Sirius, associated with Isis, is our Spiritual Sun, which infuses the entirety of interstellar space with subtle energy and energizes spiritual initiations on planet Earth.

The nature of the Virgin Goddess Isis is Total Unconditional Love, unconstrained by factors of time and space. The spiraling forms of liquid light being poured forth from her cups represent the Universal Life Force Energy which creates, nourishes and sustains all the forms of Nature we perceive in this Multi Dimensional Universe. The Virgin Goddess transfers that energy from the transcendent Source of all Creation into all forms that manifest in this material universe, and also returns that energy to Source when material manifestation of a particular, given form reaches an end-state.

Heptagon, Simple Approximate Construction
Petrus3743, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The seven pointed star, the Star of Isis, which derives from the heptagon, has a unique energy signature, which is related to the principles of sacred geometry. 

The number seven is associated with the transcendent Virgin Goddess because seven is considered a "virgin" number. No number less than seven can be divided into it evenly, and no number can be multiplied by seven to produce another number, a "child", within the Holy Decad. The Decad, composed of numbers from 1-10, was considered to define the parameters of the original creation.

Every one of the ten numbers in the Decad can be divided evenly into 360, the number of degrees in a circle -- except for seven. The heptagon consists of seven literally unmeasurable, thus virginal, or transcendent, angles, and another elusive, virginal angle from its center to its corners. Thus the ever-virginal heptagon cannot be captured or constructed by the Cosmic Geometer. The regular heptagon is the smallest polygon that cannot be constructed using only the three tools of the geometer, the compass, the straightedge and the pencil. 

Thus the heptagon is associated with the transcendent aspect of the Great Virgin Goddess known to the Greeks as Pallas Athena (or as Minerva to the Romans), who was said not to have been born from the womb, as other gods and goddesses, but rather to have sprung from Zeus' brow. When the numerological values of the letters of Pallas Athena's title "Pallas" or "Maiden" are added together, they total 343, which equals 7 X 7 X 7, the volume of a cube whose sides are seven units long. The cube is considered to be symbolic of material creation, so the role of the transcendent Creatrix as Cosmic Mother is alluded to in the sacred geometry of her very title.

Seven Chakras
RootOfAllLight, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Seven is of course the number of colors in the rainbow, the number of notes in our Western musical scale, the number of endocrine glands in the human body, and the number of major chakras in the body.

The seventh, most elevated chakra is the crown chakra, which is associated with the colors violet, white or gold, and with the Higher Mind, Christ Consciousness, Cosmic Consciousness or Krishna Consciousness.

In the yogic tradition, when, through arduous spiritual practices, the spiritual aspirant awakens the kundalini energy, which normally lies asleep, coiled in a spiral in the lowest chakra, near the perineum, the kundalini rises up the spine, slowly piercing each of the seven chakras until it reaches the crown chakra. When the spiritual aspirant succeeds in raising the kundalini to the crown, this is said to be the marriage of Shiva and Shakti, and confers enlightenment upon the yogi, who has achieved Realization. 

       The Union of Shiva-Shakti in the Self-Realized Yogi

The seven-sided star pictured in the Thoth Tarot is associated with the energy signature of the Goddess Isis, who is associated with divinely ordained synchronicities, the bliss of unconditional love blessed by harmonious constellations of stars, and the "mystico unio" of adepts on the path of meditation.

The seven sided star is sacred to lovers everywhere, because the seven sided star symbolizes the eternal yearning of the soul for Unity with the Source of all Creation, the unending desire of the incarnated Being for the Virgin Goddess who resides both within and beyond this Space-Time continuum.

Colorized image of a missionary from the Middle Ages
who found the point where the earth and sky touch:
from Camille Flammarion's 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire

When a human being enters into a love relationship with another human being, whether that be a relationship based upon mutual receptivity and affinity, karma, or an unwavering desire for a partnership designed to accelerate the spiritual development of both parties, there is a magical moment when the Universe seems to signal its approval of the Union.

Lovers could tell a million stories about the crazy chain of coincidences that brought them together in this life. The synchronicities that manifest in the outer world to bring the two lovers together are a reflection of the pure inner desire for Unconditional Love that burns in the hearts of the two lovers.

Spiritual students around the world could tell a million stories about the amazing string of unusual events that brought them to their Teachers. It is quite common for the student to be "guided" to the Teacher when the time is right. "When the student is ready, the Teacher will come," as they say.

This type of synchronistic meeting is also the reflection in the outer world of a pure desire for Divine Love and accelerated spiritual advancement.

Sirius A and Sirius B
NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

So whether you desire a pure and uplifting love relationship with a soulmate or simply aspire to accelerated spiritual development in your life, the Virgin Goddess will oversee your efforts and respond to your desire -- if it is pure and free of the "lust of result". In other words, you must be willing to accept the Design of the Universe, and in asking for the Grace of the Virgin Goddess, you must be willing to accept her Guidance, even if it leads you to Realms far removed from what you picture in your mind's eye as an answer to your prayers.

If you desire a Greater Love in your life, lift your eyes unto the Night Sky this Full Moon as the Sun enters Leo in conjunction with Sirius and sing the praises of She who Illuminates the Night and Gives Life Upon the Earth, for she is also your Mother and She loves you dearly.

Aquarius Full Moon, Leo Solar Festival Cosmic Weather Forecast

This Friday, July 23, we celebrate the Leo Solar Festival and the Aquarius Full Moon on the day of the conjunction of Sirius and Sol. The Full Moon resides at Aquarius 1°25’, opposing the sun in Leo. The Sabian symbol for this Full Moon is An Unexpected Thunderstorm.

Johannes Hevelius's 17th century chart of Aquarius and surrounding constellations, from his highly important Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia.

Summer thunderstorms clear the air after a long buildup of energy. As we all know, summer thunderstorms are volatile entities, arising suddenly and moving rapidly with tremendous force, as the inhabitants of Henan Province in China discovered this week, when the worst thunderstorms in 1000 years dumped eight inches of rain in one hour on Zhengzhou, a city of five million, flooding the subway system and killing twelve people. Many more died and over a hundred are missing.

This Full Moon requires us to remain alert to potential sudden disturbances in our inner and outer worlds.

That could be a good thing. Flashes of insight, intense sparks of creativity, and brilliant, almost clairvoyant awareness of the karmic and energetic underpinnings of conflicted personal situations might arise for us, clearing the air, so to speak, after a long period of tension.

The Tower, Trump XVI, Thoth Tarot Deck

On the other hand, it is best to avoid bottling up tensions or stirring up tempests in teapots. Karmic relationship issues could suddenly turn volatile, and uncontrolled emotions could act as lightning bolts that fracture the foundations of family ties and the bonds of friendships. Diplomacy, equanimity, and discernment will offer shelter from any storms.

The Full Moon in Aquarius makes a tense quincunx aspect to Venus in Virgo, strengthening the spotlight on karmic relationship imbalances that call for loving kindness and thoughtful responses to any provocations.

Venus opposes Jupiter in Pisces, which is generally a positive aspect, inclining us to indulge in all that feels good for the moment. Self-soothing during this somewhat irritating and potentially very volatile Full Moon may be called for, as long as we resist the siren call of overindulgence.

After this week's Full Moon, the Leo interval of 2021 looks to fulfill the leonine stereotypes of fiery emotional exchanges and melodramatic responses to everyday situations. 

Johannes Hevelius's 17th century chart of Leo and surrounding constellations,
from his highly important Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all retrograde now and for the rest of the summer, which means that although we may feel the need to take immediate action on any number of fronts, the cosmic climate nudges us toward a more relaxed, reflective response to our current reality, and supports a period of reflection on recent initiatives before taking our next big steps forward. 

July 28th and 29th, Jupiter leaves Pisces for Aquarius, and opposes Mars entering Virgo, which is another potentially explosive combination of energies. Once again, diplomacy, discernment and loving kindness will be required to achieve optimum results during this conflicted period of time.

Water energy dissipates as August begins, Leonine dramas surface, and we may find that our empathic connections to our significant others do not call forth supplies of loving kindness, a la Pisces, but instead trigger more intellectual, Aquarian rationalism, which can easily take the form of assigning blame and making fevered mental accounts of who did what, when, why and to what end. In this season of retrogrades, it may be better to take a chill pill than to force a confrontation, no matter what our inner accountant recommends.

On August 2, Sun in Leo opposes Saturn in Aquarius, challenging us to take action on issues of utmost importance, while the cosmic climate puts the brakes on our attempts to accelerate the pace of our activities. 

August 6, Sun in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus, and we are challenged to find creative, even revolutionary solutions to the challenges we face as individuals and as members of a collective -- whether that be our family, our friends, our tribe, our nation, our spiritual group, or humanity as a whole. This is a moment of realization that whatever intransigent problems we face, we cannot face them alone. Only radical, collective Uranian action will succeed in transforming dramatic challenges and karmic imbalances into fresh, creative new ways of being in the world.

Curtis and Jane at Reynolda Gardens, Winston Salem, Selfie
Note the Seven Petaled Aquamarine Flower of Isis Curtis is Wearing!

Knowing that the Cosmic weather forecast for August predicts a month only a drama queen or king could love, Jane and I are planning to indulge in a hefty dose of much-needed retreat and reflection.

We are called to honor our guidance and we are so grateful for the joy we feel spending more time in our new Community Garden, in meditation, writing and creating art, and in researching Tarot and the Kabbalah.

Part of me wants to rush forward to implement a huge variety of expansive new plans and projects, but I am confident that now that I have magnetized myself and invoked the new, the best way to manifest my visions is to surrender to my own Joy.

Sea of Lotus Plants,
Poindexter Wildlife Preserve, Bethabara Park, Winston Salem
photo by Curtis Lang

Jane and I will be spending more time with the plants, the birds, and the bees. We've want to keep the beetles and weeds at bay, make sure the seedlings and starts have the water they need, and continue to share sacred space with our new friends in the Bethabara community garden.

Most of all, during the Dog Star Days of Summer, we honor Isis as we cultivate and enliven the soil in our new garden, with steady watering, compost, mulch, Reiki energy, and mantras of power and fertility. We prepare the ground for the fall planting season and we say a prayer of thanksgiving in advance. 

Meditation Moment: If Only I Were Isis by Lola Lemire Tostevin

Now this. If only I were Isis.
I would transform myself into a swallow
and fan you with my wings. I would
retrieve her recipes that can bewitch the heavens.
If only. I would go to Egypt and retrieve
the box from the base of the tamarisk tree.
The iron box that contains other boxes like memory.
The bronze box and the box of ebony and ivory.
The box of silver and one of gold which holds
a book whose words disappear into thin air except
for the trace of a lingering story.


Ascension practicesAstrological forecastsChakra systemEnvironmentEnvironmental crisis/solutionsHigher selfHindu spiritual practices