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  • lizberwick1980

August



August Offering

Look up!

This is a great month for star gazing. There's lots to look out for this month. The nights are very slowly drawing in and there's that late summer dampness in the air at dusk and dawn.


Catch the Perseid meteor shower

Image: The Perseid Meteor Shower and Milky Way over Petworth Deer Park by Kush Chandaria, Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

July and August will see the Perseid meteor shower, caused by the debris stream from the comet Swift-Tuttle.

It’s a highlight of many meteor lovers’ calendars due to its high hourly rate and bright meteors.

In 2023 the Perseid meteor shower is active until 24 August, with the shower peaking 12-13 August. Fortunately, the maximum is about three days before the New Moon, so conditions will be favourable.

The shower will radiate between the constellations Perseus and Camelopardalis, so find a dark spot and look there for the best chance of seeing some Perseid meteors.



Spot a supermoon

The Moon revolves around the Earth in an elliptical or oval-shaped orbit, which means that during its orbit it travels from closest approach (perigee) to furthest distance from us (apogee).


When the Moon is at perigee and it’s at a Full Moon or New Moon phase, we call it a supermoon. There will be two Super Full Moons in 2023, both in the same month: one on 1 August and another on 31 August.

Lammas

The cross quarter festival of Lammas is celebrated on 1st August and marks the peak of summer and the beginning of the harvest season.

Lammas is the celebration of this first Grain Harvest, a time for gathering in and giving thanks for abundance.

The word 'Lammas' is derived from 'loaf mass' and demonstrates how honoured the first grain and the first loaf of the harvesting cycle.


There are two celebrations going on: one of the Celtic Sun King, Lugh, God of Light. Festivities were tempered with the knowledge that that the bounty and energy of Lugh, of the Sun, is now beginning to wane. It is a time of change and shift. Active growth is slowing down and the darker days of winter and reflection are beckoning... The second is the honouring of the Grain Mother. At Lammas the Goddess is honoured as Harvest Queen, Earth Mother, Ceres and Demeter.



Demeter, represents the ripe corn of this year's harvest and Her daughter Persephone represents the grain - the seed which drops back deep into the dark earth, hidden throughout the winter, and re-appears in the spring as new growth. This is the deep core meaning of Lammas and comes in different guises. The fullness and fulfilment of the present harvest already holds at its very heart the seed of all future harvest. (It is a fact that a pregnant woman carrying her as yet unborn daughter is also already carrying the ovary containing all the eggs her daughter will ever release - she is already both mother, grandmother and beyond.)


So as the grain harvest is gathered in, there is food to feed the community through the winter and within that harvest is the seed of next year's rebirth, regeneration and harvest.



Lammas - Bumble Bee Breath

Lammas calls us to slow down and savour the last of summers' warmth. Nature is alive and abundant all around, and yet this crossover is going to bring the feeling of ‘drawing in’ as we step closer towards autumn.

Bumble Bee breath (also known as brahmari, a Sanskrit word that means “bee.”) is a lovely way take a pause and soothe the senses.

The practice is named for the humming sound that bees make. The sound is calming for a spinning mind, and the practice lengthens the exhalation without excessive strain.

Bumble Bee breath be used as a regular daily practice to encourage relaxation or as an on-the-spot remedy – as long as you don’t feel weird doing it in public!

To practice this breathing technique…

  • sit comfortably, with the back tall and shoulders relaxed. Start by taking a few natural breaths, and close your eyes if you like.

  • Then, keeping the lips lightly sealed, inhale through the nostrils. Exhaling, make the sound of the letter M, essentially a humming sound. Sustain the sound until you need to inhale. Then repeat.

  • Inhale through the nose, then hum like a buzzing bee as you exhale. Continue by inhaling as needed and exhaling with this sound for several minutes.

  • You can practice as long as it feels good.

The longer you sustain the humming exhalation, the more relaxing the Bee Breath is likely to be—but forcing the breath beyond your capacity can have the reverse effect, causing even more stress. So don’t force yourself to maintain any particular speed. Inhale whenever necessary, and let the buzzing sound last as long as it is comfortable. Finally, spend a few breaths sitting quietly and noticing whether there are any changes in your breath or mood.



Liz and Susanna's Summer read

Sacred Earth Celebrations is an uplifting and inspiring source book for anyone seeking to celebrate and honour the changing rhythms and seasons of the Earth and her cycles. It explores the eight Celtic festivals, how they were celebrated and understood in the past, the underlying changing energy of the Earth, and the ways we may use this energy to create meaningful celebrations for today to deepen our connection to the Earth and our fellow human beings. Sacred Earth Celebrations deepens our understanding of the five elements, the rhythms of the Moon, Earth energies and sacred landscape, inner journeying and meditation. She explores ways to create sacred space both inside and outside, celebrations for children, crafts, the use of song and dance, garden and land projects, building a sweat lodge and labyrinths.


With love,

Liz & Susanna

x


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