Lughnasa without Grain

The only thing I have to do on July 31st is drop off the rent check. We still pay for rent by check here, another one of those stripped-down things about this building that I’m used to dealing with.

August 1 is Lughnasa, Lammas, the midpoint between summer and autumn in which the harvest begins. It’s the time we recognize that summer is winding down, and we much prepare for winter. For me, this is the last month I expect to be working from home most days, and I will miss it. My apartment is so much nicer than my office, and working from home has allowed me to strip away a lot of the unnecessary things that were harming me, and now I have to figure out how to adjust without going back to all that excess.

Bras. Grown-up shoes. Commuting. Fluorescent lighting. Packing a lunch/buying a lunch. Office noises. Office clothing. Clothing in general, some days.

Then again, it’s also been incredibly stressful working from home most days and being thrust into a digital working world when your office is actually still analog, and it can be daunting and disorienting to go back and forth from one to the other, because you will inevitably forget something, or you will not use the right form, or not have one with you. I don’t own a printer anymore because what’s the point?

But as far as my own body is concerned, I can bring a lamp to work, get minimalist shoes, minimalist bras, and figure out how to wear full suits to court again. I can make it a habit to bring my lunch (the food choices near work are pretty poor), and I can find a way to make my commute not so terrible by listening to music.

But the middle of summer is here.

And just for the middle of summer, we have one treat: the sun trine Jupiter in the fire signs.

This is not a treat for everyone, especially fire sign folks (like me). I’m currently experiencing a transiting grand trine with the transiting Sun and my natal Sun and Moon. The idea that trines or even grand trines are a blessing isn’t entirely accurate: it just makes things easier. In a natal chart, it’s a flowing energy that makes things come easy to the individual. That could mean blessings or talents, but also whatever it is of that element comes easier. My fire trine between the sun and the moon made exploration and individuality (fire) come more easily to me, but it also attracted my father’s rage very easily (also fire) because he felt that no female should ever be happy with themselves, because why should women love themselves when he hated women so? But the trine also makes it easier to get up and start new things (Aries) and to look toward the future and stay optimistic (Sagittarius).

It’s just that trines aren’t necessarily halos, even if they can appear that way sometimes.

But the Sun and Jupiter trining in the fire signs? This could symbolize generosity at it’s best, but in reality, it’s a lot of MORE ME. Jupiter expands Aries’ need to be number one, and a Leo Sun is demanding self-expression. The best thing we can get out of this is a period in which everything is normalized, nothing is weird, or everything is weird and no one gives a shit right now because we’re all just doing our own things and not really paying attention to each other in a way that would make us insecure or have cognitive dissonance.

What can you do with this energy that’s about what, a week long? Use it as a time to take the Isley Brother’s advice:

Now, if you come from a place like America that is just drowning in destructive shit like religion and conspiracy theories (which are really just two sides of the same coin), you may find that difficult, but if you consider this one, very important thing, it’ll make things easier:

You’re not important, and no one gives a shit enough to conspire against you. Big pharma? It’s about money. Big agro? Money. Big government? Money. It’s all money, and it’s ironic that the people who cling the most to religion and conspiracy theories are some of the biggest supporters of rugged individualism and free market capitalism that makes these conspiracies possible: it’s like they want to be slaves to a master.

Liberation or Reckoning: The Taurus Stellium, the Fire Trine

And I have this stellium in my second house, just past my natal chiron, opposing my natal Mercury
Rx/Uranus conjunction, so that’s been a fucking blast for me lately, and I tell you: the fire grand trine is only helping me in so far that I am having a moment of deep self-acceptance, and this happens every year around this time, but right now, I’m thankful for the way it (slightly) mitigates this opposition for me:

Uranus is opposing my natal Uranus, which is the mid-life crisis, and this trine is kind of making those changes easier, or at least something I’m willing to share and accept about myself. Transiting Uranus is also opposing my natal Mercury, and Transiting Uranus is joined by Mars and the North Node.

The North Node in Taurus deals with karma and destiny of the practical, the sensual, the real, and in particular, the Earth. Not just climate change, not just what you eat and how it reflects your values, not just what you have or consume, but how that affects everyone. Ecology, but more specifically, human interaction with the Earth. But also, shit’s getting pretty expensive because this whole globalism thing, this how fossil fuel thing (South Node in Scorpio) is hurting not just the pocketbooks, but the Earth. As a planet, we managed to deal with the ozone depletion enough, with enough cooperation, but climate change and the dependence on fossil fuels is trickier, because it involves so much more…money.

And I don’t just mean for national leaders and plutocrats. I mean for the people, as there’s the question of how far does your food have to travel to get to you in order for you to have all the nutrition you need, and then there’s a question of how much those foods have to be processed before you can eat them – have you ever seen how canola oil is made? And sure, extra virgin oil olive and extra virgin avocado oil go through much less processing, but for someone living here in Chicago, where am I going to find the local avocado and olive orchards that can make this stuff for me? Corn is a big monocrop here in Illinois, and we can get that stuff, so corn oil it is. And corn. Lots of corn.

This isn’t a rhetorical question anymore. You really have to confront fossil fuel prices in the cost of your foods because this is no longer just a warning. And if the answer to this and climate change is “well, everyone should be vegetarian” then what happens when those fossil fuels are diverted to all the processing and all the travel required to make nutritionally adequate vegetarian food for the masses?

And for those of who can’t? Because I’m one of those people who thrives on an animal-based diet and suffers on a plant-based diet, and even though I’ve waived a lot in the past couple years, I can return to it and heal. I don’t want to go back to a bunch of medication, misery, infertility, and pain.

Taurus, however, isn’t about sacrifice. It doesn’t “do” sacrifice – that’s Pisces. It also doesn’t share — that begins with Gemini. Taurus is about security and tangible and intangible values. It’s not the home, which is Cancer, but it can certainly be the stuff inside the house, which are moveable possessions. It’s not ground travel, which is Gemini, but it can certainly be the particular car, which is a possession. Likewise, Taurus is not investing, which is Scorpio, but Taurus doesn’t take money out of its piggy bank and food out of its mouth for a speculative thing. As the north node moves through Taurus and then through Aries, it will be interesting to see what my country does about shortages, because cooperation hasn’t been our thing for a very, very long time.

Mars in Taurus is in detriment. It still works, just not in the particular job it prefers to have. Right now, the wild child who wants to take up arms and run to the front of the line is stuck in the supply room taking inventory. You better believe that is he wants it, those supplies will be stacked and sorted in record time so he can fuck off and stop working, but the frustration is always there. Natally, Mars in Taurus has a stubborn streak; you know them as the people who won’t do anything unless they think it’s their idea, and they do it in their own damned time, but when they’re ready, everyone else has to pick up the pace and go, RIGHT NOW. Their inertia comes from within: slow to start but impossible to slow down. So, when you have this in transit, it kind of feels like the world is working at some other pace that’s not yours, or, if you’re keeping the pace, that you have no choice but to keep this train going even if you desperately want to stop for a pee break at the next station.

And Mars doesn’t stay in each sign for that long, but the trouble is that it’s giving a lot of energy to the North Node, and it’s a very now-or-never energy, and I know this: I have an exact Mars and North Node conjunction but in Virgo, and I can’t recall a single time in my life in which I wasn’t having an existential crisis. On top of the whole Sagittarius midheaven need for work that has meaning, this kind of conjunction can create either a crisis or purpose or a great drive to seek out purpose and to seek out karmic connections and experiences because there is a very strong need to fulfill some karmic purpose in this life. In Virgo, a lot of things are discarded or acquired depending on their utility, but in Taurus, the strong need to fulfill a karmic purpose or rather, a karmic need or wish is in the acquiring. This is a time in which we’re all more likely to feel that we need to get the things we want or need, and why wait? Why wait until retirement to get that nice car, or why wait out a job you hate at all when literally, there’s so many out there? If there’s one thing we know, there’s so much advice out there that once you get used to confirmation bias and realize it’s not working for you, you need to do the Taurean thing of not listening to any of it and just doing what feels right because today is all we have. Whatever house this is happening in will show you what needs to be changed to align more with your actual values (and not the values you think you’re supposed to have).

And complicate that with Uranus in the mix. Because it’s going to happen in a very weird, sudden, and surprising way. Mars and Uranus is a volatile conjunction. At it’s highest, it’s idealism met with action, and neutrally, it’s revolution, and at its very worst, it’s psychopathic, violence without warning justified by shifting rules. Give it the justification of the North Node, and this can be some pretty poisonous energy. The good news? It’s the dose and the recipient that matters — hell, there’s an insecticide you probably drink every morning that people even block traffic to get in line to buy overpriced, over-sugared vats of it at their local Starbucks. Hell, some of those people even think it’s a substitute for a personality.

This trifecta of urgency is going to hurt if it’s hitting any personal planets of yours, any angles, or making a strong aspect to a generational planet that’s important in your chart, but if you’ve noticed a sense of urgency to do something, anything, god damned it! Or rude awakening, see where this is hitting in your natal chart. Chances are that even though it’s in Taurus, it may not be as real or as urgent as it seems because the inertia only gets faster with this sort of conjunction, and there’s no slowing down. If you’re prone to worrying, you may have a lot of anxiety in whatever area of life/house this is hitting.

It is good for something though: do you want to make an urgent change, do you want to change the rules and just do whatever you want to do? Like, if Taurus rules your 6th house and this is in your 6th house, maybe you want to work or care for your health the way that feels right to you and fuck everyone else. Or maybe if it’s in your 11th house, it feels like it’s urgent to follow your dreams regardless of what anyone else has to say about them. And what do they know anyway? Or perhaps you have Taurus ruling your 9th house and your aspirations to get the fuck out of dodge or go to college feel urgent: you want to be a solid expert in something, right now.

I suppose it also doesn’t help that Saturn retrograde is making a square to these things, holding it all back, making you wait and see from the sidelines before making your move, which in true Aquarius style, will be sudden, weird, and alienating. Saturn retrograde doesn’t mean that Saturn stops holding back. All retrograde planets still fulfill their essential purpose. Mercury retrograde doesn’t mean everyone stops being able to speak. Venus retrograde doesn’t mean that people stop loving or stop seeking pleasure. Likewise, I find that Saturn retrograde tends to make it seem as if the fathers, the rulemakers, and the structures that govern us have taken a vacation. They’re still there, but now there’s a substitute teacher here and he doesn’t know what the hell is going on. [Ever been a substitute teacher? I have. It sucks.] Even still, the actual authority figure is coming back soon. Saturn in Aquarius as the substitute teacher is kind of allowing the class to run itself until the bell rings, probably placing too much faith in the kids’ ability to regulate themselves and not test boundaries. Saturn retrograde in late Aquarius definitely has a sort of lack of authority, a more hands-off approach, a sort of imminent downfall if you do what you dare feeling, but also a time to sit back and think about who you’re allowing to make decisions for you, whose rules your blindly accepting, and who you can start to ignore in order to do what you think is right — and not simply right for you, but right for everyone, because Saturn in Aquarius is about the welfare of the collective, not the individual.

Oh, and Mercury makes it a T-square. And that’s not a bad thing. The tension between what we collectively think is right (Saturn in Aquarius) and what we personally think regardless of the rules, the experts, or the content that we’ll put out in the world anyway (Mercury in Leo), focuses it’s energy on the apex, the Taurus stellium. If you need motivation to make a move, see where this is all hitting in your chart.

For me, this is all 6th house/12th house/2nd house. I am doing things. I’m giving up the gods and masters I may have left. I’m paying off debt. I’m making an earnest lifestyle change. I’m even quitting coffee and expect to be dwindled down to none by the end of the week. But there is a sense of urgency with all of this, to be liberated from the things I refused to see as inhibiting, to focus on my health too, and to take ownership of this body and actually work toward transforming it into something that will last.

And also, mid-life crisis, so that’s been interesting.

But what about Lughnasa?

Lughnasa is an Earth holiday, not a solar one, so don’t sweat a prediction for now until the equinox, but I like Earth holidays. I like the idea of a holiday like this, because to me, this is the precursor to the gratitude days. I went to Starved Rock this weekend, and on the one trail that wasn’t crowded – the trail from the overflow parking to the lodge – you could take time to notice things. You could take time to see the green grapes on the vine, the rosehips are getting plumper and redder, and the last of the summer prairie wildflowers are still holding on but not much longer, but the dots of yellow, purple, and blue can still be seen here and there. Even on the way, I saw the green corn reaching up to the endless Midwestern sky, the little green apples on my neighbor’s tree dangling like little ornaments, no strain to the branches.

And I love to drive long distances by myself, and I will always be enchanted and awed by the endless skies here in the Midwest. On Saturday, it was dappled with fluffy white clouds. On Friday, the clouds hung low and dark in Chicago, but they didn’t drop rain. Today, they were tuffs and streams of fluff across the sky. And it was hot out and bright this weekend, but I have a secret formula for naturally increasing sun tolerance.

School is still out, and the kids have a few weeks left, which means I have a few weeks left of being able to leave for my commute later because I pass like four high schools and three Starbucks on my commute normally.

And this should be a nice time for me right? Grand fire trine and all — something has to come easy right about now, right? We’re outdoors people, summer people, but I tell you, this was a subdued summer. My sister came to visit for Pride. I accomplished some things at work. However, I don’t feel that this summer is a summer of accomplishments or milestones, but rather, a time of waiting for what is sewn to grow ready for the harvest. After all, it’s autumn that is my work time, Virgo season, when it all begins.

Because the sun isn’t bad for you, you know. It’s good for you. It’s just bad when mixed with the crap you expose your body to without a second thought, without gradually increasing exposure from spring to summer.

This week, I learned to take off my sunglasses when I went outside. At first it hurt. I got a headache. I squinted. However, I didn’t force myself to keep them off, and now, I can go out and see the sunshine in all it’s glow and glory.

And it feels really good.

In about seven weeks, the season will change, and the harvest will be upon us. The time to slow down, to bundle up, and to persevere will be here soon enough.

One thought on “Lughnasa without Grain

  1. Pingback: reblog…Lughnasa without Grain — Fugitive Umbrellas – The Rose Cauldron

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