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A new lunar month and a new lunar journey begin with the Micro New Moon in Leo on Wednesday, August 16, 2023 @ 2:38 am PDT / 09:38 UTC. Blessings on this new journey through a golden month of harvests and blessings!

As I walk the local greenways and parks here in Vancouver at this time of year, I cannot help but think of August as a golden month. The grasses, scorched and dried by our usual summer droughts and heat, are yellow, also the colour of the grains being harvested in nearby farmers’ fields, rich with grains such as wheat, barley and corn. Yellow flowers such as tansy, yellow flag, goldenrod, and mullein are everywhere, ready for me to collect and transform into tinctures or infused oils, dyes, or for drying for use as fibre for basket making. And I have been been busy harvesting and preserving summer fruits, herbs and berries, making jams and shrubs, and dehydrating the excess.

And the light… oh, the light! You may be familiar with “golden hour”, a phenomenon that occurs each day around sunrise and sunset. Some even call this time the “magic hour”. Photographers love it, and so do I! During golden hour, the sun is low on the horizon, the shadows lengthen and everything takes on a soft golden hue. That hour may be shorter or longer, depending on the time of year (typically longer in winter) and your geographic location.

For me, this is a month of ripening energies, of fruition — and the hint of decay, as many plants exhaust their energies as they come to their fullness at the end of their growth cycle. Soon we will see the decaying beauty of autumn leaves, as they gently prepare to shed their leaves and withdraw their sap to their roots for the winter. They exit in a vibrant blaze of golds and reds, celebrating that they are complete for now and will be reborn in the summer.

That whiff of decay is not the end but a stage of rebirth. I look at the overlooked or unpicked fruits, rotting on the tree or dropping to the ground, feasted on by insects and birds… each process allowing its seeds to scatter and create new life elsewhere.

For me, the golden hour is not just a time of the day — sunrise or sunset — but a time of the year. We are approaching the “sunset” of autumn equinox and Samhain, when we north of the Tropic of Cancer move into the dark season of the year. Those south of the Tropic of Capricorn are approaching the “sunrise” of the year as they approach the spring equinox and Bealtaine, the light season of the year. 

It is also a time of life —  the golden years of those approaching their own twilight, their own sunset and supported by the Crone energies and goddesses, which for me is embodied in An Cailleach. And let us remember that An Cailleach is not a representative of death and endings but of cycles of creation and transformation: in various Celtic tales and lore, it is she who creates the world around us, the landscape and the seas.

For the coming lunar month, I will embrace these golden times and give gratitude for the harvest(s) in my life… for the lessons learned, for the fruition of projects and plans I have initiated, and for the relationships I have nurtured and sustained.

What are your thoughts on the golden times and magic hours?

How will you honour and celebrate this golden month?

And what will you choose as your theme for this lunar month — my theme of the golden harvest, gratitude and blessings, or something that resonates especially for you?

Soul Work for the Micro New Moon in Leo

This new moon arrives in Leo — a fixed fire sign ruled by the Sun itself — and it most definitely has a connection to gratitude. At its heart is courage — coeur-age (coeur means “heart” in French) — and we already know that gratitude (from the Latin word gratia meaning thankfulness or grace, and the Proto-Indo-European word gwere meaning “to favour”) is also heart-based, love-based (“grá” in Irish, meaning love, is also from the Latin gratia).

Leo inspires heart-led, and heart-inspired sensibilities and actions.

As noted above, my theme — and my focus — for this new lunar month is embracing these golden times and giving gratitude for the harvest(s) in my life.

Practising Gratitude

Gratitude practices and rituals can be observed each and every day, or perhaps just when you have something in particular for which you are grateful, bringing it to your conscious awareness through meditation or journaling.

Create a time and place, a ritual in a sense, for acknowledging that there is a place for gratitude in your life, that there is something to be grateful for. Perhaps it’s over your morning tea or coffee. Perhaps it’s during a special time you carve out for yourself once a day or once a week. Perhaps it’s during some quiet time in the evening.  But do create the time, and begin or continue to focus on the positive elements of your life and acknowledging your gratitude for them.

You could also:

  • begin a gratitude or blessings jar, noting on a slip of paper for what you are grateful, and see how quickly that jar fills.
  • journal your thoughts about an item in your gratitude jar, such as what you gained, what you learned, how you could pay it forward, how you could sustain that outcome in your life, etc.
  • practise viewing the world from a place of gratitude and abundance. How different would you world look if you did so, and what possibilities might now seem within reach?
empty glass jar labelled gratitude, with instructions on how to use.
Image sourced from an Etsy shop (not an affiliate link)

If you find you need a little courage / coeur-age for this soul work, check out the post from the Inner Journey Events blog, in which I share a favourite ritual / spell for enhancing courage based on one created by Ann Moura in her Grimoire for the Green Witch, which also includes a courage essential formulation from Scott Cunningham’s The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews. Click the image below to access or here.

Preparing to make a Courage Essential Oil Blend
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