Harvest season begins with a bang on August 1st, 2023, as the Aquarius Full Moon shines brightly over the Pagan summer harvest Sabbat of Lughnasadh. Some of the Aquarius Moon’s themes, such as community and contribution, will be amplified and echoed by the themes of ancient traditions that have long taken place during this warm and bountiful time of year.
Greetings, beloved seekers of Optimal Mastery! As the golden rays of August envelop us, we find ourselves at the threshold of Lughnasadh, the cherished Pagan Sabbat of the first harvest. At Optimal Mastery, we’re delighted to present this bountiful newsletter filled with enriching content and astrological insights to deepen your connection with this joyous season of abundance and community.
Our Seasonal Offerings
Discover the Traditions of Summer Harvest | Explore the rich tapestry of Summer Harvest traditions across different cultures. Our informative article sheds light on the fascinating history and practices that unite us in celebration during this time of plenty.
Astrology of August 2023
Two Super Full Moons: Double Illumination | This August, celestial wonders await! Brace yourself for two super moons; the first graces us on Lughnasadh, August 1st, in the visionary sign of Aquarius, and this full moon will be illuminating our individuality and the power of collective consciousness. The second, a Blue Moon in Pisces, book-ends the month on August 30th-31st, and will be guiding us to delve into the depths of emotions and intuitive wisdom.
New Moon in Leo: Ignite Your Inner Light | On August 16th, the New Moon in Leo will inspire us to ignite our inner light and embrace our unique gifts. This celestial event harmonizes beautifully with the season’s themes of harvest, abundance and community, encouraging us to shine brightly and share our blessings with the world.
Heavy Retrograde Energy: Six Planets Requiring Reflection | As we embark on the mystical journey of August, the cosmos bless us with a cosmic dance of retrogrades that deepen our connection with the themes of harvest, abundance, and community. We start and finish the month with Venus, Pluto, Saturn and Neptune in their retrogrades, and by the end of August we’ll see both Mercury and Uranus join the retro motion as well.
- Pluto Retrograde | May 11 to October 22 – Pluto’s transformative energy ignites our inner power and resilience. During its retrograde, we are called to release old patterns, dive into the depths of our subconscious, and unearth buried desires. Embrace the transformative power of Pluto to clear the path for the abundant growth that the harvest season offers.
- Saturn Retrograde | June 18 to November 4 – The disciplined teacher, Saturn, takes us on a journey of self-reflection and karmic reckoning. Its retrograde urges us to examine our responsibilities, boundaries and commitments. Embrace this time to solidify the foundations of your goals and aspirations, laying the groundwork for an abundant and fulfilling future.
- Neptune Retrograde | July 1 to December 6– Neptune, the planet of dreams and illusions, guides us to explore our spiritual depths during its retrograde. Dive into your subconscious, connect with your intuition, and seek inspiration from the unseen realms. This cosmic journey allows us to find meaning and guidance as we navigate the abundant possibilities that surround us.
- Venus Retrograde | July 23 to September 4 – The goddess of love and beauty, Venus, invites us to revisit our relationships and values during her retrograde. We are encouraged to reflect on self-worth, embrace self-love, as well as strengthen the bonds of love with others. Use this time to reassess what brings true abundance and fulfillment into your life, both in love and material possessions.
- Mercury Retrograde | August 24 to September 16 – The notorious Mercury retrograde nudges us to slow down and review our communications and thought patterns. It’s a time for introspection, ensuring that our words and ideas align with the abundance and harmony we seek. Embrace this period to refine your expressions and foster clear and empathetic communication within your community.
- Uranus Retrograde | August 29 to January 27 – The revolutionary planet Uranus invites us to break free from restrictive patterns and embrace change. During its retrograde, we are encouraged to explore new ideas, challenge the status quo, and strengthen community bonds through shared visions of abundance and growth.
As we journey through these powerful retrogrades, let us find solace in the wisdom of the stars and planets. Embrace the transformative energies to release what no longer serves you, cultivate self-love, and connect with the abundance that surrounds us. Together, we create a harmonious community grounded in the beauty of cosmic cycles.
Opportunity for Reflection
Lughnasadh, Lammas or First Fruits are ancient celebrations in which gratitude for the generosity and faithfulness of nature is expressed through offerings, feasts and community gatherings. This was considered a time for sacred acknowledgement of the earth’s bounty, something which wasn’t taken for granted by our ancestors. Modern Pagans have gained additional insights and now commonly acknowledge our opportunity to be guardians of the earth’s resources as well, adding a bitter-sweet depth to our observances.
Lughnasadh can be an illumined testimony to the manifestations we’ve been nurturing in our lives, especially when we use the reflective energy of the retrogrades and the illumination of the two super moons to ask questions, like:
- What do I expect my harvest to be this year and how do I feel about it?
- How have the seeds I planted in February at Imbolc grown? How have I nurtured them and in what ways has nature had effects on those goals?
- In what ways can express gratitude for this first-harvest and celebrate my progress?
Embracing Abundance and Appreciation
The beauty of the Wheel of the Year is its perpetual, inviting nature. At each Sabbat, we’re invited to reflect on the cycles of life as the seasons and their significance subtly shift our perception. When we start to pay attention, we become increasingly sensitized to the layers of correspondences and consciousness that make up the metaphysical networks of existence, consequently becoming more empowered to act in profound and impactful ways.
In addition to considering the upcoming season and what we can learn from what’s arising now, we can also ponder our thankfulness. This Lughnasadh, what are we excited to offer our gratitude for? In the light of the Aquarian Super Moon, how can we nurture our appreciation for our friends and family, for their contributions and encouragements – as well as that of our communities, both local and world-wide?
Perhaps we can bake some bread to share with our families, or find ourselves doing seasonal crafts with friends. We can attend those community BBQs or could plan a hike to indulge in the waning warmth of summer before it fades. Regardless of what represents this season of abundance for us personally, let’s take this opportunity to express our appreciation for all the varieties of richness in nature, and community, as this harvest season begins.
Blessings to you all this summer harvest. Thank you for the work you’ve been doing, those seeds you planted and your faithfulness to nurture them. If you’re inclined, please share some of your own reflections on the Sabbat, the Full Moon and how you’re experiencing these phenomena in your own lives.
May your bounty be ever abundant and your appreciation ever increasing. Happy Lughnasadh!