The Open-Hearted Buck Moon.
Before diving in, we should recognize that the name Buck Moon was given to the July moon by the Algonquin. There are many names for the July moon: the salmon moon, thunder moon, hay moon, feather molting moon, berry moon, and mead moon.
Something about the buck moon and thunder moon names feel especially appropriate this year. There's a different perfume within in the air.
With every deep breath drawn into my lungs, keeping this moon in mind, there is a striking call - to the bright center of our strength. Coming home to center. It's not just the peak of summer, but also the power of the lion, in their stoic sense, taking no shade - yet relaxing in it. The assuredness of center that comes. The spark of growth of the deer's antlers. These thoughts swirling through my mind after the emotional and water cycle of the Cancer Moon.
This Moonletter calls for something a little extra special.
Our July Buck Moon is falling into a particularly sunny spot (Leo Season - which, to be fair, is mostly on my mind from reading the gorgeous AstroEdit for the season from AP Astrology), and it's a perfect time to dip into the intense energy here.
Deer get their new growth at this time of year, and while the thunder tends to roll through - we need to lean into the sun and the heart-opening energy provided to us. This growth and disruption - a shaking of our energies, affords great opportunities. It's the kind of disruption that we need as we turn the peak toward harvest season.
So, let's wander open-hearted through some correspondences that we might use to amplify our needs and intents through this moon.
The Strength Card in Tarot.
Not shockingly, it shares correspondence to part of our theme- strength. Aptly named, I know.
This card is the ability to face troubles with hope and eagerness, knowing that we have the power to rise while channeling trust and respect.
Strength is the embodiment of the courageous soul. Strength encourages us to remember that we can face whatever lies before us head-on, that we are strong and wise enough to pull through.
If we stand with outstretched arms, let the warmth of Strength and the Sun. Here we can channel action, courage, and control.
The strength card also poses the question, where do my strengths lie?
How might I channel and honor them?
In the Likely Tarot, and Orange sits as the sun on the strength card.
It's a gentle but deep and powerful citrus. The orange hue calls brightly to me in meditations on this moon. The warm, bright strength of the sun.
A sweet friend, Brigid from @goddessgrownpothecary has a lip salve that seems perfect for what's in mind here. With a little extra cinnamon for that sweet success of your wishes.
This Full moon also comes at the beginning Leo season, and falls just before Lughnasadh or Lammas - making it even more of a sun honouring moon. Harvest sea coming for us soon.
But our feature plant is Tagetes!
Perhaps it's not a direct correspondence, but it feels an important one to highlight for this moonletter. It's in full bloom around my house, and genuinely brings a bright comforting presence - with a bonus of keeping pests away.
Tagetes, commonly called Marigold in North America, is a beloved annual. Not to be confused, the pot marigold, the calendula relative.
Properties: health, divination, comfort
Other names: Mexican Marigold, Aztec Marigold, Flower of the Dead, Big Marigold, huacatay
Tagetes are native to Mexico, but some species have been naturalized throughout the world. Tagetes erecta is used in food colouring in some places. It makes an excellent companion plant, as many pests are repelled by it. It is easy to grow, and each flower head produces seed that is easily saved in the freezer for planting the following year.
Marigold is an important flower in religious ceremonies in Nepal, and decorates Hindu temples in India. In Mexico it is used to decorate ancestral altars. It is often used as a symbol of comfort to those who are grieving.
Add to spells that seek passion, warmth and creativity, or when comfort is needed.
This is the reason that it feels important. As we lean into our strengths, cultivate our passions, prepare for harvest - having the comfort of this plant, and the communing with out ancestors is a tool to have in our pockets.
A bit more about the types of tagetes:
Common Types of Tagetes / Marigold: From Garden Design
There are approximately 50 species of marigold, but the 3 most common are:
Tagetes patula (French marigold): The most common type found in local nurseries, these range in size from 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 9 inches wide. They are compact annuals with double flower heads up to 2 inches across.
Tagetes erecta (African marigold): These are the tallest variety of marigolds and range in height from 1 to 4 feet, and have a 1 to 2 foot spread. Their large flowerheads can reach up to 5 inches across, are densely double and pompon-like.
Tagetes tenuifolia (Signet marigold): Upright annuals that grow up to 12 inches tall and wide. Flowerheads are single and are usually 1 inch in size. The flowers are edible and often used as a bright topper for salads, pasta and vegetables.
I don't know about you, but I'm planning to have a small fire, and do some meditating for this moon. I'll add some tagetes and birch (for new beginnings) as offerings.
Some journalling, and preparations for this leg of the season. Spending some time opening our hearts to our strengths.
Finding ways to stand in our power.
Using the tools we already have in our grasp.
Owning our whole selves.
Stepping forward, calmly, and attentively...
Like the Lion.
Happy moon to you all - and thank you for being here!
I hope you enjoyed this moonletter 🖤
I'm looking forward to evolving these more as the big work for the kickstarter is done, and adding to the offering here - so stay tuned! Happy to hear your thoughts on what might make them better as well!