The Ripening Time
Animal Totem : Salmon
Astrological Sun sign : Leo
The month from 22 July to 21 August is the period when the Sun is at its hottest in the Northern hemisphere and ripens the fruit of the Earth. It is a time when traditionally, man pauses from his labours to bask in the sunshine and to refresh himself before the work of harvesting which is to come. It is the time when the whole of Nature appears to be opening up to the Sun and bringing forth its fruit in abundance.
The Ripening Time was thus regarded as a time of openness and warmth and these qualities are reflected in those people whose birthdays occur at this time.
Halfway through the month occurred a Fire festival of the old religion of Nothern Europe which was called Lammas, and by the Celts, Lughnsadh. It was held on 11 August and in Britain was sometimes called the ~Feast of the First Fruits~ It marked the first cut of harvest corn while summer was still in full swing and was the season of fairs. It recognised that after the Summer Solstice the Sun had begun to wane and its powers was declining.
Although it was a joyful, happy time it served also as a reminder that all is not as it might appear. For though the Sun was shining and the days were hot, the Circle was beginning to dip towards the dark and the days were shortening in preparation for the autumn and the approach of winter.
It was, then, a festival of remembrance – a reminder that things are not always as they may appear, and that nothing in the physical world is permanent. And it was a time for reflection – a reminder of what we are now and what we hope to become.
Influencing Wind : The South Wind
Influencing Direction : South
The warm south winds bring a flow of vital energies brings an emphasis in the Ripening Time on the needs to trust ones feelings and intuitions during the pain of change which will be experienced during the process of maturing.
Fire with Water
Elemental water is the influence of the directional power of the South and is concerned with the emotions and feelings. But water is also a ~mixing~ agent, a means of changing through dissolving and diluting – so it also has to do with transformation.
Elemental Fire is the influence of the cyclical power of the Sun and it is this influence which makes the people born in the Ripening Time activators and trail blazers and full of zest.
The Birth and animal totem is Salmon
In Britain and northern Europe in ancient times the Salmon was regarded as the king of the Fishes. The salon is a magnificant creature that can grow to a length of up to 120 cm (4ft) and weigh over 30 kg (66lbs) and displays an amazing feat of navigational skill as it finds its way from the sea to the river of its birth and swims upstream to its spawning grounds. In this journey it can leap waterfalls up to 3 metres (10 ft) high.
Perhaps because of this tremendous achievement, the salmon in legendary tales was said to swim in waters of inspiration and for3eknowledge, and was thus associated with wisdom and with strength of purpose.
A similar fish, the sturgeon, was used as a totem among many American Indian tribes. It too moves between sea and fresh water, living in the muddy bottoms of estuaries and moving upstream to more shallow waters to spawn in the spring. The sturgeon was regarded as the Keeper of Longevity because it could survive to a ripe old age.
The movement of salmon and sturgeon through the water is so graceful that the fish cause almost no disturbance. Since water is related to the emotions and the salon is such a master of the water, the lesson of life for those people born with Salmon as their birth totem is to attain mastery of their emotions.
The Mineral Totem is Carnelian
Carnelian is a translucent to clear chalcedony, a smooth, waxy form of quartz which is found in rock cavities. It is flesh coloured, or red, orange or reddish brown. Its name means “flesh-coloured”. It is the stone of integrity and was often a symbol of strength and beauty of the earth.
Carnelian has a subtle vibrant quality and was therefore attributed with the ability to stimulate and to stir into action. It is a stone of blood ties and family unity since its principal theme is to strengthen. It is credited with curative powers and used in general healing. It was sometimes suspended on a thong and used as a pendulum above a wound and its circular movement was said to start the healing process.