Where did July get its name?
by Craig Chalquist
July, the month in which the blazing sun comes out fully to warm the Northern Hemisphere, was named in 44 BCE in honor of Julius Caesar, who had ordered the calendar remade.
Ioulos means “downy-bearded” and is thought to derive from Jupiter, king of the gods. Expansive Jupiter is the Roman counterpart to far-seeing Zeus.
Reflective questions for the mythos of July: What wants expansion in my life? Where can I shine my light? Where is my authority, and how might I exercise it beneficially?
by Zhiwa Woodbury
The global chaos and strife unleashed by last month’s Eris/Uranus conjunction has been unrelenting. Combined with the tense aspect of Saturn (karma/form) and Neptune (spirit/emptiness) that is dominating the cosmic order this year, it is tempting to disengage from worldly life. How curious, then, that America celebrated its birthday this month by making first contact with the first planet, Jupiter the benefic sky god, reuniting him with his wife Juno, on a mission we hope will give us clues about the origins of our home planet.
In times of great chaos, strife and disorderliness, do we not all need to do some soul searching? To remember our roots? Fortunately, this month we have help from a harmonious trine between Mars, the activator, and Chiron, the shamanic healer, including passing grand trines with Venus (generativity) and Mercury (inspiration). We are being asked not to turn away with harsh judgment, but to look within with compassionate honesty.
Myth and Music
by Lola McCrary
This month I would like to introduce you to the Nathaniel Johnstone Band. Based in Seattle, WA (USA) the band’s website says “Their vibrant sound crosses boundaries and borders, resulting in a blend of European, Middle Eastern, and South American music with Jazz, Rock, Surf, Folk, Gothic, and Steampunk influences.”
Nathaniel Johnstone re-tells myths, stories, and folklore from a variety of cultures. Some examples include Little Red Riding Hood, Persephone, Prometheus, Gepetto, and children’s book characters Frog and Toad. Their music (written to be danced to) is dynamic and interesting. My musical tastes are more towards the folk end of the spectrum, but I enjoy this band immensely (you can actually hear the lyrics). The album covers also have amazing art work that tells stories.
To get a feel for them you might start with “Wunderkammer, A Collection of Fan Favorites.” This album can be streamed in full here but many of their other albums can be streamed at their website.
They also have a YouTube channel: “Flight of the Ikarus” is one of my favorites — Greek myth with steampunk!
Thank you for being a member of our community. We hope you have enjoyed July’s newsletter! If you have comments or suggestions for themes, please email us and let us know. We are always happy to hear from you!
*Nathaniel Johnstone Band picture by The Dancers Eye / Corrie Meyer