Dark side of August – an “inauspicious”, ghost month
August is known as the “ghost month” in some cultures or regions, and it is associated with melancholy, hardships, and scarcity.
In Chinese tradition, the Ghost Month, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, is the seventh month of the lunar calendar. This month is considered a time when the gates of the afterlife are believed to open, allowing spirits and ghosts to roam the earthly realm. The festival is rooted in Taoism and Chinese Buddhism and is observed to honor and appease these spirits. During this time, people make offerings of food, incense, and other items to their ancestors and deceased loved ones.
During this season, people are advised to avoid activities such as evening travel or moving into new residences, as these are thought to attract wandering spirits.
“Kawit ang Palakol”
July and August were considered tribulation months in the Philippines. “Kawit ang palakol,” or “hanging axe” (or an axe hanging over someone’s head), as our grandparents used to say, refers to the times when we were supposed to be frugal in our spending. When resources were short during this time, we were also urged to “tighten our belts.”
But how did the phrase “Kawit ang palakol” come about?
People from the lowlands, such as those in Luzon, one of the Philippines’ three major regions, would collect dried wood or sticks from the mountains to sell as firewood or charcoal. When it rained in July and August, however, the wood gatherers were unable to continue their work, so they hung the ax. Without wood, there is no money to be made.
So, is August really an inauspicious month; a month of scarcity?
It is, if you think about it that way. True, according to Astrology, this month may offer extra challenges as well as unpleasant surprises, especially with numerous planetary retrogrades. We also have the dreadful Mercury retrograde from August 23 to September 14.
Nonetheless, it is beneficial to maintain a positive attitude as you handle everything you may face this month.
Mercury retrograde astrological insights for each zodiac sign
Mercury retrograde periods provide opportunity for introspection, review, and modification of plans. During this time, you may need to be patient, have an open mind, and use this opportunity to fine-tune your ideas and perspectives.
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
This Mercury retrograde may cause communication difficulties, particularly in your work life. Check your work twice and be patient with coworkers. Use this time to revisit and adjust your career objectives.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
During this retrograde, focus on your trip plans and intellectual activities. Delays are probable, so prepare for them. Reconsider a course or project you placed on hold.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Because Mercury is your ruling planet, this retrograde may have a more significant effect on you. Contracts and agreements should be handled with caution, and major financial decisions should be avoided. Reassess the shared financial situation matters.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Relationships can have misunderstandings. Make honest communication with your loved ones a top priority. Take advantage of this time to address any unsolved emotional concerns.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Mercury retrograde may have an effect on your everyday habits and health. Take particular care of yourself and avoid overcommitting. Reevaluate your wellness routine and make any required changes.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Because Mercury is your ruling planet, you may feel the impacts strongly. Concentrate on introspection and self-reflection. This is a wonderful moment to examine your own goals and make any required changes.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Mercury retrograde may have an impact on your creativity as well as your interactions with children or love partners. Avoid avoidable conflicts by being patient. Revisit old projects or passions.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Communication breakdowns at home or with family members are possible. Use this time to handle any outstanding issues in your household. If necessary, reevaluate your living circumstances.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Pay close attention to your speech, particularly in interpersonal relationships. Check your trip plans and transportation arrangements twice. Reestablish contact with neighbors or siblings.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
Mercury retrograde may have an effect on your financial decisions and beliefs. Avoid big buys or investments. Use this time to reassess your budget and financial objectives.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Miscommunications may occur in both your personal and professional lives. Keep your intentions clear and avoid unnecessary arguments. Examine your personal objectives and ambitions.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
This retrograde may present difficulties with self-care and wellness. Work on relaxation and regeneration. Rethink your routines and make changes that improve your health.