July 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
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Volume 2, Number 7

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.

Calendar Page
Special Days and Aspects for July 2003

July 2003
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Welcome to July! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.

July 1, 2003

Jupiter at 18 degrees Leo trine retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
Pluto transforms and Jupiter expands and together they can initiate positive changes, both in the individuals personally affected by this transit and people of goodwill everywhere who seek to bring out reform and improve conditions around the world. Don’t be daunted by Pluto’s retrograde motion. While it may indicate that actions begun now could be undone later, it also provides us with the chance to experience the power of this transit several times.

Mercury at 3 degrees Cancer conjunct Saturn
Intellectual Mercury becomes the poster child for concentration and precision when combined with Saturn’s discipline. Saturn’s critical faculties add depth to the occasional Mercurial hair-splitting and give a steady voice to the watery intuitions of Cancer.

Mercury at 5 degrees Cancer trine Mars in Pisces
Another good influence for tough mental work and long-term planning, but unlike the quiet competence bestowed by the trine from Saturn, this transit will assist with the creation of new and innovative ideas, and give you the balls to shout about them.

Canada Day: This national holiday celebrates Canadian political independence, dating to July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act united Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as a confederation. Ties to the British were never entirely severed, and the monarch of the United Kingdom retains a figurehead position in Canada even today.

Gettysburg Day: The famous battle on this day in 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, pushed back Confederate forces and created a turning point for Union victory in the American Civil War.

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July 2, 2003

Gion Matsuri: Celebrated through the entire month of July, this Japanese festival began as a way of thanking the gods for bringing an end to an epidemic that killed hundreds in Kyoto more than 1,000 years ago. The plague, which occurred in the year 869, ended after the high priest of the Gion Shrine built a special shrine of 66 spears and brought it to the emperor’s garden. The people celebrated with a grateful procession through the city of Kyoto, and the custom continues today. Many of the floats in the parades are decorated with old and valuable Oriental and European art. This is one of the three most important festivals of Japan.

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July 3, 2003

Dog Days begin: The Dog Star, Sirius, rises with the Sun during the hottest days of summer in the northern hemisphere, July 3 through August 11. The ancient Romans noted the Dog Days in their calendar, and the expression lives on as a fitting description of this sultry period of the year, even with people who wouldn’t guess it was named for a star. Sirius, in the “Big Dog” constellation Canis Majora, is the brightest star in the night sky. During the Dog Days, Sirius was seen by the ancients as adding its heat to the Sun’s. The Dog Days occur a little later now than they used to. Dogs and perhaps people are suspected of going a bit mad during this time.

St. Thomas Day: “Doubting Thomas,” the apostle who wouldn’t believe in the resurrection until he touched Jesus’ wounds himself, is honored on this day in the Roman Catholic Church. Thomas founded Christian communities in India and is the patron saint of India and Pakistan.

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July 4, 2003

Venus enters Cancer
Venus expresses her love through family relationships this month, as she begins her turn in home-oriented Cancer. Even the most stoic earth signs and flightiest of the air signs will feel the odd stab of sentimentality and take secret solace in the warmth of nostalgia as bridge-building Venus concentrates on our closest and most permanent relationships.

American Independence Day: On the Fourth of July, 1776, Britain’s American colonies declared their independence. The Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approved the final version of the Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson. John Hancock signed the document first, commenting that he wrote his name large enough for King George to read it without spectacles. Fifty-five other representatives signed after him, leading to the Revolutionary War and the birth of the United States.

Apache Maidens Rites of Passage: The Mescalero Apaches of Mescalero, New Mexico - once forbidden to congregate - were allowed by the U.S. government beginning in 1911 to gather together for Fourth of July festivities. The tribe used the occasion to restore the traditional coming-of-age festival for girls becoming young women. With ceremonies, dancing and feasting, they symbolically prepare for a rewarding adult life.

Yaqui Fiesta of Santa Isobel: The Yaqui Indians of Arizona and Mexico stay up all night as dancers perform the Coyote Dance, a ceremonial dance for the honored dead in which the performers dress and move as coyotes.

Other Native American Powwows: Many tribes hold Fourth of July powwows to gather together and celebrate their history and customs.

Tom Sawyer Day: The town of Hannibal, Missouri, celebrates author Mark Twain with fence-painting and frog-jumping contests based on Twain’s classic 1876 novel.

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July 5, 2003

Sun at 13 degrees Cancer conjunct Mercury
The powerful light of the Sun conjoins with intellectual Mercury today, rounding out a week of positive aspects that promote communication and the sharing of ideas. Check your natal chart to see which house this conjunction will occur in, and then plan to use this powerful, but short-lived energy to clear up any outstanding issues pertaining to the affairs of that house.

Venezuela Independence Day: Venezuela was the first South American country to declare independence from Spain, on this day in 1811. Freedom was won in 1821.

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July 6, 2003

Venus at 2 degrees Cancer trine retrograde Uranus in Pisces
Beautiful, creative, inspiring - expect no less from today as Venus, the patroness of the arts, trines dynamically space age Uranus. Carve out a moment to paint, write, dance or dream - you won’t be disappointed!

Birthday of the Dalai Lama: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, whose title means “Oceanic Guru,” is 68. As the leader of Tibetan Buddhists, each Dalai Lama is considered the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama in a line going back to the 14th century. His birthday, across the centuries, is always celebrated July 6. When a Dalai Lama dies, other Tibetan holy men search the country for the child who is his new incarnation. The current Dalai Lama was born in 1935 and was enthroned as ruler of Tibet in 1940. Since a failed 1959 revolt against Chinese occupation of Tibet, he has been forced to live outside his country.

San Fermin Festival begins: The famous Pamplona, Spain, “running of the bulls” is a daily part of this festival in honor of a bishop of the city. The 400-year-old tradition calls for young men to demonstrate their bravery by running ahead of the bulls on the way to the bullfighting ring. Ernest Hemingway incorporated the event into his novel The Sun Also Rises. The festival ends July 14.

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July 7, 2003

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Libra, 2:32 Universal Time.

Festival of Juno Caprotina: This ancient holiday was dedicated to Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage. Juno is also one of the goddess asteroids sometimes used in astrology.

Tanabata Star Festival: The stars Vega and Altair once were a princess and her peasant husband, according to a Chinese legend adopted by the Japanese. The two were forced to separate by the king, who placed them on opposite sides of the Milky Way, or River of Heaven. But on the seventh day of the seventh month, magpies form a bridge across the river, allowing them to meet. If it rains, the lovers have to wait another year. The Japanese decorate for the occasion with colorful paper streamers and origami.

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July 8, 2003

Venus at 4 degrees Cancer conjunct Saturn
Stern Saturn hobbles Venus’ otherwise freewheeling stride. While not quite as challenging as some of the other Venus/Saturn aspects, the conjunction at the very least can put a strain on the expression of love, magnifying the faults of your lover and cooling the ardor of Venus. On the positive side, it’s not unheard of for long-lost soulmates to reunite under this influence, but just bear in mind that a soulmate reunion brings with it powerful Karma, and not all of it is likely to be of the softly sighing variety.

Festival of Castor and Pollux: The constellation Gemini (the twins) is a celestial illustration of the legend of Castor and Pollux, twin gods in Greco-Roman mythology. Leda was mother of both, but Castor was the son of a mortal, Tyndareus, while Pollux was an immortal son of mighty Zeus. Following Castor’s death, Pollux sought a way to leave the earth and join his brother in the afterworld. Zeus consented, and allowed the pair to split their time between the heavens and the underworld. Eventually, they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The Romans established this festival in their honor to thank the twins for their help in battle.

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July 9, 2003

Martyrdom of the Bab: Baha’i observance in honor of the faith’s first prophet, Ali Mohammed, who was executed in 1850 by political and religious powers in his native Persia. Believers abstain from commerce and work.

Argentine Independence Day: On this day in 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.

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July 10, 2003

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the northern hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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July 11, 2003

Venus at 8 degrees Cancer trine Mars in Pisces
Venus, the embodiment of feminine energy, tangos today with macho Mars. It’s an unfair match, as fiery Mars is likely feeling a little washed out by his trip through Pisces’ oceans. Expect less of the unbridled passions we typically see when these two collide and more cuddling under the covers and whispering sweet-nothings. Don’t worry, Mars - you’ll get to throw her over your shoulder caveman style later this summer when your dignity is restored in Aries.

Nadam: The Mongolia region in China has been holding Nadam festivals at least as far back as the 13th century, when explorer Marco Polo attended. Nomadic people pitch a tent city at the fairgrounds, and hundreds compete in wrestling, archery and horse races.

St. Benedict Day: Catholic observance in honor of the father of the Benedictine Order of monks, the first order of the western monastic tradition, founded in the early sixth century.

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July 12, 2003

Wedding Day in Macedonia: The Eastern European village of Galicnik, Macedonia, which is isolated by snow during winter, throws a community wedding day each summer on this date. Communal wedding festivities are an ancient custom in the region and once were common practice in many towns. The men who had left their hometowns to seek their fortunes would return to be married on a day of mass nuptials. The custom continues in Galicnik, where it draws tourists and former residents to town. Similar occasions are held in some Slovenian villages later in summer.

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July 13, 2003

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Capricorn, 19:21 Universal Time.

Mercury enters Leo
The doors open today for some summer highjinks as Mercury the trickster enters fun-loving Leo. Loud Leo is an excellent vehicle for talkative Mercury, and this transit is a boon for writers, actors and public speakers of all stripes, as creativity is heightened and work of this nature no longer feels tedious but rather playful and heady.

Obon, Festival of Souls: This is a Japanese Buddhist holiday, during which the spirits of the dead are believed to make joyful visits home. Family-based rituals take place on the 13-15 of July or August, depending on the region of Japan. Japanese communities in California and Chicago also celebrate the occasion. Traditionally, bonfires are set outside homes to welcome the spirits, meals are prepared for them and people speak to them as though they were present. Communities join together for a Dance of Rejoicing, or Bon-Odori, to please the visiting souls. On the final night, bonfires are set again, to light the spirits’ way back whence they came.

Guru Purnima: In Hinduism, this is a day for students of gurus to fast, honor their teachers and seek their blessings.

Festa del Redentore: The Feast of the Redeemer, on the second Sunday in July, is a celebration in Venice, Italy, commemorating the end of the plague in the late 16th century. Services are held at the Church of the Redeemer on Guidecca Island, while outside, crowds party in the streets.

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July 14, 2003

Bastille Day: The French Fête Nationale commemorates the people’s storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. The action freed political prisoners imprisoned in the fortress and launched the French Revolution. The Bastille was destroyed a year later. Bastille Day celebrations also are held in Canadian, American and Polynesian cities with large populations of French ancestry.

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July 15, 2003

St. Swithin’s Day: Like St. Médardus’ Day (June 8) in Belgium and France, St. Swithin’s Day in England has come to be a day for predicting upcoming weather. Rain on St. Swithin’s Day means 40 days more; while a dry St. Swithin’s means a dry spell for that time. Swithin was a ninth-century bishop of Winchester, England. It was his wish at his death to be buried where the rain pouring off the Winchester Cathedral would fall on his grave. After he was canonized, it was thought to be more fitting to move his remains inside the church, but a heavy rainfall that day was said to make it impossible. The storm was taken as a sign reaffirming St. Swithin’s wishes. He is the patron saint of rain.

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July 16, 2003

Birthday of Mary Baker Eddy: Born in 1821, Mary Baker Eddy became the founder of the Christian Science faith. Her spiritual insight arose from her own healing, in middle age, from long-term disabling spinal troubles. Promoting the view that mind and spirit are real and matter is an illusion, she published Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures in 1875. She founded the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston in 1879 and the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in 1881. She died in 1910.

Feast of the Madonna del Carmine: One of many days around the world devoted to the Virgin Mary, this holiday is celebrated with dancing and fireworks in Naples, Italy, where the Madonna del Carmine, or Our Lady of Carmel, is patron saint. Traditionally, it is a day to ask for blessings of healing.

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July 17, 2003

Birthday of Luis Muñoz-Rivera: Puerto Rico observes a public holiday in honor of this journalist who advocated for Puerto Rican independence. His efforts helped win the island a home-rule charter from Spain in 1897. After the United States made Puerto Rico a territory, Muñoz-Rivera continued his efforts by publishing an American magazine focused on the issue of Puerto Rican independence, which helped persuade the U.S. Congress to grant the territory fairly extensive powers of self-rule in 1910. He lived from 1859 to 1910.

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July 18, 2003

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the northern hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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July 19, 2003

Mercury at 12 degrees Leo opposite retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
Hazy and dreamlike, today is not a good time for signing documents, beginning projects or doing any sort of precise mental labor. Neptune’s oceans befuddle Mercury, and the day takes on the feeling of an extended out-of-body-experience. Go with the flow, but don’t make any judgments about the meanings of your dreams and thought spirals until next week, when Mercury trines Pluto.

Kinderzeche (Children’s Party): This holiday honoring the courage and wisdom of children is observed on the Saturday before the third Monday in July in the town of Dinkelsbühl in Bavaria, Germany. The people re-enact the events of a day in 1632, when the town was threatened by Swedish forces during the Thirty Years’ War. As the town council puzzled over what to do, a gatekeeper’s daughter, named Lore, proposed a novel response and the council agreed. Lore and a small group of children went to the commander of the Swedish forces, knelt before him and asked for his mercy. The colonel was moved by the children’s action and spared the town. He advised the people to always remember the debt of thanks they owed to children.

Mollyockett Day: The third Saturday in July in Bethel, Maine, is set aside for a summer festival named in honor of Mollyockett, a Pequawket Indian woman who was known for healing both native people and white settlers with natural remedies. Hannibal Hamlin, who was vice president in Abraham Lincoln’s first term, was a dying infant when Mollyockett doctored him back to health.

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July 20, 2003

Elijah Day: A Jewish prophet of Old Testament times whose life story has a place in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths, Elijah is honored on this day by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Elijah was said to have been fed by ravens, twice daily, while in the desert. He performed miracles, including a resurrection. He also arranged a demonstration to prove his God’s power to worshippers of the pagan god Baal. Atop Mount Carmel, the worshippers of Baal were unable to call forth divine fire to burn their offering, while Elijah’s plea was answered immediately with a spectacular fire. At his death, the prophet was said to have been taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Moon Day: The chariot of fire that the United States sent into the heavens in 1969 brought astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to the Moon on this date for the first Moon walk. Fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins circled the Moon in the Columbia command module, while the lunar module Eagle brought Armstrong and Aldrin to the Moon’s surface in an area known as the Sea of Tranquility.

Columbia Independence Day: After a revolt against Spain, Columbia became a republic in 1819. Originally, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama were part of the republic.

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July 21, 2003

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Aries, 7:01 Universal Time.

Belgium Independence Day: Belgium won independence from the Netherlands in 1831, and King Leopold I became the small country’s first king.

Birthday of Ernest Hemingway: The American writer, who was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born on this day in 1899. Key West, Florida, where the author lived for a time, celebrates his birthday with a week-long festival and writers’ conference.

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July 22, 2003

Fête de la Madeleine: This French holiday on the anniversary of Mary Magdalene’s death includes pilgrimages up a wooded hillside in Provence to la Sainte Baume, the holy cave where, according to legend, the saint spent the last 33 years of her life. Although the story is said to be unfounded, the cave remains a shrine in her honor.

Polish Liberation Day: The Polish Committee of National Liberation was founded on this day in 1944. The event is commemorated as the first establishment of a people’s government in the land after 1,000 years of domination. The committee’s goals included freedom from Nazi occupation and the institution of democratic reforms in society and politics.

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July 23, 2003

Mercury at 17 degrees Leo trine retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
The beginning of possibly the most productive few days of the month, as Mercury trines Pluto and scattered thoughts coalesce into deep musings about life, the universe and everything. Pluto transforms quirky Mercury into an esoteric powerhouse and all the ancient mysteries never seemed so clear.

Haile Selassie’s Birthday: Ethiopians celebrate the birthday of the man who ruled as emperor of the African nation from 1930-1974. Born Tafari Makonnen in 1892, he ruled as Haile Selassie I. The Rastafarians of Jamaica believe Ras (Prince) Tafari was the Messiah.

Egypt National Day: On this day in 1952, the monarchy was overthrown, paving the way for a new republic of Egypt. Parades and other events in Cairo mark the holiday, also known as Revolution Day.

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July 24, 2003

Hurricane Supplication Day: Prayers for safety mark the beginning of hurricane season in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mormon Pioneer Day: Mormon leader Brigham Young declared the Salt Lake Valley “the right place” for church members to settle on this day in 1847. Young had led the pioneers west from Illinois after Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), was killed. Their settlement grew into Salt Lake City, Utah, where the modern celebration of the holiday is centered.

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July 25, 2003

Puerto Rico Constitution Day: This legal holiday on the island of Puerto Rico is celebrated in much the same manner as the Fourth of July is celebrated throughout the United States. It commemorates the day in 1952 when Puerto Rico adopted a new constitution as a commonwealth, rather than a territory of the United States.

St. James Day: One of the original 12 Apostles, St. James the Great was brother to St. John the Evangelist. The two were earning their living fishing together when Jesus invited them to follow him and learn to be fishers of men. Known as Santiago in Spanish-speaking areas, James is the patron saint of Spain and is also highly venerated in Puerto Rico and the Indian pueblos of New Mexico, including Taos. His emblem is the scallop shell. In England, traditionally home to many fishing villages, the observance of his feast day has long included a custom where children build decorative grottos of oyster shells.

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July 26, 2003

Mercury at 23 degrees Leo conjunct Jupiter
The deep-thinking vibrations continue as Mercury trines philosophical Jupiter. The new ideas that surfaced during Mercury’s trine with Pluto are now begging to be shared with the world, and Jupiter gives you the perfect platform. One word of caution - Jupiter’s philosophical bent can easily turn to zealousness and evangelical fervor if you let him get carried away, especially as this conjunction is occurring in self-absorbed Leo.

Liberia Independence Day: The first independent black republic in Africa was established in Liberia by freed slaves from the Americas, who signed a Declaration of Independence for the new country on this day in 1847. They named the capital city Monrovia, for U.S. President James Monroe.

St. Anne’s Day: The mother of the Virgin Mary, St. Anne is the patron saint of Canada. A shrine in Beaupré, Quebec, dedicated to the saint and dating to 1650, is said to be the site of many miraculous cures, and many make pilgrimages to the shrine on St. Anne’s feast day.

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July 27, 2003

Reek Sunday: In Ireland’s County Mayo, thousands make a pilgrimage on the last Sunday in July to the top of a mountain known as Croagh Patrick, also called The Reek, where St. Patrick is said to have once spent the 40 days of Lent fasting.

Belarus Independence Day: Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared its sovereignty on this day in 1990 and issued its Declaration of Independence about a year later.

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July 28, 2003

Dog Days continue: The brightest star, the Dog Star Sirius, rises with the Sun and oversees the hottest part of the year in the northern hemisphere, lasting from July 3 until August 11.

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July 29, 2003

Moon Phase
New Moon in Leo, 6:53 Universal Time.

Venus enters Leo
The homey, mothering type of love we shared while Venus was in Cancer shifts gears today to a more playful, dramatic expression. Venus in Leo signifies a good time to start a love affair, which may or may not be enduring (that will be dependant on factors in the individual natal charts), but it will be fun. If you are in the market for a summer fling, then today’s the day to start thinking about your conquest. And conquest is the key word here, for despite his playful exterior the Lion is a hunter, and courtship can be an elaborate game.

Ghost Month begins: The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is known as Ghost Month. Wandering spirits must be entertained, avoided or otherwise placated all month, but especially so when this New Moon grows into its Full Moon phase.

St. Olaf’s Day: The second King Olaf of Norway, also known as Olsok, introduced Christianity to the country and is its patron saint. His feast day is celebrated at the St. Olaf Festival in Trondheim, which includes fireworks, religious services and a theatrical re-enactment of the Battle of Stiklestad, which took place on this day in 1030 and claimed the life of the king.

St. Martha’s Day: Martha and her siblings, Mary and Lazarus, are spoken of as friends of Jesus in the Gospels. But in Provence, France, St. Martha’s Day is celebrated with a parade featuring a fierce mechanical dragon, because St. Martha is said to have defeated a dragon that was ravaging the countryside there long ago. According to the legend, she subdued the dragon with holy water, then led him to town, using her belt for a leash. The townsfolk destroyed the beast and built a church on the site.

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July 30, 2003

Mercury enters Virgo
Let’s get down to business! Mercury now enters one of the signs he rules, Virgo. The playful Leonine energy we have been working with for much of July takes on a more serious and analytical bent in fastidious Virgo. Even the most lackadaisical of us will find ourselves methodically crossing our t's and dotting our i's under this precise and meticulous vibration. Time to take all those good ideas dreamed up during Mercury’s transit of Leo and put them to work for you, as this transit favors mental work and careful planning.

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July 31, 2003

Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola: Born in the Basque region of Spain in 1491, Loyola founded the Society of Jesus, the order of Catholic priests known as Jesuits. The Jesuits now form the largest religious order in the world and maintain their focus on education, which St. Ignatius believed was one of the best ways to help people. Many respected universities, colleges and high schools are run by Jesuits.

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Astrology by Terri Smallwood, holidays compiled by Maria Barron