The Sun has moved into Leo today...
Things to note about Leo:
* As the fixed sign of Summer, Leo reflects a stabilizing energy taking place as the Sun is declining toward the Autumn equinox. Leo's desire to be seen, to be recognized, to live from the heart, or to live up to one's truest potential, is reflective of this solar dynamic. Leo seeks to establish the security and fixity of solar life and vitality amidst the inevitable decline and decay of the year. All the virtues we so frequently attribute to Leo can be seen as emanations of this seasonal archetype.
* Loyalty...loyalty is defined by our commitment to something even if and when what we are committed to is declining.
* Courage...courage is defined by our commitment to moving forward with something, even when we face the possibility of failure, loss, or decline.
* Purpose...living our lives with purpose, from the heart, means that our actions take on a meaning that transcends the inevitable declines, decay, and losses that will happen. Living a purposeful life is about the reigning power of something transcendent in our lives, accompanying us at all stages, even those where we seem to be losing, failing, or falling away.
* Radiance...we notice a radiant person not just because they shine, but because they illuminate places of darkness, loss, suffering, discouragement, and decay. Radiance is what courage and sincerity look like to those that are blessed by its reminder.
* Immortality...we achieve immortality not by beating death or cheating the ageing process but by the choices we make specifically when we are faced with trials and hardships. Immortality is about the way in which light shines through mortality, animating death with the image of the divine.
* Authority...we are only willing to respect, honor, and recognize authority insofar as it is capable of abdication, sharing, and humility. Real rulership knows that the process of decline and abdication is inevitable.
* Romance...when you know that life will inevitably decline, but you choose to relish the process no matter what, you are living life amidst the dead poets. Dead poets speak through all seasons as though it is mid summer, and setting...
Hug a Leo. Tell them they are capable of all the things they know they are. And hug yourself, because we were each born by the light of the Sun.
Prayer: Loyalty, courage, purpose, radiance, immortality, authority, humility, and romance...teach us how to live from the heart.
The Moon is in late Libra this morning, moving toward a sextile with Jupiter in Leo before going void of course and then making our first quarter Moon by this evening. Meanwhile Venus is stationing and will turn retrograde by Saturday, and both the Sun and Mercury have entered Leo. Mercury will be cazimi with Leo shortly.
This is some good news. The sun is now in his rulership, and Mercury is at the heart of the Sun. Also, even though Venus is stationing in her fall in Virgo, she is situated on the fixed star Regulus, the heart of the lion. Jupiter is approaching and soon they will be together again as they were several weeks ago. Though we still have a ways to go before we're out of the woods with some of the summer's most difficult transits, this is good news. Here's a few reasons we have to be excited:
* The Sun moving into Leo provides tremendous strength to all growth oriented endeavors. It helps us integrate and find sanity in the mix of everything else around us that might be proving more difficult or chaotic. The Sun is at the center, just like the heart is at the center, just like in stillness truth finds us in the center. The sun can do what it needs to do with much more swiftness when situated in its home sign.
All matters of confidence, authority, courage, decision, and belief come from the strong heart. Right now a strength of our own may be enhanced by the strength of a heart much bigger. Where there is a will there is a way, especially when it's the will of heaven (as the I Ching says).
* Mercury at the heart of the Sun augurs supreme confidence on part of both the authority and his/her diplomat, messenger, words, or decrees. The heart of the Sun is the golden seal on an envelope we might find in our inbox, mailbox, or through an unexpected development of some kind. Sometimes the power of the truth is so amazing that even if the truth isn't the one we wanted to hear, or even if its something we dread, it can immediately set us free, or fill us with something good.
* Venus on the heart of the lion, though in her fall, is also a story about things working out exactly because of the dignity of our heart, rather than the weakness of our position or the stuckness of our problems. Again, confidence and self belief can overcome doubts and fears, or setbacks and nagging flaws.
Confidence will be restored as Venus eventually goes backward toward Jupiter again, and both culminate near the heart of the lion.
Both will be square to Saturn. Death. Betrayal. Shadow material. Setbacks. Stubbornness. But then Saturn is turning direct too...the lesson learned. The heart receives the vision. Gains the confidence to make the changes needed. The torch is passed from one generation to the next. A rite of passage accomplished. A new stage of development achieved.
These things are coming our way right now, even though we still have a ways to go.
The first quarter tonight will emphasize the Leo/Scorpio dilemma. Mars and the Sun. Challenge and belief. Darkness and faith. But also depth, death, and the ego's need for transformation. The same themes present in our Jupiter/Saturn square. The same themes that are demanding a change of heart before anything is accomplished.
Prayer: Help me find the faith that I am, the courage that I know, and the strength of a heart bigger than mine alone.
The Moon is in Leo today, the sign of the heart. The Moon is heading toward lunar eclipse next week in the sign of the scales (Libra). Let's look into the heart and the scales.
The heart is weighed on the scales against a feather. We jump past the obvious contradiction because we're impatient for the punchline. "The heart SHOULD BE a light as a feather," we rush to say, and then that's it. The idea becomes like so many kids on the playground chanting a beat up rhyme scheme, both proud and jaded, seesawing our brains. But if we look deeper and "stick with the image," as archetypalists say, what do we see? The heart is an organ whose weight is clearly heavier than any feather. The heart is heavy. The feather is light. Yet the two are shown balancing each other in mythic images. Could it be that the heart's true mass and the feather's lightness reveal a certain form of understanding or perception? A way to find balance despite the common appearances of imbalance or inequality?
Could it be that the heart's way of knowing is different than the mind's way of knowing? And yet for the Taoists the mind and the heart were the same thing. So what kind of knowledge does the mind of the heart hold? And why is the picture of Libran judgment one of an obviously uneven weight distribution yet balanced perfectly?
Let's take the example of an oath...a promise or commitment. The heart loves its loyalty. We are kept alive by an unqualified support...a self beating, self perpetuating loyalty. Similarly, relationships or commitments we make though based upon ideas, words, and principles, are kept alive by the self perpetuating and unqualified beat at the heart of any bond. We are bonded to our hearts like each commitment is a heart bonded to itself. However, for our commitments and contracts to remain sacred they must acknowledge or carry the wisdom of things like betrayal or distrust. We hardly recognize the life support of anything until it palpitates, skips a beat, or threatens to stop or give out behind our back.
What do attacks of the heart or back stabs do for us? Not how should we avoid them, why do they come, from what 'darkness' do they arise and how to take said darkness to proverbial "light," but rather, "what does it do for us?" And the answer is that this dark shadow of the heart is also the lightness of the feather. The vulture's talismanic wisdom waiting in the shadows of our sunshine loyalty. Without the possibility of betrayal, even without the act of betrayal itself, we cannot know the unconditional nature of the heart's commitments...we can't recall that the heart's commitment is unconditional before and after we make all the various commitments we make. So it's the dark body within the heart that gives to the substance of our contracts its paradoxical lightness of being.
This is something we are dealing with right now. The feeling of obligation or betrayal, the keeping of contracts and the disappointment of commitments alike. Oaths and promises have been newly made and also broken. And yet the task is not to ferret out who did what and why, what "should" or "shouldn't have" happened, and instead to be reconciled to the dark body of the heart...its secret lightness...a wisdom that reconciles us to the events of disappointment, disillusionment, distrust or the negation of an old commitment or focus.
If we haven't been living with distrust, if we aren't friends and allies with betrayal, disillusionment, and disappointment, then the heart will remain most obviously an organ of disproportionate weight to the feather of truth...and all we'll be able to do is chant like children the worn out nursery rhymes about "lightening the heart," and "making the unconscious conscious," as though the heart needs an operation (performed by the separative mind). No. This won't do. Because the heart and the mind are the same. Let's consider that. And let's consider that every oath is as true or superficial as our ability to recognize the unconditional heart beating within the principles we lay on it..the unconditional heart is the one who circulates the lightening potential for the failure of our commitments, not only the pride we take in their upholding or "keeping."
When things don't work out as we'd like, when we fail, when someone fails us, there is a secret magic presenting itself. Becoming reconciled to this failure of contract is the beginning of the wisdom that levels the scales between the seemingly heavier heart and the feather. We aren't here to get it right or to experience truth and honor at the cost of betrayal. This would damning Judas over and over to insure the Christ of his royalty. This kind of honor is Leonic arrogance or Libran vanity. No. Again no. We are here to become reconciled in the heart to everything that crosses our path, each contract we make as well as those that break.
The word "reconcile" has an etymological history that includes the root for the word "counsel" and our modern idea of "counseling," where counseling is seen as the ability to take seemingly disparate events...disproportionate looking phenomenon and learn to see their hidden meanings or secret equivalencies. Right now we have an opportunity to make the kind of meaning that the superficial heart wants to reject...the situation may clearly look like something the heart "should" feel heavy about. But so many shoulds become like a misfiring pace maker...an artificial life support, or an unimaginative imagination. Again. This isn't it. We can find the secret lightness of the heart...we can do the work together to become creatively reconciled to what has happened, or what is happening..finding in the shades of the heavy heart its eternal wings.
Prayer: No bi-pass surgery is necessary when we understand the feathers of necessity blooming out from the willing heart...could it be an other way? The question, not its answer, is our lightness.
Happy Full Moon Today! The Moon is in Leo and will be full by this evening while it is also conjoined with Jupiter.
Whenever we get full moons across the Leo/Aquarius sign axis, we’re usually being asked to look at the subjects of identity and authenticity, popularity or positive projections of self-image versus rebelliousness and individuation away from the herd. In the USA our national psyche was “born” under an Aquarius Moon, and so the tension of the Leo/Aquarius dynamic feels built into most of our cultural values. Our national history is framed as the history of a group of brave outcasts and rebels, people who rejected the monarchy (Leo) and established a democracy (Aquarius). We worship at the altars of progress, invention, and individuation..the kind of forward thinking that proudly shatters the status-quo, that doesn’t care what others think, and whose alienated status at the beginning is the necessary condition for its genius and eventual fame at the end. But there’s the Leo…that “eventual” fame. The rebel eventually becomes the new king, possibly even the new tyrant or dictator. The Aquarian kid who doesn’t make the basketball team in high school eventually becomes Michael Jordan.
The guiding fiction or fantasy, the evolutionary “need,” of Aquarius is about the insight or genius we receive when we go through a period of time from the outside looking in. Where we must learn to be less concerned with what others think of us, and we become marginalized for what we believe or the way we dress or the kind of sex we like to have. When we learn to entertain ideas that are dark or heavy, complex and not easy topics for the dinner table…all of these things take us to the cold outskirts of the soul…those frosty places where we might feel alone but we can also see the cosmic design of the stars and planets, the divine geometry, stretching out forever right above our heads. This is the place of our genie, our daemon, or the stars themselves. This is the place where we see how much bigger things are than whether or not we’re liked or loved by others. What we see here catalyzes within us a revolution. We are provoked, and it’s disturbing. An inner riot is taking place, with maybe a few looters or vandalizers running amok. We speak up. Raise our fist, “I don’t care what you think about me anymore.” In its own way it’s kind of sexy. Peculiar. A trend setter. Inspiring authenticity in others. But also perpetually tortured, outcast, and continually individuating away from that stable place called “admiration” or “popularity.”
Leo’s guiding fiction, on the other hand, is completely different. For Leo the primary concern has to do with being well liked, loved, celebrated, seen, and even worshiped. While Aquarius is on the edges, exploring the vast nether worlds, Leo is the bright star burning at the center. The glowing heart fire that radiates and pulls all things into an orbit around itself. Leo’s purpose is less about catalyzing provocative ideas, genius, and revolution and more about stabilizing an image of self whose authority, beauty, and power is inspiring of the devotion and loyalty of others. Leo’s vision is toward the enduring goodness and unity of a kingdom. For Leo there is no idea that cannot be communicated or expressed in a way that is celebrated and loved by everyone. Leo has an awareness of the audience that will generally trump the needs of a subversive thought. Leo is here to figure out how to be one’s authentic self while still retaining that bright self-center: “who I am AND how its received are equally important.”
Often enough our initial attraction to eastern spirituality and metaphysics comes from the Aquarian call to outsider exploration. We find a much vaster sense of who we are and why we are here when we explore foreign ideas or altered states of consciousness. But then we might find ourselves wanting to be new age rock stars. Now that we’ve “found our tribe,” we may want to be liked and loved for who we are within the progressive spiritual scene. And really there’s nothing wrong with this. Leo and Aquarius are always doing this dance. Maybe the key is to recognize that we simply can’t have one without the other! And along with this comes a crucial insight: if we’re seeking a sense of centrality or celebrity within a tribe of outcasts it’s possible that our centrality won’t last very long. In other words, it might be more important for us to go back into the original world we came from, equipped with the outsider knowledge we’ve gained, than to try to build some eternal kingdom on the outskirts of rebel town. It might be more important to be popular or well liked for who we are in a world where our outsider insights are truly original than to compete for attention in club Aquarius.
Of course, this will always mean that those in club Aquarius will look at us and scream, “sell out, sell out!” But we have to consider that these accusations are reflective of either someone’s jealousy or their need to remain, for the time being, in a marginalized place of learning and individuating. We can’t always take it so personally when people accuse of wanting to be liked. Of course we want to be liked, why wouldn’t we?
For example, all those people who were born with the North Node in Leo are learning how to take their outsider insights (perhaps from previous lives?) and express them in a way that is pleasing to others. Rather than being “in your face rebels,” those with Leo north nodes are learning how to be radiant sources of inspiration, warmth, and encouragement to others. They are learning how to be more aware of the audience, more aware of what they project and how it reflects. All of this is generally happening because the soul has an accumulation of insights and wisdom that are ready to be expressed in a very powerful, lovable (even popular) way. And as hard as it might be for Aquarians to imagine, massive revolutions or changes need the enlightening charms and solar powers of celebrities. This is why no matter how beautiful or progressive the ideas, most people will be less ready to accept anything when its coming from a place of ostracization, anger, or resentment. Every outsider movement needs fountainheads and charismatic personalities who are loved. Every civil rights movement needs a “King.”
On the other hand, those with Aquarian north nodes are working toward the exact opposite goal, where the need for approval or too much time in the limelight has created a stagnation in the soul. The soul will thus need provocation, rebellion, frustration, and the experience of being an outsider. The soul will need to care less if people like the changes or if people are “warmed” by its presence, and the soul won’t be as compelled by those charming kings and queens of the masses. In fact, they might be here to question or kill a few of them (metaphorically speaking).
For today’s full moon the most important thing to remember is that we are each called to the polarities of this dynamic in different ways and at different times. Worrying too much about consistency or some abstract notion of the perfect balance between them is like paying too much attention to the way you walk, rather than just walking. It’s okay to worry about not being liked. Sometimes it’s actually good for you. It’s okay to worry that you’re not popular enough. Sometimes its far more authentic than, “not caring what others think.” At the same time, the opposite is also true. So what can we do but remain aware of these dynamics and enjoy the ride?! What more can we do than to remember these dynamics in our relationships with others? And what more can we do than to keep a good sense of humor and remember that every rebel needs his king and every queen needs her rebel.
Prayer: Rebel King Over Royal City
and red carpets without blood
Calls the winter redbird
to mock the dynasty
of new thoughts
The Moon is in Leo today, applying to conjoin with Jupiter later this evening.
One good question to ask ourselves in order to understand each sign a little better is, “how does the quality of light during this sign’s time of year inform the archetypal landscape of the sign?” Even though the zodiac is used all over the world, it comes from the northern hemisphere, and so its good to understand the seasonal qualities of the signs from that point of view (on a side note–I think it would be interesting to look at charts in the southern hemisphere from a reversed point of view..just to see how it reads..I’m that convinced of the importance of the seasonal light quality of the Sun!).
So on a day like today, while the Sun is in Capricorn, and the Moon is in Leo, what combination of seasonal energies are presenting themselves?
The beginning of winter (Capricorn), and the middle of summer (Leo).
Let’s look at both in depth.
The beginning of winter: the light is actually returning, gradually, day by day, very very slowly, though it is the coldest time of year. The celebration of the return of the light has passed over and now comes the long, slow, hard march toward spring, rebirth, and summer. Capricorn matches this slow march of time with its love of progress, hard work, determination, process orientation, time, maturity, old age, elderhood, no complaining, etc. Capricorn is a wintry sign with a saturnine or melancholic constitution. It’s the kind of light and the quality of day that we’re experiencing right now, here in the north, that originally matched up with Capricorn’s concern with longevity, legacy, and steely determinism. It’s a bleak and cold kind of ambition that starts the journey of the return of the light.
Now let’s look at the middle of summer, for our Moon in Leo: during Leo’s time, the summer is at its most stable and solid moment, and yet the light is dying quicker every day and the knowledge of the death of our solar year is becoming unavoidable. Leo’s sign qualtiies match this solid-light-yet-light-dying complexity with its concerns for immortality, destiny, bravery, courage, and the hero’s journey. Leo is that part of us that longs to live forever and “rages against the dying of the light.” A rage to live, a rage to assert our unique destiny against our impending deaths, and a rage to live for the heart’s callings. The lions roar asks us to find courage, heart, and honor even while the flower of life is wilting.
Putting it all together, whenever we want to understand the unique energy of the day, we can simply combine the seasonal sign qualities of the Sun and the Moon to get a sense of what’s up.
Let’s try it: the slow and saturnine climb upward is helped by a lion’s roar…a warm burst of courage helps the slow process of Capricorn find its footing and moves us forward with a bit more radiance and excitement!
* During the first stretch of a marathon the icy cold runner realizes she’s running at a better pace than she’s ever run before…suddenly her stoic spirit is lifted
* During a cold mountain climb, near the base, the sun bursts through the clouds, the climbing suddenly feels a little easier, though there is still a long ways to go
* At the outset of a project or relationship, too much pride or anticipation gets in the way…there is too much at stake too quickly
* A heavy, weighty, proud fixation, ambition, and determination…”I will win, I will get there, I will last forever, I will do this MY WAY, it’s already happening…”
You can combine the energies anyway you like to find how they might be showing up for you today. Just think…for a few days, the middle of summer, here with me at this wintry start of the new year!
Prayer: Help us to hear the winter lion’s roar.
Image by courtesy of Tambako at creative commons image licensing.
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.