I’m usually a pretty reliable weather vane for the lunations but this one’s a stinker. The season of Leo, in it’s purest expression, is a time to enjoy the vitalizing power of the Sun, right now at the height of it’s fiery glory. I like to think Leo has a certain enlightened selfishness. Our creative drive contains our life force, which when honored, that life force allows us to make a creative contribution to the world. Where Leo is found in the birth chart is where we can find this and more – the more being, the joy of what makes us feel most alive, loved, full of laughter and joie de vivre. Celebration? Joie de Vivre? I’m all for it, but where is the love? Because I’m not feeling it. Maybe I’ve feeling wary of seeing so many who have used their solar power at the expense of the collective, who now stand like street urchins in rags picking up the scraps of their dinner parties. It is the age of Aquarius after all; so not the age of Leo. We are just so tired of getting burned by people who have used their self-interest wrongly, who have used their ability to persuade and entertain, people who have used their power of charisma (and let’s face it, self-involvement) like a snake charmer to do some very, very bad things. It really throws a massive stink bomb into the whole Leo ‘I am the center of my own Universe’ party that comes along every August. And I was really looking forward to it.
Alas, some days it’s hard to feel joy, some days you can simply find no reason for celebrating. You especially do not feel like celebrating the ‘personal status law‘ victory Afghani men recently won, that is, the right of a man to legally punish his wife for refusing sex on demand by starving her (last I heard: to have personal status you’ve got to be regarded as a person). Or the French victory barring Muslim women from swimming in a burkini. Truly, it’s hard to believe we all live on the same planet and at that, it’s 2009. To add another layer of surrealism to the mix, you especially do not feel overjoyed to hear that Paula Abdul has quit American Idol for not getting paid as many millions as Simon, while women in India, our newest victims of corporate greed, are going broke trying to pay back micro-loans amounting to a whopping few hundred dollars. No, this is not the golden era of Leo. As much as we truly need our spark of special-ness and must cultivate it where we find it, we cannot do that without thinking about the impact of our choices on on the collective. Many of us do have the enlightened wisdom to know that we can have our cake and eat it, too, but under the light of a major reality check, we can’t stomach it’s eating if, in our cake-making, we sustain damage to others including people we don’t know, and the Planet (who we’ve treated like an estranged friend, at best).
So. What happens to the charismatic largesse potential of Leo within each and every one of us, during times like these, of paring down or even personal sacrifice for the greater good? There’s a line from a poem, …’the Lion sits within her cage, weeping tears of ruby rage.’ We may indeed cry, that we can’t be happy and make others happy too – that we can’t do and be it all. Because under the light of world events, the need to support others, raise a family and keep a job, the enlightened selfish need to lay claim to a self-need may seem to be just that – selfish. Yet the Self is where it all begins. Really, we can sacrifice for a time, but not for long haul. When we leave any archetype out of the planetary party, we run the risk of getting way out of balance again. We need Leo as much as Aquarius. We may want the world to be happy; but we need to be happy. We need to keep our familiars and our intimates happy, but they want to see us smile, too. They may be our lifelines, but we need to feel alive to be alive. That’s the bottom line with practicing enlightened selfish-ness. It begins right here.
I recently had to make an self-ishly enlightened call. I could no longer ignore the fact that I needed a change, and that change was going to impact the lives of others, mainly the role and person I have been for many years was no longer animating my life in the same way it used to. The activity that used to nourish me was no longer keeping pace with where I am now. Despite having support around me, it was a difficult and painful decision. By claiming a self-need, I knew I would be disappointing someone, letting them down. Yet I recognized that not listening to the call of Self would have a higher cost. Ignoring my self-interest, my personal happiness, would be much harder in the long run than the short term fear – that I was disappointing the people I care about.
No New Moon is a pure expression of that archetype, and certainly not this Leo New Moon opposed by the triple play of Neptune/Jupiter/Chiron in Aquarius. This isn’t about taking sides with Leo or Aquarius, really, they rather blend don’t they? Aquarians can demonstrate a very high level of self-interest in their quest to follow a vision; and Leos can surely ‘sell-out’ their creative spirit for the needs of the group. This is about moving forward in new ways. Neptune/Jupiter/Chiron in Aquarius seems down with that and yet for all the hope that nefarious configuration implies, I’m dubious. We may feel what’s happening, but we’re more like players caught up in a play; we may not be directly involved in the massive changes taking place. If we let our self get dreamed into that, we may fall down the wonderland hole, like Alice, unable to personally cope with what we find. And it is about the person. On most days, at least in my experience, life is less about the power of the people and more about the power of the person. And just as in Afghanistan where women do not have the rights of a person; there is no power of the people without a power of the person. At least, that’s my experience of my self (and clients) who come to see me looking for a way to make sense of (Neptune) the way the larger shift is affecting their personal lives. Because in the end, as an ex-actor friend with a South Node in Leo recently said to me, when I asked on behalf of my progressed Leo Moon, how to give a good interview: ‘If you want to hold their attention- people want to hear about their self. Sure, you can tell your story, but to hold their attention, what people care about is what it means for them.’
As the pressurized world stage consumes more of our attention and focus, the self-ish need of Leo won’t slip away quietly into the night. If we hope to make a creative contribution to this world, a world that needs our talents and bright genius right now more than ever, we may need to change up a few things (for progress’ sake), break a few patterns to make a few changes. Maybe we can turn those corners at this Leo New Moon. Maybe we don’t need to get so caught up in the drama of self-sacrifice, for fear of disappointing others (that’s not so enlightened); maybe we need to remember to laugh and not take our self so seriously! Maybe we need to stop worrying so much about what other people think. We may be balancing multiple interests on the head of a pin, but we can remember that ignoring our own self-needs is at everyone’s peril, including our own (our creative needs – for space, for laughter and love: for need itself roars louder, or slips into depression, when ignored). Maybe we can transform what it means to be self-ish; honor our enlightened self-interest while doing no harm. Because by doing any or all of the above, we become more authentic, effective and happier playmates -and that’s a victory finally worth celebrating.