‘Your heart will give you greater counsel than all the world’s scholars.’ -The Talmud
New Moon Leo, Sunday, August 15, 2004, 6:24 PM PDT
The wheel of the zodiac symbolizes a life cycle. The circle as an ancient mandala of life contains 12 houses corresponding to each zodiac sign symbolizing progressive life stages from birth to death. Last month’s new moon cycle in the constellation of Cancer lent the moon’s light to the attention of home, roots, safety, security, nurturance and the elements necessary to sustain and nourish life. At the full moon, deficiencies may’ve been highlighted, or new steps taken to secure basic needs vital to the emotional and physical body’s viability. Imagine that you’ve just passed a crucial step in your development; after all it is one of the four corners of the wheel, a symbolic threshold between the signs of Gemini and Leo. See the four directions, or the four cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) as pillars, the framework holding the whole of the wheel. If you cannot pass Cancer’s call for inner supports, the house falls. This last month gave you the opportunity to shore foundations in some part of your life. Now you prepare to cross the threshold entering Leo’s realm, the lair of the Lion.
Leo is the satisfaction of Cancer’s work. Emotional satiety and physical security, your basic needs have been met. You are now reaching beyond your immediate needs and wake up to the discovery of a light filled world bursting with color and dynamism. This is the fun house of the zodiac, where all the planets love to play and frolic. In traditional astrology, Venus finds her joy in Leo’s house as she flirts and teases, entertains as Madame extraordinaire. It’s a phantasmagoria of fun when you hang out in Leo’s house, and Leo will personally introduce you to your heart’s desires, to which Leo swears are the equivalent of longevity elixirs. Leo’s question to you: Who is the person inside you that colors your world with creativity? Will you innate artist, actress, lover, king or queen, hero, sports, fan, child, diva please stand up? There is someone living inside you that makes your spirit hum, possibly belly laugh, actually, magnificently sign at the top of her lungs Opera-diva style. Leo knows no limits to the power and magnetism of self-expression, which you evoke by taking up your passion and following it to its limit.
This passion is personal, not the sexy steamy stuff of Scorpio, the exuberant excitement of Sagittarius or the altruistic save the world or perish passions of Aquarius. It’s the kind Anthony Robbins talks about in his personal power seminars. The walking-on-fire kind. Metaphysical and psychological debates aside, who would ever thought it possible to walk on fire? Who would have the hubris to think he could virtually outsmart nature? A Leo. Here the pride and vanity of Leo lends itself to acts of audacious courage.
The word courage has its etiology cour- meaning ‘of the heart’. The word ‘encourage’ means ‘to take heart’. The key to any successful firewalk is the act of taking heart. This New Moon points to the hotbed of your hearts desire. Where can you be a bit more audacious and bold, more willing to take risks and push your personal excellence envelope? It is not an act of pride if it has heart. This heart quality of Leo is a good check against the ego-urge you may confront when you attempt to stop eating humble pie and instead opt for something that reflects your true preferences, tastes and talents. If we are to become truly excellent we must learn to truly take heart, take heart in the truth, strength and beauty contained within our unique contribution to the world. Stepping into a greater level of personal power is no small task and so Leo is saddled with the unfortunate burden of the negative ego. This may be the voice inside which belittles accomplishment, telling you the small acts of beauty you’ve performed are are no big deal. At other times, the negative ego would convince you that you’ve just built the new Taj Mahal and sell it to your brother! I’m reminded of ancient Egyptian paintings depicting the scales, the judgment of the dead. On one side of the scale is a feather and the other, a heart. Only if the heart is light, may you pass the gates. The action is praiseworthy, no matter how big or small, if it has heart. Leo reminds: If it has heart, Praise Be!
I had a conversation with my neighbor last week about the recent death of a relatively young friend of hers. She died of a heart attack, in front of her parish in the arms of her priest. We both marveled at the wonder of that last creative act and agreed that she had chosen a conscious dying. Beyond this though, what lingered in my mind of our conversation was an elegant piece of wisdom my neighbor shared. She said ‘the older I get, the more I realize how alike we all are’. Take any accomplished person, President Dynes (UC’s president ) for example probably goes home at night and wonders if he is living it right, worries that he’s disappointed his mother, wonders if he’s on purpose at all. We’re all living with the same hopes and fears. We all want to be happy; we all want to avoid suffering. They seem to appear in different forms, but are really imposters of the same drive. In one person it looks like designer shoes, in another, a devotion to spiritual practice. No one rises above or rests below hope/fear. Spiritually and philosophically, this drive seems to revolve around the quest for love, love for self and others. Experiences of true love necessitate some degree of self-actualization, the activation of our true potential and life purpose. Why not ask for and believe in the highest from yourself? Like the Cowardly Lion looking for his heart, it may b e necessary to disrobe the lonely little man behind the controls of our smoke and mirrors, the imposter wizard. Yet, without the courage to undertake the journey to the heart there is no chance of unleashing our true Lion/Lioness potential into the world. Remember this as you dive into unsettled times.
This New Moon occurs during Mercury retrograde, giving us a chance to think before we act. Mercury’s apparent backward motion is not the devil we make him out to be, he allows us time to re-asses and collect our thoughts. Details have been omitted, plans need to be thought through and filled out. Any new moon brings a potential, a promise. We may see the potential of our brilliance but there is m much to sort through before we can shine. Try to shine prematurely, before your mind is settled and you invite Mercury’s malice. This is where the bravado of Leo rushes forward like an actor who has relied on his good looks to earn the part. Mercury in Virgo sees right through this, recognizing the work and substance underneath any craft. And so right now, your mind is well suited to pick out the craftiness in self and others, and right the facts. Pay particular attention this energy quality around 8/18 as backward Mercury meets Mars, both opposing Uranus. This can be an unsettling day, sudden obstacles appearing out of the blue seemingly intent on disrupting routine when movement meets motion and faces off with sudden upheavals. As with any astrological aspect, if you are on your right path, listening to your intuition, this energy doesn’t have to come at you but arises as a situation or energy just right for your personal growth. This first appears on the New Moon day, but reverberates throughout this week. A push to do differently appears, albeit somewhat aggressively. Your thoughts and ideas may be peculiarly over the top with an urge to ‘act now’ or ‘do or die’. Try to view any extremism with a grain of salt; globally we’re at a very strained time in history. Uranus in Pisces sensitizes us to the unconscious suffering of all. Whether you identify suffering as yours or another’s, realize that we are all now highly sensitized to a much larger body of pain, the pain of the collective. If this energy appears as a personal affront from yourself or another, taking a broader view may be an effective remedy to undue upheaval.
Backtrack to the day of the New Moon 8/16, which sets the energetic tone for this whole 28-day cycle. As discussed above, Mars opposes Uranus creating urgency and the thrust for freedom. Although this agent of change is an agitator, the mind is open to receive the gifts of companionship and compassionate support. Venus in Cancer with Mercury in Virgo epitomizes the empathetic listener, the nurturing friend who says all the right things, lifting your mind out of the morass of overworked, re-hashed details. All this processing is enough to give me a stomach ache!, says Venus in Cancer. Remember to let yourself be soothed by water, hot baths, and the sea. Stretches of tranquility, family and good food are all helpful.
The Sun moves into the sign of Virgo on 8/22, joining Mercury and Mars in the same sign. This is a threesome absolutely focused on getting down to the essentials. Likely a busy time, roll up your sleeves and dutifully surrender to the clean up work in your life. Sun in Virgo is the janitorial service of the zodiac; the housekeeper that drops in once a year and analyzes the crap (literally) out of your ability to keep house when she’s not there. Virgo has a reputation for being nagging, bossy and negative. If you had to perform the white glove test for everyone you knew, you’d be critical too! retorts Virgo. It’s her job to clean the mildew off the bathroom tiles, so point your attention toward living right. Keep it clean, people!
The first quarter moon on 8/23 may push the envelope when Moon in 0 degrees Sagittarius tries to put the wagon before the horse. With retrograde Mercury joining the Sun, objectivity is questionable, objectivity surrounding our thoughts or the morass of details we face. Traditional astrology says the Sun on top of any planet steals that planets light or ability to function. Taking action now may be based on a leap of faith rather than well-thought reason. The next day, 8/24, Mercury retrogrades back into Leo which says again, anything new started now is either a repeat performance or will be repeated in the future. This may be a good time to reconnect with your intention around the new moon, remembering to hold the heart quality contained within your innate creative potential. Put your attention into what makes your passionate heart wildly beat. Let go of excessive self-chatter. Saturn and Jupiter continue to hold ground for whatever you feel may be too ‘up in the air’ right now. Hold onto this inner knowing that your efforts are leading you to the place you want to be. Your job is staying connected in spirit, to that place you’re headed. After all this astrological information is just information to help you guide your boat; your heart contains the message behind the message.
Heading into the full moon, Uranus opposes sun and Venus quincunxes Pluto 8/27. It may be worthwhile to question authority, your own and others. What is the intention behind this authority? What seems impartial may disguise a ‘divide and conquer’ attitude. Who does this attitude serve? If it’s in the service of positive change, you’ll know it and will make adjustments as presented. You may not enjoy this process but as you see the rumblings of the deeper machinery at work realize that anything hidden takes on greater potential for disruption. In the context of our current culture, transformation may be an overused and misunderstood word. It’s not really about seeing something suddenly become different than what it was, like a Jim Carrey character in a movie. Transformation is allowing; the allowing of a process to occur which eventually and ultimately creates a shift. The shift happens as a result of the work done beforehand, silently and when you’re not looking. This day may be an incredibly inventive one, where you find the ability to experiment with new ideas in a deeply profound way. Open your mind to the unusual. Do so and you may hear the call of your true character, the creative and expressive person you most desire to be. Unleash the light of your inner star.