I was in Hawaii with my husband, walking by the gift shop of our resort when I saw them: a precious group of hula dolls. My inner child went “oooh!” and I immediately texted a picture to my sister, saying “I would’ve died for one of these when we were kids!” I bought a doll for my niece, whose eyes went wide as plates and then squeezed tightly shut as she hugged her new toy, exclaiming “I love her so much.” So, so sweet.

As we explored each glorious detail of the doll’s costume, together -the little gold arm band, the purple ribbon threaded in braided hair, and one, not two (as a serious Ella Rae pointed out) ankle lei- at the grass skirt, a memory was triggered. I remembered being in a school show as a child, probably around 8 or 9. I was excited to be dressed up as a hula girl in our class’s Hawaiian performance. The girls’ skirts were made out of trash bags cut into strips and cinched at the waist, which wasn’t as bad as it sounds. But standing in line to go onstage, I noticed mine was a green color indicating a capacity for heavy duty lawn yard work, while all the other girls’ were black. I remember feeling awkward, ashamed at my difference. Onstage, my excitement continued to plummet when my classmates continually stumbled over the graceful arm movements that made the dance so lovely, which had the effect of making everyone extra shy, our words accompanying the ukele barely audible. I so enjoyed the feeling of being my little lei, my tube top and the fact that I could hula.  I wanted a star moment. Instead, I was one of the – mediocre – crowd.

It was an interesting reflection for me, today, because I’m an introvert who does not covet the spotlight. Yet my younger self was very practical about her need and desire for it. She knew she had something to offer. She took pride in in the beauty of her costume, and her skills. She was excited about sharing this. She also experienced how being one of a sea of many, in a group, can either support an individual to shine, or not, and how conformity can create alienation and shame. Subsequently, she felt aching emptiness at having been denied feeling the fullness of her self.

Leo is the Divine Child. She is the part of us who wants to step under the spotlight simply because we are excited to be there. He is the part of us who recognizes we have a contribution that perhaps only we can make, and that knowledge fills us with enthusiasm, zeal and makes us feel (rightfully) a bit special. She is our inner child who can say, with utter practicality: I enjoy this, I’m pretty good at it, I’m excited about it, so logically I need to be seen and share what I have with others.

This is the first of the Leo-Aquarius eclipse sets (the mean nodes shift from Virgo-Pisces to Leo-Aquarius on 4/28/17). The North Node will enter Leo, which is to say, it’s a good idea to practice being the best of Leo. The South Node in Aquarius speaks to leaving something Aquarian behind, perhaps having spent too long alienated from people around us, thinking we don’t belong. Often it’s a self-concept that’s expired. Like having gotten so used to being an “outsider” that we don’t realize we’ve arrived, that we are the one we’ve been seeking all along. Or maybe we’ve been wondering whether we’ve incarnated on the wrong planet at the wrong time. The fact is, you’re here, and that means you’ve got something to contribute, create and share. Likewise, if an agreed upon “norm” of mediocrity feels uncomfortable, wrong, and stymies your light, that’s a sign that it is. Gather ’round people who feel good to you.

I’ve read several astrologers focus on the potential for narcissism with this eclipse set. Given our new leader, their concern is relevant. Those who grew up with narcissistic parents see all the signs. We know the way they manipulate to get their way, how they present themselves as confident, self-consistent, clear and yet they aren’t those things at all. They have no discernible plan other than getting what they want. We understand their emotional desire for power causes them to do things (like, saying the thing no one else will) that push the boundaries of right and wrong until everyone’s compromised (if you grew up with a narcissist and your unhealed issues are re-triggered by Trump, I highly recommend this article). The entire world is now getting a crash course in this personality style. Yet while this is certainly Leo’s shadow, that’s not the astrological Leo, not really. It’s just a small percentage.

So let’s all make the decision right now to allow Trump to carry and work out that shadow for us, because most of us don’t have to worry about having style over substance, or tooting our horn too much, but it’s opposite- not celebrating our self, enough. I like an observation I heard recently that most of us could stand to be more diva-like, not in the sense of telling other people what to do or not do around me, but honoring what I truly need so that my life works for me. If, to be effective, I need to book first class airfare, or start out every single morning with a salt bath, or go to bed at 2 AM and start work at 11 AM, so be it. Few of us are primadonnas. The greater chance is our life could use some diva-tweaking.

This eclipse period (thru January 2019) offers the opportunity to make a whole new level of creative contribution to the world. If you feel mediocre people are taking up too much space onstage, regard it as a personal invitation to step forward. As Divine child of Leo we only need to own what we love, what we are good at, what we enjoy. Choose to be around people who allow you to shine, because they play a supporting role in helping you succeed. Whether you’re in an industrial green hula skirt when everyone else is wearing a black one, or you show up at  ballet school in a hotdog outfit on princess day, your panache, your differences no longer hold you back but make you beautifully unique. You have no excuse not to share your self. After all, if for the first time in our country’s history someone with absolutely no qualifications for the job can be elected president, the sky’s the limit for me and you.

Want to know how Spring’s eclipses (Leo 2/11/17 & Pisces 2/26/17) will impact you? Read more right here.