On the way back home from our camping trip in King’s Canyon this June, we visited a Big Cat Reserve. As we toured the facility and were educated, the lions, panthers and leopards, lazily lounged in the hundred degree heat. Despite the wire cages separating us from them, it was clear who was in command: the Cats. Confident, alert, relaxed -they were the main show, watching us watching them.
When I got home I looked at Obi, my little house cat with big cat energy, in a new way. I better understood his nature. When he corners scorpions, plays cat and mouse with mice, and tours the territory of our property like a warden looking for parolees, my cute cuddly cat turns big and fierce, territorially claiming his space. When I want him to be a teddy bear, he plays when he feels like playing. With his playful bites and mews, regal Obi tells me enough when he’s had enough. This cat demands respect. In fact, every cat household knows who is really in charge: The cat. And the cat gets his way because the cat is utterly comfortable in it’s way. It’s as though he were born knowing exactly what to do, to be a cat. No self-questioning, no self-doubt.
An emblem of Leo, whether house cat or Lion, Leo was born to share their self with others, which means learning to live without apologies, second-guessing and worrying about reviews. On the surface Leo folks (and planets) express their selves so boldly, brilliantly, all we see is confidence. About what you think, the cat appears utterly unconcerned. However, that’s not the entire story.
At the cat reserve, the main attraction, the famed Bengal tiger, was away doing a publicity fundraising tour down in Hollywood. Bummer. We wanted to ooh and aawh over the Bengal tiger’s star power. We admire the famous for their fierce creative power and their noticeability but sometimes we mistakenly believe that fame is a sign of luck, merit or actual greatness. In an era of faux fame, when the loudest voices (not the brightest) get the most air time and attention, it’s almost too easy overestimate others and underestimate our selves. We can also mistakenly believe that fame somehow makes them invulnerable to human frailties. For instance, many famous actors suffer panic & anxiety, when onstage just minutes later we see only a flawless five star performance. Under pressure, even big cats get scared, as our guide pointed out a black leopard who had an unusually short tail. Placed in a stressful environment that made him anxious, he chewed off his own tail. The group cringed; we know how anxiety can gnaw at us to the point of self-abuse.
We can all understand insecurity of worrying about our worth, abilities, what others think; Leo doesn’t hold the patent on that. We each have a Sun, a sensitive Ego. We know how difficult it can be to raise our hand in a class or meeting, or to go on a date with someone new, and trust that our ideas, our voice, our request, our very self (because, honestly, that’s what we’re putting on the line) won’t be rejected. It takes tremendous courage to put our self out there, to trust we won’t be rejected for who we are.
That insecurity, for Leo, isn’t fictional. Karmically, they have been rejected. But the cure involves going right back into the lion ring. Being sensitive to the nuances of being an effective performer, yes, but also not giving a damn. Bravely daring to put their self out there again anyway– and this time, experiencing the delight of being received and adored.
Again, we don’t have to be a Leo to tear a page from this playbook. We are in an astrological period of intense Leo activity for the next month. On 7/23 we have this first New Moon at zero degrees, and a second New Moon Solar Eclipse at 29 degrees Leo on 8/21. While Leo born are being cosmically prodded to let go of more of their worthiness fears and insecurity, to shine a little brighter, and to receive the rewards of doing so, so are all of us. The area(s) these New Moons fall in your chart, especially the Solar Eclipse, are massive catalysts for letting go of old conditioning about worth, lovability and rejection. For many, it’s time to learn just how appreciated, wanted, worthy and loved you are.
However, there’s one thing you need to do. You must dare to show up- on the date, at the interview, on the page or stage – and to risk rejection. This first New Moon is conjunct Mars, planet of courage, daring. You don’t heal old fear of rejection wounds by laying around, licking them. You get out there. As Steven Forrest has said, “To perform for the world is to trust it. That unquestionable trust in life is Leo’s Holy Grail.”
Where can you practice putting your trust in the world by daring to perform, to create, share yourself, be spontaneous, open your heart wider and shine brighter? Look to where Leo falls in your chart. Here you can do something self-daring, self-affirmative, creative, fun and self-risky. Even if it falls in the more internal houses, say, the fourth, eighth or twelfth houses, where listening to your heart and unraveling its fears, may be the most daring act of all. But…What if I fail? What if I bite off more than I can chew? What if I’m rejected… This will come up. It’s time to let those old tapes go. Because Solar Eclipses are designed to move us forward in evolution, the second New Moon Solar Eclipse will be particularly potent for breakthroughs around all Leo issues. And of course, because eclipses have wider influences of time, this energy has already begun to appear in our lives.
During these dual Leo New Moons, celebrate life by unapologetically saying Yes, this is who I am! This is a self- affirmation that says yes, it’s safe, and it’s good, to be me. As hiding your true self, in all of its facets, becomes a price that you’re no longer willing to pay, when you dare to show up, to reach for your heart’s desire life will show you how easy it is to receive strokes, adoration, love and praise. During Leo season: Say Yes to You.