by Robert Wilkinson
Today we celebrate the royal sign of Leo and explore the shining qualities of this dynamic, playful, loving, powerful Fire sign that represents the principle of Solar Fire, one of the three cosmic fires pervading our solar system. We all have this "kingly" or "queenly"a noble quality in our charts, the area where we are the law, the light, and the center of power holding court in our personal solar system. Leo shows us the way to center ourselves in our Higher Law.
August is the heart of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and the heart of Winter for our Brothers and Sisters "down under." For those in the Northern Hemisphere, it's a time when a maximum of Solar force helps us continue our creative work begun in the sign of Cancer. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, this is also the case, despite the lack of Solar Force.
So in the Northern Hemisphere, this month expands the externalizing self-gathering and consolidating that Summer symbolizes, stabilizing the life force in Leo, the sign of Fixed Fire. In the Southern Hemisphere, you’re looking at a period of stabilizing the heart Fire after the depth of self-preservation that Cancer represents in your Winter.
I opened the door to a new way of viewing the signs relative to the season for the two hemispheres in the article The Mirroring of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Year Cycles in Astrology. If you're down under, please reference the concepts put forth there, since Leo in the Southern Hemisphere consolidates the decisions of Cancer (the heart of Winter) into new forms of natural self-expression. You might say this begins the "warming up" of your Winter, which will lead into the practical adjustments and preparations in Virgo for your Spring.
We decide some things in Cancer that allow us to re-integrate our personalities toward self-gathering of what we need to ensure us our supply. These all show as new ways of life, self-expression, and enjoyment of how we are connected to doing our being naturally in Leo. In the Northern Hemisphere, we are now in a period of extending our enthusiasms and spontaneity – thus a time of traveling, celebration, vacation, and family involvements before the return of more practical matters in September, the time of Virgo, the harvester.
This period indicates dramatic combustions that force us to release old patterns and demonstrate new ones more appropriate to who we really are. Find a larger vision, new friends, new goals and ambitions, and if there is a sense of frustration, decrease egoism and be more inspired and flexible.
Beware of excessive pride or jealousy in self or others, and remember that each being is the center of their own Solar system. As a rule two different Suns in too close a proximity usually generate sunspots, Solar flare-ups, and turn everything within range a little crispy. However, when our Sun is shining at its best, we overcome any tendencies to make things sterile and bring forth the natural fruitfulness in all things and circumstances.
August is usually dominated by the Fire sign energies of Leo. This year we got a prelude of Leo via Venus’ transit through Leo from June 27 to July 22, after which the Sun entered Leo and powered up whatever we had been introduced to by Venus. The Leo influence will continue to be front and center in everyone’s lives for quite a while, since Mercury will cruise through Leo from August 8-23, and then Mars will begin its time in Leo on August 27 and stay in that sign until October 15.
So Leo energies will be prominent through mid-October 2013, all of it anticipating the period when Jupiter will be in Leo from July 2014 to August 2015 for the first time since August 2002-2003. When Jupiter is in Leo it will expand our Leonine efforts and initiatives set into motion this year, so keep in mind that much that is initiated by Mars in September and early October will take off in the last half of 2014!
This month Leo is strongest from August 8-16 due to the Sun being the final dispositor of Mercury and Venus, though the Moon is even stronger due to being the dispositor of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. Since the Moon changes signs so quickly, that means a vast array of energies serving as the backdrop to events this month. This completely shifts the last half of August when Venus enters Libra and becomes its own dispositor, and when Mercury enters Virgo, it will be the dispositor of the Sun.
This month the Water and Fire elements predominate the first three weeks of the month, with Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all occupying one of these elements. The Earth element grows stronger during the last 8 days of August, with Water diminishing once Mars enters Leo near the end of August.
So early August shows strength in Water and Earth, with mid-August shifting to more Fire. Feelings are important most of the month, with inspiration growing stronger in the middle of the month. The Air element is very deficient until Venus enters Libra on August 16, and Earth will come to the forefront for a few weeks when the Sun enters Virgo on August 22-23, followed by Mercury. Still, as long as the Sun is in Leo right now, and we’re under the beams of the recent New Moon in Leo, make the most of the strength of the Sun being in its home sign of Leo!
This month mainly entails finding vital ways to express the multilevel Aries energies set into motion between mid-March and mid-May 2011 and renewed between mid-March and late April 2013. As with this time last year, Leo is now in favorable trine to those energies, helping us stabilize how we use those Fire energies in our lives. This is also a time when we can see the light of future Mars’ initiatives when it’s in Leo from late August through mid-October.
All that said, now we can get back to our celebration of the Sun in Leo! When the Sun spotlights Leo, we are shown the light in this phase of the twelve-step evolutionary process that was started in Aries, stabilized in Taurus, expanded in Gemini, and consolidated in Cancer. The process is now undergoing a fundamental combustion showing as a creative projection of that energy, preparing for the practical refinements and adjustments when the Sun enters Virgo.
Every time the Sun rolls through a sign it illuminates and vitalizes the energies set into motion when the outer planets last occupied that sign. For example, this month the new initiatives and vision offered back when Jupiter was in Leo (2003), given shape and structure when Saturn was in Leo (2005-2007) will continue to power up due to the Sun vitalizing that structure. This of course affects any planets we may have in Leo. And as I noted, this is the end of an old Jupiter in Leo cycle, with a new one to begin in July 2014 during our next celebration of this noble, royal sign.
Leo is symbolically associated with the Lion, a sign representing the regal, self-sufficient, magnificent ruler of their own domain, fierce, quick, sensitive, and noble. The more evolved Leos demonstrate the wisdom-power of the little cats, sent by Bastet, the Great Cat of ancient Egypt, to teach humanity how to serve the Divine Order through all its local manifestations in our house cats. In the year cycle we can now use the needs and decisions we discovered and made in Cancer to act creatively on our own behalf.
We now know what we care about, and can act decisively on that. In our Leo experience each year we renew our connectedness with life, on the basis of the Cancer experience where we found stability and emotional identification with our widened vision of ambition or worldly service begun in Aquarius, the sign showing us how Leo exteriorizes. This was deepened in Pisces, glimpsed and communicated in Aries, concretized and anchored in Taurus and incorporating new ideas and information in Gemini.
Mythologically, Leo is the sign of the King/Queen, the ruling nobility of that which shines eternally, the central force of light and heat in any fixed field of activity. This function is the direct representative of that which bestows life, the central order of any given "realm." It also is the Orphan, in that the ruler has no one to defer to, no one who can make the decisions that must be made about the order of things, the laws of the system.
Leo is where the buck stops and starts, and as such symbolizes the Divine Power of Spiritual force used to curse or bless, destroy or allow. In the wisdom-tradition, it is said that there are good Kings and Queens, as well as bad ones. Historically, we have Arthur as the symbol of the good King that blesses the knights to embrace their holy quests, and Herod as the symbol of the bad King, one who would destroy all life that might someday challenge his hegemony.
Leo, when freed of the traps of pride, inflexibility, egocentrism, sulking, vanity, arrogance, and dictatorial childishness, demonstrate a magnanimous dignity and authority that is fearless, courageous, honorable, humble, devoted, and self-sacrificing. This is a playful sign, and can be the best of companions when among their loyalists. Sometimes oblivious to threats (as they will not even deign to acknowledge them!), they are fierce in protecting their own.
They are loyal, and expect it in return. And, like the mother lion whose cubs are threatened, they will fight to the death to protect their offspring, both literal and figurative. They are the embodiment of love incarnate, and when well adjusted, show as powerful leaders, friends to all, and a force majure in any thing they are involved in. They are capable of becoming world leaders who change their world forever through their light and power.
Think Helena P. Blavatsky, aka "HPB," who brought the Eastern Wisdom to the Western world, founded the world-wide theosophical movement, and is revered as a saint in parts of Asia for the restoration of Buddhism. A voluminous writer of books and translator of the legendary Tibetan text "Voice of the Silence," she gave the world the awe-inspiring volumes of "The Secret Doctrine," a miracle translation work of ancient historical chronicles outlining the "cosmogenesis" and "anthropogenesis" for our solar system and Earth.
In it are the foundations of all we know about creation mythologies, the powers latent in the human vehicle, auras, chakras, the seven planes of our known existence, and Mu and Atlantis, to name just a few subjects covered. It is the source material for anyone who would understand humanity's awesome Spiritual nature and heritage. The other founder of the Theosophical Society was also a Leo, Henry Steel Olcott. Besides this gift to the world, he was renowned as a man of absolute integrity who cleaned up several corrupt departments in the American government and a highly respected author of many spiritual works.
An interesting pair of world-altering Leos puts the spotlight on King Louis XVI and Napoleon. The former was the last king, executed in the Reign of Terror. A few years later another Leo, Napoleon, became the Emperor of France and ended an old world order while ushered in a new era for Europe, the Americas, and even the rule of law itself. Napoleonic Law is somewhat different than other kinds of law, and is still a force in the world today.
American Presidents include Bill Clinton, Herbert Hoover, Benjamin Harrison, and the first multi-racial president, Barack Obama. Female political forces of the 20th century include such figures as First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Roselyn Carter and the political matriarch Rose Kennedy.
Leo potentate Henry Ford created an idea, an empire, and his name is ubiquitous even to this day. Other political heavyweights include Davy Crockett, Fidel Castro, Simon Bolivar, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Bradley, Felipe Calderon, Benito Mussolini, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), also a noted author.
In the movies, we have magnificent examples of the dramatic and creative quality Leo brings to each project. Our stellar sign features directors who have ruled the screen: Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Peter Bogdanovich, Norman Jewison, Melvin Van Peebles, Blake Edwards, John Derek, Betty Thomas, John Landis, James Cameron, as well as heavyweight producers Cecil B. DeMille, Norman Lear, M. Night Shyamalan, and movie mogul Sam Goldwyn.
Among legendary actors and actresses in theater and movies, Leos make up a list for all time that includes Mae West, William Powell, Gene Kelly, Bob Mitchum, "cowardly lion" Bert Lahr, Billie Burke, Jason Robards Jr., Keenan Wynn, Ethel Barrymore, Walter Brennan, Myrna Loy, Peter O'Toole, Robert Shaw, Jane Wyatt, Maureen O'Hara, Shelly Winters, Mike Connors, Rhonda Fleming, Chief Dan George, Louise Fletcher, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Esther Williams, Arlene Dahl, Jack Weston, Dom DeLuise, Patrick Swayze, and Rory Calhoun.
Contemporary Leo ladies of the silver screen include some of the best! Featured are Halle Berry, Jill St. John, Catherine Bell, Hilary Swank, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Anna Paquin, Geraldine Chaplin, Leslie Ann Warren, Audrey Tautou, Melanie Griffith, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Carole Bouquet, Kate Beckinsale, Summer Glau, Kajol, Dominique Swain, Sridevi, and Vivica Fox.
Modern male cinematic shining stars include Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Daniel Radcliffe, Martin Sheen, Danny Glover, Antonio Banderas, Ben Affleck, Sean Penn, Steve Martin, Steve Carell, Ed Norton, Billy Bob Thornton, Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, Kevin Spacey, Peter Bagdanovich, Sam Eliot, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Worthington, Jean Reno, Timothy Hutton, Michael Biehn, Keith Carradine, Brad Renfro, Eric Bana, Ian McDiarmid, George Hamilton, Edward Furlong, and Christian Slater.
Leos who graced our homes through television include legends Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Gracie Allen, Fess Parker, Ted Cassidy, Connie Stevens, and Mike Douglas. Others include Bert Convy, Arthur Treacher, Estelle Getty, Ruth Buzzi, Robert Culp, Carroll O'Connor, Susan St. James, Mike Connors, Martin Mull, Jay North, and Jerry Van Dyke.
Modern television personalities include David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Denis Leary, Kim Cattrall, Rosanna Arquette, Cindy Williams, Valerie Harper, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Lynda Carter, Maureen McCormick, Loni Anderson, Delta Burke, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempest Bledsoe, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Donnie Wahlberg, Marlon Wayans, Kyra Sedgwick, Adam Arkin, Peter Gallagher, John Stamos, Hayden Panettiere, Charisma Carpenter, Sally Struthers, Victoria Jackson, Donny Most, and television journalists Peter Jennings, Linda Ellerbee, Connie Chung, and Christopher Cuomo.
In the world of music we have such timeless shining stars as composer Claude DeBussy, early jazz masters Louie Armstrong, Rudy Vallee, Count Basie, and George Shearing, and bluesmen John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Mike Bloomfield and Robert Cray. The list continues with the folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, the great Tony Bennett, Bobby Hatfield, Eddie Fisher, Jimmy Webb, the legendary Ronnie Spector, Paul Anka, Buck Owens, Mel Tillis, Jimmy Dean, Jim Reeves, Isaac Hayes, Dan Fogleberg, Hank Cochran, and three phenomenal pickers, pedal steel wizard Sneaky Pete Kleinow, the legendary James Burton and Dead shaman Jerry Garcia.
Other Leos at the top of their game doing their royal musical thang include Eric Johnson, David Crosby, Mick Jagger, John Hiatt, Ray Davies, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Geddy Lee, the amazing Scott Matthews, John Gorka, Robert Plant, Ginger Baker, Kris Kristofferson, Dino Danelli, Kevin Cadogan, Lee Rocker, Mark Hallman, Cameron McGill, Kenny Rogers, BJ Thomas, Adam Yauch, James Hetfield, Daniel Jones, Merseybeat pioneer Billy J Kramer, John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Adam Duritz, Rick Wright, Kevin Cadogan, Brad Hargreaves, Josh Golden, Arion Salazar, Joe Jonas, Juanes, Danger Mouse, Howie Dorough, Bill Berry, Martin Gore, Dhani Lennevald, and major guitarists "the Edge" and Slash.
Lovely Leo ladies of the modern musical realm include Whitney Houston, Madonna, Emily Robison, Tori Amos, Maurine McGovern, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Bush, Michelle Williams, Vanessa Carlton, Vanessa Amorosi, and Tammin.
Leo poets include Petrarch, John Dryden, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Tennyson, Rupert Brooke, Ogden Nash, Charles Bukowski, and Stanley Kunitz. Stellar artists feature Maxfield Parrish, Aubrey Beardsley, Gary Larson, Jim Davis, Schim Schimmel, and Andy Warhol.
In literature we have such luminaries as Sir Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas, Alexis de Tocqueville, Emily Bronte, Herman Melville, George Bernard Shaw, Carl Jung, Guy de Maupassant, Dorothy Parker, Beatrix Potter, H.P. Lovecraft, James Baldwin, Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, Zelda Fitzgerald, Ogden Nash, J.K. Rowling, Alex Haley, X.J. Kennedy, and Garrison Keilor.
Other Leos who made their mark on our world for all time: Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark), Neil Armstrong (first man on the Moon), Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek), Alexander Calder, Jean Piaget, and Karl Menninger. Add to this eclectic bunch trick shooter Annie Oakley, seminal Afro-American figure Marcus Garvey, the legendary Ralph Bunche (co-founder of the UN and first black to win the Nobel Peace Prize), John Scopes of "monkey trial" fame, paleontologist Louis Leakey, Apple founder Steve Wozniak, chef Julia Child, designer Rudi Gernreich, and Alex Trebek.
More famous Leos include sports stars Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Lamont "Showboat" Robinson of the Harlem Globetrotters, Peggy Fleming, Evonne Goolagong, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Hulk Hogan, Walter Payton, Yankees coach Casey Stengel, Rocky Colavito, Carl Yastrzemski, and steroid kings Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and A-Rod.
Unique historical figures feature WWI spy Mata Hari, fashion mavens Martha Stewart, Dino DeLaurentis, Yves Saint Laurent, Rudi Gernreich, and Coco Chanel, Paul Taylor, mind-science guru Jose Silva, aviation pioneers Orville Wright and Amelia Earhart, Dag Hammarskjold, first Secretary General of the UN, humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg, and extraordinary comedians Stan Freberg and Firesign Theater founder Phil Proctor, two of the funniest guys who ever made us laugh. A special happy goes out to two Leos whose names shall remain anonymous, including my favorite reading specialist and my favorite person in Dallas.
In the world of astrology we find four greats in Alan Leo, Max Heindel, Llewellyn George, and Sydney Omarr, and in the spiritual world we have the amazing Sri Yukteswar and Sri Aurobindo. (I have Leo rising, so is it any surprise that at one time or another I've studied the works of all of the above?!)
I found an amazing Leo chart, if true. There's a site that claims the Virgin Mary was born August 5, 21 BC, in Jerusalem with 10Cap57 as the Asc. And yes, it is true that she is celebrated on September 8 by the churches, but that only dates from the 6th Century.
Finally, a big happy Leo birthday to Woodstock, the first underwater telegraph cable, NASA, the international cities of Bath, Berlin, Blackpool, Bombay, Bristol, Damascus, Jerusalem, Portsmouth, Prague, Rome, and US cities Miami, Montpelier, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Albany, Warwick, and Charleston. The states of Colorado, Missouri, New York, and Hawaii are under the sign of Leo, as are the nations of India, France, Madagascar, and Italy. Tanti Auguri, and en vino veritas!
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson