Somehow here we are in the middle of summer. I'm not quite sure how it's gone by so far so fast, but here it is. Tomorrow afternoon just a little before 3pm (PST) the Sun passes into Leo. Here in the Northern Hemisphere that means that we are well into the fullness of the summer months. The zodiac is comprised of three qualities (cardinal, fixed and mutable) and four elements (earth, air, fire and water). Each sign in the zodiac is made of one quality and one element. The fixed qualities represent the middle of the seasonal energy- Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus all hold the fullness, or the 'most manifest' qualities of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring respectively. Fixed energy generally wants to be just that, fixed; it wants to stay, and to exude its qualities indefinitely. In the middle of summer we (or at least I) want to believe that this warmth will last forever, same with the long and light-filled days, the plentiful bounty of gardens and too many excuses to brush work off and head to the river instead.
The Sun is now, and will be for the next few days (it begins to separate the day of the new moon) conjunct the planet Jupiter. The Sun and Jupiter together in Leo love BIG expressions of playfulness. This energy wants you to invite all your friends over, fill your house with music and art, make love in the gardens, sing off the rooftops and exude pure joy. Leo is the sign of the child and can easily exhibit lots of childlike (and childish) behaviors including optimism, naivety, enthusiasm, self-absorption, petulance, unbound and unconditional love and a totally erratic temper, especially when low on sleep, food or enough positive feedback from others.
Leo is ruled by The Sun. While many will say that this is what gives Leos their cliché arrogance or self-absorption, another way to look at it is to remember how much responsibility The Sun has. The other side of Leonine grandiosity is a feeling that if one fails in whatever it is that they are, horrible consequences will ensue... This may sound crazy when applied to our tiny human lives and generally common aspirations, but remember that the essence of the zodiac sign is carrying the planetary energy. If The Sun fails to exude its light, ceaselessly and without rest, if it takes even one day off there will be consequences indeed. So while Leo can definitely be self-absorbed, at least in large part that self-absorption often takes the shape of an intense self-analysis and self-competitiveness. It is truly one of the human Leo's lessons that not only is it OK to fail, but that allowing others to see one's failings is actually an act of love... If Leo gets caught up anywhere it's in trying to pretend at perfection and/or getting lost in the self-loathing of their own human-ness.
The Sun/Jupiter conjunct in Leo only makes only one other aspect between the Sun's entry into Leo and the new moon on the 26th, and that is a square to the planet Mars, who is currently in Libra and on the day of the new moon will move into Scorpio. Mars has been in Libra for a long time, longer than Mars usually stays in any one sign, due to its retrograde phase earlier in the year. Emily Trinkhaus wrote a couple of great columns about Mars in Libra that I recommend you read if interested. Basically this square asks us to check ourselves in a few different ways... From now until the new moon, check your enthusiasm and expression to make sure that its in line with your highest intentions of harmony and grace. It's no fun to curb your enthusiasm, and that's not at all what I want to encourage, but ask yourself to get enthusiastic about partnership- in all ways- from the checkout clerk at the store, to your boss, to your lover- get excited about collaboration and friendliness, and if your enthusiasm busts someone else's bubble... Maybe keep it to yourself for now.
On the new moon when Mars enter Scorpio get ready for a fixed energy square. Mars in Scorpio wants to go deep, examine and penetrate falsity, Jupiter in Leo thinks that's a bit heavy-handed and wonders why you'd waste your time when you could be having fun instead. These energies can work together if we, again, examine the motivations of our enthusiasm and encourage ourselves to make art, love, and play for the things that we really, truly value, not just what might be fun in the moment.
Stay tuned for more on Sun/Jupiter and Mars square as well two grand water trines and two T-squares, coming to you shortly on the day of the new moon!
Remember that everyone has every sign and planet at work in their birth chart. For those of you who are interested and here in Portland, Melina and I will be welcoming Leo and The Sun tomorrow night for Embodying the Zodiac. 7-9pm at The People's Yoga 4940 NE 16th. Bring your chart if you have it!
Much love and summer bliss-ings,