It’s after midnight when my Leo friend calls me crying. I’m trying to write this very article, a small exploration of what it feels like when the Sun, the new moon, and the planet Mars all get together in the sign of Leo. It could be a coincidence, I think, when I see her name across my screen and, in thinking those words, remember a line from a poem I’ve otherwise all but forgotten: “Everything’s a sign or nothing is.”
I choose everything; I pick up the phone and her first utterance is: “I don’t know what I’m doing.” In her words, I can hear the vestiges of Cancer season (and Mars in Cancer), a grappling towards the separation between self and other, between emotional affect and emotional root. It’s a grappling that’s had its way with many of us this past month, resulting in what I’d like to deem the relationship argument spectrum: "I’m separate from you, okay?" to "I’m doing my best, please look" to "I’m relying on you to be better, so." Oh, how difficult it is to coexist with others while inhabiting opposite sides of that fucked up spectrum, how arduous the work of seeing each other’s flaws with compassion.
It’s a good thing that Leo follows Cancer, just as day follows night, illuminating our anxiety-ridden lunar landscape with pride and ambition. Pride, lest we forget, has more than one meaning to the Leo. Within the interior, pride is a source of self-pleasure, the act of reveling in one’s strengths and possibilities. Yet pride is also a social network, a foundation that provides strength through inter-relation and inter-dependence. Leo teaches us to honor the value of ego—the take charge of ourselves and our own lives, to figure out what we want to be in the world and work towards becoming it. Despite Leo's reputation for being self-centered, the truth is that the lion thrives in a community because the community gives them purpose. A Leo wants their own strengths complemented by the strength of the people they love, so if they’re going up, they want to bring you up too. No lion is born to be a lion alone.
These lessons come to us through three intense aspects at the end of this month, beginning with Mars in fiery Leo July 20th, which is then intensified by the Sun in Leo on the 22nd, and triple-whammed by the ambitious Leo moon on the 23rd. If that’s not hot enough for you, it’s worth mentioning that Mercury has been in Leo since July 6th! When Mars and Mercury are in Leo, it’s important for all signs (but especially fire dominants) to think before they act and speak. That’s because, with the new moon in Leo, this is an auspicious time for setting new intentions, for communicating one’s true ambitions, and for making inroads regarding new projects and connections. When the steps you take now can very likely lead to huge life shifts, you’ve got to make sure that you’re serving the highest form of your ego rather than your lowest.
In reaction to July’s monsoons of emotion and reflection, hard choices are bound to crop up so ask yourself: Who is in charge? How is this power distributed? How do I show myself the value of my boundaries? Can I trust others to take care of me and see this as the strength of kinship-building? Can I take care of others without standing in my own way? Do I act out of fear or out of self-love? What aspects of my life and my behavior do I need to change in order to act as my best self and in service to the greater good?
I know, I know, all these big-deal questions might seem like a mountain. But, if you think like a Lion, you can top that terrain no problem. Then, pose at the peak with the wind blowing through your mane.