Just because Leo season is coming to a close doesn’t mean that summer’s over. Our new moon in Leo, bolstered by Mercury in Leo, is here to remind us that energy is not made or destroyed, it just keeps changing shape. It’s a rule we learned in grade school science classrooms, from potential to kinetic and back again. It’s something most of us find hard to remember: that we are always interacting with the world around us, affecting it and being affected in turn. Perhaps that’s why so many of us think of love as a kind of energy — affection shifts from one shape to another, from friendship to romance and back again. The moon appears to us as a shapeshifter, waxing and waning, but always whole. She is our reminder that there’s always more than what we see, always more to the story, a rich dark underside.
A new moon in Leo can teach us how to recognize the shape of our own pride when it blocks our blessing. It can teach us how to share ourselves with the world, even when we feel like the world is primed to reject our offering. That’s because Leo rules the heart and is the sign of adoration, of wanting to adore and be adored. Of knowing that the best way to get what you want is acting like you already have it.
Once, a long time ago, I loved a Leo. On the evening of leaving his apartment after a meeting he would later claim never happened, I heard a Janis Joplin song that embedded itself into my poetic memory. I was waiting for the train, my heart fist-tight in my chest, listening to Joplin’s greatest hits on my Sony Walkman when I heard her achy voice through the headphones. I felt as if she was speaking directly to me:
I mean, if you got a cat for one day, man. I don't mean, if you, say, say maybe you want a cat for 365 days, right? You ain't got 'em for 365 days. You got 'em for one day, man. Well, I'll tell you, that one day, man, better be your life. Because, you know, you can say aw man, you can cry about the other 364, but you're gonna lose that one day. And that's all you got; you gotta call that love, man. That's what it is, man. If you got it today you don't wear it tomorrow, man. 'Cause you don't need it. 'Cause, as a matter of fact, as we discovered on the terrain, tomorrow never happens. It's all the same f*cking day, man.
I know I might be coming off as an Old, gently quoting a 70’s classic rock goddess who says “man” after every pause. But those words changed me. They prepared me for a lifetime of converting grief into celebration, of reckoning with the time we don’t have.
People say time speeds up when you get older, but what most of us have experienced this summer is less about our individual relationship to time and more about the weaving of different timelines. An expressway between worlds, a catalytic chaos, a feeling that no matter how many times you vote and protest and try to make a difference — it’s all the same f*cking day, man. For some, feeling like tomorrow never happens is any invitation to throw up their hands and give up the fight. But, for many more, it’s an invitation to be as alive and responsive to the present moment as they can be. To love that cat for one day, man.
It’s no wonder Mercury is involved — a planet named after a god who delivered messages from one side of the veil to the other. Mercury loves information first and foremost, having it and choosing who else does. Mercury in Leo is passionate and knows what it takes to work a room, or an angle, even if they’re directing from behind the scenes. With Mercury in Leo is conjunct our new moon, we’re likely to come back to something we thought we weren’t equipped to do with a renewed sense of possibility. A trine to Mars in Aries, pours confidence and self-assurance into our efforts, especially regarding endeavors that began in the Spring but lost steam in the waves of Cancer season.
Last night, I came home to find a stray cat wondering my small building hallway. I knocked on the doors of all my neighbors, but she belonged to no one. She ate the food we gave her and leaned into our touch. When I woke, she was gone, as was all evidence of her visit. My Leo-rising friend, whose last name means Crescent Moon, sent me a video message asking if the cat looked like her. She reminded me that immigrant daughters have a harder time accepting help. Here we are, on the hot stone tip of August, trying to help each other. Surveying the spiritual desert of our democracy can be disheartening, but don’t let your disappointment in a future that hasn’t happened stop you from making your way toward it. If you’re afraid you don’t have enough time, remind yourself that time is energy, too, and changing. Cast the fire that burns inside you as far it will go, and let it warm whatever you touch.