SOMEONE once wrote to me and said that I have Leo all wrong. "You always describe them as creative or as artists when really they're..." Well, I won't get into it. But I will concede one point. As the king of the fire signs, the children of the Sun and the heart of the zodiac, Leos are among the most grounded and hardest-working people around. Most lions are too busy getting things done to bother themselves with being too frivolous. More than needing your "moment in the Sun," you need to recognize that you are the representative of the Sun on Earth.
In doing Sun-sign astrology such as you read in a horoscope column (or in Small World Stories), the sign immediately following one's birth sign fills in several critical blanks on who a person is, and for you this would be Virgo. That is the 2nd solar house, one's values system; and it's a sign associated with devotion, service and brainpower. There is usually a healthy dose of self-criticism with Virgo, though sometimes unhealthy. For as open, glamorous and self-centered as Leos can have a reputation for being, inside that blazing personality is someone who barely allows herself a moment's rest, and who knows more doubts than certainty.
It is little wonder then that the homeopathic remedy most closely associated with Leo -- aurum metallicum, that is, pure gold -- is given to people who feel they must work all the time, push their limits, and in any situation where they are given the role of leader, be the one who sets the example by taking on the most responsibility or burden. The need to be the kind of boss who does it all can emerge from extremely deep self-doubts and a feeling of worthlessness that few people would dare to associate with Leo. Those doubts can involve not believing you deserve help.
Homeopathy sees through the veil. Commenting on aurum in his masterpiece Prisma, Frans Vermeulen quotes an earlier author, a psychologist named Coleman: "Among the deeds and sufferings, blessings and curses of the precious metal, it once formed the implements and images of the gods; later, it was a noble material for the artist; now it is an anonymous factor in the abstract world of economic thinking. But are these two realms not also connected with the Sun? The one, forever life-engendering, making the plant forms into images of constantly renewed life; and the other, in which all life ceases, having its image in the desert? The creative and the demonic -- both pertain to the Sun as well as to gold."
Two years of Saturn transiting your sign, which ended recently enough, have successfully pushed you into yourself, and at the same time into the world with a new level of responsibility. Saturn has surely taken you through some deep shadows as well, and many changes that you could not have foreseen when the transit began in 2005. You have experienced tests of your vitality, perhaps some threatening situation or two involving the wellbeing of your father, and probably a geographic move or two.
As of late summer, Saturn is transiting Virgo, your 2nd solar house. With this transit, you continue to be vulnerable to feelings of being worth less (though unlikely worthless), yet you are also striving to establish your value to the world. Saturn in the 2nd house often represents a time of financial pinch, but if the transit is used consciously, the gift is that you move to a new level of consciousness around money, resources -- and self-worth.
Leo, associated with gold, does indeed represent a gold standard, which can be impossible to meet. I suggest you make it possible by being realistic. Like anything you succeed at, I also suggest you make this a project. Define its parameters and goals, and make a work plan for yourself. Do what few people do and take on the issue of self-worth intellectually. And do what even fewer people do: remember that the deepest measure of your self-worth is emotional, and that all other forms of worth emerge from there.
You are clearly in no mood to be held back by limits. You need to make more of an impact on your place of work than it makes on you. And you are in some very intense relationship situations that are calling on your full awareness and, in truth, demand your utmost self-respect. If you apply yourself to these things consciously, they will be easy -- easier than for most other people, and easier than ever before.
What I recommend is this. You need to set yourself on a program of stacking the deck in your favor. This can mean emotionally, whether you get outside and move around or make sure you take your Vitamin D all winter; it can mean financially, by doing the Saturn thing and thinking long-term (see section below); and by taking conscious steps to recognize your achievements for what they are, claim your victories and reward yourself for all that you've achieved.
Technology and Passion
A HUMAN being has so much psychic energy it's amazing they don't bounce off the walls 24/7. You are one of those people who exemplifies this quality, and luckily for us, you often choose to put ethics before anything else. You know right from wrong, and you don't avail yourself of many opportunities to suspend your judgment. It matters to you. It does not matter to everyone else, and you need to allow people into your life on the basis of who actually cares about you and who shares your values.
The scene unfolding in Aquarius, your opposite house, is a bit stranger than fiction. There are not only a lot of people around you; they are wildly diverse in their approaches to life, their ethics and their level of self-awareness. Many are the kind who stand out of the crowd, and who have made a career of being different. Not all of them are friendly. You need to be the one discerning who is who, and choosing the appropriate thing to do with each of them.
The planets in their courses tell a story, which is about you gradually clarifying your relationships. For many years, Neptune has been occupying this house, which is not easy. With your relationships under the influence of Neptune, it's difficult to discern who is who; who is real; what is a fantasy and what is a reality.
You have a strong orientation on social groups, meeting people through groups and relating to them as a primary mainstay in your relationship life. Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, the themes of your encounters with others may have involved more partying in group environments, more use of substances, and less honesty. As time passed, you began to figure out this game, but it has not been until the past two years, when Chiron showed up in your opposite sign, that you really began to see the picture.
Chiron is excellent at pointing out problems, in such a way that you can see a solution. It will point out the weakness in any system, and provide the means to fix it.
Nessus arrived at about the same time. Together, these three planets created what you could call the Drama of the Sinners and the Saints. If your charts are working toward a clarification, then you've certainly had a few things to clarify. These distinctions between sinners and saints are, however, not so thrilling to you as they are to others. You tend to walk around humming the tune "People are People," and tend to accept the human race for who and what it is. Still, you are being invited to look at the world through three open eyes: your left, your right, and your third eye or intuition.
This year, Chiron comes very close to Neptune in Aquarius. It does not make the exact conjunction, but Neptune doesn't need exactitude; it works with an extremely wide orb, having effects years in advance and sometimes (though less often) years after transit events. I am calling the Chiron-Neptune conjunction The Great Clarification, and it occurs in your house of relationships. This will resemble a gradual -- indeed, already begun -- process of seeing people for who they are, and acting accordingly. In other words, your discernment is coming into focus, and you will need it.
The angle of your chart where you are more inclined to dive into experiences, take exciting risks and stretch your personality using art and sex is still lit up like a phosphorous sunrise. Since Pluto has been in this house for years and is now in the process of leaving, most astrologers would say that your days of experimentation are over, and it's time to move onto more serious things. This may be true on one level; you are likely to focus on work like never before. But Pluto is leaving behind a lot of energy and emphasis. Plus for whatever reason, many of the most potent small worlds are gathered there. This is your 5th house and it always demands attention and actual experience, not experience in theory.
First up is Pholus, the planet of small cause and big effect. Pholus is like a sudden release of pressure. You do something seemingly small, and then something enormous results. This could be a time to have some intense erotic affairs, but you need to be mindful of the consequences if there are any ethical issues involved. You will not be able to keep them invisible for long, and you may not want to. In other words, you will claim a lot of your power through a policy of total openness.
It is true -- there are other ways to do this besides sex, but they pretty much all really do lead to sex. In other words, once you decide you need to feel alive, you may decide that that's all that matters. That would be a big step for someone in the Western world, where we don't see the ways that our life energy is sucked out of us by marketing culture, by jobs we don't really love and by the freedom to choose between Staples and Office Max. Suffice it to say, you need more, and one way or another you are going to find it. But remember that more usually means something that is creative, passionate or erotic -- hopefully all three. Alive means something real, not just an idea or a fantasy. Alive means you get to have the experience, not just hope for it.
The problem and the beauty of your charts where they express ideas about relationships and sex is that there is so much potential for both light and dark. We see this as Nessus in your 7th house (in a long conjunction with Chiron, representing the dark side of relationship potential) as well as Ixion in Sagittarius, the planet that tells us that "anyone is capable of anything." This is indeed true -- for you and for others, and it is that sense of potential you need to relate to in a conscious way.
In truth, that contrast that you perceive between light and dark is a good sign; it's a sign that you can see contrasts and experience them as meaningful. In practical reality, however, most people cannot handle their own potential. They typically lack the maturity and the self-knowledge to do so. Or, they are saddled with commitments that prevent them from even considering taking any kind of real chances in life. In another time and place (the 60s and the 70s) it was understood that the way we gain this maturity is to seek experience.
But we don't see how rigid our current social and technological environment is. We don't see how much over-focus is required when we have kids. There are quite literally thousands of rules, requirements, responsibilities and pressures that did not exist 20 years ago, and which have slowly crept up on us. That shuts down creative energy, on the one hand, and requires us to be extremely creative about getting our needs met, on the other. Or, we have to be creative about subverting those needs.
You may not see it; few people may see it or admit it; but it is getting extremely difficult to be human as the technosphere gradually encases us. Some of your choices may, therefore, be seen as part of an effort to preserve your humanity. And I would propose that one of the reasons that we might refuse to take human risks, is because if we feel our humanity, we might not be able to stand it.
I recognize that living our relationships in this technology overload is extremely strange. Forget the fact that 14-year-olds, who live from LCD screen to LCD screen, think it's absolutely normal. Don't worry -- they are the prototypes for people in times to come. How they negotiate their humanity is going to be some very heavy karma as these years unfold; how you negotiate your humanity is a question you must confront right now. Do you plan to be human, or an android? What then would you need to do, in order to be human? The question changes as fast as the world changes, but you have a tendency to be the same person you always were.
You are alive, you are inherently creative, and you have a profound sense of duty and obligation to the world. Part of being alive and doing what you came here to do means existing outside of fixed patterns, routines and expectations. It means understanding yourself as part of your environment, and apart from it; as one with the people you embrace, and as apart from them.
And you need your own definition of love. To do all of these things, you need to feel good about yourself, and you are in a time of life when you just may need to give yourself reasons to do so. Trust me: you will find them if you look for a moment or two.
I have covered much of this topic in the first section, in terms of your relationship between self-esteem and your financial condition. But in this section, I would like to offer some pragmatic advice.
Most people don't structure their finances, or they do so minimally. You need to be thinking for the long-range, and this means thinking structurally, and using time as a factor. Time is not money and money is not time, but they are so closely related that they must be considered in the same idea. Building your resources over time is one of the keys to your actual success; not quick hits, but a layering process that you carefully understand.
I say this whether you have $10 in the bank or $100,000 in the bank. Saturn in Virgo is calling for a long-range program of wealth development.
Your financial situation is subject to some wild fluctuations, though with Saturn holding your situation in relatively stable condition, most of those will be through innovations or offers from others. You need to get any agreements in writing, and it would be best if you provide the written documentation in the first instance. Any contract needs to be in harmony with your values, not just your financial needs. People tend to compromise their values, and they do so when times are thin (under the excuse that you don't have enough to bother with) or lavish times (under the excuse that you have so much you don't need to worry about organizing it).
Skip this non-reasoning please, and get yourself organized. Well, you're likely to be more organized than the average bear, surely better at money than your parents. But get more organized; get professional help; work with that professional help; and all in all, become the master of your money.
Professional and Creative Life
In this department of existence, the fire is the hottest in your creative life. Most of your emphasis is below the horizon, in other words, you are under no obligation to move up in the world -- only deeper into it, and yourself.
Projects you have been beginning over a long period of your life may suddenly start to move. Budget for them, both time and money. They may have a tendency to run away with you, so be prepared for that. In other words, you may decide to try soldering two random objects together and end up building a sculpture the size of a house.
Pay particular attention where any international connection is in existence, including a person, a source of inspiration, or anything else, that comes from another country. When in doubt or seeking inspiration, look abroad.
The creative force -- not ambition -- is the driving factor in your life. You are likely to be so obsessed by what you are doing, whether you consider it to be work or creativity, that you're unlikely to think particularly ambitiously. Given this, I suggest you plan at least one project this year that is specifically devoted to career development. You may need to put what seems like unnatural focus on it, but it will pay off. Remember to infuse it with the energy of art and passion, not duty or labor.
And in Conclusion...
Mulling over what I've just spun out here, I see the need to maintain a four-way balance. The four points are resources, relationships, work and creativity. They are where your most important planets are placed. Assuming you invest in your relationships and look after your finances, we can summarize the equation as a balance between work and creativity. The key would be about integrating the two, since you are fairly well obsessed with both.
Obsessed means that there is a lot of energy being channeled down natural contours in your psyche and ending up where you create ideas (and kids), and where you push yourself to get the job done. If you ensure that nothing you do specifically excludes either of these; or if you ensure that everything you do gets devoted to both, you will be a happy cat in these seasons where so much promise of change is coming to fruition. In your ideal life, I see you walking the line between what most call work and art. The imaginary line that separates the two is one of the hottest spots in your astrology.
The wall between the office and the art studio needs to come down and that space opened up so that you can flourish not merely as an artist or worker but as a creative human being reaching for, and getting a grip on, your full potential.