This week we're shifting celestial gears once again and taking an Astro 101 look at Leo, the 5th sign of the zodiac. The key components of any of the signs unlock a metaphorical treasure chest of wonder and imagination, helping us to peer into the essence of each of these heavenly archetypes. Some of the images we are working with this week are the creature outlined by this sign, its planetary ruler, and the quality and element of the lion.
Leo is ruled by the Sun. It commands the heart, the center of life and love. It is the peak, intensity, and strength of the Summer Sun, whether this manifests as children digging moats against the sea or adolescents parading their youthful bodies along the beach. Children represent a central focus of solar power. Pure, direct and innocent, these little ones are resplendent in their naivete, yet unaware of all the frailties which this lack of experience can lead to.
For the Leo, feline characteristics, will power and a joy of living blend together for some rather incredible theatrical performances. Whether it's the household cat seeking to be the center of attention by walking into the middle of the paper you're reading, a child outlining a bright Sun in primary colors with finger paints, or Mick Jagger mouthing every vowel for the camera while center stage, each are seeking the light of focus and attention.
Inherent in this sign is the essence of life itself.
One of the cornerstones which Leos come here to learn about is courage. Just like Dorothy's Lion in the Wizard of Oz, overcoming fear is an important lesson for Leos. This courage can be in facing some external foe, such as an evil king or creature, or it can be a feat they must pursue from within. If we return to our cat metaphor as an example, cats can run either one of two ways. They can lie in the middle of the rug, at the crossroads of the central intersection of the house without a concern in the world that anyone would have the gall to step on them, or they run at the first sound of a door opening. The level of courage one achieves is learned while passing through this fire sign. Trail by fire might be another way of thinking of it.
Leo is the sign of the glory, power, and strength of the individual, through whatever lens we care to view it. The image both astrology and astronomy use to symbolize the Sun is a circle with a dot standing at its center. For Leos, this is the core around which creation turns. For some, this is a divine spark; for others, it is simply themselves. Those whom they love, they will give their life for.
So, our sign is depicted as the Lion, King of the Jungle. Their regal bearing commands respect. The Sun is their ruler, overpowering the lights of all other heavenly bodies save, upon occasion, the pale bodied Moon. The quality and element of this sign are fixed fire. Like the unending fuel supply of our central star, the energy of this sign goes on and on, for ever lifting the level of 'chi' available to the heart, body and soul.
In the next couple of weeks, we'll take a look at how some of these central themes were interpreted by two separate and distinct cultures within the space of a few short centuries. Two different interpretations of heaven's will over those of us residing here on the earth.