The Nemean Lion
Many are the stories told about Leo, 5th sign of the zodiac. It's said that the Egyptians worshipped Leo and marked their change of year by when the rising of royal star Regulus was directly east on their horizon. Some think that this is exactly what the Sphinx is aligned to stare at. We may never know for sure, but the idea is both intriguing and rather inspiring.
Speaking of sphinxes, at the other end of this tale of tails-a-lashing is Leo as the Nemean Lion, a wild creature which so terrorized the countryside in which it lived that none other than Heracles (Hercules) was sent to take care of the problem. The 'sphinx' part of this tale is that the Nemean Lion was in this story said to be sibling to the Sphinx which Oedipus meets - you know, the riddle asking Sphinx.
Thus rather neatly we have the polarity of what is for many, a rather enigmatic sign. Leo represents all the headstrong desire of the raging Nemean Lion and all the question-asking of the roadside sphinx...from which, when we consider Leo as the sign of children should not make us wonder at all the questions kids ask!
A fixed sign by nature, Leo often gets itself in trouble because it's pride has such difficulty dealing with even the teeny-tiniest sign of defeat. It is humiliation? Is it the Leo tendency to be hard on one's self? Both, I'm afraid. And for those who know a Sun or Moon Leo in particular, telling one from the other is often rather hard - and it's sometimes worth your good hand to even ask!
Frustration of many kinds gets stirred into the mix by Leo being the sign of creativity (and hence children, since kids are the creations of their parents and often inately creative). And it's in this childlike innocence which Leos so struggle with; wherever Leo is in your chart and whatever it may color in terms of symbols, these describe both the impulse and the challenge you face when in a personally creative mode. Can I do this? Will it be as good as I want it to be?
The first is a primal Leo question about willingness to risk. The second is about facing your own skill levels and possible (un)willingness to not just admit (to your own ego) that you're not the hottest shoe on the block in some way, but also deal with the question of investing time, energy and resources in upping your quality quotient.
It's a problem. After all, since when was any lion on any savanna willing do admit they weren't the biggest, baddest and best cat around?
Constellation Leo - source: Allthesky.com
Ruled by the Sun, Leo is sometimes plagued by a sort of 'blindness.' Many who deal with Sun sign Leos on a regular basis (she said, sighing...) feel like they think the whole world revolves around them. They're right. Their way is the best way. Their pain counts, yours isn't interesting.
And yet...though this sounds as if you (or your needs or opinions) don't count, Leo cares desperately. Wherever Leo appears in a chart, that's where you care beyond measure about what others think of you.
It's very confusing. The Leo dynamic which seems to think it's 'right' no matter what needs beyond all things to be agreed with. Wherever this sign lies in your chart and as any planet passes through Leo, those attributes 'light up' and become almost blinding - the fire sign quality of imagination and ideal image are so strong that one cannot see anything else....and dare not see anything else, lest the disappointment be crushing beyond the ability to bear.
Oh, how dramatic, right? Yes, dramatic.
And yes, very Leo.
With all this now lingered over and duly pondered, now we get to the point: on July 22nd at 22:22 (10:22 pm, GMT) the Sun - Leo's ruler - moves into its 'home' sign, and there it will be until August 22nd/23rd (depending on your time zone).
Like the Nemean Lion, when Sun is in Leo we tend to test ourselves against our own standards, our personal benchmarks and yes, each other. The Leo need and tendency to 'shine' (like the Sun) is literally exalted during this time...with what separates the winning through from the getting rebuffed roughly separated by exactly the Leo challenge: the ability to recognize that no matter how brilliant and creative you are, if you (the one) don't fit in with the mega-millions-of-others. In other words, you may have invented the most brilliant mousetrap every conceived of, but if there are no mice on your planet you're not likely to get much in the way of applause, appreciation...or orders for you product (and hence, success, income and satisfaction).
Quite to the contrary...when under the Leo influence we fail to take the 'greater audience' (or society, social circle, marketplace, etc.) into account, we end up feeling rejected, unworthy and rather useless. I mean...let's face it, the lion devoid of pride is rather sad. We all need to be the 'mane' person somewhere in our life!
Lastly, since lore suggests that configurations which exist as a planet enters ('ingresses') a sign color its complete transit of that sign (as if they mark the setting of a trend), a quick look to that as well.
The trine to Uranus (innovation/disruption), Hebe (service), Jupiter (growth/overload) and Lust (fixation) firmly in place as the Sun enters Leo suggests the 'backdrop' for this month-long passage is all about some drive which we come into this time with as an ongoing drive. With Jupiter on station, this is big - catch the Friday blog for more about that!
The challenge here comes in the form of an inconjunct to Chiron (the thing we should do but don't feel we know really HOW to do...), Icarus (having gone too far/too fast) and Fomalhaut - a royal star all about dreams and desires which if noble and untainted bring great happiness and which if tainted manifest as loss and confussion. Considering this connection is to a Leo Sun, this is either an ego-ouch in waiting or a moment in which (however reluctantly) you acknowledge that your way isn't the right way - not even for you.
The good news is that the Sun/Saturn-Mars sextile tells us that there's now an opportunity to do yourself a favor and make things better, improve on situations or otherwise renew your Leo place in the Sun.
Wear sunscreen...and try to keep your cool.