by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A New Moon in Leo

 Moonrise at Sunset (Jessie Eastland January 2012)

Every New Moon represents the beginning of a new cycle. During each lunar cycle we will see – and experience – events which fit into the ‘theme’ of the sign of that New Moon, with the sign of the Full Moon (which is generally the New Moon’s polarity sign) as the ‘thematic’ indicator of the nature of the fulfillment which we will meet up with.

On the mundane level of life in the Big World around us, that’s pretty much it. But when we get down to our lives as individuals…or even the ‘life’ of a nation or a company or a product – or anything else in specific, where those signs of the New and Full Moon fall in that chart further ‘color’ the nature of the monthly experience.

Still, that’s really what lunar cycles are about. Yes, they may contribute or even represent high points or low points in our yearly cycle…or in our life (as may be indicated by transits and eclipses to your personal chart). But on a purely theoretical level, the New Moon is simply life chiming the newest hour of the yearly day in the life of our solar system – which is itself but one small cell in the incredible vastness which is the universe of life, time and Existence.

This month’s New Moon is in Leo, a sign all about the idea of bringing things into being, what it is we want to bring into our world, our hopes for whatever it is we attempt or create and all those new moments of experiencing along the way.

The obvious strength of Leo is its dynamic power to create. The equally evident pitfall with Leo is its tendency to be blind to external elements – be those the people around you whose opinions are going to matter to you at some point, the realistic feasibility of our goals, dreams and ideas, or the effort it’s going to take to bring our dream into reality.

Leo is an intrinsic sign of vision. Pisces may dream and Scorpio may intuit, Sagittarius may comprehend strengths and weaknesses and Aries may sense capacity. But nothing sees what could be like Leo does.

And because of that very thing, the greatest Leo defeats are often not defeats in reality, but in the mind. Leo energies are defeated not by the impractical and not by the impossible, but rather by the difference between the expectation seeded by vision and the reality – be that what it will take to get the idea off the ground or the fact that not everybody is as delighted with our Leo vision. Or a Leo’s vision, in the case of a Sun sign Leo.

Many a Leo (and person with a Leo idea) has felt that cold douse of water being thrown in their face and, after a bit of roaring and snarling, said ‘I’ll show you!’ and gone on to be successful in spite of the wet blankets.

And therein lies the essential Leo lesson: while it’s important to have a dream, learning to require of yourself that you recognize the realistic parameters of that dream is your best Leo armor.

Thus we come to this year’s Leo New Moon, a New Moon which will occur on August 6th at 9:52 p.m., UT/+0 time at 14 Leo, a degree which by definition is ‘emotional’ – which in the case of fiery Leo is more akin to fervency. Or excitability. Or conviction.

But remember…our lion Leo as a zodiac sign has delicate paws. You remember that story about the thorn in the lion’s paw, right? That’s an interesting reference on the zodiacal level, seeing as feet (and therefore paws!) are Piscean in nature – which may be why foot rubs are so soothing (come to think of it). Pisces is the 8th sign from Leo – that we call in astrological terms ‘the 8th harmonic’ – which means that it is in, and through the Pisces challenge to be willing to accept feeling one’s feelings that Leo finds its power personal and worldly.

Perhaps that helps you understand the Leo challenge. We all have them, obviously – and whatever sign is the 8th harmonic from your Sun or Moon sign is where you (personally) are likely to find your sticking points.

You know, those thorns in your paw.

So we’re starting with a New Moon loaded with vibrant, evocative energy which is ‘seeding’ 14 Leo, a degree which is strong on spirit and the spiritual, but less integrated with life’s realities than other Leo degrees.

Which, considering we are talking about Leo, may say a good deal.

Looking at this more abstractly, 14 Leo is about isolation versus integration with pluses and minuses on both sides. There is a need to focus (isolate)… and a definite challenge in the area of integrating – whether that’s you integrating yourself into a group, getting your schedule prioritized (an integrating of theoretical goals, realities of necessity and real world time) or any other combination of disparate, differentiated factors.

And as soon as we say that, there is the fact that this particular New Moon comes to us as part of a grandly designed grand square.

There are several basic ‘conflicts’ described in this figure as a construct. The first is that grand squares (whatever they may be composed of) are sort of like a tablecloth you optimally want to pick up by all four corners so that everything is “contained.” That suggests that this month is going to be full of things which have many sides which need to be considered…and contended with.

The next idea is that this grand square is being presented to us in fixed signs. Fixed signs always present us with a challenge. We tend to see fixed sign challenges in terms of others or the world around us, but the real challenge is to our willingness to take on a new phase of growth or effort which goes beyond our current norm.

The other thing about fixed signs is that they’re each and every one of them about the road to personal satisfaction and that yearned for sense of personal security with one’s Self.

So to have a New Moon poised as a grand square in fixed signs suggests that for some, this ‘lunar month’ is going to be crucial. Or filled with critical moments. It is to be expected that we’re going to hear the word ‘no’ several times this month, and that we’re not going to love hearing it.

Will you be defeated? Or will you admit (at least to yourself) that you’ve stubbed your ego’s toe and move on to try, try, trying again?

That would be one of the very good questions to ask ourselves this month, replete with the obvious corollary of why is it sometimes so hard to get past our own ego?

Oh yeah…that would be that Leo ‘vision versus reality’ thing again.


There’s another basic challenge implied by the grand square which comes with this lunation, namely that the Moon (as part of the Sun/Moon conjunction which is the New Moon) is in square to the Moon’s own Lunar Nodes.

What are those node things, you ask?

The Nodes are where the orbit of the Moon around Earth intersects the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. They’re the ‘intersection’ of the whole of life (the Sun) with our daily doings (the Moon) – which in common terms would be our relationship to the world around us or society at large. They’re also the image of our personal ‘encounter (intersecting) with people in our personal world – relationships, in other words.

One of the nodes (the North Node) is the ‘uphill’ climb – it’s all effort with great reward to be had. The other node (the South Node) is like coasting downhill on a bike – all ease and fun, with an implied ‘expenditure’ of resources, which could be emotional, monetary, physical, relational or just simply involving time.

Everybody likes their South Node ‘stuff,’ nobody likes their North Node ‘stuff.’ That’s just the way it goes. And since the South Node is conjunct Menkar and Amor, the diagram of this New Moon strongly indicates that we will be tempted to take the easy way out.

Or at least the way through which is easiest (which is to say, best known or most comfortable) for us. With Amor in this mix this isn’t about animosity or drive, this is simply about the known, the non-risky-feeling, the thing or person which seems “friendly” or who is already a friend.

Beneath this, with Menkar in the mix, we would have to think that there is some measure of not wanting to face emotional challenges – which fits with Leo’s emotional outlook, but apparently not with this month’s drive to get things done or achieve some aim.

On the other side of this coin we have the North Node conjunct House, which might be best read as needing to become comfortable with…or the effort required to become facile with, familiar with, willing to reconcile with – any means, method or dynamic which is about opening yourself to ‘other’ possibilities, and/or those who embody that which isn’t ‘native’ to you. With Deucalion involved, there is an implication that something needs to be let go of and something new brought into being – which is the second ‘creationist’ notice we’re getting with this New Moon. (Yes, we keep score in astrology – most repeated theme gets top billing.)

In the most esoteric sense, Scorpio is about the opportunity to grow ourselves at a deep seated, experiential level. With Scorpio however, we always have to be prepared to risk. We may be risking our feelings of stability, we may be risking our money, we may simply be risking being wrong…particularly in that Leo sense of ‘my vision isn’t reality – REALITY is reality. Drat!’.

Wherever Scorpio resides in your chart (look for the house with Scorpio on the cusp) that will be the arena and dynamic through you will experience All Things Scorpio throughout your life – for better and for worse (and with Scorpio, both apply!). Scorpio tends to magnify our sense of things, as in the physical intimacy we associate with Scorpio-as-sex being the magnification of encounters of others. 

The reason to bring this up is because with Psyche in this stellium of Scorpio objects we are particularly mentally apt this month – and apt to be mentally challenged. Psyche always represents some mental challenge. Or a challenge met on a mental level. So whether the issue is getting something through your head or ‘learning to mind’ (ahem!) or even how to teach someone else something (helping them be more comfortable in their mind or even in a relationship) it’s all there to do – and it’s both part of our New Moon cycle this month…and defined as being a bit in our way.

In the way of what? That’s probably best defined by the New Moon itself and its opposition. That first part is Moon-Vesta-Sun with a dash of Charybdis (the need to keep trying) and Pappos (the shape of the situation you’re in).

Vesta is alternately a protector symbol and an emblem of ‘what something could cost’ …which could be seen as protecting ourselves against loss….or accepting the cost of getting something done safely, securely and to our greatest benefit - often with a 'group (or societal) benefit'  implied.

Whatever it is and however this ‘Vesta Vibe’ shows up during your lunar month (which will vary), being aware that at some level you’re starting from zero and you’re supposed to be starting from zero (or “starting anew”) is key. Yes, you can build on what you know, what you have, with what you’ve learned and through those relationships you have already established in this world.

But you’re also – at some level – at square one. And that’s where Leo’s powerful ‘vision’ is a gigantic plus. There’s nothing like Leo to serve as motivation, so we’re likely to see all sorts of people launching new whatevers over the next few weeks.

That’s not to say they’ll all be good, mind you. But the effort is likely to be there….and we’ll just hope that the arrogance sometimes associated with Leo gets left at home.

Then we get to the oppostion: Vaticana and Juno retrograde, an indication that at some level we’re either looking to build a power base (or base of power) OR we’re having to contend with someone or something which already has a base of power. Coming from Aquarius, this opposition asks that we integrate ourselves and not ‘explode’ or ‘implode’ in some way. Juno in retrograde is a symbol of management, sometimes of resources but often of information or methods which have already been proven successful.

Put simply, you can go up against it, or ally yourself with it – take your pick.

One other figure which goes with this New Moon is this one…

Yes, it’s a t-square. (I know you’ll be happy to see that.) The idea that Uranus is the ‘t’ in this t-square is likely to make a few folks nervous. And yes, this is all about change – and not necessarily the kind of change, or change at the pace or in the area of life you’d necessarily like to change, but what’s the choice?

Are you in charge of this universe?

In a sense, that’s the underlying question. With this 12 Aries Uranus in trine to the New Moon’s 14 Leo there is an ongoing process of change which is under way. The only real question is whether you’re on board with that change or not. Those who will embrace ‘the new’ which is entering their life stand to gain much – represented here by Jupiter (growth), Pallas (knowing wisdom), Alhena (understanding the/your purpose or purposeful understanding) and Phaethon (headstrong self confidence). This totality images conviction. And maybe more to the point, the desire to manifest that which will be good for your life – and for the rest of the world as well.

With Facies/Pluto in this mix as our ‘starting’ or ‘continuing challenge’ point, nothing is simple. We’re all likely to trip over a stumbling block (or two). That Uranus is still at the degree it went retrograde at in mid-July has us ‘hovering’ on some point – and lest we miss the point, this is an energy which can manifest emotionally as rebellion or a fear-of-self which forces us to act because we don’t know quite how to react constructively. Such actions are likely to be in some ‘old mold’ which may or may not serve you well – and where things don’t go well, they’re likely to be destructive.

But remember…this is a Leo New Moon. So while things may indeed get damaged in real world terms, the most ‘danger’ is the destruction which may now occur to some dream, some ideal, some vision – or your investment in that vision, idea or image.

The issue here is change. So that which you are invested in which comes from your past is more likely to be problematic than what you are attempting to build, learn or master in present time. And both may now be operative, giving us an implication that at the very least, ‘updating’ is needed.

By the time this New Moon reaches its Full phase it will be in Aquarius. And since Aquarius is the polarity sign to Leo the question becomes whether we have ‘found our way’ or ‘our place’ our the way that our efforts, our being, our sensibilities can be appreciated by others.

To the extent that they have, we’ll feel gratified – and like as not have built ourselves a springboard, a platform, at least a temporary ‘safe haven’ from which to plan our next step.

For those who fail to take their surroundings and the needs, priorities or preferences of others into account, the measure becomes whether you’ve been so innovative that you inspire others to follow you, or if you’re so out-of-touch that efforts fall flat and ideas melt away into deflation and dejection from which yes, we can learn better.

But will we want to?

One other smidge-of-a-note to add on here is that this Leo lunation we’re just embarking on will carry us into the eight week ‘break down’ period which precedes the November Solar Eclipse. Because any eclipse is also a matter of Sun, Moon and lunar nodes, the fact that these cycles overlap may well indicate what will be afoot (or on the table) during the incoming eclipse period, which makes taking note of what happens now not merely sensible, but educational.

November’s eclipse will be in Scorpio. In other words, the eclipse is beginning to form up…slowly but ever so surely…right now.

So…! What do you want to bring into being in your life or this world? What do you want – or need to change? Undertaking those challenges now is a good way to harness the natural inclination towards evolution and revolutions personal and societal which in turn and in time will lead to transformations whether we like it or not.

Our only question is whether we are willing to create or re-create without falling into the Uranus t-square ‘trap’ which would have us be irresponsible, unresponsive and ultimately so self indulgent or self protective that we undermine our own ability to flex, adapt and thrive.