The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Leo, July 2017

Chart for the New Moon in Leo
Chart for the New Moon in Leo

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Jul.23 – NEW MOON in LEO (00:44 of Leo)

There's more fiery energy per square inch in this New Moon chart than you could shake a matchstick at! And this New Moon kicks off a month or two of some pretty high octane celestial activity.

Where to begin....?

Let's start with the Stellium in Leo: Sun, Moon, Mars and Mercury. Although I don't feel the Nodes emanate energy, in and of themselves, they do tend to amplify the energies aligned with them, so we'll also throw in the North Node for good measure. And of course, the ruler of Leo is the Sun which is in its own sign, meaning an extra boost of Leo energy.

Do we have enough Leo yet??

Stellium aspect pattern in Leo

At its best, this mega-Leo energy shines a brilliant spotlight on your best qualities which may leap forth with grand, dramatic flare. Sun and Moon in Leo can infuse your conscious intention and mood with confidence and buoyancy.

Mercury in Leo helps you focus your thoughts on the upbeat potential in your surroundings. And the Leo Mars can uplift your courage and conviction to move forward in the actions that will propel you in your chosen direction.

When you're in a good space, you may come across as magnanimous, generous, optimistic, and wanting to bring out these qualities in others. Droopy faces will not survive long in your presence, as your sense of well-being can be quite infectious. And if you're not in a good space, it's probably easier to lift your spirits into a more positive place under Leo's sunny skies.

This is a time when you may feel like someone just strapped a rocket to your chair and you're bouncing off the walls as you try to steer it! During this lunar cycle you will need to keep both hands on your will power and your attention focused on your best intentions. You can go far on this energy, but it will take some skill to ride this rocket.

The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
"I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected."
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

However, on the down side, it's possible you might aim to improve your outlook but instead wind up just adding fuel to a mindset you're trying to avoid. In other words, you might double down on a viewpoint that is actually counterproductive.

In that case, Mars being in the Fixed Fire sign of Leo could burn a little too hot, making you overly persistent, pushy or demanding. Or you may be unwilling to try a new course of action that might be more effective but requires more effort than you wanted to make.

Mercury in Leo can be very charismatic in communication, but there is a risk of relying too much on how it's presented and not enough on its integrity and substance. A fancy cover doesn't necessarily make the book's content better.

The down side of the Sun and Moon in Leo is that it could elevate your confidence to the point of coming across as pretentious or self-absorbed. You may become so blissed out on love and light that you dismiss anyone with a less sunny disposition. Or you might become a bit obsessed with your own interests at the expense of not appreciating or accommodating the needs of others.

Neptune sesquiquadrate Sun Moon and Mars

The difficulty here is that if you slip into this mode you might not even realize it, but others around could be painfully aware of it. The Sun as the centre of our solar system cannot see its own light directly, but can only see its reflection from other planets – the Leo part of us needs that audience to give us positive feedback and reassure us we're not alone. Since the Sun and Moon are sesqui-quadrate to Neptune (135°), there is a possibility you might misread your audience.

Like the mythical Narcissus, too much obsession with getting that reflection from others can disconnect you from the very self that is being reflected. So, instead of reinforcing and illuminating your own sense of yourself, you may start to see yourself only through the eyes of others. This can mean you're giving away too much of your power, which weakens your ability to define and choose who you are and who you are becoming.

Narcissus close-up

When that happens, you may become unable to absorb the accolades you received from others. And in (what feels like) the absence of positive regard, your need for more and more and more attention can become compulsive and overbearing. In the extreme, you might be unable to hear anything but the loudest applause, while becoming impervious to any negative feedback, no matter how legitimate, constructive or kind.

This is a central part of the archetypal lessons of Leo—to learn to cultivate a strong, healthy, balanced sense of self. That lesson is all about how to keep the fire of spirit fed without burning down the house in the process.

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Of course, this extreme condition of egotism needs to be rebalanced with some perspective. That balance is rooted in the opposite sign Aquarius. There we see that our identity and sense of self are given a greater context of meaning through our community, culture, friends, associates and other groups.

Rather than being yet another audience, these are groups where we are but one among many. This can be a humbling or even humiliating experience, especially if your ego self is feeling a bit needy for some individualized pampering and attention. In Leo, you can be special—in Aquarius, you might align yourself with a group of special people but you're not necessarily more distinguished among them than your peers.

Lunar Nodes in Leo and Aquarius

This Leo-Aquarius dynamic is shown two ways in the New Moon chart. One is the axis of the Lunar Nodes. The North Node in Leo shows what we need to take in, focus on and learn from. The South Node in Aquarius shows what we need to let go of or move from the foreground into the background—to extract the learning but let go of the lesson that taught it to us.

That the energy flows away from Aquarius and toward Leo suggests that it is good to affirm and strengthen our Leo sense of self and ego consciousness. We all need to feel important and special. And when we surround ourselves too much with the collective mindset, we can lose touch with what we think and feel and aspire to, which may be separate from those around us.

Truth is not fully explosive, but purely electric.
You don't blow the world up with the truth;
you shock it into motion.
~ Criss Jami, Healology

On the other hand, complete disconnection from the collective may not be easy or wise, and that brings us to the second Leo-Aquarius theme in the chart. The Sun, Moon and Mars are in a stressful square aspect to Uranus (90°). Since Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, this suggests that the separation process could be difficult, abrupt or extreme—possibly more-so than it needs to be.

This is very volatile energy! Tempers tend to be on a short fuse, and it's all too easy to overreact to just about everything. Your usual urges, desires, obsessions and impulses are likely to be running on jet fuel, so it's probably a good idea to take a step back and cool down a bit if you start to get too caught up in behaviours and emotions that you know may not be in your best interest.

Uranus square Sun Moon and Mars

At its best, you could ride this rocket to new heights in whatever you're aiming to achieve. Your energy level is likely to be high, from which you may feel exceptionally uplifted, liberated and visionary. This energy could also get you un-stuck from procrastination, inhibition or lethargy, or spur you into action.

The problem is that it could also swing you around to the other extreme, which could create as many problems as it seems to solve. It may also propel you too far too fast and be difficult to control, possibly leading to doing more damage than good. You might be looking to light a bonfire but wind up with a forest fire. Especially with Mars and Uranus both being involved, accidents are possible, especially if you're not being mindful about what you're doing. So it's important to stay grounded and keep checking in with your awareness and better judgment.

One way this could manifest is you might find you feel the urge to sever ties with a friend or a group of friends, if your relationship has been strained for a while. You might find you need a bit of a break from online social media (which many people have been doing lately, including myself). You might feel increasingly irritated, frustrated, intolerant or stifled by controversy and chaos in the collective world around you. Before you start to shred your friends list on Facebook or Twitter, this might be a good time to take a breather and just let the commotion inside you settle down a bit, until you can return restored and rejuvenated.

One factor that could soften the sharp corners of the Sun-Moon-Mars square Uranus is that the aspect is out-of-sign, meaning they're not in signs that are naturally stressful to each other. In fact, all planets involved are in Fire signs: Uranus is in Aries and the Sun, Moon and Mars are in Leo. The question is: will that ease the stress of the square or just throw more fuel on the bonfire? It's bound to affect everyone a little differently, filtered through your natal chart and current transits.

The best way forward is probably to be open to brilliant motivation and insightful inspiration, but keep an eye out for a possible firestorm too. Slash and burn through your current frustrations, if you absolutely must, but ask yourself if a less drastic solution might suffice—a temporary vacation, a different mindset or perspective, doing something out of the ordinary to give yourself some extra space to just be yourself.

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.
~ Joan Crawford

The New Moon is at 0° of Leo—the first degree, which is always a powerful degree since it initiates the raw essence and purpose of the sign's energy. Leo is Fixed Fire, which means it deals with how to connect with and sustain the evolving spirit of who you are. In other words, how do you hold the energy that is You in a way that allows continued growth and refinement.

Archetypally, we're moving from supportive, nurturing Cancer, through the formation of the Leo self that is emerging, and into Virgo where it can be fine-tuned, adjusted and made useful by being able to focus beyond itself.

When a lunation happens at the first or second degree of a sign, it usually means the next one will be in the last degrees of that same sign. And sure enough, the New Moon following this one will be at 28° of Leo, so your journey through the Leo learning curve is a two-parter.

This first New Moon in Leo opens a window through which you can get to know more of the essence of who you are. Who do you think you are? Does this match your behaviour and style of self-expression? Are you a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty person? How do you react when faced with the other kind of "glass?" This isn't about right or wrong answers, or passing judgment on yourself, but rather about checking in with yourself.

Another thing that distinguishes this New Moon is that it leads into the next eclipse season. The upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius (Aug.07/08) is a Lunar Eclipse. And the 28° Leo New Moon that follows it is a Solar Eclipse—yes, THAT eclipse. The one you're hearing about everywhichwhere these days. Why? Because it is a Total Eclipse that's partly or fully visible throughout most of North America, which is a bit rare for North America. The area of visibility stretches right across the mainland United States, as well as much of Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska.

So, the current Leo New Moon begins an ongoing process for the next few months, ultimately intended to help you clean out your psychological and spiritual fireplace, sweep the chimney free of the residue of old struggles, and establish ways to build a more effective inner hearth that can sustain a stronger, more stable passion. I'll talk more about this in the next few updates.

Life is wonderful and strange...and it’s also absolutely mundane and tiresome.
It’s hilarious and it’s deadening. It’s a big, screwed-up morass of beauty and change and fear
and all our lives we oscillate between awe and tedium. I think stories are the place
to explore that inherent weirdness; that movement from the fantastic to the prosaic that is life.
~ Anthony Doerr

Speaking of Fire, the New Moon chart is ablaze with it! Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Uranus are all in Fire signs, plus the North Lunar Node. That's half the chart! There is a Grand Trine in Fire that is coming together now, and will be with us in various forms over the next two months.

The enduring part is the Saturn-Uranus trine (120°) which has been with us since the end of last year (Dec.24.2016, May.19.2017 and Nov.11.2017). This is the first time any planets have lined up to trine both of them, forming a Grand Trine (other than the Moon, which does this once a month but the effects have been too fleeting to notice much).

Right now, Saturn and Uranus are currently a bit wide in orb (6:27 and separating), but with the parade of four planets moving through the 3rd corner of the triangle, I think that Grand Trine effect will be within reach, especially through each planet that completes the triangle. This Grand Trine is in Fire signs, so this is about tapping into and stoking your Fire energy through a variety of energies.

Saturn and Uranus are about as similar as chalk and cheese. Saturn is about being grounded, stable and your ability to navigate through the physical, "real" world. Uranus is about breaking free of the ways that world is cramping your style and inhibiting your growth, as well as detaching from the ways your individuality becomes defined by the collective.

We all need some of both Saturn and Uranus, but when one starts to dominate, and refuses to work and play nice with the other, it's time to bring them together into peace talks to bring them back into peaceful, effective co-existence. This trine aspect is the chance to do this, and the repeating Grand Trine gives you several ways to work with both of them cooperatively.

Everyone has their own ways of expression. I believe we all have a lot to say,
but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle.
~ Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Mercury is the first to complete the figure, and is active from about July 19 to 24. Your thoughts and self-talk are capable (more than usual) of raising or dampening your enthusiasm, optimism and intentions. How you communicate with others can affect them in similar ways.

Grand Trine in Fire

The Sun forms the Grand Trine approximately from around August 13 to 21. How you respond to your surroundings can influence your sense of self as well as that of others. This gives you a chance to embrace both Saturn's serious responsibility and Uranus' gift of individuality.

Mars creates his own Grand Trine roughly from August 22 to September 2. This gives you the opportunity to experiment with the perfect balance between caution and risk when you need to take action on something.

Venus catches up to make a final Grand Trine from September 12 to 18. Look for ways to establish a sense of peace, cooperation and well-being that draws from both Saturn's stability and Uranus' spontaneity.

Jupiter also joins the fun by opposing Uranus, forming a Grand Trine Kite from mid-August until late September. Being in Libra, this can help to keep the emphasis on balance, fairness and cooperation that ultimately keeps the door open for stepping out into a fresh perspective and avoids becoming stagnated in the same-old-same-old.

You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself...the height of a man's success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. ...And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Venus opposite Saturn

So, it's safe to say there's a LOT of Fire energy flashing through the skies over the next couple of months, between the Grand Trine in Fire and two New Moons in Leo (including a Solar Eclipse). Mars also features prominently in all of the lunation charts during that time, adding extra sizzle (because we really, really need more volatile, spontaneous, impulsive, dynamic energy... *cough*).

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In addition, Venus and Saturn are opposite (180°) in the New Moon chart, which could make it a bit difficult to keep your light of peace and pleasure shining brightly. Although this can put a bit of a damper on that Fire energy, this is actually a good thing.

Venus and Saturn are here to remind you that the flame of consciousness needs something substantial to burn in order to keep your fire fed—otherwise, you could easily burn out from all that excitement, inspiration, passion and emotion. Remember to let your feet touch the ground occasionally before you climb on the next rocket-like experience.

This New Moon leads you into a process that unfolds gradually. Think of it as a play: there are several scene changes as different characters take centre stage, each advancing the story through their unique perspective. In the same way, various parts of you will also come forward to tell their story. A new narrative is emerging from the essence that is You. Some of it comes from the world around you and it's your job to turn it into a creative tale.

Some of it rises up from your past experiences and your deeper feelings, desires, passions and creativity. Those you get to decide what to do with them, how to express and share them with others, how to use them to create each day, each moment.

This isn't about having to be perfect. It's not about having to live up to a vision of who you want to be. It's about accepting that you are already okay. You are a work in progress, along with everyone else. Keep moving, keep trying, keep making mistakes, keep forgiving. Keep reaching for the next step in the journey.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
~ Martha Graham

Jul.24 – Venus opposite Saturn (21:58 of Gemini/Sagittarius)  (Jul.25 in AU)

There are realities to face and deal with, probably related to the way you handle relationships and/or finances. This is a time when you start to see a return on your investments – literally or figuratively. This could be an investment of energy, cooperation and good faith in a close relationship, or it might be the long-term development of a goal requiring financing or resources. It can be a time when "the bill comes in" and you are required to "put your money where your mouth is" and make a deeper commitment to that investment. Or, you might have to admit that the results are not what you had hoped for and you must decide whether to continue or reinvest your energies elsewhere. In other words, this is a time when something might come to an end or your situation becomes more stressful because you have some hard choices to make. The key is to take a long hard look at the realities before you – is it worth it to continue in the direction you're going? What is required if you decide to take it to the next step? The situation may demand effort, but there's also a more solid footing waiting on the other side.

Jul.24 – Mercury enters the Shadow (28:25 of Leo; until Sep.19)  (Jul.25 in AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" – the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2½ weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences—ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods.

The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes—or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jul.24 – Mercury trine Uranus (28:29 of Leo/Aries)  (Jul.25 in AU)

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.

Jul.25 – Mercury enters Virgo (until Aug.31)  (Jul.26 in UK, AU)

Mercury moves into its own sign of Virgo, where it brings an awareness of health, healing, work and service. This is a good time to be analytical, methodical and focused on improvement. But be careful not to get so lost in details or perfectionism that you can't see the forest for the trees. This energy is well spent by finding ways to make your work and the pursuit of your goals more efficient and effective. Try organising your activities better and prioritizing them according to what works well and what needs improvement and how. This is especially true for any health issues that keep getting pushed to the back burner. Whatever your plans, this transit can help you organise an effective strategy to move you forward.

Jul.26 – Venus sextile North Lunar Node (dd:mm of Sign/Leo)  (Jul.27 in AU) ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Your charisma and charm shine a little brighter during this transit. You may be more receptive to what others have to offer, or you might feel more generous with those around you. You could find just the right thingamajig to buy, or you may discover resources you didn't realize you had. It can be a good time to socialize, go on a date, schmooze strategically with people or negotiate an agreement. Aim for a balance of give-and-take in a way that benefits all concerned. Just be careful not to become so seductive that you persuade someone to do your bidding when it's not in their—or your—best interests.

Jul.26 – Sun conjunct Mars (04:12 of Leo)  (Jul.27 in UK, AU)

This transit gives you energy to burn! However, that energy could be productive or volatile, or even both. You are likely to be a lot more motivated and enthusiastic about whatever you do. But you could also be more impulsive, distracted and erratic too. Anger can flare quickly, and if you don't try to control it or hang onto it, it can pass just as quickly. Sexual energy or desire may be high now, which can be fun to take advantage of, but could also get you into trouble if you don't use some good judgment about who, when or where to act on that desire. This transit represents a new beginning in how you use and work with your energy – physical, emotional, spiritual and motivational energy. It can be a great time to initiate new goals, or to set plans into motion. It may be easier to stand up for what you believe – to assert yourself, to confront someone or to express yourself in ways that you had previously been inhibited. It takes practice and awareness to learn to tell your genuine impulses (that reflect and express who you are) from unconscious motives (that may be passive-aggressive, manipulative or hostile). This transit could give you an opportunity to observe both sides of this potent energy.

Jul.30 – Venus square Chiron (28:30 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jul.29 in HAST, AKDT)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

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Jul.30 – Venus sextile Uranus (28:31 of Gemini/Aries)  (Jul.29 in HAST)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

Jul.30 – Mercury-Sun Greatest Elongation as Evening Star (04:41 of Leo)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun roughly today, meaning it is as far away from the Sun as the Evening Star (visible in the Western Sky just after sunset). This occurs a few days after Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow. It tends to bring clarity, when thoughts, awareness and decisions may come into sharper focus. It can be a good time to consider your path ahead, as well as to reconsider what you want to carry with you from past. A word of caution, though – thoughts that are clear aren't necessarily the best ones to act on. If you're in an emotional or volatile frame of mind, there's a risk of letting those feelings overwhelm or dilute your mental clarity. It's better to keep mind and feelings in a balanced awareness, with a little more emphasis on objectivity and thinking twice before you act.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jul.31 – Venus enters Cancer (until Sep.19)  (Aug.01 in AU)

Your focus in relationships may shift for a while to family, loved ones and people in your support system. You may also find that your interactions with others takes on a quality that echoes the past, perhaps childhood, and you want to reach out to connect with others more than usual – or to avoid it if those echoes are not pleasant ones. You could be especially sensitive to getting your emotional needs met, or how others want their needs to be met. Interactions with others may bring up a deep need to belong and to connect and bond with others on a personal level. The need to feel secure and safe could come up in a variety of forms now – either directly as a feeling of vulnerability, or indirectly disguised as defensiveness or manipulation. This could also a time when you want to be somewhat protective and cautious in your handling of money, possessions and other resources, striving to conserve and cultivate these areas in order to nurture them for future growth.

Next Update:  LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in AQUARIUS. Available by August 7, 2017.

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© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Zodiac sign Leo, by George Di Carlo, mural close-up, located in the Globe Building, Montreal, Canada (photo source). Close-up of painting, Narcissus and Echo, by John William Waterhouse [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Illustration of human body by Eraxion, via CanStockPhoto.com.


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