Book of Your Life for Leo | By Eric Francis Coppolino
In the first astrology textbook ever published in English (which came out way back in 1647), the author, William Lilly, makes an interesting comment about Leo. He says that if it’s been a while since solar eclipses have come to your sign, the weather will change when they do. If it’s been rainy, it will be sunny. If it’s been sunny, or there’s been a long drought, you can expect rain.
This in fact works with the literal weather, and I think it’s true for the energetic weather as well. What I think Lilly was getting at is that the fixed patterns associated with your fixed sign will change under the influence of solar eclipses. This is good news. Eclipses are coming to your sign for the first time in nine years, and among the signs, Leo has had some of the least activity going back quite a few years. Eclipses will get your energy moving in new ways.
One problem with the current world we live in is that the energy tends to get stuck. Patterns form and then they quickly crystallize. This is partly about the astrological age we are in (very early Aquarian age), and partly about the way that society is structured, particularly where technology is concerned. The Age of Aquarius is not the sweetness and starlight it was made out to be in the musical Hair. Rather, it means that Aquarius will become the dominant pattern-forming template, and those patterns are strong.
Experiencing this energy, we often get the idea that the only way to create change is by cataclysm. That’s the idea that “something big will happen and wake everyone up,” which personally I don’t buy. In fact that’s how the Big Boys play it: when they want to implement something, they deliver a disaster. When many factors are simultaneously in flux, you can pretty much pull off anything.
It’s not pleasant, though it’s how many people choose to live. We’ve all seen examples of when people (including ourselves) won’t make any real changes until everything collapses, or they’re confronted with some existential crisis.
Due to the crystallization problem, eclipses imply this potential: there is a fixed pattern and the only thing that will change it is some form of shock. The thing is, there are much better ways to live, to make progress and to grow.
Resistance to change, or the outright refusal to consider change, tends to create friction. Then when the energy increases, things can move too fast for anyone’s comfort. This may be the story of the human race; looking at history, such a case could be made. However, I suggest you choose to allow and embrace incremental change. You know that your life pattern has been consistent for a long time.
Your sign and your opposite sign have relatively few transits going on. The Gods of Change — the Saturns and Neptunes and Plutos and Chirons of the universe — have been staying away from your axis of the zodiac for a while. (For contrast, consider when Saturn was in Leo from 2005 through 2007.)
When that happens — when the action is away from your sign or your cross of the zodiac (which also includes Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius) for a long time — you’re less under the influence of “enforced changes” and left to your own motivations and your own timing. And it’s easy to go along for the ride. Now that eclipses are about to return to your sign and to your opposite sign Aquarius, it’s essential that you step up your involvement in your own growth process.
While it’s possible that you have other chart points that are in line with some of these change-oriented planets (for example, your Moon), there’s nothing quite as useful as eclipses visiting your sign or your rising sign.
This is especially true if you’re aware that it’s about to happen. Then you have the ability to plan, to structure your affairs, to identify what you want to resolve and, most of all, to point the vessel of your life in the direction that you want to travel.
You’ve had the hankering to expand your horizons for years, or longer. Most of this has been in concept, with occasional flashes of who you want to become, or where you want to be. I would describe most of these changes as being spiritual in nature, meaning inwardly directed, based on your highest intentions, and yet somewhat theoretical. Yet your imagination has also been involved, and you’ve collected a few ideas about what you want to do with the next phase of your life.
Eclipses passing through your sign, and through your opposite sign Aquarius (which involves your relationships, both individual and group), are an opportunity to implement the personal changes you’ve wanted to make. This is an also an opportunity to set an entirely new agenda, recognizing that your plans and ideas themselves may have become subject to the same pattern-forming issue.
You are now in a moment where you get to review, rethink and recreate just about anything you want. This may involve any facet of your life. You have the opportunity to work from the roots of your existence upward, and outward. For now, stay close to the ground and work from your core reality.
Your astrology does not describe “things” changing; it describes you going through a transformation process that calls for your close involvement.
The more you take a proactive and creative role, the less it will feel like changes are happening to you and the more it will feel like you are working with the incoming forces to create the change that you want. Therefore, pay close attention to just what that is: know what you want to change. I suggest you work with two lists: what you want to resolve or eliminate, and what you want to create. Both will happen as part of the same process. You might think of this as a displacement process, where what you desire will supplant what is no longer working for you, no longer serving your purposes.
It’s time to recognize that your purposes have changed. Purpose is one of the very roots of existence, and you must stay up to date with what is motivating you: what is driving your choices. Ideally, this would be a day-to-day, hour-to-hour meditation on what moves you to make every single decision, right down to “paper or plastic?” What you are destined to discover is that your decisions matter. Not just the big ones. Small decisions matter more than you may think. Not deciding is a form of decision; you are exercising an option. However, you’re past the time when doing nothing or choosing not to act is a reasonable default position.
The eclipses follow an axis called the lunar nodes. Now that the lunar nodes are in your sign, you’re in the process of doing a kind of karmic sweep. Matters that were left unattended; commitments un-kept; promises unfulfilled; problems set aside — much of this material will bubble to the surface. Be prepared to do your part to resolve the past, so that you clear out room for what you want to develop in the future.
Your chart includes an image of time-collapse. What you think of as your highest and least likely goals are the ones that you will tap into first. You’ve been involved in developing them for a long time; you’ve been restless and curious and working toward an idea of what you want. It’s as if you’ve taken most of the steps and now you’re about to be met by something traveling to you from the opposite direction. That something is an opportunity. Yet to make the most of that opportunity, it’s necessary that you prepare your mind and your relationships. It’s necessary that you be caught up with yourself. You’re embarking on a journey where you don’t want to bring along the unresolved business of the past. Therefore, it’s time to get busy.
Leo at the Center, and Sila-Nunam
Every astrologer has their theory for each of the signs. I want to take a moment to offer you my Leo theory, so you know where I’m coming from when considering your sign.
Leo is one of two signs of the zodiac that’s not associated with a planet. Rather, your sign’s body of rulership is the Sun. Yours is the only sign ruled by an actual star rather than a planet or satellite. As such, it’s located close to the center of both the zodiac and the solar system, which means that Leo arrives with the peak of Northern Hemisphere summer.
One other sign has the distinction of not being ruled by a planet, which is your neighboring sign Cancer, ruled by the Moon. However, the Moon and the Sun could not be more different: the Moon is a satellite of the Earth. The Sun is the star at the center of our solar system. All light, all heat and all physical energy that powers the planet, come from the Sun.
The Sun holds in its orbit more than 750,000 known planets, asteroids, comets and various other kinds of minor planets.
There are two ways to take this metaphor: anything associated with the Sun (and consequently Leo) has a big ego and likes to be at the center of things; or the Sun serves a profoundly important purpose, which is holding the solar system together with its gravity, and providing all of its basic energy. I prefer to take the second approach.
Yes, it’s possible to think of the Sun as being important; it’s also possible to think of it as being vital, as inherently central, and therefore with an indispensable role to serve. This tends to be how you think of yourself. It’s how you stay connected to your mission, and it’s also how you tend to get involved in, and boxed into, situations where you’re necessary, or a key person.
I don’t think this basic, underlying structure of your life will ever change, though what you will be called upon to ask yourself is whether your current circumstances serve you as readily as you serve them.
There is an unusual metaphor that mirrors this quality. Leo is currently home to a binary planet system named Sila-Nunam. It orbits our Sun just beyond Pluto. Discovered in 1997, it entered Leo in late 2001, and will remain in Leo until 2025. I’ve been quietly watching and interpreting this planet for years, though I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in any previous annual edition.
It’s named for two Inuit creation deities: Sila, who is the Inuit god of the sky, the weather and the life force; and Nunam, who is the corresponding Earth goddess, and the creator of land animals and the Inuit (Eskimo) people. (Remember that myths often take multiple forms, so there are some variants, though always in the same basic spirit.) If you’re interested in who created the sea creatures, that would be Sedna, which I’ll cover later in your reading and in greater depth in the Taurus reading.
I’ve always felt that the presence of Sila-Nunam was a beautiful commentary for Leo, stretching between Earth and Sky. Rather than thinking of yourself as the entity that holds all the planets in orbit, think of yourself as someone who grounds the Sun into the Earth. This is actually what you do in the physical and spiritual sense, and it grants you some relief from the much larger responsibility of providing all the power and all the gravity.
Think of yourself as the receptor of solar energy, who puts it to practical use — such as the way planets use light to synthesize their nutrients and to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. This takes you out of the role of having to give all the time, or expecting yourself to be the provider. The metaphor here is synthesis: using what is available to create something new.
Patterns of Self, Tribal Patterns of Relationship
The lunar nodes through your sign and your opposite sign present a process of re-balancing. The nodes, which precede and predict the location of eclipses, travel as a polarity. Now that polarity is about to arrive in the sign representing you, and the one representing your relationships. The property of eclipses to move things along — to provide you with an opportunity to catch up with yourself — is true in any case, no matter what sign they occur in.
However, there is some additional information available. You and your relationships change and grow in tandem. You are in a dynamic together with your relationships, which will be provoked and enhanced by the coming series of eclipses. This will provide you the means to shift yourself out of fixed patterns in your personality, which is what you project into your relationships.
But it’s worth taking a close look at the South Node through Aquarius, which is specifically your relationship house, and the place where we seek information about your wider environment. The most interesting thing about this house is that you have Aquarius there, which is about groups, though it also represents your one-on-one partnerships.
When you take this as a whole, there’s a comment about how your private relationships tend to be defined by some group context. This is true to some extent for everyone, though it’s particularly present, and challenging, in your life. It’s as if you subscribe to rules that you don’t remember agreeing to, which seem to hold you in a social pattern that soaks right into your most intimate experiences. That pattern is one of the elements of your life that’s about to change.
You can no longer be bound up in the unconscious, crystallized ideas about relationships that other people follow. It’s time to explore the eccentric and individualistic side of Aquarius rather than the conformist side. What’s often frightening is the feeling that unless that pattern is there, you have no tangible reference points.
With Aquarius in your relationship house, you might have the feeling that your primary contact point is with your tribe, however you define that. While this provides distinct benefits, it’s often not easy to see the social strictures that encrypt into your life. However, it’s time to question everything you take for granted, and all the expectations that seem to be so normal.
One of the first things you may feel restless about and want to shift are specifically those social patterns. You may start to raise the priority of your own ideas about relationships over those that your friends have, and possibly hold you to. Your process of individuation may make it impossible for you to remain in those patterns.
It takes more courage than most people recognize to do this. Tribalism is powerful! And it’s also somewhat dictatorial. The implicit message of the tribe is: if you’re too much of an individual, you get kicked out. This often relates to family rules and regulations (which can be tyrannical), it can relate to close groups of work colleagues, and it can exist as a mental pattern that manifests as mindless conformity. All of this is about to get a shock over the next 18 months, though it starts straight away with a lunar eclipse in your sign on Feb. 11. What develops (or what emerged) at that time will give you an intuitive hint of what your biopsychic system is trying to create. This will be followed by a solar eclipse in Aquarius on Feb. 26, which will speak more directly to your intimate relationships and the solar patterns that surround them.
One thing to remember is that most people don’t understand incremental change. Change is something that happens to them rather than something they consciously initiate. Often the signs are there long in advance, indicating that some movement is necessary. These eclipses early in 2017 are the ones that will help you deduce the theme of the six seasons to come. It’s vital that you get the clues as they come to you, and take them under advisement.
Notice the ways in which you feel hemmed-in. Notice when you respond to something, observing that you feel trapped, particularly if it’s by social rules. These can be subtle: the rules of dating, the rules of marriage, the rules of friendship. It takes real mindfulness even to notice them, though there are times when the blatant hypocrisy can show up loud and clear.
You have an idea what you want from your social environment and how you want it to support your more intimate contacts. Keep that in mind as you notice what’s not working.
Another thing to remember is the tendency of people to live and attempt to grow from disaster to disaster. You don’t need to do that, and you don’t have to instigate that, no matter what other people expect and what they project onto you. Remember that you’re reorienting from being the center of the solar system to an entity more akin to a tree that absorbs the power of the Sun and blends it with earthly elements. In the process, you gradually create your own life.
One last thought from this angle of your chart: if you consider yourself to be at the center of your social circle, or an integral part of your community, the changes you make in your own life constitute a form of leadership for the people around you. You can count on the fact that the people who look up to you are waiting for your initiative.
Impulse, Motivation and Agreements
On the day the Sun enters your sign, it does so in a conjunction with several planets, including Mars. Energy, drive, individuality, self-assertion: Mars will help you with all of these. Mars conjunct the Sun in Leo is pure cardio, the pump of vitality.
Mars and the Sun are conjunct a little-known centaur planet called Thereus, which has just entered your birth sign and will be with you through 2020. In one manifestation Thereus represents aggression and warriorship, though not necessarily the spiritual kind of warriorship. The message here is to moderate your energy. As the year develops, you may find yourself increasingly driven to conquer, rebel or revolt; a gentler approach will serve you better.
The thing to beware of is frustration. By beware, I mean be aware. You will act differently when you’re irritated and when you feel like your efforts are getting you little for your work. That’s the time to stop and think. Thereus has an interesting property of what you might call multiple solutions or multiple workarounds. If you do something not-so-Mars-like — contemplate your situation — you will see that there are many ways through whatever puzzle or maze you’re looking at.
You might take as your motto, ‘There is a better way’. When you solve a problem, try to solve it again, only better the second or third time. Look for a more elegant solution. When you see your way through a social pattern, look more closely for additional information or ideas.
The ultimate answer to any social puzzle can be found in considering whether or not you feel equal to the people around you, and why. This is told by yet another minor planet entering your sign, Varuna, an ultra-slow mover that will be with you (that is, in Leo) until 2043.
In some ways, Varuna’s ingress into your sign is the biggest news of 2017 and many years going forward. The thing about Varuna is that it’s subtle, which means easy to overlook. That’s also true of what Varuna represents: the inherent equality of all people; and the necessity that for our social order to stay intact, the most important thing we can do is to keep our agreements with people.
When it’s not possible to maintain your side of any agreement, or when you figure out that someone else is not doing so, you must be the one to step up with your awareness and help negotiate the way forward. With contracts as with debts, there are just two viable options: provide the service or consciously default. Often people hang out in a kind of middle zone of limbo-like non-commitment, or non non-commitment. You will find that your social interrelations go better when you take leadership around the matter of commitment, starting with what you determine you are going to hold yourself to.
One reason this is especially meaningful now is that your 8th house of contracts and agreements is a little overwhelming at the moment. That’s Pisces, where there are currently more planets than you can shake a telescope at. This suggests that you are in a number of different agreements with people, some of which may conflict, some of which overlap, some of which are not so clear — and all of which are calling for your consciousness and leadership. You can think of Varuna as being a tool you can use to facilitate your taking charge of your life.
The 8th house is about contracts that involve the transfer of wealth, marriage, inheritance and sex. You have Pisces on this house; there is a lot happening in Pisces, and there has been for a while. This is an interesting sign to have on the 8th house because the 8th calls for carefully agreed boundaries, and Pisces wants everything to flow in every direction.
Simply put, you must become a master of your agreements. You could start with any relationships where there are any sexual feelings at all, and figure out what understanding you need. Then look closely at intimate situations where there is an exchange of money: shared bank accounts or funds of any kind, child support, alimony, and so on. These are relationships where power, money and sexual feelings need to be handled carefully. Where there are both sex and money involved in the same relationship, you’re very close to marriage.
You may not ever sort out these scenarios perfectly, though it will help to remind yourself where you stand with people, and what you need. It will help to have some clarity around whether you feel like you’re being fairly treated in the situation.
There is one last topic out of the 8th house and Pisces: the potential for multiple sexual involvements. There are very few people who engage in relationships who are not attracted to multiple people. Society plays a huge game of hide-and-seek around this one, and the truth is an open secret. Your charts and your life circumstances are calling for an unusual degree of honesty around this topic. There is plenty of room to go into denial, or to pretend your feelings (or actions) don’t exist, though you owe it to yourself, at the very least, to be real with yourself. From there, you may decide you want to be real with the people around you, whatever it is you’re feeling.
On the subject of denial, there are at least two indicators in your chart cautioning you not to get caught in the denial of others. This is truly one of the more serious potential liabilities of being a Leo, and you need to pay attention to this issue in particular this year. For example, if you see something is an issue and someone does not agree or won’t talk about it, that’s a good indicator that you’re correct.
Apropos of all the Aquarius stuff I was describing, about crystallized social patterns: you will probably need to discern your actual individual feelings from the opinions of people around you. You might be surprised how much effort this takes. There are likely to be some situations where you might feel like you could love someone, or support someone, or separate from someone, if only your friends would approve. Following along with what others say, or with what you think they would think, is exactly the kind of self-deceit that your current astrology is designed to awaken you to, and liberate you from.
Service and Self-Esteem: Transpluto in Virgo
The theme of self-esteem shows up strongly for a number of the signs, and yours is close to the top of the list for emphasis on that theme. I try to be a walking advertisement for awareness of this issue. It stalks most of the human race. The people who manage to get over it are few indeed — and I am not counting the ones who decide they don’t need to bother with having a conscience. To be happy, you need both a conscience and respect for yourself, and they can exist as one idea.
You have Virgo in your 2nd house. That’s a fancy way of saying that Virgo is the sign after yours (whether you’re Leo Sun or rising). The 2nd describes self-worth. With Virgo here, you may struggle with this, though few would believe that. It’s not that you lack worth; rather, you need to give yourself more credit for who you are.
The 2nd also describes one’s values. In support of my Leo theory (your devotion to service, and wanting to hold all those planets in orbit), Virgo on the 2nd describes a core value of serving others. The problem here is that Virgo on the 2nd is not especially generous with self-esteem.
This is complicated by the presence of Transpluto, a strange kind of non-planet that’s recently left your sign and entered Virgo. Transpluto is a hypothetical; it does not really exist, except in math, in the minds of astrologers, and as an actual theme in life. Transpluto was in Leo for many, many years, and I think that it influenced everyone’s perception of Leo. It was as if there was this little obstruction to the pure and potent solar rays coming through your sign. However, during the Uranus-Pluto square of 2011-2015, Transpluto made its way into Virgo, where at least it’s better suited.
The essence of Transpluto is not taking on the harsh criticisms of others and then turning them against yourself. Virgo can reason its way out of this thicket, and you can reason yourself into genuine self-esteem. However, you cannot stop at the end of your reasoning process. You will maintain a healthy respect for yourself only with ongoing attention to the content of your mind. You must be vigilant about your thoughts.
Part of this involves knowing when you’ve taken on, or internalized, the judgment of others. One clue you will have is a stab of psychic pain. That’s unlikely to arise from a naturally organic thought in your mind. It probably came from someone else, and you would serve yourself well to find out who.
Working this out may be a slow and meticulous process, but you can liberate yourself from moment to moment with awareness of what you’re feeling and how you’re responding. The theme of this transit is learning how to be gentle with yourself. There are many approaches to self-improvement. I don’t believe the ones that depend on judgment and self-criticism work especially well. Yet neither does arranging your life around what you think other people want.
You really must maintain a relationship with yourself. This means stepping back from other relationships for as long as you need to feel who you are, and experience who you are, outside the energy field of anyone else. Part of how you attain enlightenment as a Leo is really doing the thing that you’re supposed to be so good at, which is standing apart from others, doing things on your own, and actually feeling your existence as separate from all of them and all of that.
If it’s any consolation, bear in mind that close partners have their own process of self-discovery they are going through. They have their own growth priorities, though you can provide the role of facilitator, particularly where sex and creativity are concerned.
Work and Profession: Art as Transformation
Among the many ways the Leo solar chart blazes with the theme of service is when we look at your work life. It’s as if you have the capacity to drive all your ambition into service, and to disregard whether you personally succeed. At the moment Pluto’s presence in Capricorn gives you the capacity for nearly limitless work, high focus and a passion for doing things right. Yet it does not give you much guidance what specifically to do, except what you’re truly passionate about.
I recognize that this seems like a huge leap for many people, to go from work as work for money, to figuring out how to turn what you love into your income stream. This is often an incremental process, with the gradual steps coming from two sources: one is learning the specific craft of directing your vocation into finance; and the other is teaching yourself that it’s possible.
There is also the paradox of taking something you do for its own sake and suddenly having to do it every single day whether you want to or not. This is a special discipline that’s somewhat outside the scope of what I can cover here, but I promise to get to it soon (check my Thursday weekly content stream and Planet Waves FM for that).
For many people, it’s special simply to have something they care about, some purpose that drives them, even if they don’t make it their daily occupation.
I think the spiritual seat of one’s true work is in the 5th house of creativity. This continues into the 6th house of day-to-day work and service. But the motive for why one would bother getting up every day has to be some creative impulse, which for you is blended impeccably with your spiritual connection. In essence, the secret to doing what you love involves working the connection between your 5th house Sagittarius (where spirituality and art merge into one thing) and your 6th house Capricorn (where you do what you do for its own sake, and to succeed at it for its own sake). The two signs you have on these houses are a perfect fit for meaningful independent employment.
Yet the root of this energy, for you, comes from Sagittarius. Creativity is so crucial to Leo because of that spiritual connection. If you’re looking for Goddess or God, look no further than art, however you define art. It’s vital that you define this idea for yourself, and that you dive into some new expressions of the creative divine in your life.
What is special about this year is that Saturn makes a long conjunction to one of the most sensitive points in Sagittarius, the Galactic Core at 27 degrees. This one event will cast its light on all the world, and be available to everyone; where it shows up for you is your devotion to your creative process.
A Course in Miracles and many other progressive spiritual traditions state explicitly that our job is to be creative just like God is. We were created in his/her image and part of that means creating in a similar way. The creative work you do is in truth self-creative.
Saturn connecting with the spiritual source (the Galactic Core) pulls the source into manifestation. This is the big synthesis of the metaphysical and the physical; it’s love in action; it’s an idea brought forth in a way that in somehow serves, or enlightens. Yet the real purpose of this transit is to help you creatively transform you and your relationships simultaneously.
In this sense, your core creative activities in life are not a diversion — they are the centerline of your existence, and the changes you’re going through. The connection between you and your relationships is that while the 5th in this context is distinctly personal, and Saturn represents your devotion to life, Saturn (associated with Aquarius) also represents your partners and your environment. Yes, that’s a lot of weight for one planet to carry, but Saturn is that strong and that necessary.
If you follow this calling, you may reach a place where the pieces of your life no longer fit together. Your priorities may change, and then you don’t have time for things that are not so important — and you have to figure out how to handle that. However, once you get to this stage, it will be clear that you cannot simply revert to your previous patterns and still be happy. In a sense, you will be leading the way for yourself, and then you must follow.
Any potential point of collaboration is likely to follow this process rather than to be its source or origin. In other words, you will need to make room for yourself in your own life, and open the flow of energy, and then invite others in.
It is possible that a partner will be influential in this process from the beginning, or will entice or provoke you into making some essential changes. Yet if that’s true, you must maintain ownership of your creativity and the changes you’re making. The energy patterns that you’re changing are yours before they are part of any relationship.
Remember this; remember that the essence of your life is about shifting and changing patterns, some of which have been entrenched your entire life and some for a period of years. The universe is flexible and it’s infinitely creative. Don’t worry about the means; focus your mind on the wisdom of what you must do, and let yourself flow.