Leo the Lion is the part of you that can stand up and roar! Ruled by the Sun, your Leo nature radiates a proud sense of self-confidence, or sometimes is distorted into arrogance or low self-esteem.
I am me. In all the world, there is no one else like me. There are some persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By doing so, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I am me and I am okay.~ Virginia Satir
So... do you know who you are yet?
We began our exploration with identity and the initiating life force in Aries. This lead to an encounter with the material world, our values and self-worth in Taurus. In Gemini, we discovered our immediate environment and met the holistic gestalt of personalities within us. Then Cancer facilitated an emotional, feeling connection to the world and unearthed our roots from the past so we could grow into the future.
In the zodiac sign Leo, we encounter a more crystallized sense of personal identity. This is different from the Aries form of identity: Aries is the outer personality through which we interact with the world, whereas Leo is more the person who is doing the interacting. Like the mask of the Ascendant (the cusp of Aries' natural house, the first house), Aries provides the outer layer of who we are, but doesn't always reflect the fiery, molten core that lies within.
Leo is our own experience of ourselves, as opposed to Aries which is what we show of ourselves to the world—not always the same thing! Think about all the thoughts, feelings, instincts and observations you keep to yourself and don't share with the world (except maybe a trusted friend).
The Playful, Creative Spirit
Leo is that part of us that inherently feels terrific about ourselves and the world. Life is good! This golden glow emanates from our natural love and joie de vivre that rises up out of pure spirit to radiate in all directions.
However, this spirit is not simply some blissed-out presence that sits in pious silence: it is playful, childlike and completely open. In its purest form, this internal spiritual flame knows no bounds, no inhibitions, no limitations and no blockages. It is endlessly loving, curious, playful and joyous.
That playfulness is at the centre of our creativity—in the broadest sense of the word! We tend to think that creativity applies only to painting, music and other forms of artistic talent, but creativity is more an approach than an activity. Creativity, quite simply, is the ability to take two separate things and combine them to create a third; it is the ability to create something that wasn't there before.
And before you say, "Oh, but I'm not creative!" what about when you take a jar of spaghetti sauce and add some meat, veggies and seasoning to it? What about when you put your houseplant on this window ledge instead of that table because it looks better?
And what about when you and a friend are stymied about whether to go to a movie or take a walk, and you suggest a creative solution, like going to Ontario Place Cinesphere and later watching the fireworks? Creativity is so abundant that we tend to take it for granted—yet, we all have it! No matter how seemingly minor or unoriginal it seems, we are creative in dozens of ways throughout our day.
Creativity has nothing to do with being able to draw a straight line (that's a learned skill) and everything to do with what you do with that line.Play with it: twist it, distort it, turn it inside-out, tie it, loop it, fold it, taste it, imitate it, talk to it, get angry at it, dance it, wash it, smudge it, tear it, use it. Explore it with the endless openness and joy of a child! Whatever your creative raw material, let your playful imagination take wing and find new ways to express it, view it, experience it!
Creativity is ultimately the expression of the Self. When you take a creative approach, you make a statement of some kind that comes from you. It says something about the creator as well as the created. Even if you're just putting together components that someone else originally created, the way you put them together can be yours alone.
Without creative self-expression, we are automatons living monotone lives of blind obedience, interchangeable with every other brick in the wall. When you deny your creativity, you reject or take for granted some of the unique essence of who you are.
Here Comes the Sun...
If you know your birthday, then you can easily figure out your Sun-sign. When you say you're a Gemini, for instance, it means the Sun was traveling through Gemini when you were born. There's another reason why horoscope columns focus on Sun signs the Sun is arguably the most powerful energy in your whole chart. It represents your central sense of purpose and identity, will, self-image and vision of your highest potential. When you say you're a Gemini, you're revealing something about the sacred spark that makes you who you are!
Cancer's Moon may be said to represent the "wounded inner child," since it holds the sensitive part of us that is vulnerable, dependent and needy. The Moon also contains our tender feelings, intuition, emotions and empathy that convey who we are in our most beautifully innocent and primitive state. In a similar way, Leo's Sun represents the "playful inner child" who delights in exploring the world in utter openness and ecstatic joy.
The Sun also symbolizes the "enfant terrible" - the over-exuberant child in us who throws temper tantrums, demands attention at any cost, and believes that we are the only thing in the universe that matters.
The two luminaries (Sun and Moon) together form the inner and outer dynamics of our most personal, conscious connection to the Universal Spirit: the outward thrust of the Sun's identity and purpose, and the inward receptivity and sensitive feelings of the Moon. The luminaries also reflect our experience of mother (Moon) and father (Sun). Since we parent ourselves and others in much the same way as we were parented as children, the natal Sun and Moon also show some of our style and ability to give nurturing and support to others.
More than anything else, the Sun shows where we shine in our lives! The Sun is the centre of the solar system, and the Sun shows how/where we are the centre of our own universe. Just as the Sun shares its light with the planets that revolve around it, we project ourselves out to those around us. The planets become illuminated and nourished by the Sun's light, and similarly, we bring light and love to the lives of others when we give of ourselves.
And in much the same way as the planets reflect back the Sun's light, we see ourselves in others. For instance, the store clerk may brighten a little after receiving a smile from us. A friend gets scorched when our temper sends out a solar flare. We may also be blinded by our own light, unable to see others for who they really are.
The Smoke Or the Fire?
The Sun represents our identity, self-confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose, but if we feel lacking in these, we may try to cover that up with pretense, hubris, conceit or bravado. And it's not always clear whether one's solar expression is genuine or false, constructive or destructive. There is a fine line between grandiosity and confidence, and one can often masquerade as the other.
Pride can be a very positive trait, inspiring us to strive for the best we can be. Yet, it can also be a liability that blocks us from natural humility. It can define our identity so rigidly that we're unable to come to terms with human frailties and mistakes. The Fixed quality of Leo can centre us in self-esteem or keep us trapped in a limited view of who we are.
On one hand, Leo represents our self-esteem, playfulness, love and self-affirming purpose. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Leo is also the experience of feeling shame, humiliation, self-loathing and aimless cynicism. Which end of the spectrum we're better acquainted with tends to depend on what was affirmed about us in our formative years.
However, the Sun is a dynamic energy that responds to whatever we fuel it with in adulthood. Do you choke on the smoke from your spiritual fire through negative self-talk, berating and blaming yourself when things go wrong and discounting your efforts when things go right? This self-invalidation can rise spontaneously from within, and it is important to bring balance to it.
Do you keep your fire fed with self-validating activities and positive self-talk, giving yourself credit for your accomplishments and forgiving yourself for your mistakes? Just as it's essential to take in love, praise and applause, it's also important to acknowledge and accept our mistakes and human shortcomings.
© 1996, 2004, 2005 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Transitions Astrology Newsletter, Gemini-Cancer-Leo 1996 Issue.