Chart for the New Moon in Leo 2023

Who You Are, Who You're Not

Zodiac sign Leo holds your self-image, your creative centre, and your inner sense of self. Uranus squares the New Moon, which may shake loose parts of yourself that aren't who you are anymore, and introduce you to new facets of yourself. Get ready for a bouncing journey through the self!


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug. 16, 2023, 5:38 AM EDT

London, UK:

Aug. 16, 2023, 10:38 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug. 16, 2023, 7:38 PM AEST

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
'Cause there's a million things to do
You know that there are
~ Yusuf Cat Stevens, If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out

Who Be You?

As we grow and develop as individual human beings, the zodiac sign of Leo is the energy whereby we develop a sense of who we are, what and who we love, how we express who we are, and who we want to become. This unending process unfolds throughout our journey through life, and therefore how we see ourselves is constantly changing and evolving.

Who you are is an amalgamation of factors. Some of it is your culture that gives us values and practices to maintain those values. This can include religion or nationality or race or gender, and so on. You get a lot of your self-identity from your experience with your family, the people and environment you grow up in. You get some of it from genetics, state of health, the foods you eat, and your financial condition.

Some of who you are is given to you from these factors, and some of it is what you choose to be. As you grow and mature, your ability to think for yourself, decide for yourself, and express yourself, gradually expands. Your opinions change, your self-image changes, and what you want to share about yourself with the world also changes.

In this lunar cycle beginning with the New Moon in Leo, you have a chance to make another choice, choose a different direction, and try on new ways to be. Some of this may be brought on by changing circumstances which present a challenge to your current self-image. Overall, you are called on to reconsider the values, priorities and passions by which you choose your direction in life, in the short-term or long-term. eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
~ Paul Simon, The Sound of Silence

The Shattered Silence

Although the New Moon is in Leo, the show-stealer is Uranus, modern ruler of Leo's opposite sign, Aquarius. Uranus is exactly square the Sun and Moon in Leo. In addition, Uranus is fused with the Moon, being exactly parallel by declination.

Like a lightning strike Uranus turns on the lights, often suddenly and abruptly. And when your eyes have become accustomed to the darkness—the ordered consistency of a life of just trying to make ends meet, fulfilling what's expected of you, and playing it safe—the sharp contrast can be disturbing, disrupting and disorienting.

New Moon square UranusInitially, you might be "blinded by the light" for a time. You might see only the afterglow of that bright light. It can feel like an upsetting, even damaging, experience—and make no mistake, sometimes bad things do happen to good people. And yet, as you adapt to this experience, there are new perceptions to be seen, new observations that show you something you hadn't noticed before. In fact, everything you had seen before may now look very different, having been shaken out of your habitual way of seeing it all.

This is the kind of thing that can happen with a strong Uranus transit – your eyes could be opened by a jarring, unexpected, even shocking experience. But if you stay awake through the process, you'll find there is something new to be noticed, something you had ignored or dismissed, something that can't be unseen, something that pushes you to be aware of in a new way.

This could be illuminating or shattering or both. But whether it feels enlightening or bewildering, the important thing is that whatever this change is will wake you up and show you a new side of life, a new side of someone else, or a new side of yourself.

How you choose to respond will influence what happens next. What you focus on, going forward, will shape how you come to see this experience when you look back from the future. That doesn't necessarily mean you can turn a difficult experience into a pleasant one simply by choosing to see only rainbows and unicorns. You are bound to have feelings about it that aren't all sweetness and light. And that's okay. That's real.

It's important to acknowledge what you genuinely think and feel about it. You can't become more of who you are by forcing yourself to be someone you're not, nor by censoring parts of yourself that aren't politically correct. You can choose whether or not or how to express the less ideal parts of yourself, but it's essential to at least acknowledge them and accept them as being part of your human experience.

Fear behind you, life before you,
Faith befriend you, prayer becalm you,
Truth be with you, love become you, God be in you.
This be for you:
Repeat until chanting for others, then begin again.
~ Unknown

Venus Retrograde ...Still

Venus and New Moon square UranusVenus is still retrograde (July 22 to September 3). She passed the conjunction to the Sun just a few days ago on August 13, and is still in orb (4:37) to be conjunct the Sun and Moon, as well as being caught up in the bonfire sparked by the Uranus square.

Venus retrograde in Leo can be a time to reconsider your values, what's important to you, and whether something is worth the time, effort and expense that you'll need to invest in it. Being in Leo, this is also about what you invest in yourself, in self-care, in self-esteem, in self-expression, in keeping your spiritual fire fed and burning bright.

Since Venus is also square Uranus, you could find your values being shaken up by some experience that leads you to question whether you are actually walking the walk of those values, or whether it's time to revise what you claim to believe in. If your actions and habits are out of sync with your principles, does that mean you don't really hold to those standards? Or does it mean it's time to change your actions to be more truly aligned with your beliefs?

Leo loves to share its light with the world, to ignite in others the brightest awareness of joie de vivre. The Venus part of you is all about how you relate to people and what you bring to interactions with others, especially in terms of beauty, harmony and cooperation (or lack thereof). So, your Venus energy is called upon to look at how much genuine light and love you are bringing to the world around you.

It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose that it is they themselves and what they identify with themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is their system of reality and what they assume themselves to be.
~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

What Do You Really Believe?

Jupiter is gradually catching up with Uranus, and hovers within an 8:30 orb from August 8 to October 5 this year, coming as close as 7:28 on September 6. Then next year they come together for one exact conjunction on April 20 (at 21:49 Taurus), remaining in-orb from February 28 to June 7. At its best, Jupiter conjunct Uranus can spark brilliant ideas, generate a vision of justice for all (especially for the underdog), and fearless moral courage to do what you believe is right even if it means risking alienation from those in authority.

At its most difficult, it could lead to the idea that anything different from a bad status quo must be better, so it could lead to going off on a tangent under the questionable belief that you've found the one single right answer. Or it might lead to seeing so many different options and perspectives that you don't know what's right and what's wrong, what's better and what's worse, which could result in a kind of spiritual paralysis. Or it could lead to being so passionate about your own moral principles and beliefs that you becoming incapable of seeing any validity or positive potential in other perspectives.

Jupiter cnj Uranus, square Venus Sun and MoonJupiter is a wee bit far (8:18) to be properly square to the New Moon, but Jupiter is definitely square Venus (3:40). At best, you could be motivated by these two beneficial planets to extend your generosity, wisdom, mercy and love to others, even if that's hard to do.

On the other hand, this might also raise up worries about being not good enough, or possibly overestimating your self-worth in thinking you can do no wrong. Both of these mindsets usually stem from deep insecurity – struggling to believe in yourself, or believing you're invincible in order to avoid having to face the idea that you're human and fallible just like everyone else.

However, Jupiter and Venus in a stressful relationship can also challenge you to take an honest look at what you do believe about yourself. Do you believe you are good or bad? Are you able to see both the good and the bad in others? None of us has only one or the other.

Do you see in yourself the potential for gifting the world with beautiful blessings, as well as the capacity to inflict adversity, negativity and cynicism? Every one of us has both of these extremes in us, plus everything in between. But to be whole, you must dare to see all of yourself. If you suffer from a lack of self-esteem, it can take a lot of courage to see the positive potential in yourself and to act on it.

If you believe you must only be optimistic, upbeat and loving, then you may wind up censoring any other feelings, urges or reactions that come from the fact that you're a multifaceted human being. It can take courage to acknowledge the less-than-ideal qualities in yourself.

If you understood everything I said, you’d be me.
~ Miles Davis

Mercury Retrograde ...Again

Yup, we're coming up on another Mercury Retrograde from August 23 to September 15. Mercury is in Virgo for this, including the shadow periods which expand the cycle, start to finish, to August 3 to September 30. As a result, Mercury remains in Virgo for about 10 weeks, from July 28 to October 4 – a long time considering Mercury usually changes signs about every 2½ to 3 weeks.

Mercury makes multiple passes of the following transits during this retrograde cycle (all dates are in North American Eastern Time):

  • Mercury trine Jupiter ~ Aug. 9, 2023, Sep. 4, 2023, Sep. 25, 2023
  • Mercury trine Uranus ~ (Aug. 23, 01:12 orb), Sep 30, 2023
  • Mercury conjunct Mars ~ (Aug. 15, 03:22 orb), October 29, 2023

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

  • Mercury enters the Shadow: Aug. 3, 2023 ~ 08:00 Virgo
  • Mercury-Sun max elongation: Aug. 9, 2023 ~ 14:08 Virgo
  • Mercury stationary Retrograde: Aug. 23, 2023 ~ 21:51 Virgo
  • Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun: Sep. 6, 2023 ~ 13:35 Virgo
  • Mercury stationary Direct: Sep. 15, 2023 ~ 08:00 Virgo
  • Mercury-Sun max elongation: Sep. 22, 2023 ~ 11:30 Virgo
  • Mercury leaves the Shadow: Sep. 30, 2023 ~ 21:51 Virgo

Mercury and Mars cross paths in more ways than one during this retrograde cycle. As Mercury approaches the retrograde station, the two linger in conjunction from August 2-26. However, Mercury turns retrograde before he reaches Mars, coming as close as 3:22 on August 15. Later Mercury catches up to Mars in Scorpio on October 29.

This conjunction of Mercury and Mars could make the Mercury retrograde station somewhat irritating or energizing. You might be seized by the urge to start a project of some kind, perhaps something you've been putting off. Or you could find the usual Mercury-retrograde energy a bit more scrambled than usual for a while. On the other hand, this retrograde cycle may help you focus on how to manage your physical and mental energy more efficiently.

Mercury and Mars also do a little dance by declination from August 23 to September 6, they are both contraparallel and parallel, as Mercury weaves back and forth over both the equator (0° declination) and Mars. This is bound to enforce and prolong the conjunction effects. Since a planet crossing the equator tends to hit the reset button on its energy and themes, this Mercury retrograde is a great opportunity to start some new habits that maintain good physical and mental health practices.

You can read more about this Mercury Retrograde cycle in my new article: Mercury Retrograde in Virgo 2023: Making Sense of Mercury

F*ck the padded rooms, give me a trampoline floor with bubble wrapped walls, and a Velcro ceiling. Then let's see what happens.
~ Skylar Blue

Bouncing Around

There is an intriguing little figure that Huber Astrology calls a Trampoline aspect pattern. It started to come together around August 8 and lasts until around August 19. This is a somewhat complex figure, and the various alignments in the New Moon chart make it even more-so since this 4-pointed pattern uses 8, count 'em, eight planets!! Overall, this configuration takes the disruption and stress of the Jupiter-Uranus square to the Sun, Moon and Venus, and looks for a useful way to turn it into something more positive, comfortable, healing, and enlightening—but takes a very winding path to get there.

Trampoline aspect patternIt starts with Chiron quincunx Mars and exactly quincunx Mercury. A flexible mind is required to bring out the healing qualities of Mercury in finicky Virgo, so you don't get stuck in endless fine-tuning to keep all those details precisely aligned. Chiron in adventurous Aries says it's okay to just wing it sometimes – a little chaos and wandering off the beaten path can be good for the soul.

Chiron also shares a cooperative trine with the Sun, Moon and Venus. So, while Mercury is busy trying to sort the entirety of life by colour, size, weight, shape, texture, smell and molecular design, the Leo Trio is having fun with Chiron by stoking the Fire element up in brilliance, inspiration and adventurousness.

Meanwhile, Mercury has his own trine with Jupiter and Uranus. While the world may laugh at his obsessive dedication to order, Mercury is following a greater vision shared by Jupiter and Uranus. Imagine a world that follows not an arbitrary grid of rigid categories, but an organic gestalt based on natural law, higher meaning, and free evolution.

Oh wait—don't we have that already? Isn't that just like our planet Earth and all its life? Well yes, but we humans are continually superimposing our own uses for that natural Earth, thereby messing up the self-regulating, self-contained, perfect biosphere in which we live.

Therefore, in this context Mercury's perseverance in fine-tuning the order of things could be seen as a sacred mission to return the Earth to its natural state where it can take care of itself, thank you very much. On a personal level, this can be a process of returning ourselves to our grounded centre where we can move in harmony with the natural rhythm of our souls, rather than trying to force ourselves to comply with an arbitrary agenda.

That said, this dream is probably impossible to do perfectly if we want to live within human civilization (which is made possible by those forced agendas). But the Mercury part of you may at least try to bring you back to a more natural rhythm, and it does this by realigning the many factors in your outer and inner life according to their natural state.

trampolineBack to the Trampoline (after Mercury sidetracked me into more details). At the base of this aspect figure is the square between Uranus and the Sun, Moon and Venus, which we explored in detail above.

The sides of this skewed rectangle are semisextile aspects (30°), which add to the sensitivity and "springiness" in this figure. The smallest thing could trigger a reaction, which might bring out irritability or frustration (from the square), or a need to ignore the stress by seeing only the bright side (trines), or a struggle to make sense of the complexity of the situation (quincunx).

When it all comes together, you could wind up wandering all over the map in the name of trying to encompass all possibilities, while in reality being mostly unfocused, reactive or distractible. You may be moved by upsetting events in your life or in the world and feel an urgent need to do something about it. By all means, do what your heart tells you, but be careful that your efforts don't become blurred or scattered or diluted due to difficulty focusing clearly on a stable plan of action. The best plan might actually feel a bit awkward or scary, or you might struggle with ambiguity if you're not sure whether your actions will make things better or worse.

You'll need to walk this path in your own way, in your own time. It's important to avoid the vicious circle of being reactive to your reactions, which will only make it even more unstable. That said, there is enormous potential for positive change here, especially by trying on new ideas and actions, if you can keep this wild horse from galloping all over the place.

We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work.
~ Unknown (although attributed to many)

Mini-Trine and Grand Trine Kites

The outer, transpersonal planets are making an aspect pattern I call a Mini-Trine, which hovers in the sky in-orb from 2022 to 2030. It starts with Neptune and Pluto who are back together again, basking in sextile aspects and making 13 total passes during this phase. (See the Full Moon in Aquarius 2023 for more discussion of the Neptune-Pluto Long Sextile that spans 100 years total.)

Uranus now starts to trine Pluto and sextile Neptune, stretching across 8 years. All three come together for exact passes from 2026 to 2028 (Neptune and Pluto have more exact passes from 2028-2032). Uranus is trine to Pluto, and Neptune sextiles them both. Since it involves the easy, cooperative aspects (trine and sextile), there is an open flow of energy between these larger-than-life energies.

However, anything involving the transpersonals is never an easy walk in the park. Their gifts much be earned by reaching beyond your comfort zone. In particular, Uranus-Pluto aspects are part of their cycle that began in 1965-66 at their conjunction, and this cycle's theme seems to be one of turmoil between opening up to an expanded vision of humanity versus wanting to preserve traditions. Also, Uranus-Neptune stems back to the conjunction in 1993, which has raised issues of global communication and the ideals we want to embrace and follow as a species.

We'll be seeing a lot more larger aspect patterns formed with these planets. We're getting a series of Yod configurations involving the Neptune-Pluto sextile (discussed in the New Moon in Cancer 2023 article). These began at the beginning of July and the last one for many months happens at the end of September. (I don't include the Moon as the apex because it passes through so quickly, and does so for only one day a month when it's in the sign of Leo.)

Grand Trine KitesRight now we have a series of Grand Trine Kites that form when faster planets move through Virgo, where they trine Uranus and Pluto and oppose Neptune. These Kite figures bring opportunities to access and work with those transpersonal energies in a more accessible way through the faster, more personal planets.

These Kites start with Mars (Aug. 14-27; closest on Aug. 20-21). This can bring opportunities for important productivity and ways to manage your actions, energy and emotions.

Then Mercury makes a near-pass as it turns retrograde (Aug. 20-27 but doesn't reach exact; closest on Aug. 23-24), and finally comes back again after it turns direct (Sep. 29 to Oct. 4, closest on Oct. 2). Mercury channels the transpersonal energies through our thoughts, decisions, choices and communication.

The Sun comes next (Sep. 13-23, closest Sep. 18-19). This brings a chance to work with the outer energies through how you see yourself especially within the greater global picture. What role can you play that could make the world a better place? Or even just your own little corner of it?

And finally Venus swings through (Oct. 31 to Nov. 6, closest Nov. 3) after she completes her current retrograde cycle. This will bring that larger-than-life energy into our lives through how and who we love, care about, and interact with, in addition to how we view self-worth and the worthiness of our fellow human beings.

After that (other than the Moon flying the Kite briefly for a day each month) we won't see any Grand Trine Kites with these 3 transpersonals again until next August.


Sabian Symbol

Sabian Symbol for Leo 24: An untidy, unkempt man. OR Totally concentrated upon inner spiritual attainment, a man is sitting in a state of complete neglect of bodily appearance and cleanliness.

Sabian Symbol for Leo 24: An unkempt man.At first this Symbol seems to show someone who is negligent about self-care and lacking in self-respect (in the first phrase, the original wording). However, Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala; the second wording) expands on the original phrase to show how this person can actually show immense dedication to a higher, sacred goal. The photo chosen for this symbol is that of Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi who reduced his wardrobe down to a simple piece of homespun cloth to protest the dominance of the British over India.

Rudhyar described it as "An interior focalization of energy and consciousness at the expense of all forms of outward activity and care." On one hand this suggests that reaching total enlightenment ultimately requires a complete focus on the inner realm, even to the point of turning away from the outer world.

This also points to the sacrifices that must be made if one is to achieve self-actualization. You can't move forward with healing if you keep falling back into old self-destructive habits. You can't raise up your individual consciousness if you only go along with the crowd and never question the values, norms and worldview of the collective. Inevitably you must make a choice—even just a little one—and then another choice, and another.

In the New Moon chart, the lightning strike of Uranus square to the Sun, Moon and Venus is there to shake you out of your automatic assumptions, projections and beliefs. In order to let in a fresh outlook that comes from within, one must declutter and reorganize the current mindset that's taking up space but no longer serving you well.

I don't know who I am right now. But I know who I'm not. And I like that.
~ Amber Smith, The Way I Used to Be

Who You're Not?

Sometimes the best way to find out who you are is to find out who you're not. Your journey of finding and developing yourself isn't always a case of addition – adding new practices and attitudes that you hope will bring you to a clearer sense of your best self. Your best path certainly can involve trying on new ideas, attitudes, perspectives and worldviews to see if they fit.

The process then becomes a case of subtraction – I'm not this, I'm not that, I'm not sure if this feels quite right, but I'm definitely not that. By de-cluttering your identify and letting go of what isn't really you or doesn't serve you anymore, a space is created that allows something new to come in and you get to find out if that fits better.

The subtraction process isn't easy. When something is removed, the hole it leaves can feel scary, like you've lost something important. In the case of deeply ingrained parts of your identity, you might even need to go through a grief process to heal what may feel like an amputation. We get used to seeing ourselves in a certain way, and letting go of that sometimes requires a thunderbolt to loosen up the stuff that is stuck in place.

Hence, Uranus, squaring the Sun, Moon and Venus in the New Moon chart, makes his entrance and is only too happy to bring the tools needed to pry open the rusted locks by which we hold onto old habits, attitudes and beliefs. This might come to you dramatically like a wild thunderstorm, or it might be quieter in the form of a choice that you need to make where the implications are far-reaching.

Jupiter is approaching a conjunction to Uranus and is part of the square to the New Moon and Venus. Jupiter brings in a reminder that sometimes deciding who you're not is a conscious choice. "If I do this, I'll have to go against my moral code and I don't want to be that person."

Jupiter also presents you with a challenge to question what you use to guide yourself in these decisions. Do I still believe in this moral code? Is this who I want to be, or do I have to hide other parts of me in order to fit in with others who hold those beliefs?

However, Leo is a Fixed sign. Its job is to sustain and fortify our sense of self, our life force, and our ability to shine in the world. It doesn't change easily unless, through the process of addition, it can enhance, dramatize and celebrate that life force. So, questioning the validity of the present and letting go of the old isn't something that comes easily to Leo.

Although Uranus is determined to loosen the Leo structure, Leo's tenacity is a good thing. You can't just sweep away everything – not everything should be let go of. If you want to renovate your living room, you don't tear down the whole house to do it, right?

Due to an odd little aspect pattern called a Trampoline, staying focused and centered while treading this shifting ground could be a challenge. The process is more complex and complicated than it might look, but it's good to remember that you're juggling more balls than usual.

Be gentle with yourself and with others (they're going through this New Moon in Leo too!) and make conscious, informed, grounded decisions as much as you're able. It's okay to bounce around, just keep bringing yourself back to centre, back to focus.

Venus is still retrograde (turning direct on September 3), and Mercury is about to be retrograde again (turning retrograde on August 23 until September 15). So things could be a little jumbled for a few weeks still.

When these planets are retrograde, we often go back in time, touch base with old friends, or return to places from the past. We tend to re-examine past decisions and actions in order to learn from them and maybe make some changes to improve the situation going forward. This is a chance to explore those decisions, attitudes, actions and ideas, and test if they truly reflect the best parts of you, and whether that is who you really are and want to become.

Follow the bouncing ball and see where it leads you!

The next Full Moon is on August 30/31, 2023. That makes two Full Moons in the month of August. So: is the upcoming Full Moon in Pisces a Blue Moon? Well... yes and no. Find out the truth in my article: Blue Moon Lunacy!

Meanwhile, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world still needs you. ❤️

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are
~ Yusuf Cat Stevens, If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out (used in the movie Harold and Maude)



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