When the Sun is in Leo it’s all about fire. Fire, fire and more fire. Summer is at its sweltering height (for most of us, in much of the northern hemisphere at least) and Leo, the fixed Fire sign, is a hot and passionate lion filled with pride and magnetism. Water though, the polar opposite of fire, has much to say during this time when its own domain – emotions – can and will be running high and probably need to be cooled, when balance between passion and sensibility is greatly needed. Many of us are probably pretty hot and bothered about one or more issues or people right now, and Mercury retrograde, which ends on the night of the New Moon in Leo on Wednesday, July 31, has likely been fanning the flames.
With the end of Mercury retrograde and of this lunar cycle, we are definitely coming to the conclusions and endings of things, many of which may be bittersweet to release. The sweetness is found in the invariable truth that with all endings come new beginnings. There may be things we’ve wanted and tried to begin or pursue during the past few weeks, but Mercury retrograde always makes it difficult to undertake anything new.
Enter the Leo new moon, which will allow us to burst unfettered into a new cycle and, hopefully, with some new understanding and perspective. I always see Mercury retrograde as a great teacher, particularly with all the challenges and delays it can bring. G.B. Shaw once stated that there are two tragedies in life: one is to lose your heart’s desire, the other is to gain it.
Immediately following the full moon eclipse in Capricorn two weeks ago, I personally found myself and my life somewhat disrupted and challenged by a very potent new interaction and potential relationship. I’ve tried to suspend and reexamine some old judgments and beliefs during this time, as well as to simply suspend myself between getting or not getting my “heart’s desire”, such as I thought it may be. Where could the tragedy be in gaining our hearth’s desire? It sounds great, technically, doesn’t it? Well, that hinges on whether what we want is good for us or if we even truly know what we want or understand why. It’s easy to want what is new and shiny. But as Tolkien poetically and unforgettably pointed out, “All that is gold does not glitter”. Meaning also that some things that glitter are still not necessarily gold. Not to everyone, anyway.
So just what does Water – our emotions, intuition and subconscious yearnings and struggles – have to say about all this? The message for this Leo new moon comes from…
Somewhat surprisingly, a dark and doomed moment, darkly and ominously portrayed. This may seem puzzling in the glaring summer light of Leo and the hopeful new moon. But the new moon is technically a dark time, in its way. The Moon doesn’t shine as it is wholly cloaked in the shadow of the Earth and sits conjunct with the dominant Sun. There are shadows to be confronted, understood and integrated, and if you’ve been struggling with such things they may well be coming to a head.
Leo is the cat of the zodiac. The big, wild King of the Jungle, certainly, but ultimately a kitty cat nonetheless. All cats have their pride, but they are also famous for their curiosity – as was poor, fated Pandora. It was not any malice or indifference on her part that led her to open the box into which each god placed some ill or evil, but her uncontrollable curiosity.
There is of course a degree of inevitability to this story and the result of Pandora opening the box she was instructed to never open. I recently re-watched a favorite old movie, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and at one point Darby says “Humans need the bitter with the sweet”. So we do. How may we recognize the sweet if not for the bitter? What might any of us have learned over the past couple of weeks or month if everything went perfectly, smoothly, exactly as we wanted or thought we wanted? Any challenges or frustrations undergone have been necessary for our growth, our understanding, and, hopefully, our improvement and edification.
It was necessary for Pandora to open that box and unleash all those dark pains and troubles and woes. She also released something else into the world, something that would also have never existed were it not for that curiosity, and much to the detriment of mankind – hope. Hope was the one good thing that was placed into the box and could only be released along with all the darkness.
Ultimately this story teaches a very simple but poignant lesson about the reality of this life. We learn when we hurt. It is an unavoidable fact of our existence. But we also have that one thing that helps us heal and move on and grow, and that is hope – for ourselves, for our future, for doing better next time.
My mind goes yet again to Tolkien (as it so often does) and to the themes of The Lord of the Rings. It was hope that carried Frodo and Sam right to the very end, when all seemed lost, to destroy the ring. And even that might not have been accomplished were it not for Gollum, who can be seen to represent so much pain, darkness, shame and misery that we would be rid of if we could (perhaps it wasn’t such a pity that Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance), but then would we really learn and even accomplish our goal?
There is a promise on the horizon, heralded by this new moon, that we are very near to achieving our goals if we integrate and learn from the shadows, from our own weaknesses and from all the challenges, pains and disruptions we encounter that we may curse and resent, though they hone and polish us, but only if we will let them.
© 2019 Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved
Header image: Leo by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis