It’s no surprise the coveted positions for summer blockbuster movies are during the heat of mid-summer when the Sun is in Leo. It’s all about the hero’s journey and worshipping the radiant sun within as giver of light and redeemer of shadow. On July 22nd, the day the Sun enters Leo, Star Trek Beyond opens. What better way to celebrate the return of the Sun to his fiery home sign than taking it to light speed with the starship Enterprise and its beloved crew exploring even deeper into unchartered space where they of course encounter a new diabolical enemy? What is at stake is their very existence. Their imminent annihilation if successful would send fatal shockwaves all the way back to the core of their solar system. As Dane Rudhyar would see it, this classic dramatized idea is “able to touch the generic or the socialized wellspring of human life; the instincts, the primordial emotions, the deep collective Images of a race, culture or civilization.” According to Rudhyar, as humans grew to operate at increasing levels of complexity away from basic life-instincts, they went from “heliotropism,” the “spontaneous devotion to their living sun,” to “ideotropism,” the “blind intellectual-emotional subservience to catchwords, formulas and propaganda.” We went from simplicity to complexity in a nano-second and in the process assumed the notion that in order for us to be light we must conquer darkness. We crystalized this set of heroic qualities in everything we do. “All these dramas,” says Rudhyar in his writing about the gift of Leo, “expressed in myriads of words and gestures, in many lands, and through many tongues, have nevertheless their one root in the tragic fatality of the wedding of light and shadow – a pair of opposites which must exist wherever the radiance of the sun meets the opacity of material objects.” In learning the lesson of Leo, says Rudhyar, we need to face our own dark side and in the process can become “translucent.” Otherwise we end up projecting our shadow onto others and they suffer in the wake of our external conquests. “Simplicity” is the gift of Leo, he says. “For what is ‘simplicity’, if not the overcoming of duality and of drama? To be simple is to be of one essence only. It is to be that which forever is what it is, and that only. Which also means ‘truth’; for to be ‘true’, and to be ‘pure’, is to be completely and solely what one is, without any adulteration, admixture or conflict. It is to be resolved into unity… which is peace.” At this time when we need true everyday heroes more than ever, may we be prepared to deal with our own shadows as a “would-be Initiate of occult lore has to be ready to meet the monstrous ‘Guardian of the Threshold’. May we be the bearer of light rather than the caster of shadows. While the Sun travels through noble Leo may we discover the peace of translucency that transforms our deeds into shadowless giving.
The Sun joins Mercury and Venus in Leo, bringing to five the total of astral bodies in radiant fire signs, including Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius. The predominance of this archetypal element gives us ample support to be passionate, inspired and self-motivating. As always, the shadow side is equally ready for expression through ego-based intentions. July 27th through 29th, Mercury trines Uranus in Aries and squares Mars in Scorpio, reversing the aspects he created to these movement-instigating planets when he was in Cancer (see last AstroCast). On the world stage, the headline news grabbing activities correlating to these aspects in effect for the past month have been tragically volatile. It remains to be seen how or when the disturbing aggregation of these events will catalyze the mindset of society to finally deal with the root cause of our collective soul separation sickness. The difference now is Mercury’s segue from security-loving Cancer to dramatic Leo. There may be grandstanding. The calls to break free from the status quo may find a megaphone that is plugged into every media outlet imaginable and quite fixed in their point of view. Should the deep source of power provided by Mars in Scorpio take the upper hand, the primal drive to do – anything – may win the battle over rational solutions. There may be more shocks or surprising developments, especially considering Uranus stations retrograde on July 29th, only minutes after Mercury completes tapping into the Mars/Uranus inconjuct (a vexing aspect discussed in the last couple of AstroCasts). As Uranus hangs powerfully motionless in the sky, it may be difficult for some to manage the buildup of freedom loving, spontaneous energy he provokes in Aries. While society grapples with the bigger movements affecting change, the creative ideas produced by Mercury in Leo can be proudly presented on appropriate stages in our personal lives where they have the potential to inspire playful thinking and provide a new perspective with a much needed big dose of humor.
After his big finale in Leo, Mercury moves off stage and into his humble home sign of Virgo on July 30th. Along with the change in modes from creative fire to realistic earth, the tone of his communication shifts from embellished to precise. Looking at big data sets by drilling drilled down into the details can lead to astute analyses of foundational flaws, but it can also create a distraction from the even bigger picture that is Virgo’s real mission to undergo a critical metamorphosis leading to a complete restatement of purpose from within, where the ego-centric self gives way to the all-inclusive Self. “Tolerance” is the gift of Virgo, according to Rudhyar. “To be tolerant,” he says, “is to bear the responsibility of an incessant quest for broader knowledge, less constricted feelings, and a more adjustable behavior. It means the ability to stand up in readiness and with open heart when God knocks at the door and summons the individual – and the nation – to their greater destinies. It is the ability to grow by becoming ever more inclusive.”
Just as Mercury tones down the rhetoric and begins to assimilate the notion of tolerant inclusiveness in Virgo, Venus in Leo fans the flames of freedom again with her trine to Uranus on July 31st. In her harmonious alignment with the planet that represents uniqueness and innovation, Venus puts a high value on the specialness that each one brings to a relationship. The more free we feel to express who we really are, the more present we are and truly excited by life. While Uranus prefers being wholly untethered, this easy alignment with the Goddess of Love in expressive Leo brings the capacity for playfulness and outright fun into creative collaboration he may want to linger, at least until the project is finished.
Enhancing the willingness to make an effort in any endeavor, the Sun in Leo trines Saturn in Sagittarius on August 1st. In the fire signs representing creativity and philosophy, those endeavors may be short on detail but high on motivation to be patiently productive laying the groundwork for achievement. Saturn’s presence will support the Sun in Leo’s gallant quest for translucent simplicity, while infusing him with Sagittarian enthusiasm to implement a reliable work ethic.
Amping up that enthusiasm, Mars returns to Sagittarius on August 2nd, after revisiting Scorpio for a couple of months where he renewed his total immersion intimacy training. Back to normal speed after his recent retrograde, Mars is ready to resume his vigorous adventure through unchartered territory. But rather than experiencing conquest after conquest with little or no real interaction with the individual hearts and minds of those whose lands he treads, here in Sagittarius until September 27th, Mars’ greatest challenge is to learn the gift of Sagittarius: “comradeship – the art of living together.” Rudhyar’s take on the sign of abstractions and universal truths, brings it down to the most personal of levels. “Comradeship is the glorification of the near in a world dedicated to the pursuit of far-flung goals and universal values. It is based on the intimacy of personal being in a society depersonalized by machines, apartment-houses, movies and chain stores duplicated ad infinitum everywhere in the land. It is indeed the answer to the most poignant need of our Western civilization.”
The New Moon in Leo, also on August 2nd, marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle, one with an emphasis on shadowlessly radiating the light of simple truths. “To them who have lived through eternal dramas of light and darkness,” writes Rudhyar on Leo, “who have taken a multitude of forms to penetrate the closed gates of bodies and egos, who have spent themselves lavishly in phantasmagories of power and spectacles of greatness, there must come that stillness of heart, that restfulness in truth, that simplicity of action which transfigures and which soothes.” With the Sun only a degree off his trine to Saturn and now joined by the Moon, this New Moon gives an enduring sense of the all-inclusive unconditional love that is the creative source of light expressing. All it takes is effort and this New Moon, with Saturn’s help, sets off the new lunar cycle with a positive view towards the discipline that is essential in our personal daily work on self to open to that love. We can do this and find joy in it. We need this and find reward in it. We want this and find power in it.
The fourth ingress of this period is occurs when Venus enters Virgo on August 5th. The emphasis is definitely on enthusiastic fire and productive earth for the time being, as (other than the Moon’s quick succession through the signs) there are no planets in cerebral air until the end of August when Venus comes home to Libra, and Neptune in Pisces is the sole access to sensitive water until late September when Venus enters Scorpio. While Venus is in Virgo she sets a clear, pure tone for valuing service to others while undergoing her own internal struggle to “transfigure the very substance of social relationships everywhere,” as Rudhyar writes about the Virgo crisis. “Tolerance, compassion and charity are [Virgo’s] three great virtues,” he says, and “all three are manifestations of the same deep root – the willingness to grow by experiencing and assimilating always more numerous and varied aspects of truth, of love and of sacrificial action.” As we move through these dog days of summer, may we honor and respect the great crisis of transfiguration facing all of us and receive the gift of tolerance Venus in Virgo bestows, radiating as a handmaiden serving at the altar of love.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
July 22 – Sun at 0° Leo at 2:30 a.m.
July 27 – Mercury trine Uranus at 25° Leo/Aries at 12:45 a.m.
July 29 – Mercury square Mars at 29° Leo/Scorpio at 1:49 p.m.
July 29 – Uranus station retrograde at 25° Aries at 2:06 p.m.
July 30 – Mercury at 0° Virgo at 11:19 a.m.
July 31 – Venus trine Uranus at 25° Leo/Aries at 9:07 p.m.
August 1 – Sun trine Saturn at 10° Leo/Sagittarius at 10:49 a.m.
August 2 – Mars at 0° Sagittarius at 10:49 a.m.
August 2 – Moon conjunct Sun at 11° Leo at 1:44 p.m.
August 5 – Venus at 0° Virgo at 8:27 a.m.