February’s lunar eclipse involves a self-centered Leo Moon supported in a Grand Trine with Saturn and Uranus. These fiery-placed planets are not going to hold the Moon back but the Sun in Aquarius (with help from Jupiter in Libra) has other ideas. The mood is one of grandstanding and large gestures—but does all this sound and fury signify anything? Sometimes a blowhard just wants attention and doesn’t care if the audience is bored.

Details About This Eclipse

Date: February 10, 2017
Time of eclipse: 4:33 PM Pacific Time
Type: penumbral (weak in intensity)
Visible in: Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, South America.
At: 22º Leo
Nodal Orientation: Initiating. The eclipsed Moon conjunct North Node in Virgo creates an Initiating (not Releasing) nodal orientation.
Shadow Agents:  Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Libra

Does It Affect You Personally?

If your birthday is on any of the following dates, you’re most likely to experience this eclipse:
February 5 to 15
May 8 to 18
August 10 to 20
November 9 to 19

Remember, not every eclipse touches everyone, but when it does, it’s usually noticeable.  A lunar eclipse is likely to bring up strong emotions and to be experienced as a subjective event (unlike a solar eclipse, which is likely to be marked by an external, real-world event).  You may notice events happening anytime within the week surrounding the eclipse (up to a few days before or after).  The following script is just one possible way it could go.

You hear a knock at the door. You answer it. The Moon in Leo is on your doorstep, dressed in a fiery orange superhero costume. The Sun in Aquarius is behind the Moon, trying to hold him back. The Moon bursts into your living room, quickly followed by Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is wearing black, including a pencil skirt, and has a clipboard, with a pen tucked behind her ear. Uranus is covered in wires, trying to untangle them. All burst into your living room, where they land in a heap.
Moon (pulling himself out of the heap): And I want thunder and lightning and a big, big spotlight right on ME!
Uranus: I’m still working on untangling these wires I put away so badly last season. Then I’ll get to work on your special effects and lighting. Believe me, this is going to be SPEEEEcial!
Saturn (standing up and smoothing her clothes with dignity): I’m seeing this as the smash hit of the year. We’re going to get an award for this one!
Sun (finally walking in the door, followed by Jupiter): Are you guys remembering that it’s not just about making a splash, but that the critics will be watching and we want to make a good impression?
Moon: This production is MY baby! It’s an expression of ME! It’s going to go how I WANT it to go!
Jupiter: But have you really thought about what the audience wants?
Sun: Yes, have you put out any surveys on social media?
Uranus: That’s my department and I’m all over his social media!
Moon: They LOVE me on social media!
Sun: Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you have a big head?
Moon: No, NEVER! I really am this great.
The Moon in Leo seems unable to speak except in superlatives. There’s another knock at the door and the North Node in Virgo walks in. As the North Node approaches the Moon, the Moon begins to go dark.
Moon: Hey, stay away!
North Node: It’s eclipse time.
Sun: Thanks for coming, North Node. Thank goodness you’re in Virgo and have a sense of discernment. I think the Moon needs your input as a theatrical critic. What is your genuine opinion of this production?
North Node: It’s got a lot of holes in it.
Moon (getting darker): It’s not finished!
North Node: I really don’t think it’s going to be worth paying attention to.
Moon (getting darker still): I’m not ready!
Saturn (standing behind the Moon and propping him up): It’s ok dear, just go on with what you’re doing. Others see you as an authority and you can do what you want.
Uranus (also standing behind the Moon): Be the change you want to make in the world! It doesn’t matter what others think. Especially those stupid critics. They just want to tear you down.
Sun: This is a vanity play for you. It’s not enjoyable for the audience.
Jupiter: I totally concur. This isn’t just you broadcasting whatever you want. It’s a relationship with the audience. They have a choice about whether to watch.
Just then, the South Node in Pisces walks in the door. She’s carrying a scrying bowl.
South Node: Here’s what the future holds.
Everybody looks in the bowl to see what is to come. The water in the bowl is cloudy at first, then images form. Days flip by on a calendar, and a week later, the show opens. A newspaper appears on the following day, saying “the show flopped.” The critic has written an article about the show, calling it a narcissistic exercise in self-aggrandizement, doomed to implode in its own. . . manure. After another week the show closes due to lack of ticket sales. Watching all this, the Moon, at his darkest, flops down on the sofa and bursts into tears.
Moon (bellowing tearfully): What should I do?
Sun: Still the center of attention, aren’t you? Before it was all about your bellows. Now it’s all about your tears.
Jupiter: Are you ready to actually listen?
Moon: Yes!
Jupiter: Think of it as a dialogue. You have a relationship with the audience. What do they actually want to see? What do they need from you?
Moon: I’m having an epiphany. I need to rethink this whole thing. I need to listen to the audience. It’s not about me.
Sun: Yes, I think some THINKING is exactly the point. You’ve been doing, not thinking.
The Moon starts to brighten up again.
Moon: I don’t know how to pay attention to the audience’s needs and interests. Will you help me?
Everyone: Of Course!
Jupiter: We only needed to be invited.
North and South Nodes (in unison): Our work here is done.
They lock arms and stroll out the door while the rest of the group begins brainstorming the next season’s show.

Read about 2017’s eclipses here.

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Categories: Eclipse posts

Those who are born under the fiery, fixed sign of Leo (born between July 23 and August 22) are widely known for their showmanship, creativity, and leadership. Ruled by the Sun, the very core of our solar system, Leos tend to take the center-stage and can even have their own gravitational field. But when are you the adored rock star of the Zodiac, or just being an obnoxious attention-hogger? It’s fun to have your own fan base, but do you know when to share the spotlight with others?

Leo, when you’re at your best. . .
. . . you’re one of the most magnanimous member of the Zodiac. No one can throw a party like you–you are a natural host/ess and can make anyone feel welcomed. Since you can shine like the Sun, that means everyone can’t take their eyes off of you. You take to leadership like a fish to water, and can serve as a guiding light for those to follow. You also exude confidence–whether you actually have it or not. Know the expression “Fake it until you make it?” There’s some Leo logic right there. You also have a great talent for finding the talent in others. Therefore, you make an ideal motivational coach, and can help others find their own confidence and strengths. Nobody can build up someone else’s self-esteem like a Leo!

. . . and at your worst. . .
I’ve already mentioned that your ruling planet is at the center of our solar system. That seems like an important position–and it is. However, sometimes being at the very center means that it’s easy to forget that there are others out there. Sometimes when you shine so brightly, you cast a shadow over everyone else. This may make you feel justified in your own ‘brightness,’ but be careful of devolving into a rampant narcissist. Yes, people DO notice you, and they DO follow you, but you are not the only one with something to offer in this universe. Also, there is a fine line between having star quality, and just desperate showboating. If you place yourself in the center of attention all of the time, people may actually start feeling more drained by you than dazzled.

Handling your Cancer nature
Every Leo has a performative, creative side to their personality. For you to really shine in life (and maintain your sanity) you need to find an outlet for performance. Perhaps you were born to be on the stage, have your own YouTube channel, write a blog, or anything that gets you SEEN somehow. Also, once you have found your platform, make sure to share it with others. Be generous with the spotlight! And here’s another tip for being a great performer–learn how to play to your audience, meaning: learn to listen to others. The more good feedback you get and integrate into your leadership/performance, the more your audience will grow and grow. And how rewarding is that for you, Leo!

Clueing others in about you
There are some important things that every Leo needs from others people. Leos have a social nature, and they can really give and give the same way that the Sun gives and gives its light to Earth every day. But if all of that giving goes unappreciated, than a Leo can feel quite depressed. There are mature ways to tell others that you need appreciation for all that you do for them. And when you finally get some, than you will be a very bright, and happy Leo! Another thing that Leos need from others is to be treated with respect and dignity. Even the quiet Leos out there (and there are a few!) can have a rather dignified presence. If you find others laughing at your expense or not taking you seriously enough, speak up for yourself. Respecting yourself is the first step to getting others to respect you.

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Categories: Signs: Leo

If you have just found this blogpost thread, I strongly suggest you go back to the beginning of it before reading further.

Venus Retrograde is over (at least for now—she will go retrograde again in March of 2017). We are past the peak in our story: the princess has been discovered, the witch vanquished, the hard choice made. What is left to tell? A milestone occurs when Venus, now direct, passes through the same point where she turned retrograde in the first place. That happens on October 9, 2015. On this day Venus (now direct and no longer retrograde) passes back through 0º Virgo, the point where she began the journey.

I have names for various points in the Venus Retrograde cycle (see diagram here) and I have dubbed this one “Relationship Resolution Day.” It’s an opportunity to return to where you started and to apprehend this place with all the wisdom of the retrograde journey in your pocket. What metaphors can we find in the story of Rapunzel?

A grim ending for a Grimm tale
In the Grimm’s version, after being blinded and wandering for years, the Prince rediscovers Rapunzel by hearing her sing (there’s that Leo creativity and expression again) and they are reunited. She has been raising their children. Overjoyed, she cries and her tears fall on his eyes. The blindness is healed. They can now be together.

Old-fashioned tales are bound by old-fashioned perspectives. This “you can be happy only after you have endured pain and punishment” moral framework is reminiscent of Jane Eyre, a middle-class character who could only marry her upper-class love after both have paid a terrible price involving death, a fire and the revelation of a horrifying secret. But the modern reader wonders why it all mattered so much?

A modern Disney ending
Disney, targeting its tales firmly at an audience of children and their parents, needs to keep it all very G-rated. The pregnancy theme? Out. The sad ending with the blinded prince? Out. Instead we have the magic hair, a charismatic bad boy hero and an indomitable lost princess trying to discover herself. Oddly, by removing some of the themes, Disney has arrived at the heart of the story, which is also the part that interests modern children (and the inner child of modern adults) the most. And this is the part of the story that makes me cry. Every. Damn. Time.

Rapunzel’s epiphany comes when she has returned to the tower and surrendered herself to Mother Gothel, ostensibly forever. But she has with her a bit of flag that she brought home from her adventures. It has the crest of the royal family on it—a sunburst (and there’s nothing more Leonine than a sunburst). Seeing this symbol in the context of the tower makes her look all around her and suddenly realize that she’s been drawing and painting this exact shape all her life. She’s surrounded by sunbursts—in the positive and in the negative space of every image she’s created. Venus retrograde’s discovery, upon returning to Leo from Virgo, is that she has herself already—that she always knew who she really was, deep down inside. This triggers for Rapunzel the realization that SHE is the princess who was stolen as a baby, that the lanterns are expressly for her and always were. This is a Venus moment of understanding that one’s value is absolute and that her parents never stopped loving or wanting her.

This is a huge shift away from most world cultures’ traditional devaluation of the female or of using a daughter as a bargaining chip or a resource to be exploited. The epiphany is also a consummately Venus moment in that she discovers that she has value, has worth, that is inherent, and that it is up to her to ensure that it is used well in the world, and not exploited.

Lost. . .  and found
United with Flynn, Rapunzel leaves the tower and returns to her family, the king and queen of the land. In a moment both subtle and tender, they recognize and welcome her with open hearts. This is a reaffirmation of their perpetual love for her and the hope that she would be found.

This is a story for anyone who has ever lost herself and then found herself, for anyone who has lost a child, for anyone who fears that her mother didn’t really love her. It’s a story affirming that a girl can grow up, pass through adolescence, discover herself and her own desires and be loved by her parents despite the rebellion needed to break away from their safe grasp. It is a story for everyone who longs to be a wanted child.

Begin this article series here.
Read more about Venus Retrograde here.

References:
Wikipedia page about Rapunzel
A fun and modernized retelling of Rapunzel, in graphic novel format
Grimm’s Fairy Tales on Wikipedia
The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang as a free download on amazon.com
Tangled on IMDB
An annotated Rapunzel
Grimm’s original tale for purchase on amazon.com
Terri Windling’s Rapunzel page compares several versions of the tale, is annotated and is loaded with insights

We return to our story at a peak dramatic moment: In the Disney version of the tale, Rapunzel wants to heal Flynn, but Flynn refuses to allow her to promise her life away so that Mother Gothel will allow him to be healed. He would rather die than leave her in her tower. She would rather be imprisoned forever and lose him, than he lose his life. It is an impossible dilemma.

Flynn solves the problem by making Rapunzel’s decision for her—and in doing so, he demonstrates that he loves her more than he loves his own life.  Considering that he is an orphan and a thief with a made-up life and a false identity, who likely has never bonded to anyone before now, this shows that he is a changed man. Using a shard of glass that he picked up in the battle with Mother Gothel, he cuts Rapunzel’s hair—the ultimate sacrifice, because she cannot heal him without it. In doing so, he is liberating her by making her worthless to Mother Gothel, when she wouldn’t have done that for herself. Rapunzel’s cropped hair loses its magic and turns brown. And then Flynn dies in her arms.

Here we arrive at the very nadir of hope and it’s reminiscent of the Grimm’s ending, where the prince falls on thorns, is blinded and spends the rest of his days in aimless wandering. And here Disney (which knows its audience expects a happy ending and a kiss) delivers a miracle. Rapunzel cries and a single tear falls on Flynn and that tear contains all that’s left of the hair’s magical powers. It is enough to heal Flynn and ultimately their happiness together is assured.

In the midst of all this Mother Gothel receives the punishment we expect: she falls from the tower and is no more. My perspicacious 3-year-old calls her a “bad guy mommy.” Her exploitation of Rapunzel’s hair is at an end.

I cannot imagine stating the themes of this tale better than author and folklorist Terri Windling, so I’ll quote her here:

“In the public mind (used to the Grimm’s version), Rapunzel’s tale was one intended for very young readers — with few realizing that at its root this is a story about puberty, sexual desire, and the evils of locking young women away from life and self-determination. In the children’s version, Rapunzel is just another passive princess waiting for her prince to come. In the older tales we glimpse a different story: about a girl whose life is utterly controlled by greedy, selfish, capricious adults … until she disobeys, chooses her own fate, and bursts from captivity into adult life.

Rapunzel’s story has become part of our folk tradition because its themes are universal and timeless. We’ve all hungered for things with too high a price; we’ve all felt imprisoned by another’s demands; we’ve all been carried away by love, only to end up blinded and broken; we all hope for grace at the end of our suffering, and a happy ending.”

In the next–and final–article in this series (on October 8), discover Rapunzel’s ultimate epiphany, and the takeaway from this year’s Venus Retrograde period.

Begin this article series here.
Read more about Venus Retrograde here.

On August 31, 2015, Venus conjuncts Mars, just as she’s finishing her retrograde stint. They meet at 14º Leo. Obviously, if you have anything in your chart at 14º Leo, this would hit you with some significance. It would connect strongly with your Sun if your birthday is within a week on either side of August 6, November 6, February 3 or May 4.

If you are just finding this article series now, I strongly suggest you begin at the beginning of it. (And beware of the many spoilers of the Disney movie, Tangled, in this series.)

The Cost of Fun, according to Grimm
In the Grimm’s version of Rapunzel, we have gotten to the part of the story where Rapunzel has been having an affair with her rescuer, who visits her regularly, and Rapunzel innocently asks Dame Gothel, “Why is my dress getting tight?” She is pregnant. In that tale, Gothel cuts Rapunzel’s hair and casts her out of the tower. She then ties the hair to a nail and lures the prince to climb it in his usual way, only to drop him from the tower’s height to a thorn bush where he is blinded. In some versions, this is where the story ends—badly, unromantically. The prince spends the rest of his life wandering as a blind man and thus, in a very pre-modern plot ending, Rapunzel and her prince must pay for their pleasure.

The Cost of Fun, according to Disney
In other versions, Rapunzel and the blind prince reunite years later and find happiness together. In the Disney version, the happy ending is even more pronounced (as modern and post-modern viewers expect).

Rapunzel has escaped the tower and Mother Gother pursues her (she covets the hair, remember?) and, observing that Flynn and Rapunzel are falling in love, tricks her into thinking he has abandoned her for riches. Rapunzel returns to the tower with Gothel, and to her life of submission and non-adventure. Flynn is imprisoned but escapes (with the help of the most awesome cartoon horse character I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing) and returns to the tower to rescue Rapunzel. There a beautiful, magical transformation happens, which teaches about the power of love (a favorite theme with Disney) and the evildoers are all appropriately punished while the good guys find love and happiness.

They aren’t the only ones who have to pay
While Flynn is speeding towards her, Rapunzel has the epiphany where she realizes that the lost princess the lanterns are raised for is actually. . . herself. This triggers the further epiphany that Mother Gothel isn’t her real mother. This allows Rapunzel to see the false mother love she’s been given for the cheap, gaudy thing it really is—more Leo symbolism there, as Rapunzel begins to discover substance as opposed to surface.

In the fracas, Flynn is dealt a deadly blow. Rapunzel begs Mother Gothel to allow her to heal Flynn with her hair, giving her word of honor that she will remain in the tower forever. This is a devil’s bargain: Rapunzel must choose between her life of isolation, but saving Flynn’s life, or rebelling against Mother Gothel and gaining her freedom, but allowing Flynn to die. She chooses to save his life, but he chooses her freedom. With a shard of glass, he cuts her hair, rather than allow her to save him. Both characters grow. BUT Flynn is dying. All is lost.

How can a happy ending happen?
In the next article, discover the magical healing power of love.

Begin this article series here.
Read more about Venus Retrograde here.

On August 13, 2015, Venus, still moving retrograde, conjuncts the Sun. I call this Relationship Clarity Day—a day when the purpose of the current Venus Retrograde period can become clear. During the current Venus Retrograde period, there is also a New Moon in Leo, which is in trine to Uranus in Aries. Saturn in Scorpio continues to square Venus. We continue the story of Rapunzel where we left off—she is living in her tower and is about to be discovered by … either a handsome prince or a thief, depending on which version you refer to.

(Warning: Disney movie “Tangled” spoilers are peppered throughout this article series!)

The Adventure. . .
In the Disney version, Rapunzel’s tower is invaded by a thief named Flynn, who styles himself something of a player but is easily subdued by an iron frying pan wielded by the indomitable Rapunzel. She may lack worldly experience, but she’s ready to defend herself, in true Venus-in-Leo fashion. She ties him up with her hair and makes him agree to help fulfill her one great wish, which is to see the beautiful floating lanterns close up.

The Disney version contains a number of Leonine symbols here: One, the lanterns are lights that are made of floating fire. Two, Rapunzel is taking initiative and she is royalty—a lost princess. Three, her family crest is a sunburst and it is this symbol that awakens her to her heritage. Only after leaving the tower and adventuring out into the nearby towns does she see the kingdom’s flag. Her epiphany later in the story is that she’s been drawing and painting that very shape her whole life—the tower is in fact filled with sunbursts, and this triggers in her a babyhood memory of her parents. She discovers herself—again, very Leonine.

. . . or the Affair
Grimm’s versions of all fairy tales tend to be a bit more, well, grim. They are often bloodier and more adult. Most of Grimm’s tales have been softened in the last century, for the ears of modern children. In Rapunzel, there are strong hints that Rapunzel has been having sex with her visitor and that she becomes pregnant. This is also apt symbolism for Venus in Leo, as love affairs and sex for pleasure and fun are ruled by Leo. So whichever version you go with, the message is the same. Girls just want to have fun.

In the next article, discover how Rapunzel (and her visitor) must pay for their fun.

Begin this article series here.
And read more about Venus Retrograde here.

If you’re just finding this now, you might want to begin this thread at the beginning.

On July 31st, 2015, Venus retrograded from Virgo into 29º Leo. At the same time, Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio, also retrograde, and the two square each other. This is apt symbolism for continuing the story of Rapunzel, the maiden (Venus) in the tower (Saturn—restriction, constriction, isolation, ). Arriving in Leo, Venus is defiant. “I am remembering who I am!” she declares. This section of the tale is about her meeting the one who will release her—in the Grimm’s tale, it’s the prince, and in the Disney version, it’s Flynn, the thief. Either way, for her to entertain him is an act of defiance and subversion. This girl just wants to have some fun for once!

Leo, creativity and self-discovery
Even the synopsis of the Disney film on IMDB emphasizes the self-discovery aspect of the tale: “The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.”

In Tangled, Rapunzel is extremely creative with her time, which is very Leo of her. She paints, cooks, makes pottery, and literally swings from the ceiling by her hair. She covers every wall and ceiling with beautiful drawings and reads all the books she possesses over and over again (after all, there are only 3 of them). She even plays chess. In the Grimm’s tale the prince is drawn to her by hearing her sing—another creative act. Rapunzel is bursting with self-development.

The symbolism of golden hair
Hair is lush, sensual and a means for expression. Leo, being the Lion, is always aware of the mane. Her long hair, always blonde, (this is a German tale after all) is a symbol of lushness and golden beauty. Like gold, she is coveted, first by her parents, then by Mother Gothel, then by the Prince/Flynn.

In the Disney tale her hair is coveted for its healing powers. At the end, Flynn is willing to die rather than exploit the healing hair one more time—even though Rapunzel is willing to sacrifice her newfound freedom to save him. This is his growth in the story, which he begins as a thief, coveting a tiara he had stolen from the palace. He learns to value love over money. Mother Gothel, who covets the hair for its ability to restore her youth, receives the ultimate lesson—and dies of it.

Read the next post: Love and Rebellion.

Begin this article series here.
And read more about Venus Retrograde here.

If you’re just finding this now, you might want to begin this thread at the beginning.

Life in the Tower
This Venus retrograde period begins in Virgo and then Venus retrogrades back into Leo (on July 31). A maiden imprisoned in a tower is an apt metaphor for this. Rapunzel begins her life with some very Virgo restrictions and when she arrives at adolescence, a Leo-style crisis hits because the tower can no longer contain her.

The budding of sexuality and expression in the second quadrant of the zodiac
The zodiac is a human development cycle. The first quadrant takes us through early childhood, while the second quadrant carries us from there to adulthood. This second quadrant contains houses that have to do with self development and learning who we are. Leo and Virgo appear here, along with Cancer. Cancer represents our relationship to family and heritage, the context we come from. It’s where we learn to nurture ourselves. It also represents the hormonal and emotional changes of adolescence. Cancer is followed by Leo, the symbolic teen years, a time of self-expression. In Leo we come to know who we are through creativity, performance and audience response. Here we develop self-confidence. Then comes Virgo, the threshold of young adulthood, a time of shaping and perfecting oneself. Here we develop integrity and restraint. Here we prepare to meet the Beloved in Libra, sign of partnership and love. After we learn who we are, we are then ready to link with a partner and fully merge with them (in Scorpio).

Rapunzel’s part of the story begins in Virgo. She is a maiden, a virgin, inexperienced and innocent, untouched and isolated in her tower. Rapunzel doesn’t know she’s a princess or that she’s beautiful. Her life is a Virgo one of restraint, humbleness and modesty.

Venus retrogrades into Leo, sign of creativity and fun
This Venus retrograde period begins so extremely early in Virgo that Venus quickly retrogrades back into Leo. Virgo is of course the sign associated with virginity while Leo is associated with love affairs and sex for pleasure. What could this mean?

A Venus retrograde period takes our relationships backward before they can go forward. It is a time of retrospection and introspection. Rapunzel has been limited to a Virgo life before she had had any fun. How can she prepare to meet the Beloved if she doesn’t know who she is? Before Rapunzel can become a true partner (in Libra), she needs to become an independent young adult (Virgo) and before that she needs to really play and to discover herself (Leo). So back into Leo Venus goes, to discover fun, creativity and playfulness.

What is rampion?
leaf of campanula rapunculusWhile researching this story I discovered a page that tells the whole story of Rapunzel with helpful annotations. There I found this quote, with some interesting biological facts about the rampion plant that Rapunzel is named for. Rampion is an autogamous plant. This means that if it is not fertilized with the help of insects, it can split a column within the plant to fertilize itself. The split column will “curl like braids or coils on a maiden’s head, and this will bring the female stigmatic tissue into contact with the male pollen on the exterior surface of the column.” How cool is that?

A beautiful maiden in a tower in a fairy tale is an invitation for adventure to happen, just as virginity is an invitation for sexuality to happen. Nature dictates that budding sexuality be discovered, and very soon, that is exactly what happens. And what fairy tale would be complete without the arrival of the prince?

Read the next post: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair!
And more about Venus Retrograde here.

What is Venus Retrograde?

Venus turns retrograde (or backwards) for about 6 weeks every year and a half. When she does, she pulls us into an inward journey, an exploration of the deeper mysteries of love. Relationships reach a crisis point at which clarity can come, followed by a deepening of intimacy or possibly an end to the relationship. Each Venus retrograde period is an opportunity to learn a new set of teachings about love and apply them to your own relationships (including close friendships).

Venus Retrograde 2015: Virgo and Leo
This year Venus begins her retrograde journey in 0º Virgo and travels backwards into Leo. I’ve decided on the story of Rapunzel as an apt metaphor for this journey: a tale of an adolescent girl who has lived in a tower all her life, and just wants to get out and have some fun. At certain junctures of Venus’ journey I’ll be posting articles about Rapunzel to illuminate the meaning of this transit. Stories evolve in the telling and this story is hundreds of years old, so along the way, I’ll compare various versions and interpretations of the tale that may add their own particular meanings, from the Brothers Grimm to Disney.

The Story of Rapunzel
There once was a girl who had lived her whole life in a tower, isolated from the world. Ah, but I begin too late. . . I must start at the beginning. This story really begins with a pregnancy, so we can understand why Rapunzel was in a tower and how she got her name.

Once upon a time. . .
There lived a man and his wife who lacked a child and were unhappy. They lived near to a witch who kept a garden behind her wall. The wife craved rampion (a leafy green vegetable) and asked her husband to take some from the witch’s garden as she felt she would die if she didn’t have it. The husband did so and was caught. The witch demanded his first-born child for his thievery, predicting that his wife would soon bear. When the child was born, the witch took her away, naming the girl Rapunzel, after the rampion her mother had craved. She hid the child in a tower, isolated from the world.

What does it mean?
Rapunzel is the product of a craving, which can be interpreted two ways: one is that, because a pregnant woman needs nutrition, her cravings are taken seriously by her husband, who risks all to feed her what she wants. This is therefore a story about appetites and their cost. The other possible interpretation stems from the fact that, in some versions of the story, the mother craves parsley, a known abortifacient. Perhaps the mother doesn’t really want a child and just wants to have sex without conceiving and therefore she is made to pay for her “sin” by losing her child. In either interpretation, the mother is subject to cravings, longings, desires that the husband is bound to fulfill and that cost them their child. Rapunzel is a product of longing and the name given her by the witch is ironic.

Mother Gothel, and the feminine craving for youth and beauty
The witch herself is a character full of meaning. In some versions she is a witch or a sorceress, in some a simple herbalist. In some she lures the husband to steal the rampion so she can claim the child. But in none of the older versions (Grimm’s German version or the Italian or French versions) is it explained why the old woman would want to take a child and raise it. The Disney version handles this by giving her a uniquely modern motivation.

(Warning: Disney movie “Tangled” spoilers are peppered throughout this article series!)

Disney begins the story with a magical flower that an aging woman finds. The flower keeps the woman young and beautiful and she conceals it under a basket, keeping it only for herself and singing a song to evoke the magical healing properties of the flower. She does this for hundreds of years. Then one day, the queen of the land, who is pregnant, grows deathly ill. She needs to get well, and fast. The king, hearing of the flower, sends his soldiers to take the flower and it is harvested and used to heal the queen, who safely bears a daughter. The magical healing qualities of the flower have come out in the baby’s hair, which is golden. The old woman, who is called Mother Gothel in the Disney version (and Dame Gothel in Grimm’s), appears and steals the child away. Mother Gothel knows that if Rapunzel’s hair is cut, even once, it will lose its magic. She hides the child in a tower which Rapunzel is never allowed to leave. Mother Gothel renews her youthful appearance and health each time Rapunzel sings a song that works the magic.

Rapunzel grows up believing Mother Gothel is her mother and knows nothing of her loving and distraught royal parents. Each year, they celebrate their beloved child (and grieve her loss) by sending lanterns into the sky. Each year, Rapunzel sees the beautiful lanterns and is drawn to them, but doesn’t have any idea they are for her. Rapunzel is the archetypal lost princess, with no idea that she is beautiful, magical and lost. She has all the power of primal innocence and Mother Gothel’s purpose is to entrap and exploit it, as a natural resource. Mother Gothel is the “bad mother” figure that appears in so many fairy tales and their Disney versions.

Distorted mother love and the Moon in Scorpio
The Disney version interests me because of the complex dynamics between Rapunzel and Mother Gothel. It’s especially interesting because this year’s Venus Retrograde period begins while the Moon is in Scorpio, a position associated with mothers who can be overprotective, manipulative or controlling.

Mother Gothel is the only mother Rapunzel has ever known. She pretends to love the child but really wants only to control and contain her and have access to her magic hair. “Mother knows best,” she sings, in a litany of things in the outside world that Rapunzel should be afraid of, justifying her imprisonment in the tower. Gothel’s every move in the course of the story is in defense of her access to the hair, a symbol of lushness and sexual beauty. She “protects” Rapunzel by keeping her in the tower, securing the girl’s obedience by pretending to be a loving mother. But as Rapunzel grows up, the tower will no longer contain her. Mother Gothel’s exploitation of this natural resource will come to an end.

Adolescence and the budding of sexuality
Rapunzel is conceived as a transgression (the husband has to climb a wall to get the rampion, which is protected/imprisoned behind it) and then is hidden in a tower, where she cannot transgress. But as the story moves on, she does transgress. This is the nature of adolescence: it is a time of desires and transgression. More in the next post.

And more about Venus Retrograde here.

Saturn in your chart points down a career path that can satisfy you and bring you success.

Knowing your Saturn sign orients you, motivates you and gets you unstuck. 

Do you have Saturn in Leo in your astrology chart?

If you do, then you need August’s free teleclass from Pandora Astrology.

How to find out more:
The infographic above can only hint at the deeper understanding of Saturn in Leo that astrology has to offer. To find out more, get this teleclass call recording: The Great Work of Leo.

In it, you’ll discover:

  • What’s behind Saturn in Leo’s greatest fear—and crowning achievement
  • More about apt career directions for you if you have Saturn in Leo
  • Leo’s Mission Orders—and how fulfilling on them can bring success and satisfaction

The Great Work of Leo is an MP3 recording lasting approximately 45 minutes and costing $9.97.
To get the recording, use this webform (the same one used for signing up for the teleclasses as they happen) for a fast and easy MP3 download. May it speed your success!

You have Saturn in Leo if you were born in these dates:

  • 8/2/1946 to 9/18/1948
  • 4/3/1949 to 5/29/1949
  • 9/16/1975 to 1/14/1976
  • 6/5/1976 to 11/16/1977
  • 1/4/1978 to 7/26/1978
  • 7/16/2005 to 9/2/2007

If you don’t have Saturn in Cancer, you can find out where YOU have Saturn here.

Put Up Your Lightning Rod!


Jupiter and Uranus sit on top of Mount Olympus, surveying the mortal world below and taking the occasional swig of ambrosia from a chalice they are sharing. It’s a really BIG chalice and sparks are flying off the surface of the liquid.

Uranus: You know what I’m in the mood for?
Jupiter: What are you in the mood for, my friend?
Uranus: Delivering insight.
Jupiter: But isn’t that your bag? Isn’t that just what you do every day, no matter what?
Uranus: Sure, but usually it’s a little—you know—fraught.
Jupiter: Oh, you mean attended by total chaos, breakdown and revolution? So what? Everybody’s got a talent—that’s just yours. If you’ve got it, flaunt it—that’s what I always say. (He takes a large swig.)
Uranus: But I’m in the mood to be gentle. I’d just like to strike a few people with some ideas that are only a little offbeat, but which can bring real progress because they’re not hard to swallow. Or transmit.
Jupiter: That’s very restrained of you. (He emits a large belch.)
Uranus: And you, my dear deity, are drunk. Sodden. Loaded.
Jupiter: Don’t mind if I am. And I have the answer to your problem.
Uranus: Oh really? Do tell.
Jupiter: Lightning rods.
Uranus: What about them?
Jupiter: They attract lightning.
Uranus: Obviously. Develop your idea please, or you will lose my attention.
Jupiter: As you know, I know a bit about lightning bolts too. Lightning rods are made to attract them. Those few people who are ready for an idea should put up lightning rods above their heads and wait for you to throw them a bolt from the blue.
Uranus: And how are they to know that it’s time to do that?
Jupiter: (clears throat and opens his mouth very wide) Heeeeeeeeeyyyyyy, all you Human Beings! New ideas on the loose. Get ready!
Jupiter and Uranus scan the landscape eagerly as a handful, then a dozen, then hundreds and finally thousands of lightning rods pop up over homes in all corners of the Earth.
Uranus: Wow! I didn’t know you could do that.
Jupiter: Don’t be so amazed–after all, I do rule radio, television, advertising and all forms of broadcasting! I am the master of getting the word out.
Uranus: But what does this mean for the Gentle Reader who is reading this right now? What can the Gentle Reader do to catch a few good ideas?
Jupiter: It’s a metaphor, my dear old bolt-thrower. Those who are meant to understand it, will.

And the moral of the story is: Open your mind to new ideas this month—and they will strike you.

What Does This Mean For You?
This wonderful trine between Jupiter and Uranus began in September of 2014 and finishes this month—June of 2015.  It covers 14-20º of Fire signs, so if you have any planet in that span, you will love this transit.

Enjoy it through the end of June. Come July, the opportunity has passed!  This transit is especially nice if your birthday falls into these dates:

Arians born:  April 3-10
Geminis born:  June 4-11
Leos born:  August 6-13
Librans born:  October 6-13
Sagittarians born:  December 6-12
Aquarians born:  February 2-9

To read the other Jupiter-trine-Uranus post, look here: High Five! Jupiter Trine Uranus in Fire Signs
For more about Jupiter’s passage through Leo, read this: Jupiter in Leo—Your Time In The Sun

Are you benefiting from this Uranus/Jupiter trine?

If you want to know how to use this time more effectively,


contact Jamie for an astrology reading

to find out how it affects your chart.

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Categories: Jupiter, Uranus

This Full Moon (also a Lunar Eclipse) suggests a feeling of persecution. “How unfair!” cries the Libran Moon, while Shadow Agents Pluto and Uranus pick on her. How will she learn to stand up for herself? Fortunately, Jupiter in Leo brings confidence and pride. During this Lunar Eclipse, learn to defend yourself and add teeth to your diplomacy.

Details About This Eclipse

Date: April 4, 2015
Time of eclipse: 5:05 AM Pacific Time
Type: total (strong in intensity)
Visible in: Asia, Western Australia, Oceania, North and South America and Antarctica
At: 14º Libra
Shadow Agents:  Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Leo

Does It Affect You Personally?

If your birthday is on any of the following dates, you’re most likely to experience this eclipse:
March 30 – April 9
July 1 – 11
October 3 – 13
December 31 – January 10

Remember, not every eclipse touches everyone, but when it does, it’s usually noticeable. A lunar eclipse is likely to bring up strong emotions and to be experienced as a subjective event (unlike a solar eclipse, which is likely to be marked by an external, real-world event). You may notice events happening anytime within the week surrounding the eclipse (up to a few days before or after). The following script is just one possible way it could go.

You hear a strange sound outside, like a breeze growing into a wind, quickly growing into a monsoon. You head for the door when it is thrown open by the Moon in Libra, looking like a 1920’s starlet wearing a long gown. She throws herself at you and clings to you. The wind blows her skirt around and then suddenly dies down.
Moon: Save me! They’re after me!
You close the door and hold her. She’s shivering. Soon there’s a beating at the door. Through the peephole you can see Pluto in Capricorn, wearing a long, dark cloak and Uranus in Aries, carrying fiery thunderbolts in a satchel on his back. The thunderbolts give off an occasional sizzle that is audible even through the door.
You: You’re not coming in!
Pluto: What, not by the hair of your chinny-chin-chin?
He and Uranus snicker.
Uranus: I mean, really! That’s just plain silly.
Pluto: Clearly, I am to be the villain of the piece, so I’ll live up to the image.
He produces a flask from inside his cloak and drinks from it, then laughs in an evil way.
Pluto: Come out, Moon! I’ve got some flaws to detect in you this time! You’re not as pretty as you look, ya know!
Uranus: Yeah, and I’ve got an angry mob of protesters here who say justice is not as blind as she should be.
Pluto: Maybe we should take out one of her eyes?
The Moon gasps, looks at you and shivers more violently.
Pluto: Which story is this anyway? Am I supposed to tie you to the railroad track, so I can steal your inheritance? Am I supposed to rip your bodice, turn out to be a bad man with a heart of gold and fulfill your sexual fantasies? Am I supposed to put you out for the monster to eat? Am I the monster? Come on, Moon, give me a clue!
The Moon looks confused. Just then, you hear a rumble on the roof and see some soot drop down your fireplace. Suddenly, Jupiter appears at the opening and tugs his large self free of the fireplace, knocking over the andirons as he goes, but not upsetting his dignity.
Jupiter: I’m used to using fireplaces. After all, some see me as Santa Claus. He pats the Moon gently on the back.
Jupiter: Don’t you know Moon, that you are in charge here? Where’s your power? You’re not a victim of beauty, you wield it. Is it a weapon? is it a connector?
What’s the truth and what’s the pretty lies?
Moon: Those two really have me off balance. I can’t find my center with them around.
Jupiter: Rather than hiding and crying about the unfairness of the situation, why not claim your dignity and stand up for yourself? After all, fairness is a two-way street.
There’s a resounding toot from a horn and the door opens by itself. The Sun in Aries strides in, a larger-than-life warrior figure wearing full armor, with battle plumes on his helmet. Pluto and Uranus are still on the other side of the threshold, with a crowd behind them, brandishing pitchforks and axes and suchlike.
Sun: I sincerely hope everyone is remembering this is an ECLIPSE! Of the MOON! A time for us to look at our emotional shadow. And here and now, that shadow is niceness. False sweetness. Empty beauty. Passivity and excess yielding. And it is love without teeth that runs and hides at the first sign of trouble.
He looks very sternly at the Moon.
The Moon has started to look very pale and begins to go dark while the Sun brightens.
Sun: The powers of day assert themselves over the powers of night. Libra Moon, I am doing what you cannot–I am the Inner Warrior coming out to protect you.
He draws a sword and brandishes it at Pluto and Uranus. Uranus cheers while Pluto cowers, hiding under his cloak.
Pluto (resentfully): Like I said, why am I always being cast as the villain of the piece?
The Moon goes entirely dark and disappears. She is only gone for a few minutes before she begins to fade into shape again. When she takes her form again, she strides over to the Sun and takes his sword, then raises it above her head.
Moon: How could I have forgotten? I am JUSTICE! I am the Scales. Where there is unfairness, there am I with my sword.
She grabs a doily from a nearby tabletop and covers her eyes inexpertly with it.
Moon: I am Blind Justice, impartial and symmetrical! I am pure objectivity!
Uranus (aside to Jupiter): She’s something of a drama queen but she does speak sooth.

Read about other eclipses this year: 2015 Eclipses.

If you’re feeling this eclipse
and you want to know what it means for you,
and especially if your birthday is in one of the spans above
contact Jamie for a reading.

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Categories: Eclipse posts

Leo heart 1Do you love a Leo?
Are you a Leo in love?

Human relationships are complex, layered things.  Every sign responds to love differently and has needs that are particular to it.  Also no individual can be categorized by their Sun sign alone.  Every person is a mixed bag of astrological traits, but an emphasis on Leo in your chart (or the Sun, its ruling planet) will result in distinctly Leonine experience.  In particular, if you have the Sun or Moon in Leo OR if you have Venus or Juno in Leo, this article is just for you.

Are you a Leo in love?
Then you must also be proud of the object of your affections because for Leo, the Beloved is an extension of self and if your partner doesn’t look good and make you look good, you won’t be interested for long. Show your partner off and expand your aura to enfold her. If you’re the man, protect her and allow her the privilege of decorating your arm. If you’re the woman, let your glow expand your man’s masculinity (how did he ever get such a glorious creature?).  This big and showy courtship display is all just part of the fun—and a necessary part for Leo. To be Leo is to love big and to fully claim and be claimed. If you’re not proud of your partnership, then best get out. Every evolved Leo knows that this is all a game, but a really fun one and a game that must be played.

How to manage your relationships as a Leo. . .
You can be a pretty self-conscious person and generous to a fault with those you include in your realm, but one thing must be remembered and that is that embarrassing you is a deal-breaker. Making you look bad in public is equally verboten. All this said, remember that your partner is a sovereign being (as you are) and will make his own decisions and have his own needs. You are not the only royalty in this relationship. Treating your partner as an equal while secretly believing yourself to be superior will undermine love and rot it from within. Similarly, worshipping your partner as above you will also break love down eventually. If you must have superiority and inferiority, then divide your shared kingdom into principalities where each of you agree you may rule absolutely. Then practice diplomatic deference along those territorial lines.

Do you love a Leo?
Did I say “territorial?” Oh yes, Leo can be that way. Prepare to have a flag stuck in your chest, for you are about to be owned. If that’s sexy for you, you’ll have a terrific time and a truly grand passion. If it makes you feel claustrophobic, then you’re in for trouble and you’d best make ready for flight. It is a rare Leo who doesn’t tolerate PDA’s (“public displays of affection”), perhaps even demand them. You do realize that in every house cat you’ve ever been granted the privilege of being acquainted with, you have a model of Leonine behavior, right? And what does a house cat do? Demand to be petted and in doing so, it rubs its scent glands all over you, clearly marking you as its territory for all other nearby cats to smell.

If you have Venus or Juno in Leo in your chart, the chances of you dating Leos is very high.  How to handle the Leo you love. . .

  • If your Leo beloved is hiding out, avoiding the spotlight and being a wallflower, then get her center stage! Gently perhaps, but notice her unique creativity. A little sunlight will perk her right up.
  • Practice loving from a place of self-sovereignty.  (Join the teleclass below to find out what I mean by that.)
  • Remember your Leo’s roar is bigger than his bite. When your Leo roars, it’s because he feels ignored, unseen, small. Like any animal in the wild, his aggressive display poofs him up several times bigger than he is. It will pass and if you really hear him, he’ll listen to you.
  • The hair. Be careful of the hair. All praise the coif. You think I’m kidding? Try it and see.
  • Every Leo needs a good audience. The best audience is one who “gets it” but is not prone to flattery. If you can intelligently and lovingly critique your Leo’s creativity and spur her to greater heights, you will be invaluable.
  • Hint: A Leo doesn’t have to be arrogant and dominant if he feels truly in control. Take that hint into your relationship and see what you can make of it.

How to find out more:

In this article there’s only room to hint at the deeper understanding of Leo that astrology has to offer.  To find out more about being a Leo in Love or loving a Leo, get this teleconference call recording:

In it, you’ll discover:

  • Why your Leo can be an attention-hound—and how to enjoy mutually exciting give-and-take with him
  • What your Leo needs in order to sink into committed relationship with you
  • Signs Leo is most compatible with, and why
  • And if you are a Leo, you’ll learn the benefits you bring to every relationship you’re in and the relationship-killers you absolutely must avoid

Leo In Love is an MP3 recording lasting approximately 45 minutes and costing $9.97. To get the recording, email me at Pandora@pandoraastrology.com for a fast and easy MP3 download. You’ll love it!

If you want to find the trash and the treasure in the zodiac, all you have to do is count by eights.  Each sign looks 8 signs forward to the sign it treasures.  Each sign also looks 8 signs behind itself to the sign it regards as its own trash.  Each sign finds its treasure sign alluring, mysterious and impenetrable.  Each sign has little respect for its trash sign, which is the sign that worships it.  Check the diagram to see what I mean.

zodiac signs in quincunxFind Your Treasure and Trash
Begin with the sign you’re counting from, then go counterclockwise and follow the arrows.  Aries treasure?  That’s Scorpio.  But Aries trash?  That’s Virgo.  So the red Aries arrow points to Scorpio (which is 8 signs away if you start your count with Aries), while the Virgo green arrow points to Aries (8 signs away if you are counting from Virgo).

Here’s how the path runs:  Aries trashes Virgo, which treasures Aries.  Virgo trashes Aquarius, which treasures Virgo.  Aquarius trashes Cancer, which treasures Aquarius.  Cancer trashes Sagittarius, which treasures Cancer.  Sagittarius trashes Taurus, which treasures Sagittarius.  Taurus trashes Libra, which treasures Taurus.  Libra trashes Pisces, which treasures Libra.  Pisces trashes Leo, which treasures Pisces.  Leo trashes Capricorn, which treasures Leo.  Capricorn trashes Gemini, which treasures Capricorn.  Gemini trashes Scorpio, which treasures Gemini.  Scorpio trashes Aries, which treasures Scorpio.

Treasure and Trash, by sign:
Aries is fascinated with Scorpionic depth and power, but can get burned by it, because Scorpio finds Aries’ directness and honesty very easy to manipulate.  Scorpio has no respect for Aries’ courage, because Scorpio feels Aries is too simple.  Virgo is thrilled by Aries because Aries moves fast and gets a lot done.  That kind of efficiency is exciting to Virgo.  But Virgo is meticulous and worries too much, which Aries can’t respect.  Aries moves on to more interesting pastures, leaving Virgo in the dust.  What sign treasures Virgo?  That would be Aquarius, sign of science, which venerates cold, Virgoan logic and attention to detail.  But Aquarius can’t get any respect from Virgo, who thinks Aquarian thinking is undisciplined and too detached to be truly useful.  Aquarius is beloved by Cancer, sign of family, which views Aquarian community and humanitarianism as a social extension of family.  But Aquarius thinks Cancer’s family-centered lifestyle is too preferential and insular, because everyone deserves, don’t they?  Cancer views Sagittarius with scorn, because good old Sag is always in motion and can’t stick around long enough to really connect.  Sag worships Cancer’s sense of place because “the end of every Sag journey is to return home (Cancer) and recognize the place for the first time.”  Sagittarius is venerated by Taurus, which is blown away by the sheer fertility of Sagittarian creativity and the proliferation of ideas that abundantly flow from Sag.  Sag doesn’t give a fig for Taurus, that slow, stodgy, stubborn, provincial stick-in-the-mud.  The sign that does worship Taurus is Libra, who can’t believe the way Taurus seems to remain centered in the midst of whatever chaos life might bring (Taurus is accustomed to being opposite Scorpio—that’s how you get that kind of centering!).  Taurus looks down on Libra, because Libra perpetually waffles, can’t make decisions and pretends to be all about balance while swinging wildly from one extreme to another.  Libra is adored by Pisces, the spiritual side of all of us that is drawn to beauty as a metaphor for spiritual truth.  For Pisces, Libran beauty has a truly compelling nature, speaking to the ideal.  But Libra ignores wallflower Pisces or takes advantage of her, then throws her away.  Leo has the sense to see the value in Pisces.  Like a lion trying to catch a fish, but also trying to avoid the water, Leo is captivated by the glamour of illusion that Pisces weaves all around her and can quickly find himself out of his depth.  Who worships Leo?  Capricorn, naturally, who works hard to gain a leadership position, while Leo simply assumes the throne—how does Leo do that, anyway?  Leo scorns Cap’s hardworking nature and finds Capricorn unglamorous (too true).  Capricorn finds favor in Gemini eyes, however, and that’s because Gemini senses that all of his beloved information, facts and data are nothing compared to Cap’s wisdom.  And who worships silly, flighty Gemini?  None other than Scorpio.  Gemini is the Fatal Attractor’s own fatal attraction, by virtue of being the butterfly even Scorpio (the Great Seducer) can’t pin down.

And there you have it.  A romp around the zodiac by way of treasure and trash.

What’s in it for you?
Take a look at the sign listed here that you trash. If you’ve ever been told (in an astrology sun-sign book or online horoscope) not to date people of that sign, this article should tell you why: because you might find it easy to seduce them, but you will lose respect for them over time. ESPECIALLY if their birthdate falls within a week of yours  (but in their own birth month, obviously).

Now take a look at the sign you treasure.  Aren’t you a little bit (or maybe, if we’re truth-telling here, a LOT) susceptible to that sign?  Isn’t it like a moth to the flame?  Can they wind you around their little finger, then leave you wondering what really happened there?  Hmm, maybe you should avoid that scene.

Now what?
Hope you had as much fun reading this post as I did writing it!  And if you’ve just found (to your dismay) that you’re in a relationship with someone entirely unsuitable, don’t panic.  Instead, consider getting a Lifelong Love reading with me about it.  I have no doubt you are with who you are with for a reason, and your Sun signs are not the whole picture of how you relate.  Not by a long shot.

(This article is about an astrological aspect called the “quincunx.” More about quincunxes here.)

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Categories: Astrology for Non-Astrologers

Leo types are experts at discovering and unleashing human creativity—in themselves and in others.  Here’s how they do it, along with advice about how anyone (even those with only a smidgen of Leo in their charts) can do it too:

Be playful and childlike.  Have fun. Get so absorbed in what you are doing that you forget how others see you.  Engage others in the fun you are having.  Taking a playful approach to just about anything opens up creative channels and allows for relaxed, right-brain thinking.

Be a role-model. Be a leader.  Stand up, be seen, be visible.  Chief obstacles to this include embarrassment and fear of looking silly.  But don’t let them stop you!  If people don’t have other people to look to, how can they learn to live?  If there’s something you’ve figured out about how to live an excellent life, model that, be that, show that to the world.  I’ll betcha someone around you needed to see it in action.

Be self-centered–appropriately. This is a delicate balance.  Love yourself without arrogance as a flawed-but-beautiful human being: one of many, all of equal importance, holding yourself as your own special charge.  You are the shepherd of your own self, the guide of this body, this mind, this heart, this soul, this being.  Cherish this person you were given to be.

Shine on everyone. Leo knows a very special secret: that attention is the most valuable commodity in the world.  Everybody wants some and almost everybody wants more than they are getting or a different quality of attention than they’re getting.  When your Leo side is badly-behaved, it will pull you to grab attention—any attention at all.  When your Leo side is healthy, you give attention as the Sun gives sunshine—naturally, because you cannot help it and because you simply love to share.

Never underestimate the importance of your unique, authentic creativity. Leo exists to remind us that the individual point of view is important.  Modern physics tells us that the center is everywhere—and nowhere.  This means the center of the universe resides in you just as powerfully as in anyone.  Your point of view matters, and the creative flow that can come forth only from you and you alone is absolutely crucial to the workings of the whole.

You gotta give Leo credit.  It’s not easy to be your truest, most authentic self in front of God and everybody.  That’s scary stuff.  Occupy your whole social footprint—no more, no less, and the Leo in you will be happy.

Find out more about getting a reading
Or see what kinds of readings are available. 

Birthday Gift for you: 
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and you want an empowering look at the year ahead, click to
schedule a 
Birthday Reading and receive a free gift with it.

This is a repost of an article I wrote for the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal.  You can read the original here.

In honor of Sagittarians everywhere, this post is about Jupiter, Sag’s ruling planet, the bringer of joy.

Jupiter is located in a sign in your chart that brings you joy.  Wherever Jupiter resides will tell a story of an area of life or a way of being which brings you sheer delight and happiness.  To do your Jupiter thing is the very pursuit of happiness for you.  The feeling you get when you do that is a sense of expansion, pleasure and lightness.  Jupiter is just plain fun.

Jupiter is also the part of us that reaches beyond ourselves and makes us grow bigger.  This part helps us develop a philosophy of life that answer’s life’s big questions and makes sense of our place in the universe.  When you are in touch with your Jupiter side, life has meaning and you have a reason to live.  You have a happiness to pursue and when you do so, you exude such positive, hopeful qualities that life rolls out the red carpet, tossing you opportunities and making you lucky.  When you are friends with your inner Jupiter, life is an adventure.

How do you find out where your Jupiter is?
If you don’t have your chart, or don’t know how to read your chart, you may want to have a reading to find out where your Jupiter is. You can contact me for a reading in person in Berkeley California or by phone. Here’s more information about getting a reading and here’s how to contact me about it. You can also make your own chart on Astro.com using these instructions I’ve made for you.

You also might know someone who knows their Jupiter sign and whose Jupiter sign is the same as yours. Jupiter takes about a year to pass through a given sign, passing through the whole zodiac in about 12 years. This means that you probably have Jupiter in the same sign as all the members of your high school graduating class and the people born  at 12-year intervals from you (i.e. those born when you were 12, 24, 36, etc, or 12, 24, 36 years before you were born). People who share your Jupiter sign will usually be people who feel good to be around, because their joy is similar to yours.

Where’s Your Joy?
When you have Jupiter in Aries, you derive joy from leaping into action.  It’s a little hard to sit still because you’d rather be in motion, making progress or getting somewhere.
Spontaneity delights you and you are never so happy as when your own action is the right one and brings delight to others.  You bounce back fast & learn well from mistakes.  Your philosophy is based on transparency and you get a lot of joy from being your truest self without apology.  To you, mutual honesty and directness are the key to any relationship.

Jupiter in Taurus people love the physical world.  If you have this Jupiter sign, you relish feeding all your senses with delicious sights, sounds, scents, tastes and textures.  Can this lead to gluttony?  You bet.  It can also lead to acquisitiveness.  But such people do generally end up with the nest egg they seek and lots of nice things to decorate it with.  And your love of food leads to natural cooking talent.  Your philosophy of life includes the importance of continuity and the idea that things should go on much the same unless there’s a really good reason to change them.

Jupiter in Gemini?  Ok, you can be a real talker, even a serious chatterbox.  You love being clever, expressing your wit and getting into wide-ranging conversations on a huge variety of topics.  You are a “renaissance person,” pulled in a number of directions, all of which give you equal joy.  In fact, you’re so multi-talented that you don’t know what to develop.  Being involved with several ideas at once brings you delight and your life-philosophy involves the importance of using one’s intelligence and seeing life logically.

People with Jupiter in Cancer are a fountain of love and nurturance for those lucky enough to be around them.  When you have this, you tend to feel emotionally secure and to feel like your emotions are ok without needing validation from others.  You spread your support around liberally and are not easily emotionally depleted.  You are sensitive to the needs of others, but not clingy or cloying.  Yours is an open kitchen and a well-trod welcome mat.  Your philosophy of life centers on the importance of family and of treating people like family.

Jupiter in Leo is very expansive and exudes noblesse oblige.  This makes you a really royal person.  Creativity gives you joy and you like to express yourself, but beware of excess self-involvement.  You can bear a lot of attention.  You are a natural leader and role model.  You are sometimes unaware of how your large expression can overwhelm others and stifle their expression.  When you make room for the creativity of others while not diminishing yourself, you are the best role model of all.  Your philosophy is about being an individual and the importance of individual will and expression.

Jupiter in Virgo is similar to Gemini.  When you have this, you can get lost in, and overwhelmed by, the details.  You find yourself trying to pan out and focus in at the same time, which can be frustrating, but on the other hand, having an abundance of Virgoan organizational energy is not a bad thing at all and you like nothing so much as a clean, fresh surface ready for use.  Your health tends to go well because you enjoy putting healthy habits in place.  Your philosophy can put a positive spin on the work ethic, partly because being efficient and industrious just feels good to you.

Jupiter in Libra people truly enjoy relating to others, which may account for your varied and interesting social life.  Your philosophy includes the tenet that life should be fair and this trips you up occasionally, when it doesn’t bear out.  You think everyone’s beliefs deserve room, except where they exclude the beliefs of others.  You can be a social magnet and a matchmaker, introducing the right people to each other and smoothing over social mishaps among your many and varied friends.  Your tolerance for people’s differences leads to a host of good connections that can pay off over time.

When you have Jupiter in Scorpio, you have a dark side that you enjoy.  Sometimes this takes the form of gallows humor and sometimes it’s about a love of the gritty, grimy side of life (a fascination with detective novels, for example).  Your philosophy includes the idea there’s no moment so dark it will not pass and that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.  Because of that, you make a good helper and guide for people who are truly at the end of their rope, because you have a high tolerance for other people’s shadow sides.  In fact, your sheer delight at seeing someone else being real while in pain is infectious–and can help that person feel normal.

When you have Jupiter in Sagittarius you like to stay mobile.  You are a pretty purely Jupiterian person, so you have a strong sense of humor, a large and benevolent presence and you are fascinated with travel and foreign cultures.  You are delighted by that which is different from you simply because it is different—that makes it interesting.  You are sometimes very restless and need to avoid getting tied down.  You have a deep well of optimism and can bounce back from just about anything.  Your life-philosophy leaves room for endless growth and expansion.

Jupiter in Capricorn people are prone to overworking because they love the sensation of discipline and focused effort.  When you have this, you are delighted by discovering what to devote yourself to and you get a lot of energy and joy from working extremely hard at it once you’ve found it.  Achievable goals inspire you and pie-in-the-sky goals annoy you.  While you are not naturally optimistic, once your skepticism is satisfied, you can show tremendous persistence.  Your philosophy is based on the idea that hard work leads inevitably to success—and for you, it does.

When you have Jupiter in Aquarius, progress is enlivening and central to your world-view—thwarting it runs counter to your philosophy.  You have a rebellious streak and quickly spot the places where old ways have stopped working.  You are happiest when there’s a little chaos going on due to a really big change in the works.  You have an abundance of ideas and enjoy taking an intellectual, experimental approach.  For you an adventure is better had in the world of ideas than in the physical world and you secretly like shaking up the old, established ways.

As a Jupiter in Pisces person, you have a deep well of faith to draw on.  You are a profoundly gentle and tolerant person, with warm affection for all living things.  You can be wise and generous with your attention and help make room for smaller beings around you to grow.  If you are religious, you’ve chosen the finest parts of your religion and tolerate or ignore the rest.  This frees you to participate in a communion with spirit that feeds your soul and gives you joy and vitality.  Your philosophy is simple: every living thing is deserving and there is room for all of us to be happy.

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Sun King by Goldenwolf
Leo types have a deep ambivalence about their public reputation and audience response to their creativity.  They crave audience response—their creativity thrives on it—but this gives them a corresponding extreme sensitivity to the audience.  A Leo will vacillate between extreme self-consciousness and a self-imposed blindness to audience reaction, just to cope on their journey to self-expression and individuation.

Leo’s Time In The Sun
Leos need to bring what’s inside them outside & share it with the world as liberally as the sun shares sunshine.  Their process of expressing their creativity requires the mirroring of an audience.  They are engaged in self-discovery by way of performance.  Audience response helps them to see themselves more clearly and adjust their performance.

While this is a fine mode of self-discovery and individuation, sometimes a Leo type
needs to shift his focus from audience reaction (how am I doing?) to self-expression (am I saying what I want to be saying?).  That’s where true confidence comes from.  If you’ve said what you really wanted to say, if you really got it out there into the world, then if some people didn’t get it, that’s their problem, not yours.

How sad it is when a Leo has a morbid self-consciousness that prevents them from taking center stage.  Sometimes a Leo type has a distaste for looking like other Leos, who can be attention hounds, showoffs and exhibitionists in the extreme.  Leos are drawn to the limelight because Leos crave to move beyond showing off into true creative expression.  Encourage your Leo friends who take up too much stage time to scale it back a little, and encourage your Leo shrinking violets to get a little bigger and louder.

Every Creator Needs An Editor—Accept Criticism With Grace
Like all fire signs, Leo can be brash on the outside, but easily deflated.  Leo has a fragile ego, easily crushed, but also capable of quick recovery and bouncing back just as strong or stronger.  Fire is the element of inspiration and hope—and all 3 fire signs have these qualities in abundance, giving them tremendous resilience in the face of defeat.  But sometimes this ability to bounce back comes at the cost of self-awareness.  Sometimes a Leo type simply ignores the audience’s reaction and goes on looking for praise and encouragement when what the audience actually has to offer is a reality check.  When the gong sounds, it’s best to get offstage quickly, rather than trying to improve a truly bad performance.  The Leo type who can accept criticism in a balanced way, rather than being either crushed (like a shrinking violet) or explosive (like an entitled diva), will grow much faster as a performer and a person.

Learning to accept criticism with grace also eliminates another Leo flaw, which is susceptibility to flattery.  When a Leo craves praise too much, she opens herself up to manipulation by anyone who will praise her, whether she’s producing quality or not.  This has the effect of preventing any useful reality checks that would allow the Leo to improve herself.  And, as any Scorpio or Capricorn type will tell you, when someone praises you too much, they probably want something.

This Leo Is Under Construction
So the next time your friendly neighborhood Leo grabs center stage, remember what they are really doing.  It’s not just a bid for attention, it’s individuation happening, right before your eyes.  And if that involves a teeny bit of ego-grooming along the way, so what?  Leos need to show-not-tell, and are willing to be seen making their mistakes.  They are role models for whatever aspect of life they are working on.  Hiding is not in their nature and their transparency is their gift.

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Art by Christy Grandjean, aka Goldenwolf.

To understand the Leo type’s nature, you need look no further than the closest feline—the cat (whether great or small) is a very apt symbol for Leo.  In honor of the fabled 9 lives of  cats, here are 9 ways Leo is like them.

1. Cats love attention.  They love to place themselves in the human visual field.  Have you ever seen a cat get into the middle of a project you have spread out on a table, or crawl into your lap at the most inconvenient time or curl up on top of the television?  Have you ever seen a Leo who is getting the attention she wants and a Leo who is . . . not?  Getting the right amount of attention (not too much, not too little) and in the right area (not, God forbid, the wrong area!) is a central pursuit of Leonine existence.

2. A Leo, like a house cat, is self-possessed and autonomous.  This feline trait can be off-putting to dog people, who are used to their pets licking them enthusiastically in greeting.  Cats are more subtle and hard to read and more comfortable on their own.  Leos too, are subtle in their enthusiasm.  A Leo would never think of embarrassing herself with puppyish behavior.  Self-consciousness and dignity prevent it.

3. A Leo is easily embarrassed.  Every Leo has behaviors that mask their embarrassment—as do cats.  There’s a novel about the inner life of cats, called The Abandoned (by Paul Gallico) that shows a boy who was recently turned into a cat learning how to behave like one.  His feline mentor says, “When in doubt, wash!” and if you watch cats, you’ll see this is exactly what they do.

4. Leos love being petted.  Cats (and Leos) are very sensual creatures and capable of great enjoyment.  Anyone who lives with a cat learns from that cat how to relax, receive affection and simply enjoy being in a body.  Leos share this trait and love to luxuriate in sensory experience.  And praising is merely verbal petting which Leos are also pleased to receive.

5. Leos radiate confidence.  Does your cat remind you of a lion or panther?  Your cat is a domestic version of its greater-sized relatives, carrying all the arrogance and self-possession of that species.  As the arrogance of a domestic cat outsizes itself in ways reminiscent of their great cat relatives, so also can a Leo sometimes appear confident beyond the social footprint they actually occupy.  Deep in the heart of every Leo type (and with some it’s right on the surface!) there’s a longing to be famous.  Your friendly neighborhood Leo likes to indulge his tendency toward fame by dressing for attention, eliciting preferred treatment or obtaining rock star parking.

6. Like a cat, a Leo type looks like a loner but is in fact social.  There may be much of hierarchy in Leo social behavior, but Leos are profoundly social and care deeply about how others respond to them.  Cats form colonies—given the chance, they do not prefer to live isolated from their own kind.  Like cats, Leos are territorial and will defend their turf fiercely.

7. Leos, like cats, prefer high places.  Cats put themselves where they can have a lofty view of their surroundings; similarly, Leos like to place themselves high up also, but in a more metaphorical sense.  Every Leo knows she belongs at the top in at least one area of life, and he won’t stop till she gets there and garners the recognition she deserves.  A Leo,  like the Sun, (Leo’s planetary ruler) is a gravitational force and will eventually end up at the center of things.

8. The love of a cat is marked by choice, not compulsion.  A dog cannot help but love you (and this is exactly what dog-lovers appreciate about them) while a cat seems to have the choice whether to love you or not.  For this reason, cat-lovers find the love of a cat special.  Like a cat, Leos love by choice and where they choose, they love thoroughly, proudly and in a large way.  When a Leo (or a cat) loves you, you cannot help but know it and find it special.

9. Obviously, a Leo is king of the jungle.  Somehow, felis domesticus seems to maintain this attitude despite their small size.  Deep down, a Leo senses his own royal nature and understands noblesse oblige, i.e. his “nobility obligates” him to be kind and generous with all that he has and is.  And a generous Leo is a gift to the world.

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Astrology blogger since 2007

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