Astrology: Sun in Leo III

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With the Sun’s entry to the third Decan of Leo on August 12 at around 2:15 am EDT, the energy of the next ten days shifts from the steady, cheerful flames of victory bonfires to the uneven flames of conflict — much of the fuel is burned, the wind has picked up, the twilight has brought the temperature down, and the biting bugs are out in force. Is the plan to add more fuel and stay out another few hours? Let the fire die? The decision point has not yet arrived, but it will soon. In the meantime, we look into the mix of bright coal and flickering flame, and tell new stories in the growing darkness.

Sun enters Leo at 2:15 am EDT on August 12, 2020

The Hellenistic Greeks of the 1st century AD came to associate these ten days with Serapis, a syncretic deity who was both Egyptian and Greek, combining features of Apis, a bull-headed god, with Osiris the lord of the underworld, as well as features of Dionysius and Apollo and Zeus. In this form, Serapis represented a union of the Egyptian and Greek religious sensibilities. He was also the combination of the theriocephalic (beast-headed) deity-forms found along the Nile, with the more humane forms known among the Greeks. Thus revealed through animal encounters yet also understood as both rational and ecstatic, Serapis represented the union of the animalistic and human worlds with the divine power of the everlasting Sun. A potent symbol indeed!

Yet the Tarot card associated with this decan, which Austin Coppock called The Banner, is the Seven of Wands: a man atop a hill with a quarterstaff of green wood, beating back seven other staves thrust up at him from below. The Sun everlasting may occupy a special place in the Cosmos, but seven forces are alternately arrayed against him and with him — the six other visible ‘planets’ of the night sky, as well as the vagaries of life on Earth. Prince, and the artist formerly known by that name, touched on this in the song “Seven” — “oh Seven and we’ll watch them fall // they stand in the way of love // and we will smoke them all // with the intellect // and the savior-faire.” It is through intelligence and strategy and know-how that the third decan of Leo advances its agenda — and it is by advance preparation and practice that the natives of this decan ready themselves for conflict; so that they are always at the ready, even when taken by surprise.

Planetary Placements

The Ascendant in Cancer makes this a Moon-ruled chart. With Venus just above the Ascendant, and the Moon in Taurus at 26° in the 11th house, we can expect the next ten days to be a time for new beginnings for friendships, and the connection and reconnection of our networks of acquaintances. It’s likely to be highly emotional and connective. The First Decan of Cancer is called The Mother and Child ruled by Venus herself, while the last decan of Taurus is called The Prayer Beads — in mutual reception to one another, Venus and the Moon tell a story of reunion and reconciliation on the one hand, while a dedicated cycle of prayer hopefully staves off catastrophe. Sextiling by house, the Moon lends her exalted dignity to Venus as the Queen of Heaven, who promises a rosary… er rosy, outlook for those who show due devotion, and difficulties for those who cross her or her children.

By the rules of traditional astrology, this is a night chart, and we find all three Night planets above the horizon and in places of power: Mars broods in the tenth house of career and public honors in his own Castle Aries, in the Decan called The Burning Rose administered by Venus — but also in his own bounds, and thus able to set his own terms on career matters. The Moon herself promises health, goodwill and safety from her placement in the Fifth Mansion of the Moon, “the little white spot”; even by the sidereal arrangement, the Moon is in the second mansion, suggesting serenity and sovereignty in matters of both friendship and personal identity in the next week and a half. However, as the Moon is presently in process toward the dark of the Moon, we should expect that our relationship to friends and our access to healthy encounters with them, are declining; this window of opportunity for distant socializing is closing soon. Venus invites us to pursue our passion-projects with the maturity and sensitivity of a mother caring for her progeny: overprotective, perhaps, but nurturing and dedicated to success.

The Sun, still in Leo, begins his journey through The Banner with Mercury in tow through the second house of money, property and possessions. We’re likely to find ourselves advancing the causes and strategies of people much better off than ourselves in the next ten days — more likely to communicate the political and economic goals of the upper classes rather than our own self interest. The trickster-herald is fast catching up to the Sun in direct motion; they’ll reach cazimi, a position directly aligned with the Sun, on Monday the 17th at 11:07 am (EDT) — a moment when we may find some clarity about the shape of the future. Things may not be good or even improving by then… but we may be able to see a path forward at that time. A trine to Mars in the 10th house promises passionate difficulties and wrangles about money in your place of employment — and, in a fit of alliteration, a possible promotion to a position promising both poison and potential. Just be aware that being the power behind the throne often involves a lot of dirty work.

The third house contains both the Imum Coeli and the Lot of Fortune — indicating that our dreams are best fulfilled by remaining close to home or ‘in the bubble’ with our extended families and super-close friends. There’s a iron (not ironic) quality to this work: it’s time to reinforce the soap bubble of your isolation and establish some more rigid boundaries; and it may be necessary to accept the death of some parts of your business or side-hustle before something new can emerge. A trine to Uranus suggests that an overturning of your attitudes around connecting with your more radical acquaintances should be considered; while the trine to the Moon invites you to consider ways to profit from your associates and to assist them with your own surpluses.

The South Node and North Node currently define an axis between the Sixth House, where less daily work and less illness is promised — provided that an equal measure of isolation and worldly retreat is practiced. The natural flow of the universe right now is toward either isolation, or more time in hospital wards. Want to wind up in a hospital ward right now? More work is a great way to do that. On the other hand, establishing the cordon sanitaire around some parts of your life, and practicing the duality of adjudicating between different people (“I respect this person’s quarantine procedures, and so I’ll hang out with them; these other folks, not so much”) will result in a greater measure of safety. Don’t make me beat a dead horse around this — less daily work, less time around servants and employees, and less time laboring at tasks set by others, are all an appropriate use of your time.

With Capricorn as the seventh house in this decan’s chart, the Jupiter-Pluto-Saturn trifecta comes into play: there’s a good chance that our partners if we have them are still trying to party hearty this summer, still trying to find ways to hold social gatherings even with distance, still trying to set up meetings with others in wild and woolly ways. Some of this is to escape the downward pressure of the growing threat of responsibility — the trio of outer planets place a fair bit of responsibility for business on partners and close allies, and establishes their roles as decision makers and directors of plans — a lot of duty and not a great deal of reward. A series of squares with Mars in the tenth house indicates a lot of this risk and no-reward comes from career or work-related responsibilities running amok.

The Midheaven and Neptune bookend the middle decan of Pisces, called The Net. We’re about to see a lot of very public misinformation on the world wide web and the internet in general. Don’t believe everything you read, especially as it concerns higher education, the tourism and the publishing industries. Essentially, a lot of people are going well out of their way to create more information than you know how to handle… to bury the truth in a web of not-quite-truth and also genuine information. Since the problem will be much larger than you can process in limited amounts of time, and with information-availability rocketing toward the infinite — you cannot find the truth in any meaningful way. Be public about not knowing.

Uranus, in the 11th house and in the middle decan of Taurus (called The Lingam Yoni), promises sexual or sensual turmoil in your community of friends. With strong connections to both the Imum Coeli and Midheaven, sensual tensions long dreamed of may also come to pass — The length of the period of recommended self-isolation in the United States crosses the 180-day mark in the next ten days. Thus, we can expect some pairs and polycules who have coasted through the last six months, to make formal what may have long been hinted at.

Rising Sign Horoscopes

Cancer: An update of your wardrobe may be in order, especially as it might relate to how a parent or a child sees you. You’re used to using money to show off, but your fashion choices might well serve to proclaim both independence and leadership at work and in your career. At the same time, stick close to home when it comes to making money; the office is not where you’ll get the work done that you’re remembered for — and solo time is healthier than being in a cubicle for now. That said, if you have a partner, get that person out of their chair, and show them a good time, somewhere, anywhere. A friend may reveal marriage plans, and ask for your assistance and support. Unless your own dreams involve learning to be a wedding planner, though, it may be wise to sit this one out unless it has direct bearing on your side-hustle or main career — volunteer work for brides can spiral out of control.

Leo: Your mind is on your money, and your money is on your mind — how to make more of it, how to fulfill financial dreams in the present crisis, and how to rule your cash flow instead of being subservient to it. It would be a good idea to consult a super-close friend or sibling or rich relative about your financial insecurities, and ask, “what am I doing wrong?” But until you’re prepared to let some old habits die, the current straits are unlikely to change. Here’s some possible guidance: cut back on private and expensive fun; do more with friends in a low-cost way. Train yourself to be a more active and helpful partner at work, even if it’s an awful place to labor. Do some research into your family lineage and heritage. Research how your current career track opens up beyond your current pay-grade, and study for the credentials that will help you make the jump. Join a couple of groups related to your profession, and do some more glad-handing (without physical contact). In five words, Leo — sharpen your sword in secret.

Virgo: Hammer out a new agreement between you and your dreams before August 17, and then sign it. You know that some of your big financial plans are dead — at least in part because you spent too much time wearing the crown and not doing the work you commanded to be done. A creative friend may be able to provide you with a guiding star, provided you can stand the motherly attention. You may not be able to hole up at home to work in the next ten days — try to execute your in-office time so that you’re alone. Bone up on your networking skills by reaching out to friends and acquaintances: this is no frantic, “hey, Joe, how are you doin’?” but a more serene and stately check-in, like a monarch gently requesting a report from a minister. There’s no need to state the unequal nature of the alliance; just project a certain grace and ease. At the same time recognize that any romantic partner you may have is experiencing a difficult transition to understanding their own ways of dealing with isolation, and it’s leading to toxic trouble in your relationship. Clean a bathroom; scrub a kitchen; organize the garage — take a task off a partner’s honey-do list in an obvious way, and leave them time for ordinary pleasure.

Libra: Is it nice getting to play the homebody? I bet it is. You’re making money from being at home and living the dream. You’re recognized by friends and colleagues as having your act together, your boss is coherent and caring, and you have a choice about what sort of tool set to learn next that will help you in you career — choose the option that puts you in the succession plan, that gives you the power to make decisions, and axe the poor choices. But recognize that you cannot spend all of your time in the “big chair” at home, leading through the wilderness. For one thing, it will make you sick (probably of video conferences first of all). Second of all, it’s possible to schedule more events than you really have time for, and create more work than you can do. And third, it’s likely to create a sharp rift between you and any partner you may have, leading to disruptions to your shared history and romantic inclinations (if you’re not partnered… it might be a good time to find one… just make sure you’re prepared to give them more than the time of day).

Scorpio: In the current economic crisis, your pastimes have a risk of turning into your daily work, and your daily work has a risk of becoming your career. There’s good luck in making inquiries of friends who have followed this kind of path to their dream-jobs, and finding out if their fortunes are holding out. You should also review your own finances, as well — you may find that, even if you’ve been careful about money, that your funds are dangerously low; you may have to make a … creative appeal…? to a boss or business ally, and that may have larger consequences. At the same time, you are likely to have considerable control over money at work — just be aware that it’s not yours. Some aboveboard conversation with leadership there may be worthwhile. As far as your own creative endeavors go, investigating a new art form may be in your future — the art of parenthood. If you’re not planning on bringing progeny into the world a few extra precautions may well be worth it. So would longer and more serious conversations with a partner, who could be going through a surprise turnaround on this issue due to discussions with friends. Just be aware that holding these conversations in a public way may lead to elaborate discussions and some ugly conclusions on their side of the larger family.

Sagittarius: All work and no play makes jack a dull boy, as the saying goes. Too much time at your desk in pursuit of wealth and lucre is yielding results, but it’s also toxic to your health and well-being. If you have a partner, that person is likely trying to “live a little” in the current challenging environment, and may require a loan or extra funding from you to make it happen. This request and these behaviors arise now, because they’re trying to shut down some difficult feelings born from a sense of isolation and loneliness in the current ‘social distancing’ framework. You’re likely more in charge of money matters than you’ve been in a while, but being at home while doing work has a learning curve — everything has to be given its proper time and place, or the work will eat all the time and space available. It’s a good time to cultivate your online reputation and develop a reputation as broadly skilled and a miracle worker — but try not to take work beyond your actual abilities. Let your passions burn for something other than work, too: get out and about on a new exercise routine, too; even if your daily life continues to be in upheaval, doesn’t mean you can’t workout. The goal is not to become skinny, but to become sexy — and find a new serenity in a stronger and more flexible body.

Capricorn: Add “Cruise director” to your titles, because right now you’re likely managing your partner’s fun as well as your own. Is that still fun? For you, it’s another kind of work; for them, it’s entertainment that hides their own fall from grace. A family issue has likely taken center stage; maybe you’ve lost an important family member to the general misinformation campaign that hides in the broader flow of knowledge; they’re overwhelmed by the data-sea which they (and everyone else) has never had to navigate before. This has probably led to considerably more stress at home than you’re used to, and a fair bit of anger is rising (you’re cool enough to call it frustration, but that’s just anger forced through a small hole). As this energy rises, you may discover that there’s an urge to use fists more than words, to make a revolutionary fervor into forceful action, as if to ask “who is really in charge here??” A gentler and more communicative approach, early and often, is likely to yield more fruitful and nurturing results. Accept emotional baggage as part of yourself, and discover that the crown of honor belongs to them that speak what their higher minds command. Good fortune follows, too, if you can bury some of that aggression in a neighborhood project of broad value to you and your family.

Aquarius: The legacies of the past may feel like a specter of death at the moment — and it’s likely that this has large financial ramifications that feel both unending and without boundaries. Is this old school debt? Is it family or business debt that isn’t taken care of? Is it an attempt to defraud you? Sit alone (or with your partner if you’ve got one), and sort through the mess until something resembling order and clarity emerges. If you face this problem with serenity and clarity, you will emerge sovereign and in command of the situation. Let yourself get into the known and easily-rehashed family baggage, and you will destroy every bit of goodwill that has been built up. There’s a serious conflict there, I know, with a mortally-ugly back-story. But you have to let it go: face the future with clear eyes and move on as best you can. Take time away from this thorny and wild problem by relaxing with some friends in what passes for a meadow at home: allow your opinions on relatively small issues to be flipped, or at least look at them with honest eyes — after all, the king can hear out the advisors without having to agree with everything they say. If you have children, it’s a good time to pay more attention to them than usual, and to take up a goodly share of their nurturance and guardianship. This is an area where you’ve likely been slacking, and pulling your weight is needful right now. In general, shine a light on your spouse or business partner’s brilliance with some dapper communications skills… but maybe acknowledge their leadership for a while, and contribute to the common good and the common purse with your own labors.

Pisces: You’re likely all over the place right now — in a prominent and relatively public position, where you’re expected to be truthful and trustworthy, but also expected to provide mendacious cover for an organization you represent. It’s a good time to study your ethical habits, and determine if this is really something you want to do. Things at work are at such a feverish pitch — you probably don’t want to lose your paycheck, but you have friends who are expecting you to steer them right, and quite possibly a partner that you don’t want to disappoint either. And it’s nigh-impossible, I’m sorry to say, to be on the right side of history and the right side of now, both at the same time: choices have to be made, and some of those choices have earthshaking consequences for you and your circle of intimates or your neighborhood. The right call: “they’re spending more time with their family these days, and less time at work.” That’s the right call for history, and for now.

Aries: It’s definitely time for you to lead at work… just remember that leading often means delegating, and making sure the team knows what it is that they’re doing. If you get known for anything during these next ten days, it will be for the way that you organized and led the crew, rather than trying to do everything yourself. That means being both the crown-wearer, and the power behind them: you have to back up the plan with the requisite actions that lead to success; hiding in your office is just not going to cut it. Will this upset your old, comfortable ways and your usual paycheck? Very likely. Will you have to get creative at home about how you manage time? Absolutely. Are you going to have to communicate clearly with your buddies, with your children? Are you going to have to accept the divergence between your usual summer fun-plans and the genuine responsibilities of your career right now? Yes. But pursuing your career goals now, and analysing those plans with clarity and hammering out what your dreams really are, is likely to lead to a turn in the big chair if you choose to pursue it. Have you discussed these career goals with your partner? You should, before you get in too deep.

Taurus: You’re in the midst of a moment of monarchical authority, where you can overturn old habits and come to a new understanding of your role and dignity in the world. It’s going to require taking a public stand on some matters, and accepting that you have dreams and desires that want fulfilling, and that you’d like to make money from some skill or talent that you thought was dead and gone. It will require more money to execute this plan, and accept that some of your inheritance is going to have to be reduced to a skeleton of its former self — and yes, you’re going to have to reactivate and tend to those old creative impulses. Go sit in every chair in the house, and try to communicate what you like and don’t like about what’s right in front of you: what needs clearing out, what needs repair, what needs fixing? The pandemic has likely revolutionized your approach to your social network, but people are waiting for you to upend the social realm you’ve created for yourself. A partner may be enmeshed in some difficult leadership roles, but it’s a wild frontier that will make them stronger in the long run — you may have to go your own way on the turbulent ocean. Cast out your nets for the new excitement: you’ll find it.

Gemini: You have plans that you need to execute on, and the dithering back and forth doesn’t suit you. A partner (business or romantic) may be looking to you, and expecting you to decide; they could modify your plan, but the real decision-making power resides with you. Part of this is the internal revolution you’re experiencing after around 170 days of solitude: a serenity arises from that, and a potentate’s authority, from accepting that the world has changed and will never go back to the way it was. Learning to explain this to your family members is likely important, as it may free up financial resources to make new choices. Family fortunes will change, but likely some old dress will die. If you have a business or romantic partner, they’re pursuing their own entertainments, too — but that’s largely in avoidance of some major decisions that the two of you need to make together, that affect them ore than they affect you. A friend of yours from work has ambitions that need to be curtailed or cut off; but there may be business travel expected of you, possibly even overseas — and you will have to review the risks in detail before you agree to jump ship. See if you can claim some tit-for-tat: a promise of professional training or new certification for a new leadership role before you accept a new assignment.


I now have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its second year. I use Patreon funds (as well as my own funds) to support artists and artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. 

I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time!

I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website

Any errors in these columns are my own.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.

If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.

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