Sun in Leo II: Isis

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Isis, the egyptian queen of heaven, rules the second decan of Leo, in a realm that Austin Coppock called The Laurel Crown — a place of temporary achievements, uncertain honors, and great but temporary fame in competitions. The Sun comes to this place on August 1, 2021 at 9:37 pm EDT, beginning ten days of uncertain victories and temporary achievements. It’s not uncommon for the Summer Olympics to occur during the Sun’s time in these ten degrees at the middle of Leo. but it’s also not a common year, and these Olympics are well on their way to being a disastrous failure of time and money for the Japanese economy. Which has happened, such as in Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere. It’s like all the money for the Olympics should go toward developing and maintaining one site for the worldwide games, and let the athletes go there, just like it was in ancient Greece. But apparently the idea that the modern world only has the money for one such world-class facility seems breathtakingly unfashionable. How appropriate though, that the cities of the world compete to have the Olympic Games in their community — exactly as though they were competing for a laurel crown.

astrology chart for 1 August 2021 at 9:37 pm EDT, at a location over western Massachusetts: Ascendant at 16 Pisces 22, Sun at 10 Leo 0, Moon at 26 Taurus 29.

Hellenistic sources identify Isis as the ruler of the second decan of Leo — a goddess who, like Inanna, suffered many ups and downs. First she was queen of Egypt with Osiris her king. When Set killed Osiris and assumed rulership of Egypt, she fled. Emerging from hiding, she searched out parts of Osiris’s dismembered body, which she reassembled by magic — the prototype of mummification. As the mother of Horus, she was the bringer of justice and vengeance for crimes — but also the compassionate goddess who prevented the crimes of the parents from being visited upon their children. On of her emblems, alongside the papyrus plant and the ankh in her hands, was the “empty throne” character which sat atop her head as a headdress: this reminds us of the laurel wreath of the Greeks and Romans: the signal of a temporary, hard-won honor which may go to another soon… and yet is still a prize worth seeking, and contesting for. Isis thus represents both the opportunity for challenge that this decan offers, as well as the marks of achievement that the contest has occurred and a victor has emerged.

The administrator of the second decan of Leo, by contrast, is Jupiter (newcomers may find it helpful to know that I use different verbs and nouns for different levels of rulership — planets rule signs or are their rulers, but judge or are magistrates of triplicities, and govern or are the governors of bounds or terms, and are the administrators or administer decans. This follows the ancient traditions that sign rulership is the highest form of rulership, followed by decans, terms/bounds, and finally decans). Jupiter here is under the rulership of the Sun and the governorship of Venus — a usually beneficial and benevolent state of affairs. And Jupiter looked at Isis’s role in Egyptian society (as mother, as keeper of the royal bloodline, as giver of law, as protector of children) and did as Jupiter does: he expanded her reach first to the boundaries of the Roman empire, and then made her into the Universal Mother. Some scholars, albeit controversially and without much in the way of widely-acknowledged evidence, see the small but widespread Isis temples of the fourth century AD as the origin point for the honor and reverence due to Mary, Mother of God — the cult of Isis may have morphed and allowed itself to be absorbed into the growing Christian faith rather than be completely lost.

When we look to these planets today though, we find the Sun in close proximity to his smooth-tongued advisor Mercury, and Jupiter in retrograde opposition to the Sun, while Venus is inconjunct next door, though administering her decan in Virgo. This bears a resemblance to a tense standoff in a modern corporate office, with the company president (Sun) standing in his own operations department, accompanied by his smooth-talking CEO Mercury, wondering aloud why his two most prominent employees are arguing with him to his face (Saturn and Jupiter) and trying to shout him down — and all the while the president’s gracious and diplomatic administrative assistant (Venus) is in the bathroom off the Research and Analysis department, blissfully unaware that any of this is happening. This makes an ordinarily smooth situation fraught with argument and difficulty.

The dodecatemoria of the second decan of Leo speak with a similar energy: it begins with the wisdom of a storyteller’s fire that echoes Sagittarius, before delving into the dark realities of Capricorn and the outsider’s perspective of Aquarius, and finally ends in the coherent wholeness of Pisces. The company president thus begins with his own story of what’s going on, but gradually comes to understand an ugly side effect of their story; they can accept the outsider’s perspective and shift course; or refuse the new perspective and continue to do things their own way. Ultimately, this means that some doors will be opened, and others will be shut — a new equilibrium will be found, but some opportunities will be lost forever as the Sun finds his own way forward, and we follow in his wake.

Planetary Positions

The Ascendant is in Pisces, making Jupiter the ruler of the chart — but the jolly prince is in Aquarius, cadent, and retrograde and under the rulership of Saturn at his most serious and severe — in the twelfth house where he finds his melancholy joy, in his day-sign of Aquarius, and retrograde. It will be hard for Jupiter to generate any good news for us, either in his presentation of ourselves to the world, or in how he helps us manage our quiet time on our own. A pall is likely to hang over the next ten days like a wet blanket in high temperatures, suffocating and smothering. What ought to be light and refreshing is heavy and mirthless instead.

Just below the horizon in the first house, Neptune retrograde troubles the waters of our shared medicines — good information is hard to come by and untrustworthy, with the usual boundaries between expertise and skill undone by false information and wild accusation. Rarely will it be clear what the truth is, or what the limits of amateurism are, or how far the bounds of expertise extend. Expect to have a severe lack of clarity about what you should do, or what precautions are necessary; erring on the side of caution is your best bet overall.

In the third house, Uranus, The Moon, and the Lot of Fortune all cluster in the latter two decans of Taurus. Uranus in the middle decan the Lingam Yoni indicates discontent and sexual tensions among neighbors, siblings, or extended relatives — but not necessarily for you. The Moon is exalted in Taurus but past her prime position there; still, she provides favorable health and opportunities for working out and getting in shape; her upcoming conjunction with the Lot of Fortune provides a possibility for a windfall from local friends or from a sibling paying back an old debt. The Moon occupies the Fifth Mansion, a place of tremendous goodwill and safety for you and your closest allies — but it promises nothing for those who are venturing too far afield from the comfort of their own neighborhood.

The North Node and the Imum Coeli occupy the first and third decans of Gemini in the fourth house — putting mental and emotional pressure on the problems of being in two places at once in the summer months. The North Node signals “more” and urges you to find more insight into your home and family, while the Imum Coeli requires you to execute some plan or program for the betterment of your household. Ruling Mercury’s sextile from Leo II indicates that this task should be obvious, but it will still require clear communication, and probably a temporary fix rather than a permanent solution.

In the sixth house, the Sun and Mercury occupy the same degree. Although they’re both cadent, Mercury will have experienced Cazimi at 9:54 am EDT on 1 August — cazimi being a specialized astrological term for a planet’s exact conjunction with the Sun. This provides a moment of clarity for each of us about daily life and habits, which we’re likely to have to put into practice sometime soon.

Angular in the seventh house, Mars chases Venus but fails to catch her — she’s too far ahead, and too fleet of foot. Moreover, she’s in her own decan The Hammer and Anvil, where she forges her own destiny and shapes her own life. Mars turns to the tending of his own garden for a change, but has no particular dignity here. Both draw strength from their trine to the moon, but Uranus dares to throw a monkey wrench into their plans, too — the question is, is it a rubber stage-prop? Or is it the solid metal handle kind? Others’ romantic plans are likely to be derailed; it will be easier for women to go their own way, or to choose their own partners, but men may find themselves running after a lost cause.

The Midheaven and the South Node occupy Sagittarius in the tenth house. You’re likely to get called upon at work to spin stories and dispense wisdom, but be careful not to overdo it; the Midheaven’s presence in the third decan signals a tendency to belabor points that have already been made. Moreove, the South Node invites you to spend less time on work and career goals, and more time on familial and household projects. Just don’t expect a partner to pat you on the back happily when you say you’re quitting your job to become a full-time basketweaver; these current conditions won’t last forever.

Pluto is still retrograde in the Throne, the last decan of Capricorn, casting a pall of cumulative effects over your friendships and alliances. I noted elsewhere that most people adopted one of six core strategies to deal with the pandemic (and a few adopted a sixth). These were 1) don’t do anything different, 2) adopt commonsense precautions, 3) follow the advice of experts almost religiously, 4) flee to the countryside and stay away from people, or 5) start following whackadoodles’ advice. These five methods have been checked and tested during plagues for all of recorded history, and the dismaying thing is that all five methods have worked for at least some of the people that have used them. (The sixth strategy, violent rebellion against the authorities, has a near-universal failure rate in the long sweep of history, by the way). How does Pluto relate to these five (six) strategies? Well, the reality is that most of the strategies are fundamentally incompatible — you and your whole household likely have to adopt the same strategy, and you will find it hard to hang out with or work with people who have chosen a different plan. Now that general restrictions are lifted in many places… you may still find that there are people who just don’t seem to have the same plan as you, and you’re staying away from them while not making it obvious that you’re staying away. This is a perfectly natural and normal response.

In the twelfth house, Saturn and Jupiter are both retrograde and cadent, but the old harsh scythe-carrier has considerably more dignity than that little “℞” next to both planets in the chart would suggest. That dignity gives Saturn the power to challenge the Sun even when the Sun is in his own domain of Leo, leading to a difficult tension between the ruling light of the solar system as a whole, and the outermost visible planet. You may have a sunny working outlook on the future, but Saturn warns us all to maintain our distance, to go solo where possible, and to adopt harder restrictions and limits than is the norm. We’re likely to see increasing restrictions and boundaries as COVID numbers rise, but it’s best not to assume this is borne of conspiracy or false information — rather, it’s a political acknowledgment of nature’s supremacy in this dominion.

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I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the end of its second year (I began with Leo I in 2019 )We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public.  You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.

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 Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.

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, as is my Almanac for 2021. I follow T.Susan Chang and the Reverend Erik Arneson for insight into Tarot. 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, “A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight” contains these smaller collections: 

  • To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions 
  • 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. 
  • Festae, hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits.
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