Sun in Leo III – Serapis

Astrology chart for 12 August 2023 over western Massachusetts at 7:30 pm EDT: Sun at 20° Leo, Moon at 12° Cancer, Ascendant at 11° Aquarius

Serapis, the syncretic deity created by the fusion of Greek Zeus and Egyptian Apis, rules the ten days that the Sun passes through the third decan of Leo. His time period begins this year on August 12, 2023 at 7:30 am EDT, and lasts until August 23. Austin Coppock named this decan The Banner, and associated it with the advancement of goals that may not be your own, but which you have chosen to support. T. Susan Chang called it..

Serapis took on attributes of Zeus and Hades both, as a ruler of the underworld and the celestial realms. He was associated with both abundance and fertility, and in the wider Mediterranean littoral he was honored as the husband of Isis. As the human-bodied incarnation of the bull-god Apis, the bull-headed god of fertility, Serapis was the deity who fed the living and the dead alike, each with their own food in their own realm.

Of all the gods of the decans, Serapis is the one that I have the most trouble with. While he did exist prior to Alexander the Great’s conquest of Egypt, he was neither powerful nor prominent in Egypt or abroad until after Ptolemy I became ruler of Egypt at the dissolution of Alexander’s empire into successor kingdoms. The Ptolemaic Dynasty appears to have advanced Serapis’s worship as a political and economic lever to unite Greek and Egyptians under their new rulers, and accept the authority of their foreign-born monarchs. In other words, he’s much more of a tech-bro deity (“we’re here to disrupt your agricultural markets so everyone prospers!”) than a traditional god of agriculture and the soil. Serapis’ effect on the Mediterranean economy of the Roman world is difficult to sort through. Yet the destruction of his temple in Alexandria coincided the beginning of the end of regular grain shipments to Rome, to provide free bread to the poor — and the city’s population halved over the next fifty years. There’s a certain weird justice in that, as though we could see in Serapis the symbolic divine power to control the food supply in order for the powerful to shape crowds toward specific political and economic goals.

We see that in the association of the third decan with the planet Mars, whose role in both strategic planning and tactical maneuvering for advantage ought to be obvious. The Sun’s time in Leo II brought Russia’s reneging on the deal for Ukrainian grain to reach the poorest countries in the world — and Ukrainian strikes on Russian shipping in the Black Sea. I see this as a far more valid form of Serapis’ action in the world, than whether or not the tomatoes are flourishing in your garden…

The four dodeks, or twelfth parts, of Leo III are reifications of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer — a sort of “second spring” in the middle of summer when the second round of crops starts to become available. The strawberries and raspberries are usually gone by this point in the year in my neighborhood, but stone fruits (apricots, plums and the like) are starting to become available, along with blackberries, wineberries and other fruit. The second harvest of tomatoes is starting to come in, and the root bulbs of spring onions re-planted may re-emerge as fresh greens. However, it’s a much-diminished harvest: the new fire seems lazier, less prone to growth; there is a secondary, lesser quality to this second round. And the food cultivated is more prone to woodiness, thicker stems, and tougher skins.

Planetary Placements

With the Ascendant in Aquarius and the Sun above the horizon but in the seventh house, we’re looking at a chart in which Saturn has considerable dignity despite the Old Man being below the horizon and retrograde. In the second house of money and personal property, he advises us to keep close tabs on our wallets and personal belongings; and to be conscious of the ways in which water worms its way along the simplest downhill course to get where it wants to go. Similarly, be aware that your possessions may take the humblest routes out of your ownership; prepare to build a vessel or container to cup them or retain them to your advantage. Neptune warns us of the madness of crowds and enthusiasms divorced from reality, but seething below the surface — look for a resurgence in mid-October of openly bizarre manias.

The Sun and Venus conjunct by less than a degree in the seventh house invites us to relationship with others; above the horizon and in the decan of The Banner. In the dodek of Aries and the single-degree of Mars, the conjunction is unusually fiery and warlike, promising a new, fact-based passion: expect a surge of new union news or controversies from existing picket lines, as well as achievements by partners on their personal battlefields.

The first/seventh dichotomy between an inconjunct Saturn and a sovereign Sun draws attention to the Moon, cadent but in her own sign, and in the Eighth Mansion of the Moon, The Gap. In the sixth house of employees and servants, she draws considerable attention to the most significant gaps in our social systems, the ones between those who own and those who do. Approaching sextile to Jupiter and Mercury, leaving a trine to Saturn, and staged for an opposition with Pluto while in the Tenth Mansion The Brow, she indicates strategic decisions now that lead to short-term tactical setbacks but long-term victory: don’t be too sure of victory, accept delay with patience, and be less concerned with single skirmishes than the overall course of the conflict. Secret plans and the role of women should not be ruled out of these grand designs — let me be emphatic: include women’s ideas and credit them in your planning process, or you will fail this week.

In the fourth house of home and family, Jupiter mediates conflict and arranges to respect agency, while Uranus reminds us that the full quotation is “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” Serious conflicts may arise over household “spiritual matters” and the management of land and property — and remember that spiritual matters doesn’t just means what church or synagogue, mosque or circle you belong to, but whether it’s right to move great-grandma’s writing desk or adjust great-aunt Sally’s Sunday dinner menu. Quick upsets to ‘tradition’ count, too.

The Nodal Axis has well and truly begun its journey through Aries and Libra — creating a desire for more time to work on your passions and create beauty and love in the world; while also recognizing that you can’t just turn your side hustles into cash cows. Real business requires work beyond just crocheting a bunch of yarn dragons: read up on your blindspots as a businessperson; write a business plan and a marketing plan; work out your real financial projections. And expect that your travel plans will always be delayed this week.

In the twelfth house of secret foes, self-inflicted obstacles, and personal retreat time — The Lot of Fortune and Pluto hold opposite ends of the sign of Capricorn. Your keystone freedom and opportunity in the next ten days is to take delight and enjoyment in the pleasures of your flesh and bones: take the time to cook and eat good food, to mix delicious cocktails or sip champagne, to enjoy the smoke of your preferred incenses, to bathe with your most enjoyable soaps and lotions. At the same time, know that your big plans actually require you to show up at your own personal desk or workspace, and put in the hours needed to build your dream into a reality. Expect and honor both of those powerful realities these next ten days.

In the eighth house of obligations and duty, Mars and Mercury are in a complicated place. Mercury is both the ruler and exalted guest in Virgo — putting Mars under the herald planet’s thumb, like an army general subordinated to the head of the intelligence services. Yet Mars is no military adjutant in Virgo — he’s a logistics and project-development specialist, with access to the full suite and panoply of the military-industrial complex. This is no Douglas Haig, ordering his men “over the top!” in World War I in a senseless waste of life — no, this is Leslie Groves in World War II, supervising the construction of the Pentagon and the first atomic bomb. It’s not a week to slack on your long-range planning or meeting your responsibilities. Put both of these planets to work for you, and you’ll be able to complete your projects on-time and under-budget.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

Decan I of any sign (usually covering the 21st of the month to the first of the following month) is free to all visitors; Decan II is only available to Patreon and subscribers; and Decan III is available to Patreon, Ko-Fi, and MailChimp subscribers.













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  1. Thank you! I see that something has changed in the form of your interpretations and descriptions.
    And I like it.

    Thaaaaaaank you so much for your work 🙂

  2. Wait…are there specific deities of tomatoes? And what do they like, besides eggshells and the pinching of suckers?

    Hellenistic Egypt is wierd…those flowy draperies and contraposto are NOT EGYPT. Thank you for elucidating the agribusiness/military Roman complex aspect of Serapis – altho feeding the dead is cool. I feel moved to play “Walk Like An Egyptian” and “Akhnaten” just to get the boundaries shored up. Love both civilizations BUT NOT TOGETHER.

    And this is the start of the medicinal herb harvest time – those woody stems and hairy leaves have good medicine within.

    • I think it’s fair to say that contraposto and drapery are Egypt in relationship to the rest of the world, while Egyptian perspective and geometric/hieroglyphic representation is Egypt in relationship to itself.

      It is a lovely time to be engaged in medicinal harvest.

      As for tomato gods… there’s probably a Pan as well as a Demeter — god of tomato wildness, and a god of domesticated tomato. But I have never been successful at cultivating a relationship with either. So, beyond egg shells and coffee grounds and appropriate companion planting, I don’t know what advice to give.

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