The world is full of strange behaviour
Every man has to be his own saviour
I know I can make it on my own if I try
But I’m searching for a great heart to stand me by
Underneath the African sky—Johnny Clegg and Savuka
Icons and legends have a way of making us look up. We feel taller, more courageous, as the arc of their greatness sweeps through our ordinary lives. As their giant leaps surmount the walls and ancient fears that divide us, as we appreciate their legacy, as we feel the heat of their great hearts, they remind us what is wonderful about the world.
It’s been fifty years since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made their triumphant return from the Moon, as the Sun entered the sign of Leo. That giant step for mankind may not have felt like any step at all for the millions of people living in poverty in the 1960s, for those who were poisoned by Agent Orange, or immolated by the flames of war. But it was a momentous moment of wonderment and joy when Neil Armstrong a Leo Sun, spoke his famous words as he alighted from the Eagle and left his foot prints on ancient Lunar dust.
Guardian columnist, Suzanne Moore writes, “I choose to talk about this now in a world that stares inwards, full of smaller leaders with smaller ideas who think only of walls and fences and barriers, who police the parameters of our imagination and abilities. I say look up at the night sky, just as I did as a little girl. At that same moon. And wonder.”
This week, as the former President Zuma evades and distorts and can’t remember, South African singer and songwriter, Johnny Clegg died in his Johannesburg home. As appreciations and accolades stream in for this Lancashire-born White Zulu who rooted so deeply in the russet soils of Africa, sinister shadows stretch beneath the doors of government and across the millions of shacks that spread across landfills and wetlands and cling to hillsides. We’re carried on the bar of a song to a South Africa that is irrevocably changed, yet fundamentally the same.
Old astrologers associate Leo with rulers and kings. Like the mythical Fisher King, our leaders are wounded. All across their ailing kingdoms, Poverty presses its runny nose against the high walls of unexamined rhetoric that divides us by the colour of our skins, the money we don’t have, the names we can’t be bothered to pronounce. It’s those giant steps that make us wonder. It’s that sense of destiny that compels us to act with courage. Perhaps, in spite of what is going on around us, we may feel that heroic impulse, that surge of magnanimity, the expansion of generosity that comes from an open heart.
Where Leo resides in our birth chart, we need to feel that we matter, that we are heroic, even though we doubt and second-guess ourselves. This month we must express ourselves with big, bold brush strokes. We must be brave enough to express our truth, even when there’s no recognition or applause. We may dare to be spontaneous, risk telling a joke, to clearly say, “I love you!” The Sun warms and glows in Leo, symbolising our human capacity for joy, but also illuminating the challenges we must face on the Yellow Brick Road.
As the Sun moves through Leo, we must ready ourselves for opportunities to hone our creativity, sharpen our senses, welcome the laughter that loosens and revitalises our hearts that may feel weighted by the woes of the world, abandoned by our leaders who wear tarnished crowns.
Catching our thoughts and our words in his nets, containing our grief, our wonder, Mercury goes direct at 23 degrees Cancer on August 1st, the day of the New Moon in Leo. Look for the rainbow after the rain, allow the words of a poem to settle lightly on your heart, close your eyes and breathe in the sweet scent of a rose. Jupiter, that planet associated with abundance and good “luck”, changes direction, moving direct at 14º Sagittarius on August 11th. Maverick Uranus joins the contingent of planets—Pluto, Saturn and Neptune—in Retrograde on August 12th, our prompt to be spontaneous, to dare to risk those sliding door moments, to fall in love all over again, to relish those things that are strange, offbeat and unconventional. Planets in Retrograde don’t conform to the norm.
As we relish the complexity and difficulty of our humanness—as we actively seek to find something to smile about, or to play in a way that makes us feel happy, as we allow our hearts to swell with joy, we will have arrived at our destination, we’ll feel it, we’ll know it. As Alice Walker says in The Color Purple “… in wondering ’bout the big things and asking ’bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”
The chart for the Moon landing on July 21st, 1969 at 3.56am GMT depicts the spirit of the Great Heart. Mars blazes a trail into future possibilities in Sagittarius. Uranus and Jupiter are conjunct in Libra; the Sun and Mercury are conjunct in Cancer a sign that is ruled by the Moon. Pluto in Virgo conjoins the South Node. As we wonder about that one small step for a man, that giant leap for mankind, we embrace the essence of the Leo. And we feel the greatness stirring in our hearts.
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