Leo, the bright, shiny and charismatic force of cosmic encouragement is poised to host her annual celebration on July 22nd when the Sun enters its home sign at 9:12 P.M. PST. From the onset, Leo’s solar journey is shaping up to be one of 2011’s liveliest and most glittering planetary gatherings. Venus will join the Sun in Leo, Mercury will turn retrograde, Neptune will wander back into Aquarius, and Mars is due for a few contentious battles. To enjoy the entertainment and festivities, regal Leo has assembled an impressive and stellar guest list. VIPs chatty Mercury and attractive Venus will be her guests of honor as they accompany the hosting Sun through Leo’s glamorous and dramatic domain. Let’s mingle.
That Leo trio will be making electrifying alliances with spontaneous Uranus in instigating Aries. Can you say tequila shots? Aged sipping tequila is probably the better beverage selection. That’s because Venus, Mercury and the Sun are also planning some productive schmoozing with reserved Saturn while he’s in agreeable Libra. Generous Jupiter has of course been invited. Unfortunately the prized planet of plenty is traveling retrograde through Taurus and thus forming some uncomfortable squares to the Sun and Venus on August 1st and 5th. But it’s nothing that a little royal charm can’t smooth over. After all, both Leo the Lion and Taurus the Bull appreciate life’s luxuries and both recognize the value of hard work. A winning choice for conversation topic would be their latest shopping expeditions.
Though she can clearly spot his mounting oppositions to her and her friends from across any room. magnanimous Leo will also warmly welcome spacey Neptune to her soiree. He’s always good for getting the guests intoxicated. Then there’s her personally favored attendee, bad-boy Mars. The tension is already building for his August 3rd entrance into Cancer where his August 9th bout with Uranus and August 11th run-in with Pluto are inevitable. Lively Leo positively adores passion, and we all know how she feels about an audience. So, if an anticipated Mars skirmish or two draws a crowd, all the better. Leo would rather die than be accused of throwing a dull party, or God forbid, one that is under-attended. If her tattooed love boy becomes too unruly, Leo can always count on Pluto in conservative Capricorn to play bouncer.
Helping Leo slow down long enough to graciously listen to her guests, and to think, reason and converse clearly with them will be Mercury’s retrograde from August 2nd through 26th. While he will have just crossed into calm, analytical Virgo at the start of this retrograde, the Messenger of the Gods will traverse all the way back to 18 degrees of Leo by the time he stations. That means that most of this retrograde will be spent in those incendiary later degrees of fixed, fiery and ferocious Leo. Some party-goers could get a little loud under these conditions. Mercury’s backward motion is cautioning them and us to consciously express ourselves and give others their due consideration. Another cosmic call for graceful exchange will sound from distant, dreamy Neptune.
Also in retrograde motion, Neptune will arrive back in rebellious and innovative Aquarius on August 4th. Because Neptune is one of the slower moving outer planets, its influence is subtle and in effect over an extended period of time. Its opposition to the Sun, though exact on August 22nd, will be felt throughout the Leo cycle. Its presence is likely to heat up much of the cocktail chatter, especially if the subject of politics arises. Personal responsibility versus institutional responsibility, independence versus interdependence and the individual versus the collective are predictable themes when an opposition between the sign representing the individual will, Leo, and the sign representing groups and community occurs. Moreover, the Sun is the celestial force associated with the sign of Leo, and the astrological symbol for the Sun is a single dot in the center of a circle. The dot symbolizes the individual and the circle infinity. Astrologers Douglas Bloch and Demetra George describe Neptune as representing the ability of the finite self to experience transcendence through unity with a greater whole. Thus, we are presented with an axis that at one extreme asks the ego to dissolve into a greater whole and at the other to maintain its unique identity. Ultimately, Lion-hearted Leo was born to lead, to dance, to sing and to play. Through her effervescent expression, she inspires us to do the same. So while her encounter with intriguing Neptune will deeper her compassion and spirituality, she’s here for the party, and so are we!