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New Moon in Leo and Mercury Retrograde

July 28 to August 6

New Moon in Leo

Today’s New Moon in Leo occurs within a window of time that is very dreamy and otherworldly. This is because Mercury is currently within a couple of degrees of opposition to Neptune, as it prepares to station retrograde on Tuesday, August 2.

When Mercury is preparing for a retrograde cycle, everything slows down and we experience “time out of time.” I see this as a very powerful moment where we can unplug from old stories and toxic habits of mind. I believe that taking time out now helps us allow a natural “re-wiring” at the cellular level–to help us move into our hearts.

With the New Moon in Leo (both the Sun and Moon in this sign) and the activation of Regulus, the “Heart of the Lion” at the last degree of Leo (see below), the theme right now is on the cultivation of authentic self-love.

To me, it seems as though modern people are schizophrenic on this topic–on one hand we carry the weight of the deeply engrained western belief in “original sin” and unworthiness. On the other hand we are a culture of narcissists, obsessed with being seen and noticed, as being “special.” I think these two extremes feed each other.

I have begun to suspect that true self love, or self-esteem, is a very different creature than we have been told. It has to do with balancing the reality that we are on the one hand perfectly, beautifully ordinary human beings; while recognizing that there will never be another with our particular gift, perception, or contribution. We are precious and rare beyond measure–just like everyone else.

For myself, I have felt a slow shift occurring beneath the surface, from habits of self-rejection to a cultivation of self-acceptance.I have noticed the natural emergence of a detached yet loving presence within myself that takes a stand for my experience.

It says-your perception is as valuable as anyone else’s. You have a right to be. It helps me release a life-long challenge of over-identifying with perception of others over my own. It helps me to honor and value myself as divine and human at the same time. For me, this is how the new version of self-loving Leo is slowly and surely taking root in my life.

Today and tomorrow are wonderful times for quiet reflection and to set intentions for the coming month, with an eye to the ways we can strengthen our core self-love and self-respect.

Monday night will be an especially powerful time to speak these intentions aloud to the New Moon, as it is newly visible near Regulus in the night sky, and near stationing Mercury. The appearance of this Moon also signals the beginning of Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and purification for almost 1 out of 5 human beings across the globe.

Mercury Retrograde conjunct Regulus

On Tuesday, Mercury stations retrograde, almost exactly conjunct the fixed star Regulus, known as the Heart of the Lion. This prominent, “royal” star can be seen as an important cross-check, or indicator that we are at a significant “Turning of the Ages.” In late November, after 2000 years of moving through the sign of Leo, Regulus will move from 29’59 Leo to 0 Virgo.

Here is what comes through for me around this upcoming event, and Tuesday’s Mercury download, four months prior. The latest degree of Leo at 29’59 represents the most comprehensive learning from the Leo Mystery School, or the “aha moment” where humanity can begin to grasp the most critical lessons gleaned over the past two millennia.

I think it is significant that Mars is currently completing a 2 year Leo cycle as well-suggesting that the Masculine principle of Leo is especially relevant.

From Narcissism to Co-creation with Gaia

For the past 2000 years, through our Leo focus of developing a strong sense of Self and Ego, humanity has placed itself at the pinnacle of creation-with the masculine at the top of the hierarchy. We have separated ourselves out from the rest of the Creation, in essence saying–our needs are most important; the Creation is for us, it is our playground.

That is the immature, shadow side of Leo. On the more evolved side of it (though clearly shadow exists here as well), we have promoted ideals of full creative, entrepreneurial and technological expression, and empowerment and self-actualization for the individual.

We are living through the last gasp of the Leo experiment for humanity, and those who are paying attention can clearly see the destruction caused by our narcissistic species. Yet this Mercury download from Regulus, graced by Neptune, can be seen as an invitation to extract wisdom from our experience.

Some spiritual traditions claim that we cannot gain ultimate enlightenment, and “lose the ego,” until we have actually developed an ego. I see the current ego-death experienced by modern humanity as a potential doorway toward profound spiritual awakening.

The entrance of Regulus into the sign of Virgo speaks to the nature of this transition. We have access now to a full comprehension of the light/shadow aspects of individuality and self-focus, and we can fully grasp the awareness that we are masterful creators.

We can also acknowledge that we have something substantial to contribute. It is through this doorway of self-love that we enter into the realm of the Priestess (Virgo) she who holds the Earth as sacred, and holy.

At the very brink of Ecocide, we have the opportunity to move into a reverential, committed and loving relationship with our home planet. We can step into the future as the divine beings we know ourselves to be, devoted to activating healing and wholeness for our living Earth and future generations. This is what Virgo empowers us to do.

Now that we understand our true divine nature and our capacity as creators, we can begin to align ourselves harmoniously with the rhythms of the Earth. We can develop a new relationship with Gaia, one where we are not over her, nor are we subservient–but rather co-creators helping to midwife her full re-birth. We can be reborn as High Priests and Priestesses, in service to the Divine Spark within the Creation. Neptune in Aquarius-Awakening the Empowered Healer

On Thursday evening, retrograde Neptune re-enters the sign of Aquarius for the final time. It will re-enter Pisces for good in February of 2012. The period from now through February can be understood as a time to fully integrate the celestial wisdom inherent in the Neptune/Aquarian energetic.

At its core, the synthesis of Neptunian and Aquarian energy can be understood as the activation of an evolved healer-one who can practice profound compassion and empathy, while allowing others their full experience of autonomy and free will.

This is the balance of detachment and connection that we have been learning to cultivate as we come into our full capacity as healers and midwives at the Turning of the Ages. We can bear compassionate witness for the tremendous loss and devastation we experience personally and the destruction we see in the world around us.

Yet at the same time, we can hold the powerful, detached and loving awareness that all is in perfection, exactly as it is. From this place of strength and perspective, we can provide light, love, and healing to those who need it most.

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