The Leo Path - Activate Your Heart Light

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #121 - July 23, 2006
Planetary Alignments
Leo - The Second Fire Sign

Leo is the second fire sign. Aries is simply excited to be alive and to explore life. Leo has to figure out how to use fire energy productively. If we don't have enough fire, we get depressed. If our fire is not channeled into creative expressions, it gets consumed in anger, greed, resentment, and undesirable expressions of the ego. Leo's desire is to use the fire element to enjoy and celebrate life.

Leo's fire is more focused than Aries. Leo must activate his will, and make decisions about what he wants to do with his life, how he wants to use his energy, and how he wants to express his creativity. To find answers to these questions, Leo realizes that he has to focus on himself, activate his light, clear his space with the Light, and open his heart first to himself and then to others. Leo's self-absorption is an essential part of his spiritual awakening. Leo must focus on himself to find out what is special about ME. Leo's dramatic externalization is appropriate only when his self-expression and creativity flow from his heart. When Leo's offerings to the world are authentic, he will receive the appreciation and admiration he longs for.

The Evolution of Leo
Self-absorbedTuned into own creative power and gifts
Focused on heartEnjoying heart space
Self-importanceAuthentic appreciation of Self
DramaCelebration and aliveness
Try to get attentionGive self-attention
Self-parentOwn inner child

Leo's Needs

Leo's Challenges

Leo's Path

Leo needs to cultivate objectivity in the neutral heart zone, to build radiance (and to get out of neediness for attention). Radiance is built by self-confidence, self-love and self-expression, and by selflessly acknowledging others, without trying to get all the attention and recognition for himself.

Below we discuss some of the main Leo challenges, and how the lion can claim his gifts by making unconscious programs conscious, and then using his innate qualities productively and responsibly.

Authority and Royalty Complex

The young Leo seeks to confirm his self worth by asserting his authority and superiority. Accompanied with a sense of entitlement, he expects others to recognize and cater to him like a king or queen. If he chooses associates by their deference to him, he creates relationships that lack a heart connection. Using relationships as tools to further his own goals, he closes the door to the heart.

We learn from Leo that, when a what can you do for me attitude runs our default programming, we can alienate others. Leo's need to be both served and loved, may cause him to unconsciously use his charm, to elicit favors that are not naturally forthcoming from others. As a result, they may feel manipulated. When they disappear, he may wonder what happened to his once adoring friends.

Immature Leo's royalty complex feeds his need for approval, praise and recognition. When the lion is not noticeably applauded and made to feel special, he feels ignored, insecure and even depressed. His insecurity activates two additional unconscious programs. One is to do what it takes to get attention, no matter what the price. The other pushes him to perform according to other people's standards, and to further other people's goals, in order to gain applause.(1)

The extent to which we fall into following an externally defined path to gain approval, is a function of how dependent we are on being with others who flatter us and cater to our ego. The problem is, that a constant need for reassurance can tax the patience of, and take energy from, those who actually do admire and love us. The results are depressing. We create scenarios that rob us of our self-confidence, damage our self image, and compromise our spontaneity and personal freedom.

Leo's Social Drama

The immature lion obsessively seeks attention in social situations. This egotistical need is simultaneously accompanied by a fear of rejection and disapproval. Under the flamboyant style and coy smile, Leo is afraid that others will withhold their love, and that he will be ignored or judged. The two self-sabotaging programs (need for love and fear of rejection) result in withholding of light, and a closing of the heart - guaranteeing that the lion will not only not get what he wants, but offend others in the process. When Leo manipulates others to get attention, and then interprets the negative reactions as rejection, he feels unloved and powerless. Leo traps himself in his own cage of self-absorption, shutting down his natural warmth, and repressing his gregarious nature. When Leo withdraws, his radiant glow fades.

When Leo learns to interact in social situations in ways that serve the needs of others, he also gets his own needs met. Leo can be very entertaining and the life of the party. However, to not put others off, Leo must learn to authentically come from the heart. In the heart, we can pay attention to and honor others. When we embrace others with our own warmth, we automatically feel embraced ourselves. Sharing our sincere heart space provides healing emotional support, that is genuinely appreciated, and certainly much needed in this world.

In the heart, we can attune to the sensitivities of others. From the non-judgmental perspective of the heart, we can uplift and inspire. The inclusive heart space can make people feel very comfortable and at ease. Leo teaches us that generosity of spirit is our greatest wealth. In his heart, Leo experiences no fear. In his heart, Leo finds his security inside himself. In his heart, Leo is free to activate his natural talent, for sharing and instilling the human qualities of confidence, enthusiasm and unconditional love.

Leo the Leader

The young cub has a tendency to act in ways that appear arrogant, egotistical, dictatorial and melodramatic. Leo's dramatic impact syndrome can be counterproductive. When we impose our opinion and dominate conversations, others get the message that we do not consider what they have to say important. It is annoying to experience that we are not being heard. If we don't want to offend others, we have to become conscious of how our manner and communication style can either offend or inspire them. When we communicate from the heart, and not the ego, others respond to our sincerity, and we are able to build the bonds that we desire.

Leo's flair for drama will always be noticed and leave an impression. Leo's innate knack for, and love of, drama has to be expressed at higher levels to be used constructively. Leo is a born leader, but the lion can sabotage his leadership role by competing with, and alienating, others. Leo can earn and maintain a leadership role only if he stays in the heart space. In the heart, everyone feels welcome, encouraged and supported. Leo has a simultaneous need to maintain a sense of independence. Being a leader, and also being independent, is possible only if we inspire and support others to be their own authority, and express their own unique creativity. Leo unites with others, not to create codependent or subject-authority roles, but so that everyone's unique offering can better serve a common goal.

Leo embodies every human's innate drive to accomplish something, to creatively express our uniqueness, and to offer something special to the world. One of Leo's gifts is the charisma and enthusiasm to help others shine and contribute in their own unique way.

Leo's Maturation Process

This begins when the lion notices that the methods he uses, for trying to get admiration and attention, do not produce the results he wants. We begin to realize that our subconscious projection is a turn off, not a turn on. To create a transformation, we have to identify and then relinquish the superiority, control and I am in charge attitudes. This makes it possible to get in touch with our heart space. In our hearts we can connect with the hearts of others. Relating to others as equals fundamentally shifts the nature of our interactions. Our inner calculation shifts to What can I do for you?

We find out that our loving heart space and radiant aura, is an invaluable gift that we have to share. Everyone needs to be loved. Everyone needs to be recognized. In the process we realize our common humanness. We also realize that we have something valuable that others need and want. We begin to experience a heightened sense of our own self-esteem. Expressing our generous nature by supporting others, not only validates our self-worth, it makes us feel genuinely happy. Uplifting people with our Light changes our outlook on life. We attain the love and loyalty we need, in a way that genuinely opens everyone's hearts.

Taking Responsibility

Leo can create self-destructive life dramas, that range from unfulfilling to tragic. Others can be unsympathetic and annoyed by the lion's ups and downs. Everyone has their own challenges. No one needs to have another's drama superimposed upon their own. The Leo in us begins to grow up when we start to understand, and are willing to acknowledge, that WE are the authors of the melodramas in our lives.

Leo must learn to take responsibility for both what he feels and for creating what he wants. Leo needs to explore new ways to creatively express his emotions. We first have to see how we use our emotional energy to attract intense scenarios. Then we can start identifying how we can use our emotional power to attract something different. When we embrace what we feel, we can direct this energy to constructive manifestation.

To open our heart and keep it open, we have to learn how to handle our emotional energy. We have to get in touch with our true feelings. We can't just be blindly propelled by either the positive or the negative emotions. In the heart we can courageously embrace the intensity of our feelings. In our heart we can honor this intensity and feel unjudged, unrestrained and real. We can then use this energy to shine our light out to the world.

Play the Role of the Self

Leo is a performer and an entertainer. To win our audience and to stay in control, we are taught to adhere to defined and rigid standards. However, we can be authentically ourselves only when we release the rigidity of externally defined rules and roles. Only in the heart can we liberate our innocent spirit, that joyfully dances with the Universe, in ways that allow for full expression of our uniqueness, and the fulfillment of our dreams.

Leo, the natural actor, can fall into the trap of playing roles other than himself. If we get absorbed in role playing, we become artificial. Fantasies feed frustration and disillusionment. Leo's path is to go straight to the heart, where we find the spontaneity and joy of our inner child.

Leo's path is to find, acknowledge and express his true self. Leo the lion-hearted is the true lover and the trusted friend. In our heart, we embody and automatically share a space of higher healing. By spontaneously expressing our playful self, we exude childlike joy, freedom and happiness. In our heart we experience the deep emotional ecstasy of our soul.

Leo's Path - Become the Light

The heart and Light are the focus of spiritual growth for Leo. Leo's mentor is the Sun, the energy source which feeds all life. The extent to which we embody the Light, depends upon our ability and willingness to transmute darkness with Light. Thus the focus and intent of Leo's path is to clear all low/dark frequency blockages, by bringing in more light.

We maintain low vibrations, create blocks and sustain darkness, when we think at variance with universal light, which is unconditional acceptance and love. Every thought we think creates a thought form, or energy field with a particular frequency. When our thoughts resonate with the principles of love, we can maintain a higher frequency and a more balanced/harmonious state of being. Thoughts and emotions that deviate from this truth, such as anger, hate, fear and jealousy, vibrate at a lower frequency and extinguish the Light.

Negative thoughts and emotions use energy and Light instead of giving it. They lower our vibration and distort our energy field. Manifesting as energetic blockages, they are mirrored and experienced in both our physical health and our life situations. The main focus of Leo is thus to clear darkness with Light and Love. Our Leo goal is to experience and enjoy our energy body in its pure, innocent and luminous state.

Leo's spiritual path is to become absorbed in his own heart light, so that the force and knowledge of our perfection and divinity can be revealed to us. We must realize, that the darkness that clouds our way is what we have consciously or unconsciously allowed to be created. It is thus imperative that we reclaim our will, so that we can consciously choose how we use our life force, how we express our creativity, and how we live our life.

The more aware we become, the more we can consciously choose how we use our energy and resources. Our awareness must expand until we realize that everything is spiritual. Everything is Light. Everything is Love. The more we experience this reality, the more our five senses confirm this truth. Our direct experience of the Light makes it possible to release our fears. Fear resonates with the absence of Light. Love becomes our operating principle, when fear no longer determines our perception or guides our choices.

Saturn in Leo

Saturn moves through Leo territory between July 16th, 2005 and September 2nd, 2007. For two years, the celestial taskmaster is in our face with Leo issues (and gifts if we move out of our limited ego and into our heart). Saturn requires discipline and structure. Whether we like it or not, Saturn's 3 dimensional rules make it possible for us to manifest and to achieve results. Saturn sets standards and boundaries, so that what we create is congruent and stable.

Saturn in Leo reminds us, to take responsibility for finding ways for expressing our enthusiasm for life, and creative talents, in ways that open the hearts of self and others. Leo's mission is to help heal the sense of isolation, that we feel within ourselves and with each other. Leo's job is to bring people closer together, by holding open the heart space of unconditional acceptance and respect.

The last time Saturn passed through Leo was between September 17th, 1975 and July 26th, 1978. Reviewing what was happening for you during this time period can shed some light on the significance and nature of what is ending and beginning for you now. This is of particular importance for everyone in the Pluto in Leo generation (born October 8th, 1937 through June 11th, 1958)

Saturn conjoining Pluto is no inconsequential blip on the screen. The last time Saturn linked up with my Pluto, I finished my Ph.D., moved from Geneva, Switzerland back to the U.S. (after living in Europe for 8 years), began my college teaching career at Dartmouth College, met Yogi Bhajan, and began my Kundalini Yoga spiritual path.

Pluto in Leo Generation Offering Our Gifts

During these two years, Saturn is challenging everyone in the Pluto in Leo generation to take our power and manifest our mission. Saturn conjunct Pluto makes us very aware of what is out of alignment, and what we need to clean out of our emotional basement. We must also define specifically how we intend to participate in world transformation, through creative self-expression and higher consciousness. If we don't step forth now, our lives will pass us by.

Those born with Pluto in Leo have a tendency to withhold their talents, for fear of awakening energies that we or others might not be able to handle. However, failing to access deeper levels of awareness and emotional expression, prevents us from being in touch with truly creative energies, and fosters emotional stagnation. When we repress our creative energies, the loss of our spontaneity and self-expression creates anger, frustration and resentment.(2)

It is time to face our fears, and to express our emotions honestly through our creative talents. We may have to risk disapproval, but achieving a sense of self-approval through creative self-expression is far more important. We must be willing to transcend and transmute our fears and use our creative powers. As we release our fear of creative self-expression, we enter the territory where self-mastery is possible.

We can allow and trust the full expression of our dynamic spontaneity, when we get in touch with the fact that the creative power that flows through us is Divine in nature. Realizing that Divine energy flows through everyone, makes it possible to give up our need to control others. Once our motives are clear, we can express ourselves from the pure purpose of inspiring others, and contributing to their lives, by helping them express themselves authentically.

The Saturn and Jupiter Cycle

In addition to the Saturn/Pluto interaction, the Saturn/Jupiter cycle is also currently impacting our lives. Understanding how Jupiter and Saturn interact gives us a broader perspective in which to position the purpose of our lives. Jupiter and Saturn are the two social planets. Together they impact and define how we adapt to our cultural and social world.

Jupiter represents our capacity for planning and aspiration, and the urge for expansion, growth, improvement, conceptual understanding, adventure and social participation.(3) Jupiter makes sure we evolve and create anew.
Saturn represents our need to consolidate and manifest, which is made possible through focused and disciplined effort. Saturn teaches us, that to realize our goals and to sustain our material existence, hard work is required. Together, Jupiter and Saturn symbolize our basic human need to achieve something tangible, and to accomplish something, whereby we make our unique contribution to the world.

Understanding the phases of the Saturn/Jupiter cycle help us understand how and when to proceed with long-term commitments and projects. Jupiter and Saturn interact in a 20-year cycle. During the spring and summer of 2000, Jupiter and Saturn began a new cycle. They were conjunct - meeting at 24° Taurus. Their rendezvous launched a new era of social responsibility.(4) During the first quarter of the 20-year cycle, we began a new phase in the social contribution in our lives. We gave birth to new ideas, and began the process of goal setting, planning and implementation.

Saturn and Jupiter Cycle Square it Off

The first phase of the cycle lasts until the beginning of the second quarter, which is set off by the squaring of Jupiter and Saturn. This process began unfolding in December 2005. Because of the retrograde movement of the two planets, their square occurs three times. The first occurred December 17th 2005, when Saturn was retrograde. The second exact square was June 22-23, when Jupiter was retrograde. The final square will be exact on October 18th this year, when both planets are in direct motion.

The unfolding process of the Saturn-Jupiter square has a long-term effect upon our lives. We need to be aware of how these dynamic energies are impacting us, so we can prepare ourselves and respond with appropriate action.

While Saturn was retrograde (November 21st, 2005 through April 5th, 2006), we were given time to review and restructure our lives. We identified what was out of alignment, and where we needed to reclaim our will and our inner authority. Saturn in Leo reminds us that effort is required to bring our creative dreams into reality.

Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio (March 6th through July 6th), expanded our internal awareness of what works for us and what doesn't, what expands us, and what makes us want to withdraw from the race. Now that we are clear about our values and goals, we can expand into the world. If we act from our truth, we can take a leap of faith and move with grace to manifest our vision.

Jupiter Direct - Time to Expand

Jupiter went direct at 8° Scorpio July 6th, (after being retrograde since March 6th). This is an important event, because it releases what we have experienced as stuck energy. Now that both Saturn and Jupiter are direct, we are ready to make a commitment to ourselves, and embrace a new phase of our lives.

In the next few months we will realize that the thinking-talking-planning is over. As we near the fall, we will increasingly feel the need to make concrete choices about the direction of our lives, and to act decisively to implement dreams that have been percolating since 2000. We will feel compelled to make strategic decisions and to act upon them. We must get our show on the road and start making our goals happen. This is not a time for doubt and hesitation. If we are totally honest with ourselves, we know what we want and need to do. We just have to do it.

The second phase of the Saturn/Jupiter cycle will climax in May and August 2010, when Jupiter and Saturn oppose each other. For the next four years (between now and the fall of 2010, we need to be meaningfully involved in making our contribution to the world. If you are feeling a deep desire for a sense of purpose and participation, you are responding to the current Jupiter/Saturn squares. The only way to use this energy is to move forward with your long-term projects. Commit and go for it. The Universe is on your side.

Leo New Moon - July 24th

The Leo New Moon supports us taking our power. It reminds us that to open our heart takes both courage and willpower. We have to reclaim ourselves back from our parents, religion, culture and teachers. An effective way to reclaim ourselves is to feel inside what makes us happy, what lights our fire, what makes us shine. Then we need to hold on to this feeling and let it guide us.

Leo reminds us that we are here on planet Earth to discover, express, and enjoy our unique expression of the Divine. To do so we have to stop paying attention to what others think, and let go of past conditioning that limits our self-expression. To know what is true for us, we have to think and feel for ourselves. Leo teaches us that we can be happy only if we follow the path of our heart, and we each know. Our heart path makes us strong and grateful. In the heart, we are at one with our journey and our soul.

Aquarius Full Moon - August 7th

Whatever is out of alignment, between personal (Leo) and collective (Aquarius) consciousness, gets revealed at this full moon. The beam of the Sun in Leo helps us remember why we are here on planet Earth, at this time of transition between the Piscean and the Aquarian Ages. Leo helps us get in touch with our soul's purpose, and the vision of our life that we hold in our heart. The Moon in Aquarius emphasizes the transformation of collective consciousness, and reminds us, that to address our global problems effectively we must join together.

Leonine and Aquarian energies must be integrated to create revolutionary change. Leo must shift his focus from personal drama to the human drama, and our personal role in furthering the evolutionary process of humankind. Aquarius reminds us that our power is in numbers, and in joining forces with like-minded souls. We are each an instrument for change, and must therefore offer our talents in service to humanity. Together we can make a difference.

Leonine and Aquarian energies balance each other. The higher Aquarian perspective of our role allows us to be more playful and tolerant of ourselves and others. When we relate to others as equals, instead of subjects, we can whole-heartedly support each others' special contributions. Our inner Leo feels satisfied, because our heartfelt generosity attracts the appreciation that feeds our soul. Our inner Aquarius knows that we are contributing to planetary transformation.

At the time of the Full Moon in Aquarius, we are asked to identify how we can encourage and work with others, with the warmth and sincerity of our heart space. Leo needs to participate in a group effort, and enrich the lives of those on his team. Who is on your team? How can you use your natural enthusiasm to inspire others? Uplifting others makes everyone feel empowered. Try it out - experiment using your heart-felt encouragement to motivate others in your life, and to support them in appreciating their magnificence and uniqueness.

This full moon is an opportune time, to evaluate how your inner Leo in the Aquarian context is progressing. Leo must seek equality, act in the best interests of all concerned, and be motivated by the generosity of the heart. Leo's faith comes from trusting the heart space, and accepting the abundance of love available at all times to everyone.

Mercury Retrograde - July 5th - 28th

Mercury went retrograde July 5th at 1° Leo. July 11th it returns to Cancer, and goes direct at 21° Cancer July 28th. (Mercury will be in Cancer through August 11th, when it returns to Leo Land.) We have over 3 weeks to examine our inner emotional state. Mercury retrograde gives us another opportunity to look inward, listen to our soul, and check in with our higher spiritual wisdom.

There are many confrontive aspects while Mercury is retrograde this time, so its direct motion will be a relief. Enjoy your summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) for when the Sun moves into Virgo we will feel the autumn winds blow. With the direct square of Saturn and Jupiter, we are going to be all business again.

Transitions to a Heart Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

Transitions to a Heart-Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a rich and unique compilation of the core teachings and Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations of Yogi Bhajan.

The new Second Edition, revised and updated,is ready to welcome a whole new generation of students to this life-changing technology. It offers powerful and effective techniques to both teacher and student, to empower your lower chakras and open your heart to unconditional love.

Contains literally dozens of meditations to access heart and soul consciousness.

Kundalini Yoga - Find Your Truth in Your Heart

Without listening to our hearts, we cannot access guidance from our soul. Whatever we do will not be completely successful, satisfying or authentic. We will always be in doubt. The true meaning of attuning to Divine Will is to lead a life of Truth, in accord with the truth of our soul and universal truth. It is this innate truth that gives us strength. It is this guidance that we must seek within our own heart. When we experience this truth, we feel the presence of a higher force guiding us. We feel this presence in every breath, in every action, and in every word we speak. When this force is guiding us, we can trust, we can be at peace, and we can experience happiness. 58)

Meditation to Open Your Heart

While the Sun is in Leo, our assignment is to move deeper into our heart space. To listen to your heart, simply put your hands in prayer pose or on your heart center - center of chest.

  1. Focus your attention on your heart.
  2. Feel the sensations in your heart.
  3. Listen to the beat of your heart.
  4. Be with the rhythm of the breath in your heart.

While your hands are on your heart, chant Saaaaaaaaaaaat Nam. I call upon the truth. Saaaaaaaaaaat is extended and Nam is short. Chant 3-5 times or up to 11 minutes. Then listen.

Before you go to sleep at night, place your hands on your heart, chant, and ask for a deep sleep in the heart space. Before you get up in the morning do the same, asking for guidance for a heart-centered day.

There are dozens of sets and meditations to open the heart in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World 2nd Edition (now also available in Spanish!) Pick any one and practice it for 11 minutes while the Sun is in Leo.

Leo/Aquarius Touchstones

Leo: Who in the world am I?
Aquarius: Who are you in the world?
The Leo/Aquarius team: Freedom is not a random expression of unorchestrated wants. Freedom is the ability to do what in your heart you know you came here to do.

References and Footnotes

"Leo New Moon", by Stephanie Austin, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #127, June/July 2006, p. 102.

"Astrology and Spiritual Awakening", by Gregory C. Bogart, Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

"An Interview with Greg Bogart", The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #126, April/May 2006, pp. 49-58.

"Spiritual Astrology", by Jan Spiller and Karen McCoy, Simon and Schuster, 1985 and 1988.

1. Spiller, p. 57.
2. Spiller, p. 150.
3. Bogart, p. 8.
4. See Issue 17 - The Taurus Party - Aspects and Cycles, May 2000.


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