Leo Lessons - Let Your Inner Sun Shine

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #136 - July 28, 2007
Planetary Alignments
The Leo Evolutionary Journey
Immature (needs to learn)Mature
NaïveGenuine innocence
Show off to get attentionAttracts attention through magnetism
Personality centeredSoul centered
Limited ego directedSoul/Self/Heart directed
EgotisticalSoulful, Knows self
Craves attention and applauseFinds fulfillment in self and creative expressions
Hubris, arroganceJustifiable pride in self
Boastful, imposingRadiant, self-mastery
Exhibitionist, show off Zest for life, extroverted
Drama king or queenRegal
ChildishPlayful and fun
Emotional outburstsCan control and productively use emotions
Where is my Leo?

Like all the signs, not everyone has planets in Leo, but the Lion archetype, the soul desire to individualize and to create from our own individuality, is a vital instinct in every human being. There are several ways to identify where and how the Leo impulse plays out in our lives:

  1. The fifth house is the territory ruled by the Sun and associated with Leo. Any planets in our 5th house are driven by Leo energy. The sign on the cusp of the 5th house indicates HOW we pursue our path of individuation, and how our heart turns on.
  2. Locating the house or houses that contain planets in Leo or have Leo on the cusp helps us identify the arenas in life where we confront our Leo issues, and display our Leo traits.
  3. The house location of our natal Sun (ruler of Leo) helps us understand what arena in life supports our individuation process. The sign and house placement of our Sun gives us essential information about how we seek to express (and enjoy) ourselves.
  4. Those with Leo rising (Leo on the cusp of the first house,) a Leo moon, several planets in Leo, or several planets in the fifth house, will strongly identify with Leo's issues and path.

The above ways all help us understand how and where our fiery Leo attributes find expression.

Aquarius Full Moon - July 29th

The Aquarius Full Moon July 29th reminds us that we are not alone, and invites us to join together to co-create our dreams. When we unite in group consciousness, our power to manifest increases exponentially. Leo's polarity reminds us that we are here to make our unique contribution to the collective, of which we are each an integral part. Aquarius reminds us to let altruism, not ego, be our guide. Aquarius objectivity delivers us from judgments that separate us from each other.

Jupiter in Sagittarius goes direct August 7th after being retrograde since April 5th. It is time to take a big step forward, explore new horizons, expand our reality, and work together with our friends.

Venus goes retrograde July 27th at 3° Leo at 10:27 AM. Once every two years Venus goes retrograde. This is a time to resolve unfinished business, and complete or clarify relationships. If we are more discerning and less judgmental, we can do so with ease and grace. Connecting inside, we are able to be more authentic and committed to our own values. Our heart connection makes us more loving to ourselves and others. We have until September 7th when Venus goes direct at 9:13am PDT at 17° Leo. Make these 7 weeks count.

After a planet turns direct, it takes several weeks or months for the planet to catch up to the point where it first went retrograde. Something seems to shift in our psyche at that time. July 25th Saturn crossed 25° Leo, where it stationed retrograde on Dec 5th, 2006. Observe closely how your attitudes have gradually shifted in the last month or so, and are now coalesced around a new perspective and commitment. Are you now more mindful of how you wish to express your creativity and your power? Are you noticing that you can sustain only that which is in alignment with your path? Do you have a compelling desire to concentrate on your next step, to stay focused, and to eliminate all distractions? Have you examined your motivations, and aligned your goals to match your heart's desires? I have noticed in myself, and others, the drive and commitment to devote our available time and resources to working toward what we really want.

Leo New Moon - August 12th

We will feel the fire in our belly to follow our hearts at this new moon. The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Saturn are all in Leo. Set aside time to be with yourself and examine:

  1. What you are currently creating and what you wish to create?
  2. What kind of light are you shining? How can you shine your soul light a little brighter?
  3. What is the nature of your soul blueprint? How is it guiding you toward your spiritual destination?

At this new moon (exact the day after), Venus and Saturn conjunct for the second time at 27° Leo. The first and the last times Venus is direct (July 1st and October 13th). When Saturn and Venus join at the same degree, we experience both an ending and a new beginning. Old internal as well as external patterns give way to a new cycle. We move up a notch. During the phase when Venus is retrograde we examine our priorities, clarify our values, and do a thorough reality check of our resources and relationships. Our evaluation of what we want, what we have, and how the two match needs to be truthful, real, and realistic.

The need to orient or reorient ourselves from the perspective of our true essence is driven by the opposition of Neptune (at 21° Aquarius), opposing both the Sun and the Moon (exact August 13). Neptune is also widely opposing Mercury, Venus and Saturn. The Saturn and Neptune opposition began August 31, 2006. The spirit of this opposition has left its mark. We are now well aware of the fact that we need to align our physical reality with Spirit. As empowered individuals, we are each the master of our own destiny. Our common destiny depends upon our collaboration to create a sustainable future.

The Quest for Individuation

Each sign of the Zodiac has its own path to fulfillment, wholeness and enlightenment. Each archetype pursues a unique journey to find power, peace and joy. Each sign is also part of everyone's developmental process. Individuation is the path of every soul. No matter what Zodiac energy our Sun radiates, an essential part of our human path is to learn how to fully express our individuality, independent of subconscious programming and mass consciousness.

The Leo archetype is universally relevant and applicable to all, because it teaches us about the individuation process. We all have much to learn from the Leo archetype, because we are each actively discovering (and learning how to enjoy) our special self.

It is interesting that Carl Jung, a Leo, developed the concept of individuation. His early success as Freud's favored student and heir was not sufficient. He was compelled by his own myth to follow the lonely road into his own depths, so that the view of the psyche, which he eventually developed, came from his own experience, his own intuition, his own research and his own insight.(1)

Leo's Path to Power - Our Inner Sun Shines

Discovering what it means to be an individual is of primary concern for Leo. In the Leo phase of our human evolution, the Self learns to shine. We radiate the energy of our soul. We enjoy the splendor of our being. We celebrate our individuality. Our focus is on expressing ourselves and our unique creativity and talents.

Ascetic, serious and intellectual approaches to spiritual growth are more characteristic of Virgo and Pisces. The Leo path focuses on the playful celebration of life. Youthful Leos like to interact with children and act like children themselves. They express themselves through the performing arts, theater, dance, athletics, artistic creations, teaching and leadership roles. Leo the actor needs a stage. The royal leader Leo needs a throne.

Anand refers to the inherent bliss that we experience when, within our mind, we connect with the Infinite and universal consciousness. We have this experience in the neutral mind. In the consciousness of Anand, we need nothing beyond ourselves and our Divine connection to experience ecstasy.

Leo adds the radiant Shakti power that emanates from our own soul. Connected to the light of our soul, we become spontaneously joyous. We have this experience in our body. We feel the tappa or heat generated in our navel, and along our spine, from the awakening of the kundalini and the transformation of the energy of our emotional body. We experience the warmth at our heart chakra as this center opens.

Leo teaches us that true satisfaction, contentment and happiness is found within ourselves. However, being happily self-contained is not enough. The Leo impulse has a need to outwardly express itself in the world. We must be continually engaged in creative activities to sustain our pleasure. Immature Leo needs attention, adulation or admiration from others. Mature Leo is happy, simply because it is fully engaged in creating what it came here to create; and its most important creation is itself!

The Daylight of Consciousness

The Cancer archetype embodies the power, potential and mystery of the feminine. Like the Moon, it undergoes many moods and phases and expresses in subtleties.

The Leo archetype, on the other hand, embodies the solar, masculine principle, exuding the confident energy of the Sun. The Sun does not change shape or go through phases. There are no nuances in the direct rays of the Sun. The Sun exhibits the qualities of the masculine polarity: unchangeable, unalterable and consistent. When we meditate on the Sun, we experience the concentrated, causative and transformation power, that it majestically delivers through its awe inspiring luminescence.

Survival of life on Earth depends upon the warmth and light of the Sun. Leo's path is to learn from the Sun. Like the Sun, Leo is inherently powerful, but like all archetypes, Leo must discover and activate its pure essence. Leo is confronted with life experiences that help it find its inner strength, courage, and confidence, and use these attributes to face life's challenges. For the Leo archetype to reach its highest expression and joy, it must experience the warmth and compassion of the heart, and the light of consciousness. Leo's path to achieve these goals directs us though many phases of awakening.

Young, Intermediate and Advanced Souls

How deep anyone goes, in pursuing the archetypal quest of their astrological blueprint, depends on the age and goals of our soul. If Leo is a young soul, he/she may remain at the limited ego/personality phase of development. If Leo is an intermediate-level soul, he/she will be motivated to make a difference in the world. Intermediate-level souls want to be noticed for what they do, but they do not necessarily wish to explore deeper levels of inner connection. They may (or may not) talk spirituality. Their discovery of spiritual concepts usually remains mental and theoretical. They may speak about ideas, but not devote the time to the spiritual practice required to embody them.

Both young and intermediate-level Leos can live good, ethical lives, and enjoy positions of influence. They quest to find their specific throne in the outer world. Whether their focus is the arts, business or spirituality, they desire to be in the limelight, to draw followers, to seek applause, (and) to shine.(2)

The more advanced Leo souls are searching for joyful enlightenment as represented by the Sun. Through their life experiences, they are learning how to experience illumination and light, in both the mind and the heart. The Leo archetype teaches us that the purpose of Light is to switch on the heart, and then to live life from the light-hearted consciousness of pure joy, freedom and compassion.

Leo's Nature and Quest for the Gold

Leos are like innocent children who want to play, entertain and be entertained. Even immature Leo is often comfortable and confident on stage. The young Lion enjoys being in the spotlight, and receiving applause from an audience. Its fulfillment is derived from the attention it gets from the outer world.

But Leo's dramas can appear superficial and silly, if they are not authentically connected to their real essence. Their romance can leave them feeling disconnected, even from themselves. Their theater can unfold without a meaningful plot. A Leo can take his zest for life, magnetism, confidence, courage, willpower and style from one desire to the next, and walk away each time feeling empty, or s/he can be master on the throne of his or her own personality, inner ruler of the emotions and director of the drama of his/her life.(3) Leo finds sustained inner satisfaction only when it is purposefully directed to find the gold within itself.

Leo naturally exudes magnetism. The more conscious Leo can develop a magnetic aura, which like a magnet attracts opportunities (instead of dramas). As a fixed sign, Leo can effectively concentrate its energy. This gives it a strong personal presence and an undeniable sense of authority. When the Lion speaks with concentrated power and intention, its words are persuasive and causative. The Leo that learns to project the magic of its soul (and the Sun), has the power to be an active creative, transforming and healing force.

From Ego to Soul-Centered Consciousness

Leo is naturally self-centered. The ability to focus on oneself is an absolute requirement for spiritual awakening. It is amazing how hard it is for most of us, to direct our minds to look and listen inside ourselves, and to be present to the sensations and feelings in our own bodies. We have been taught that self-focus is selfish. The concept of selfish in our culture skirts the important existential question: does our unconscious control our life, or are we consciously listening to and following the messages of our Soul?

The selfish definition of ego refers to a personality that is controlled by unconscious emotional programming. This is the case in the early stages of human development and, unfortunately, true of many people who never really mature into functional adulthood. Their light of consciousness has not yet been turned on. Leo's path is to learn how to turn on the light of the soul, and keep it lit. To the extent that our soul light is dimmed, we are directed by our limited ego. In limited ego consciousness we live in denial, and/or ignorance, of the fact that we are being directed by our unconscious programming.

Becoming aware of our instinctual responses, and learning to control our outer responses, is part of our maturation process. Our evolving ego tries to be wrestle control from its animal instincts, with more or less success. Eventually we discover that a more profound relationship with ourselves is required. Individualization and deeper levels of self-empowerment require listening to our Soul/Self, which speaks through our emotions. We have to evolve from using our ego/personality to try to consciously control our emotions to soul consciousness - where we connect with this primal energy in a more profound way. We not only have to train ourselves to listen to our emotions as messages from our soul, we have to learn how to use and express this energy in creative ways. We also have to learn how to enjoy it!

Leo Maturation Crises

Fiery Leo attracts and creates drama. The Lion is awakened to life by a roar, or actually a whole series of roars! Leo's heart must be provoked or called forth. Events in our outer world challenge our ego and awaken us. When old approaches no longer work, we must look inside ourselves for connection and direction. It is through introspection that we discover our authentic identity, and a more fulfilling way of being and doing. The Lion needs to find meaningful outlets for its fire energy. Leo's creative endeavors must be inspired by what its heart loves. Leo's real reward is not adulation by its subjects, but personal meaning and the joy of sharing value, light and love. When Leo can help open another's heart, it finds the love inside itself that it is searching for.

When faced with crises in the areas of romance or creativity, Leo is like a lion with a thorn in its paw. The wounded animal is immobilized. It is, however, these ego crises which move Leo to a higher level of consciousness, where it gets in touch with a more profound level of Self. Leo's life dramas are like rites of passage. At each initiation, our ego feels like it is dying. We may feel crucified, crushed or pulled apart in some way. The result is however not our demise, but a breaking free from old ways of being. When the drama has subsided, we find that we can more fully and authentically enjoy and express ourselves.

The Inner Cave of Self-Mastery

During Leo's maturation crises, the normally extroverted Lion is forced to withdraw and reflect. After the Lion re-emerges from his/her cave, s/he is transformed. S/he radiates and enjoys a new persona. Life is richer because of the crisis, and the inner transformation which was demanded and orchestrated by our Soul. We go through these experiences alone. Our initial tendency is often to resist, or to act out, but circumstances, often a health crisis, oblige us to let go of what we were attached to. The process forces our strong ego-driven emotional self to shift, from egocentric willfulness to an inner-directed willingness. We need the power of our will to make the shift.

As our inner Leo matures, we realize that, when our anger or fear-based instincts are out of control, this emotional energy sabotages our best intentions. Self-mastery for the Taurus Bull requires bringing its physical instincts under control. Self-mastery for the Leo Lion necessitates learning how to deal with its emotional instincts. One of Leo's life lessons, is to learn how to re-direct the energy of its fiery emotions, and use this energy for mundane success and spiritual awakening. In the end, it is self-mastery that brings us success and fulfillment. Self-mastery for the Lion requires exercising willpower, and the courage to persevere. Leo learns to have faith in itself, and to keep going despite the odds. Gradually Leo ascends to his or her own throne.

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 - Consolidate and Enjoy the Fire of Self

To experience our inner sun and Soul we must:

  1. activate,
  2. consolidate,
  3. contain, and
  4. enjoy the fire of self.

We experience our inner fire by:

  1. activating our navel center,
  2. awakening our Kundalini,
  3. transforming our emotional energy, and
  4. opening our heart chakra.

All Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations contribute in some way to this process of spiritual awakening. Exercises to align the navel center and open the heart are all specifically relevant. The entire manual Transitions to a Heart-Centered World 2nd Edition contains these sets.

The Exercise Set for Kidneys on pages 100-101 in Relax and Renew 2nd Edition creates powerful fiery results. Whatever set you choose, you may wish to incorporate the following in your practice as warm ups:

  1. archer pose,
  2. leg lifts, and
  3. stretch pose.

Archer pose creates a strong base to hold the fire in our body. Stretch pose and leg lefts activate the navel. You can also finish your practice with Sat Kriya, which stimulates the navel fire and raises the Kundalini.

After each exercise take at least one minute to focus your attention in the following ways. This list is sequential. Start at the top of the list. The first day, you may focus only on the heat in your body. As your awareness and experience progress, add another awareness. Each awareness also deepens over time. Enjoy the discovery of your magnetic soul.

  1. Feel the fire, the warmth, the heat and the tappa in your belly, spine and heart.
  2. Let it gather, flow and consolidate at the navel, in the spine and in the heart.
  3. Contain it inside your body, inside your skin. Consolidate it.
  4. Be present to the fire and simply BE it.
  5. Enjoy the sensations in your body. Enjoy yourself.
  6. Experience the power and pleasure within your own body.
  7. Respond to any doubts or negativity with I am sorry. I love you.
  8. Let the heat burn away any pain, depression or darkness.
  9. Radiate the heat from your center navel, heart, body, and spine.
  10. Feel your magnetic presence.
  11. Allow yourself to receive the abundance and gifts that you attract.

We can do Kundalini Yoga and meditation for years without attention, and the effects dissipate without fully serving us. Our goal is to bring attention and awareness to our practice, so that we can increase its benefits. While the Sun is in Leo, our intention is to experience the fire energy of the Kundalini and our emotional body, as a source of power and pleasure. Open your heart and let your inner light shine!

References and Footnotes

"Aquarius Full Moon, and Cancer New Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #133, June/July 2007, p. 104.

"Cancer New Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #134, Aug/Sept 2007, p. 103.

"Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology", Behari, Bepin, Lotus Press, 2003.

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

"Archetypes of the Zodiac", Burt, Kathleen, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2002.

"The Astrology of Fate", Greene, Liz, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1984.

1. Greene, p. 210.
2. Burt, p. 156
3. Burt, p. 174.


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