New Moon in Leo
at 18 degrees
Saturday, August 11, 2018
at 2:46am pdt
This month’s New Moon is in Leo. One of my astrology teachers, Daniel Giamario, describes Leo using the analogy of a two-year-old playing, happily making mud pies. During that act, the child is completely lit up. They are joyful, playful, creative, fully themselves without judgment and king or queen of their own domain. This is the full expression of Leo. Lately, probably because I have been working a lot, I have been thinking about joy and playfulness. As we age, we forget how to play. Indeed, when a young child asks, ‘will you play with me’ the usual response is, ‘not now…maybe later.’ Perhaps we may have a sense of not knowing how to play anymore. Traveling back in time, our child self would have been horrified to know that our adult self has forgotten how to play!
There are scientific studies that talk about how playing, even as adults, improves our cognition, health, and relationships. When we are playing, we are fully present in the moment. The stress of life and its demands are not at the surface. We are not judging ourselves and our heart and mind are unified in the act of play. We are relaxed, joyful and at ease. When playing, we are not limited and anything is possible.
You may find it surprising to learn that I don’t really follow astrology that closely. I follow the New and Full Moons because it helps me come back to nature, to the natural rhythms of life. It used to be that nearly everything that was done was based on the Moon. The moon guided people as to when to plant, when to harvest and when to hunt. Human survival depended on it. Now I use it as a way to draw me back to nature. I look at the New and the Full Moon as a path marker, a cairn in time. Looking at the astrology helps to frame the view.
New Moons are naturally inclined towards inward journeying as the night sky is at its darkest, inviting us inside ourselves. This New Moon in particular invites that inward turning. Even though the August Moon has many relationships, most will pass by the time the Moon is New. However, Pluto ‘the transformer’ remains, highlighting transformation. Pluto is the planet of the underworld and it uncovers what is hidden. Additionally, many planets are retrograde and when planets are retrograde the energy of that planet turns inward. This New Moon is showing us the way to turn inward.
Sometimes when we turn inward, we find that we are not at peace. We may find turmoil, sadness or anxiety. The light of the Leo two-year-old child can help here, reminding us to play. Allowing space for playfulness can be a balm for the inner turmoil. In fact, science even says it may alleviate it. Often times our inner turmoil is caused by problems we may feel are not resolvable. Yet, when we play, we relax and all things become possible. It is in this mental and emotional space that we may uncover the solutions we seek. If not, there is still benefit in just simply having a small diversion.
I have always been fascinated with numbers, with some numbers coming up all the time for me and others not at all. So, I always look to see the degree of the moon as another cairn on the path. The degree of this moon is 18 degrees Leo. In the Tarot, 18 is the Moon card which is the Universal principle of choice, highlighting the issue of authenticity vs dutifulness. How often do we spend our time attending to what we perceive as duty? Do these actions contribute to our inner turmoil? Would we feel calmer and more at peace with ourselves if we were able to live more authentically as Leo – being our brightest, most authentic, playful self?
Interestingly, the Moon card #18 in the Tarot deck is also part of the Hermit Constellation. The Hermit is the Way Shower of the tarot. I think this New Moon is showing us the way towards play so we can be our most brilliant self and let go of any doubt and anxiety we may hold. Angel Arriens writes that the biggest challenge for the Hermit Constellation is self-criticism. She also says we have three gifts. The first gift is inner strength that develops through trusting ourselves. The second gift is the happiness we find when we do what we love. The third gift is gain, because when we trust ourselves and do what we love, everyone benefits. We just need to turn off the inner critic, choose to be bright and do what we love. Look for the cairns in life that guide us to be our most authentic self and don’t forget to play. Playing gives us a break from our responsibilities in life, it helps lighten the load, and it may even create enough space in our minds and hearts to help us contemplate solutions to our challenges in life.
Next time you see a child playing, join in the fun. Better still, be bold and create your own play!
Andrea Carvalho, musings on the journey to vibrant embodiment.