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KINGPIN - METAPHYSICAL LEO

by Gary Brand - written July 16, 2006,
published in the August 2006 edition of Echo* newspaper

Image of a huge solar prominence and white hot spots on
the Sun, taken on September 14, 1999 by the Extreme
Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope Image of a huge solar prominence (upper right) and white hot spots on the Sun, taken on September 14, 1999 by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope aboard SOHO.  Courtesy of the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) NASA/ESA.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation
of Leo as the lion. This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Leo as the lion, formidable and somewhat menacing in this depiction.  Leo is a fire sign and the end of its tail looks like it is on fire.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his is one of a series of articles about the metaphysical meanings of the signs.  Metaphysical astrology is the study of first principles and the esoteric or hidden meanings of the signs and planets.  This article addresses the first principles of Leo and the Sun (ruler of Leo), which we all have somewhere in our birth chart.  The meaning or energy of each sign of the zodiac manifests in some area of life symbolized in the birth chart of each of us, whether we have planets in a particular sign or not.  The entire visible Universe is based on the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).  At the end of this article is a segment on the Saturn-Neptune opposition in effect the summer and fall of 2006.

Leo is the first and most important of the four faces of God, the foundation or cornerstones of the zodiac (the other cornerstones are the other "fixed" signs:  Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius).  These four faces (fixed signs) are the anchors of the four elements of astrology and antiquity (fire, earth, air, water) and are the cardinal points, not the cardinal signs as so many of us have been taught.  The fixed signs comprise the law of space (cardinal directions) and signify the divine state of being.  When we are seeking an inspirational connection with God, if we face north toward the north face of God (Leo), we will find the strength, will and motivation (Leo) to pursue a creative, enlightened, and hopefully spiritual course of action (Leo is an action-driven fire sign).  This is why humans and all other animals sleep best when their bodies are aligned in a north-south direction.  Another direction commonly faced in prayer is east, toward the east face of God (Taurus) the face of receptivity and the planting of spiritual seeds.

The enigmatic sphinx is a symbol of the four faces of God with the body of a bull (Taurus), the head of a human (Aquarius), the feet of a lion (Leo) and the wings of an eagle (Scorpio).  The cherubim of the Bible (Ezekiel 1:10) and the four beasts around the throne of God in the book of Revelation (4:7) have four faces - that of a lion (Leo), human (Aquarius), ox (Taurus) and eagle (Scorpio) - examples of the divine nature of the four elements represented by the four fixed signs.  The north face of God is symbolized by the Sun, that fiery ball of nuclear fission that stimulates and energizes all life on our Mother Earth.  In the northern hemisphere (where eastern and western astrology developed), the Sun reaches its highest northern arc on the solstice.  Leo is the "father" of all the other signs partly because of his connection with the Sun, the father of all life on earth.  The Sun in the sky and in our birth chart represents the life force in all living beings and it stimulates us to action with its energy because when the Sun is up we and all other diurnal life forms are active and are aroused by its light and heat.

Leo is the anchor of the fire signs (the other fire signs are Aries and Sagittarius) and it is the quintessential spiritus, the Latin word for the breath of life, inspiration, spirit, character, courage, pride and arrogance (J.C.T., pp. 292-293).  In many cultures, the lion (the icon of Leo) was emblematic of royalty, strength, and power but a pair of male lions was depicted as sentinels at gateways signifying guardianship, vigilance and justice (of the ruler they protected) (J.C.C., p. 98).  In ancient Egypt, a pair of live, male lions sat on each side of the foot of Pharaoh's throne and displayed their intolerance of those approaching with fear, selfishness, dishonesty, or thirst for power (E.H., p. 201 (1974)).  A pair of male lions guarded the Tree of Life in the Biblical Garden of Eden as well (J.C.C., p. 98).  At its most basic level, Leo symbolizes the ruler in us - our courage to stand up to governmental immorality, to become benevolent leaders ourselves, and to guard against injustice in the world and in our lives.  Ironically, the lion also symbolized war, cruelty, ferocity, and death in various cultures (Id.).  After Hercules slew the Nemean lion, he skinned it and wore its pelt, which made him invincible, a symbol of the invincibility of truth and that justice is the cloak worn by the hero.

The Greek mythology of the Sun revolves around the stories of the god Helios (brother of Selene, the Moon).  Each morning, Helios rose from beneath the horizon in a radiant chariot driven by nine shinning steeds.  He was omniscient and saw everything that transpired - nothing escaped him - so he is symbolic of things being revealed, seeing the light of day.  Although the Sun as the god Helios continued to be venerated after the defeat of the Titans by the Olympians, Apollo was also venerated as a solar god of light and prophecy.

Now a change of topics to the Saturn-Neptune opposition, which began last fall (when the price of gas reached $3/gallon after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita) and picks up again July-October 2006.  These two planets are dissimilar in nature because Saturn represents our quest for structure, predictability, realism, and permanence whereas, in contrast, Neptune symbolizes ambiguity, dissolution, avoidance, illusions, idealism and oil.  Oppositions symbolize a tug-of-war, vying, and polarization so the opposition between these two giant planets means that each trait of Saturn is vying for expression with the traits of Neptune in our lives and in the world.  Since both of these planets are emblematic of inner peace, calmness, humility, inflation, fear, worry and hypocrisy, these are all potential manifestations of this time.  The challenges of this opposition have to do with our perception of the "realities" of our life (Saturn) vs. an idyllic life we dream of (Neptune), polarization between nations and ideologies, and our struggle to see beyond the vale of the material world (Saturn) to a place of compassion and empathy for those we do not understand (Neptune).  This is a period to evaluate our progress toward our spiritual goals and a testing of our ability to be fully at peace and present in the moment - to not project negative imagination onto present or future circumstances.  The price of oil (and gasoline) will continue to rise and stocks will fall because of the fear of further war and instability in the Middle East.  At least one, great hurricane (Neptune) will devastate (Saturn) some cities on the U.S. coast during the period of this opposition.  Face your fears (don't project them) and use your spiritual divinity (Neptune) to be in a state of peace and oneness.
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Reference Citations.

See related article Metaphysical Sun.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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