Illustration by Taylor Dow

In Like a Lion

Cry it out, then get up! Leo season’s here.

You know when you’ve been sobbing on your bed for 20 minutes, drenching your pillow with salty tears until you’re wrung dry? Then, all cried out, you bolt upright with fresh determination to take some sort of action—like move your body fast or start a messy collage? That’s this week. Out of the ocean of feelings and into the fire of creation! The tender Cancer crab passes a baton to Leo the lion on Saturday, the first day of Leo season. (All those animal constellations, by the way, are the reason “zodiac” shares a root word with “zoo.” It’s a wild menagerie up there!) The Sun isn’t the only orb to roll into Leo’s lair. Mars goes into Leo on Thursday, and a new moon in Leo on Sunday officially kicks off eclipse season. This set change of sun signs replaces our nervous Cancer hesitancy with Leo-level bravery and a thick urge to get up and start. Uranus is also sending awareness our way all week. Keep shedding as you approach the new moon. Then build.


Cancer and Leo are truly night and day. Water sign Cancer is ruled by the sensitive, ever-changing Moon, while fire sign Leo answers to the mighty, direct, constant Sun. The Moon conceals, the Sun illuminates. Cancer is concerned with home life and private emotions, but Leo is ready to go public, demand justice through a megaphone, and make a lasting impact on the world. During Leo season, the Sun is hot and powerful, yet it also sets earlier and earlier each evening. These waning daylight hours fill us with a sense of urgency (even impatience) to do important things, immediately. Concern about limited time (which will continue into Virgo season) spurs us to offer grand creations we can be proud of, creations that will outlive us.

Leo rules the Fifth House of creativity, romance, and pleasure; it’s no surprise many Leos are larger-than-life performers who feel at home under bright stage lights. Whitney Houston, Lucille Ball, Kate Bush, Patrick Swayze, Louis Armstrong, and Steve Martin are Leos. The Leo den is full of magnetic leaders including Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill Clinton. Leos are passionate writers like James Baldwin and Dorothy Parker, fearless fliers like Amelia Earhart, and decisive (you could say domineering) directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. There’s nothing small or subtle about this sign.


As a “fixed” sign, Leo can be opinionated and entrenched in beliefs, even condescending. Since Mars moves into Leo on Thursday, watch for attitudes of: “I’m right and my ideas are the best, so just defer to me!” Hot-headedness and a deep need for respect will define Sunday’s new moon too, as it speaks with Mars and a clump of other Leo planets. On a non-astrology note, the Sun this week is exhibiting solar activity called coronal mass ejection (no, that’s not a hardcore band). This plasma storm on the Sun could make you feel extra-tired or, alternately, amped. CME can cause tech glitches too. Next month we’ll see a rare second Leo new moon (and solar eclipse, Aug. 21) that links to this week. So from Sunday until September, the big changes will be, like the sign of Leo, sweeping. Not subtle.


A Gemini moon on Wednesday the 19th is good for communicating and clarifying things. Mars enters Leo on Thursday the 20th, getting your stamina steaming. Life wants you to go for it, now! Beware of an explosive event that may shock or create relational turbulence. Plus: Chiron intensifies our healing work well into Friday the 21st, a day dripping with Cancer vibes, as the Cancer Sun and Moon poke our soft emotions. However, Neptune is encouraging creativity, so process your feelings through art. Saturday the 22nd marks the first day of Leo season, yet you’ll feel the Cancer Moon’s emotional waves as you wade through some shake-up. A new moon on Sunday the 23rd contacts Mars. Try to channel that inner fire into physical (or sexual) activity. A showdown between Venus and Saturn on Monday the 24th creates a frustrating morning. Luckily, other angles allow for healthy self-expression and optimism later in the day. On Tuesday the 25th Mercury leaves Leo and settles into Virgo, where communication and thinking become more practical and thorough, a good balance to Leo’s exuberance.

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