Week 4: Beyond The Mask Online Seminar: Leo Rising
Fixed Fire/The Sun (on 2 levels) as Instinctual and Esoteric Ruler
This week we have a major symbolic shift from Moon-Ruled Cancer Rising to Solar Leo. On the mundane or instinctual level, we leave the feminine qualities, feeling and emotion, nurturing, receptivity, imagination, poetic gifts, etc, to consider a strong, masculine, willful Rising Sign.
Even the approach to spirituality changes as we move from the Path of surrender, passive trust, devotion, and blind faith (waiting for intuition to make things clear to us) to the Path of Will, discipline, striving, perseverance in study of spiritual texts and/or practice of techniques. As a previous workshop a participant said, “it’s as if the Moonchild Archetype is about Being, while the Leo/Solar Archetype is about Doing, about actively engaging in Life.”
That’s a good analogy. Physically, the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, but the Sun generates heat and light, without which none of us could exist here on Earth. The ancients had a better understanding of this essential fact, living as they did before electricity, furnaces, oil and coal refineries etc. In our times, power outages lasting 8-10 days temporarily make us aware of our dependence on the Sun, but unlike the ancients, we can purchase generators.
In astrology, what do we really mean by the two levels in which the Sun is said to rule Leo? While I was in Pondicherry, India a North American (possibly a double Pisces) asked someone who’d lived 20 years at the Aurobindo Ashram about the Ego, “it’s a Bad Thing, right? We need to get rid of the Ego in order to find God?”
“No, no, no,” said the Sage, “that’s a common error. In Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, the Ego is simply an instrument of the Divine. The more you develop your individual personality and your talents, the better. If you do that, when you reach Self-Realization you’ll have a lot more to offer the world. Of course, we must apply our will to conquer our lower nature, we cannot give in to every distracting desire.”
Aurobindo Ghose had Sun /Jupiter conjunct on his Leo Ascendant, who better to understand and explain this than he? (As to “serving the world,” he also had Venus- in- Virgo in his First House.)
For the Leo persona, please read the quotations, p.95, on Zelda Fitzgerald, 98-99, The Fixed Mode, The Fire Element, Solar and Lunar Creativity, and The Mundane Ruler.”
Question 1) Match the following Leo Rising people with the following statements. Michael Moore, Maya Angelou, Henri Matisse. Edouard Manet Zelda Fitgerald. Sting. Maud Gonne.
a) An attorney, I became interested in painting while recovering from appendicitis, then decided to pursue a career in art. I overcame the objections of my family and teachers who insisted I had no talent. I had Sun in Capricorn, with Exalted Mars, and 3 other planets in my 5th House.
b) I have Sun/Saturn in Libra in the versatile 3rd House, enjoy several types of music. I’m a singer, guitarist, actor and former teacher (Mercury in Virgo.)
c) A double Leo with Sun in the 12th, I danced professionally, painted, wrote short fiction and enjoyed entertaining famous American ex-pats in Paris.
d) A Sagittarius Sun Sign orator, I was surprised at W. B. Yeats including me in his poem, “Beautiful, Lofty Things,” then furious when he described me as a tired, fading beauty outshone by her sister! (“The Arrow.”) Men!
e) An artist with Sun in Air in the 6th House, I needed to paint in order to feel well.
f) I have Sun/Jupiter in Aries on my 9th House cusp, trine the Rising Sign; Neptune is on my Ascendant. Actress and prize winning author, I speak 6 languages, have lived abroad and toured around the world.
g) A modern filmmaker, I take on controversial topics and defend my position on TV talk shows. Forty percent of my planets, including Sun, Moon, and Exalted Mars are in Earth. In spite of my public persona. I consider myself an introvert
Question 2: The three Leo Rising women (above examples) disliked being thought of as “muses” to great men. Why do you think this seems to bother Leo Rising women more than women with other Rising Signs? In past centuries, women were seen as reflections of their husband’s personalities, whose duty it was to support his career. Would this have been easy for them to fulfill society’s expectations for women?
Question 3 How does the Fixed Mode aid Leo Rising in consciously creating the persona? From what you’ve read of the examples, does success come more easily for Leo Rising than Cancer Rising? Would Sun-in-Fire help bring out Leo Rising’s charisma? In youth, might the Mask of Leo Rising seem more macho than that other men's masks?
Advanced Question for Astrologers:
Question 4: please read pp. 113-114: “Leo Rising in Youth.” Aquarius is the Sign on the 7th House Cusp for Leo Rising (Marriage House.) A Fixed Sign, it appears steady, yet Aquarius is Uranus-ruled. In youth it sometimes features excitement over stability. If you know people with Leo Rising, would you say that marriage flows easily for them, or is challenging for the Leo persona?
Question 5: The Esoteric Journey. Please read, “The Sun as Higher Self,” pp. 105-113; 114-115 “The Leo Mask Over 50.” (Life’s Best Years?)
Edgar Cayce had the Sun in a Water Sign and a psychic House. an independent young man, he chose photography instead of his father’s profession, but what was his greatest personal challenge?
Question 6: Next, please read the German story, “The Ruined Dancing Shoes.”
After you finish, consider the older couple, the parents of the princess. What might they do with their freedom after she “wakes up?” (Their responsibility to her, and the Kingdom is over.)
Both CG Jung and the Indian Ideal of the 4 ashramas (stages of life) view life after 50 as different. The householder stage ends, the Ego’s ambition, competitiveness, and desires wane, while many people experience increased interest in spirituality.
The Indian (Golden Age) ideal: by 50, a couple’s children would be self-sufficient, so the husband and wife could retire to the forest for a number of years, living simply (at survival level), then, eventually, they’d become hermits. From 50 onwards, the focus is on Soul, with minimum attention to the body’s needs. As long as older people are healthy, these seem to be life’s most enjoyable years. Responsibilities dwindle. Few Westerners would embrace the forest or a hermit’s mountain cave! But what does life offer us, after 50 in the 21st Century?
Question: 7 Please read the progressed cycle and think about what it means for Leo Rising. Which of the progressions seems easier? If you have Leo Rising, would you like to share anything with us about the progressed cycle?