New Moon in Leo 2020

August 18 10:42 PM EST

In many ways we are stepping into our authority and authenticity during this new moon in the bold and courageous sign of Leo. The sun and moon, united at 26 degrees Leo, are closely conjunct verbal and intelligent Mercury at 28 Leo . Our desire to BE OURSELVES and SPEAK OUT has hardly ever been stronger. Especially since the sun/moon/Mercury triumvirate is closely trine to assertive Mars at 24 degrees Aries. This lends a strong fire energy to this new moon and the upcoming month.

Fire is connected to our willpower, as well as our spiritual strength and stamina. The fire of love, of God, of divinity within us longs to shine its light. Some of us may be more adept at allowing that than others. Sometimes our disposition makes it challenging for us to shine and share our light. At other times, the conditioning we received in our early lives discouraged this. This new moon provides an opportunity for us to break through whatever barriers have been holding us back.

Mars in Aries says “If not now, then when?”. Mars is also exactly conjunct Eris at the time of this new moon. Eris, the “female awakener”, has a mythology that encompasses elements of both Plutonian destruction and Uranian revolution. Eris is connected to disenfranchisement and the raw rage and power that can be awakened in one as they take the necessary steps to assert and re-claim their rightful seat at the table.

Certainly Eris, at 24 degrees of Aries all year long, in tight square to the pivotal Jupiter/Pluto/Saturn conjunction in late Capricorn, has been a major player in the disrupting/awakening/empowering impulse we have seen writ large in 2020. This rare Eris/Mars conjunction at the time of the new moon shows us that this will be a month of continuing civil unrest and re-calibration, because ultimately- at its core- what these movements are reminding us of is that EVERYBODY deserves a seat at the table. We are each important, unique and valuable and whatever structures or systems have sought to suppress that truth, need to be addressed.

Leo, in its highest vibrational sense, boosts this innate sense of our own inner worth and value. THIS innate knowing of our value, is the appropriate guide, for each of us through this disruptive (but necessary and productive) transition- NOT a lower vibrational Leo sense of entitlement, specialness, or arrogance.

Making others wrong actually does not serve to enhance our feelings of worth and belonging. Self-righteousness is a superficial salve that only temporarily relives the pain and pressure of feeling angry or disenfranchised. TRULY speaking and communicating (Mercury) from our hearts (Leo) is always respectful of all, even if we are in disagreement. This is another challenging lesson many of us are learning now, as the increased volume of the public anger and discourse may not be producing the desired effects and improvements. It is important that we agree to course-correct as we go, both personally and collectively.

Which is very much what Venus, soft and sensitive in maternal Cancer at the time of the new moon, is reminding us of. Venus in Cancer knows, that even in the midst of the sound and fury, we must align to our feelings to assess what truly serves and nourishes us and the lives we are re-building. What we come to discover when we pay attention is, quite simply, we feel rotten when we act out of alignment.

So continue to pay close attention to your body, your sensitivities, as you speak and exert yourself this month and see what messages you may be getting about what “feels off” in your own approach or delivery. Venus, at 10 degrees Cancer, is also in opposition to Jupiter at 18 Capricorn. And while Venus is out of exact range of Pluto and Saturn, their influence can still be felt through Jupiter.

This shows another layer of how Venus is being transformed and refined at the moment. Venus has to do with our relationships, in a somewhat collective/communal/or objective sense (Whereas the moon has to do with how we FEEL about our relationships, or experience them). Venus can show how cultural norms around relationships, expectations, what is “fair”, are shifting. This further enhances Eris’ demand to be seen and taken seriously. Shifts in gender dynamics are certainly happening at a macro level at the moment and this month we could have experiences of that in our personal lives as well.

The final planet packing a punch during this new moon is Uranus, stationing retrograde at 10 degrees of Taurus. When a planet stations, that means that it is virtually motionless in the sky, as it is transitioning from direct to retrograde motion or vice versa (*Uranus went retrograde mere days before the new moon on August 15). Uranus is a highly significant planet especially in the context of Leo, because Uranus is the co-ruler of Aquarius, Leo’s opposite sign.

In astrology, opposite signs are most aptly considered a “pair”. They counter-balance one another and are very significant and deeply intertwined with the psychology and symbolism of one another. From a certain perspective, the “antidote” to low vibrational behaviors of one sign can be found in the high vibrational perspectives of their opposite sign.

In the case of the Leo and Aquarius archetypes, we could say that Leo’s sometimes desperate need for attention and approval, which they can mistakenly try to attain by being “superior”, actually creates isolation which leads to suffering and a lack of heart-felt connection that the big-hearted Leo actually most desires. The antidote to this is remembering what Aquarius intrinsically knows which is that we are all equal but unique and valuable parts of the whole, who need do nothing more than be ourselves in order to find our true place and deep heart-level connections and belonging.

This is an important lesson for all of us now, as Aquarian symbology will only become stronger and more meaningful in the upcoming decade as we move into several more years of Saturn in Aquarius beginning in December 2020. In order to thrive in Aquarian community, we MUST be in right relationship with our inner Leo. We must release attachments to seeing ourselves as special or superior, or “right”. And instead choose to proudly embody and express our divine uniqueness and yield to its innate desire to share itself from the heart. From that level of vibration, we can connect deeply to that level of truth and expression in others as well.

This new moon gives us that opportunity. We could even say it is a warm-up act, our own “dry run” at how to “be our best selves” (Leo) in honoring of the community of ALL that we are a part of (Aquarius). And Uranus stationing retrograde at the new moon is drawing our attention to what we may need to shift/tweak/leave behind in order to do that as well as we possibly can moving forward. If we take these lessons to heart, we will be very well poised to be of authentic service to both ourselves and our communities in an empowered way in the months and years to come.

*Art by @sarashakeel