Madonna, Mussolini, Mick Jagger: With larger-than-life representatives like this, it’s no wonder Leo has a reputation for being more than a little bit in love with itself. Born with the Sun in Leo, I’m naturally quick to jump to my team’s defense (“Hey, we’re not all scenery-chewing, spotlight-hogging narcissists!”). Indeed, at its best Leo demonstrates that each of us is special, and that it’s okay to celebrate and share what is unique about us.
But it’s true that each zodiacal archetype has its shadow side, and the sign that sits opposite it in the zodiac throws a searchlight into this shadow. At the Full Moon, the Sun’s sign meets itself in the mirror, for better or worse. And as we approach this Full Moon in Aquarius, Leo’s celestial opposite, look for Leo’s darker characteristics to begin popping up all over the place.
Consider this story from a friend who serves on the board of directors of a local organization (groups are ruled by Leo’s opposite sign, Aquarius). A handful of members are making extraordinary demands on the time and attention of the organization. Ironically, these self-important individuals end up receiving less attention than they otherwise would have. When confronted with such brazen self-servitude – the Leo archetype run amok! – most people respond pretty much as children might deal with such behavior on the playground: by demanding, “Who do you think you are?” and storming off, taking their toys with them.
“Who do you think you are?” The implication is that you think you’re someone special – and not everyone agrees. It’s a phrase Leos get used to hearing from an early age (especially if there are Aquarians among your family and friends!). Often this unfair charge is leveled by a resentful soul who, feeling overlooked by the world, begrudges Leo her unabashed pursuit of the spotlight. Other times, though, it’s a fair question indeed. It may be the only way to effectively reign in a “Leo” who has become drunk with hubris, especially when her self-infatuation threatens the needs of the group.
It falls to Leo’s opposite sign, Aquarius, to maintain the equality that is so vital to an organization, a country, or even a family. If one person consumes more than his or her share of resources, the whole group is endangered. Each year, the Aquarius Full Moon provides a two-week period for considering this inherent tension between “me” and “us.” Which will win: individualist Leo, or collectivist Aquarius?
Hopefully, neither. The point of the Full Moon exercise is not surrender, but self-examination. There is a good reason for Leo energy in our birth charts, and in the world. Where would we be without the joyful spirit of Leo, and without the individual bonds it represents – the ferocious attachment to one’s lover, mate, or child? These celebrations of individual need and connection are the cornerstones upon which societies are built. The Full Moon asks only that you look at your shadow self from across the horoscopic wheel and listen to the other side of the story. Is your Leo desire for self-expression beginning to veer into domination and tyranny? Are you demanding more than your fair share of attention? Are you too concerned about yourself, your family, your country, at the expense of other people, families, and countries? Look in the mirror at this Full Moon and humbly request a reality check from your Aquarian side.
Who do you think you are? During this Full Moon season, we should do all we can to listen to our inner Aquarian — who just might help us find an answer.
© April Elliott Kent