A friend sent me a stunning photograph from her boyfriend’s summertime expedition in the northernmost reaches of the Pacific—floating on a ship amidst a sea of ice floes “as thick as I am tall,” he wrote, for endless summer days that never turn into night that far north.
Viewing it from San Diego, where delayed summer has given way to warm, sticky, exhaustion, I found it a singularly restful image. In North American August, nothing feels quite as good as an air-conditioned room, tastes as delicious as an icy drink, or looks as inviting as a polar landscape.
It’s the season of the Lion, the sweltering, prideful season of those who look good in a bathing suit…and the rest of us. Leo won’t tell you this, and probably won’t admit it if you ask, but we’re an insecure bunch, forever seeking our true selves in the approving eyes of others. That insecurity either comes from, or perhaps motivates our creative drive; it’s probably a bit of both. The need to express yourself and to offer up your thoughts and feelings for the judgment of an audience can make you feel as jumpy as the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof.
Trust me. I’m a Leo who writes for a living.
It helps to have some Aquarius planets in your chart, or Aquarius relatives and friends, or even a summer Full Moon in Aquarius to rescue you from the tiring quest for the spotlight. Aquarius trusts humanity and leads us effortlessly, like a confident dance instructor, into happy communion with others. Traditionally ruled by Saturn, our cool and contained Aquarian selves are blessed with strong interpersonal boundaries that allow us to immerse ourselves in the human experience, comfortable in the knowledge that, should the walls start closing in, we can simply chip off our own floe and drift out to sea.
My birth chart boasts scads of planets in Leo, but also the saving grace of Jupiter in Aquarius. Leo wins, but Aquarius at least gets its say. In recent history, I was happiest and most content when my progressed Moon was in Aquarius, because I wasn’t so self-conscious and needy. I enjoyed being around people, because I was less afraid of them. In keeping with the timeless wisdom of opposites, I found that living more like an Aquarius gives me the freedom to be a fuller, freer, and more creative Leo.
So here are some Aquarius lessons that I’m reflecting upon at this Full Moon. Mind you, I’m not saying with authority that any of what follows is true; it’s just what my Jupiter in Aquarius tells me is true. It’s probably, as much as anything, what I wish to be true.
- What you do is not who you are. And while it’s important to understand how you got here, don’t let yesterday’s actions define you. Look forward!
- No one else gets to tell you who to be. Not your mother, your father, your teachers, your boss, your best friend, or the person who shares your bed.
- Freedom is paramount. Do your very best to design a life that allows you to walk away from manipulation, power struggles, or emotional pain.
- There is no friend like an old friend—and an old friend can be someone you just met. It’s all a question of clicking with someone. With the right person, a few minutes can make you friends; with the wrong person, twenty years wouldn’t be enough.
As the Sun in Leo is joined by Venus at this Full Moon, it’s a particularly rich time to reclaim your true, creative, and loving self. The Full Moon in Aquarius urges you to look over the side of the boat and examine your reflection in the glassy, midsummer polar ice. Are you a restless lion, born free but now pacing in a cage of your own design? Without the Aquarian insistence on freedom, willingness to walk away from what isn’t working, and innate sense of connection with our fellow humans, the creative heart collapses under the weight of insatiable longing for approval, petting, validation.
The season of the Lion urges you to pursue what is in your heart, and the Aquarius Full Moon wants to buy you the freedom to do it. Here is your cue to set everything that is false and confining adrift on an ice floe, banging against other blocks of ice until it eventually disintegrates—floating down deep and forgotten into the unfathomable sea.