Animals fall in love just as deeply as we do, says Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn, an animal rescue organization in Santa Clarita, CA. Many loving couples have gotten together there over the years, she notes in a recent newsletter, including a goat and a turkey who cuddle for hours, and two sheep who’ve been a hot item for years. “The urge to socialize, fall in love, and become a family is universal,” she affirms.
The Gentle Barn’s latest royal couple is Thor and Hiroka (a.k.a. Hero). Both are older horses with health issues who are finally receiving the care they need (including acupuncture and massage therapy) thanks to donations from the public. When Thor arrived not long ago, explained Laks, the team put him in the stall next to Hiroka. “We knew they would be kind to one another because they are both very submissive and humble,” she added, “but we were delighted when they fell in love.” Thor and Hero go outside to the pasture together, often stand face-to-face in quiet conversation, and groom one another. Laks recalled that when Hero was taken to the hospital recently for a procedure, Thor raced around in circles and called out loudly until she returned.
“The amazing thing,” adds Laks, “is that during her 12 years with us, Hero has had six mates – and she loved each one with her entire heart. When one passed away Hero would take her time to grieve and then fall in love with another. Thor is her seventh partner!”
Would that all humans could be so open and loving. The upcoming Leo Full Moon (Feb. 16, 8:57 a.m. PST), however, can help. Any Leo lunation has the capacity to open hearts, but this one is especially potent since it falls so close to Valentine’s Day – and an exact conjunction of Venus and Mars. These cosmic lovers have been flirting with each other since late Jan. in Capricorn, a sign associated with age and maturity that still likes to get a little frisky from time to time Sparks will no doubt be flying at the Gentle Barn – and elsewhere!
This high-energy Full Moon creates a karmic grand cross by squaring its own nodes, so it could coincide with fated lovers uniting or other twists of fate with matters of the heart. The Moon at 28 Leo will turn void of course just after it’s full, which suggests a final hurrah or letting-go of a burden we’ve been carrying. This is a more upbeat lunation than the Jan. 31 New Moon conjunct Saturn. Still, if we open our hearts we’re going to feel whatever is there, whether it’s love, grief or bitterness. Wednesday’s Full Moon encourages us to do it anyway, to shed any tears and release the pain as we fan the flames of love. Leo energy is quite sunny, charming and loves to have fun. So whether or not you’re with a significant other, plan something special around this Full Moon. And expect things that have been pending for some time to finally get catalyzed, thanks to the added blessing of Jupiter sextile Uranus the next day.
No matter where you’re at, let yourself be inspired by Hero, who embarked on her seventh great love with an open heart. The takeaway for us at this time of year, says Ellie Laks, is this: “If you have a partner, love and appreciate them. And if you don’t, open yourself up to finding love when you least expect it.”