Creativity is a quality that most astrologers associate with Leo, the sign of this New Moon, and with its ruler, the Sun. Absolutely everyone is creative, with a mad desire to connect with a powerful and loving Source, although many people deny that they’re creative at all. But if you ask them to remember a situation in which they lost all track of time because they were doing something they enjoyed, nearly everyone can come up with something. It might have been something as simple as dead-heading roses, organizing a closet, or playing fantasy football. “But that’s not creative!” we might object, imagining that creative people wear berets and wield paintbrushes.
Of course, passionate absorption in anything is the hallmark of creativity. The moment when you’re fully and happily engrossed in some activity, delighting in its nuances and solving its delectable puzzles, you’re engaged in what therapist Phil Stutz calls The Grateful Flow. In his book The Tools, Stutz describes five techniques he uses to help his patients build happier and more fulfilling lives. The Grateful Flow uses gratitude to retrain the mind away from the endless loop of negativity and toward joyful engagement.
For instance, if you’re doing something just for the money, because your boss demands it, or because your readers expect to hear from you twice a month; if you’re preoccupied with how much better you should be doing something, or whether it will be well received by others—you’re not in the Grateful Flow. To motivate yourself with the sting of the whip is the opposite of creativity, which is spontaneous, joyful, and self-directed.
As a writer, I’m no stranger to the whip. I’ve been writing about astrology now for nearly three decades. In some ways it gets easier and easier, but in one very important way it is harder now than it used to be: Now, I feel self-conscious because many more people are reading the things that I write. It’s easy to give into fear that what I write will be less compelling than others things I’ve written, or might offend somebody. Each time I finish a new article, my finger hovers for a moment over the “publish” button; I’m a little bit anxious about what will happen next.
When we fall into the ego trap, playing out Leo’s self-aggrandizing shadow side, we’re especially vulnerable to creative blocks. “The moment you claim credit for your success, you also have to take the blame for any future failure,” Stutz points out. His antidote to creative anxiety is to connect to the Source by thanking it for what you already have. Literally, any time you notice your mind visiting familiar neighborhoods of negativity, reroute it with thoughts about the things, people, and circumstances for which you’re grateful. Gratitude opens the heart to the world around you in the same way being in love makes the world seem like a kinder and more benevolent place. You’re not only happy, but inspired—available to receive whatever ideas and inspirations come your way.
The technique sounds simple, but changing attitudes always takes time, effort, and discipline. Luckily for those of us who wish to practice the Grateful Flow, the chart for this New Moon finds the Sun and Moon in a high-energy square with Uranus. Wait— luckily? Astrologically, the square aspect is a bit like the slap that revives a movie character who has fainted away from “the vapors.” It’s a wake-up call – particularly with Uranus, the God of chaos, involved. Surely this New Moon chart has all the earmarks of a phone that rings all night with calls from telemarketers!
But square aspects and Uranus are not inherently negative. Squares give us the motivation to acquire the skills we need to do things well, and Uranus is electric and inspiring. With artistic Venus and energetic Mars also in the sign of the lion, get ready for an explosion of creative energy and inspiration at this New Moon.
Leo is the sign that symbolizes our connection with the Source, whether you imagine it as God or physics or something else entirely. For our purposes, you may simply imagine it as a huge battery that generates more than enough energy and inspiration for everyone. In our Leo/Solar selves, we develop creative ways to connect to that loving, powerful source.
At the Leo New Moon Moon, the source is close enough to touch. And with the Sun and Moon square Uranus, it’s time to dazzle the world with a spectacular, creative leap forward.
Begin by practicing the Grateful Flow. When negative habits of mind threaten to close you down, comfort yourself with a mantra of gratitude for the vibrant lemon, fresh off the tree; the friend who always makes you laugh; the parents who cared enough to make you do your homework. This simple tool is like a USB connection to a limitless source of creativity and joy, and it’s all yours. All you have to do is show up, do the work, and let the gratitude flow.