While the Sun transits through Leo we have the opportunity to ponder the question ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What am I?’ Perhaps for a person born with the Sun or Ascendant in Leo the answer to this question goes without saying – ‘I am’ and that’s all that needs to be said.
The Keynote for Leo is ‘I am That and That am I’. The challenge for Leo the king is to rule not only others, but himself so that the selfish ‘I am’ becomes the Self-seeking ‘I am That’ and then the selfless, ‘That am I’. Having found the true Self, the little self can truly roar in glorification of the one he knows himself to truly be.
This final identification is of the self with the All. It is contained in the phrase: ‘Not my will but thine be done.’
Leo is a fire sign and according to esoteric tradition, the disciple must tread the burning ground to reach the door of initiation. This is the ground we each tread often through pain and suffering, to slough off the dross of our lower self and so reveal the glorious light, love and spiritual power hidden within.
It is said that those with Leo strongly burning in their heart will tread this burning ground with will and self-effacement, undeterred by pain.
Sons of Burning Desire
The Sun rules Leo on all three levels – personality, soul and spirit. The purpose for our solar system is the unfoldment of consciousness. That demonstrates in humanity as the strictly human being with self-consciousness as the goal, and then later soul awareness becomes our goal and eventually, the spiritual life of the Hierarchy.
The Ageless Wisdom tells us that in the previous system we were known as the Sons of Necessity. Then we learnt to control matter, something we take for granted in this system. Now we are called the Sons of Burning Desire because we are here to learn to control desire into true love.
While the Sun transits Leo we have an opportunity to learn more about love as a soul connection because Leo enables an alignment with the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, the heart of the Sun, and Sirius.
This Sirian energy uses the planet Neptune as a lens to focus love into human hearts. This is the energy of the soul seeking to show its personality that no man is an island. It is the cry for liberty, equality and fraternity and for the highest good of the greatest number that we see happening in many parts of the world – the search for a better life – not just for the few but for the many. It is the seeking of the flower as it turns to follow the warmth of the Sun as it journeys across the sky, and it is the intensification of heat within the atom as its electrons vibrate ever faster in response to that same heat.
Esoteric astrology tells us that August is ruled by Leo. This is the month of the Dog-star, or of Sirius. In the northern hemisphere this is the hottest time of the year – the dog days – when the heat of summer does its work of transmutation. In mythology this Dog-star is also known as one of the watchmen of the Heavens. It sits, fixed in one place at the bridge of the Milky Way, keeping guard over the abyss into incarnation. It is a symbol of power, will and steadfastness of purpose, exemplifying the initiate who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness.1
Heat is the vital ingredient to any movement. Through the action of fire devas on the water devas, evaporation, condensation, and eventual precipitation occur. Heat boils water. We see it daily – a kettle boils and condenses water into steam, vapour rises from the hot pavement after an afternoon shower. In humans it is the heat of the fiery love that leads us on through numerous obstacles, to the door of initiation. Whether human or deva of an atomic life, we are all seeking to be better – to transform – upwards in the hierarchy of life. The final stage for we humans is to know, love and live, the Will of God; for the drop of water it is to become the spark in a higher vibrational group. 2
Leo is cosmically ruled by Sirius and Alice Bailey says that Sirius is the home of the great White Lodge to which we will eventually be admitted if we submit to the necessary trials and testing. None of us can be admitted to any initiation unless we are capable of love to some degree. Leo guides us through the many stages of love that lead us into and then out of matter. Eventually love cannot be bound within the limits of the form and it must escape. Then Leo channels the energy of Uranus which is focussing the will of God. It is this energy which is stimulating us collectively onto a higher platform of consciousness. We will know the full blast of this Uranian energy when we know ourselves in fact and not just theory, to be one human family – when we act as conscious custodians of our planet, and then organise ourselves and our fellow beings in the three natural kingdoms, within this new paradigm
The Lion and the Unicorn
For now we struggle with the duality of spirit and matter; the sun and moon; the unicorn and the lion. Alice Bailey says that the mystery of the Lion and the Unicorn is immortalised in that children’s song about the lion and the unicorn going up to town. The ‘going up’ in the song may be about the secret of initiation when we stand at the portal of admittance into the Hierarchy as well as the “mystic raising” of which Masonry holds the key. ‘This deals with the emergence of the consciousness of the initiate (white and one-pointed) and the defeat of the king of beasts (the personality) leading to the triumph of group and world consciousness, of selflessness and illumination over self-consciousness and selfishness. In the true rendition of this ancient myth the king of beasts is blinded and killed by the piercing of his eye and heart by the long horn of the unicorn.’3
Another writer suggests it symbolises the lion’s urge in us all to impose our ideas onto others and the world, while the unicorn is the drive to bring harmony through insight and understanding. We need both approaches – masculine and feminine; sun and moon; soul and personality – to work together to actually create or manifest successfully in the physical world. Then we have the union of opposites or the divine hermaphrodite. 4
The lion may be Leo and the unicorn its polar opposite sign of Aquarius. When the two poles unite between any two opposite signs, it is the moment when spirit and matter meet in the act of creation. Then the soul fills the personality with light and love. Eventually, after a time, the tension builds so that the personality can no longer contain this energy and something is born. We have a eureka moment and the light becomes brighter. We can see a solution. We step into a higher and greater sphere of awareness.
It’s like a mini initiation and according to the ageless wisdom it’s the accumulation of many such tiny and daily initiations into more light and love that paves the way to the final summit on the mountain top where we meet Capricorn.
In the various disruptions around the world – the protests in Turkey or Japan and the great swathes of the dispossessed wandering the earth – we can see the collective emergence of humanity out of the mass consciousness in Cancer into the individual consciousness in Leo. The demand goes out: ‘What about me?’
In other parts of the world groups are tiring of their self-sufficient self-consciousness – they are bored with the lower ‘me’. Eventually Aquarius can be seen in those who are changing their focus away from “one who stands alone”, to the group, and an equally important shift away from selfish interests to group requirements. It’s a revisiting the mass consciousness on a higher turn of the spiral. Now groups of like-minded, strongly individualised people are forming to do group world service. From this is emerging a super-group; representing the ajna and heart centres in the planetary body.
According to Bailey, Leo can be summed up in the word “sensitivity’. From sensitivity to oneself, to sensitivity to the spirit of God, the divine plan and purpose. Through Leo we have contacted the universal mind because we are so exquisitely sensitive to the subtle world.
In the perfected Leo, the loving self-conscious soul directs its power of divine love into the world, preserving always inner control via the will of Uranus. From that high place the disciple weaves the dualities through creative energy to add his own unique contribution to making the world a better place for all. Then the ideal is made objective through the love of Neptune. Whether a new form of government, better solutions to the world’s energy problems, poverty or wealth distribution, we can each attune ourselves to this higher Leo force. In our meditation we are focussing the higher vibration and directing it intelligently in service of the Plan. Together we manifest the glory of God through humanity, for the benefit of all planetary lives.
Alice Bailey, ‘Esoteric Astrology’, p. 285-311
2. Alice Bailey, ‘Cosmic Fire’, p. 903
3. Alice Bailey, ‘Esoteric Astrology’, p. 153
‘Ice and Fire’ Nicholas Roerich