The Leo New Moon and Partial Solar Eclipse falls on Saturday, August 11th at 2:57am PDT and 5:57am EDT at 18°41’ Leo. With Mercury retrograde just a few degrees away at 14°41’ Leo, the sentiment might be just a tad bit quieter than Leo is used to, perhaps an unfolding that has been taking place deep within us, but whose repercussions are roaring and powerful. New Moons tend to be softer times of reflection and opening to the mystery, yet with the eclipse bringing new information to light, there may be some sparklers that have been brewing beneath the surface and are ready to go off! Mercury retrograde almost directly at the same position of the Sun and the Moon reminds us to stay open to the inner conversation that’s taking place, receiving the insights that come from being able to shift our perception with regard to how we’re expressing ourselves in the world, bringing our creativity to life, and essentially, being ourselves.
This New Moon is a time of opening up to the force of aliveness in all things, and to do so in a way that allows this creative energy to flow fully through us. In Tantra the word for this is Shakti, or the animating force of life. It is Shakti that gives rise to all things, granting them life and movement, allowing them to be the unique expressions that they are. The wind in the trees is propelled by Shakti; the currents moving a river, Shakti; the breath that moves within us all, Shakti. Allowing this force to express itself through us, as us, is a gift that Leo delights in; she loves letting this flow of animation move through her, sharing her gifts with the world, receiving instant feedback from those with whom she shares, her soul nourished and fed. For Leo, this energetic exchange is an opportunity to feel enlivened, filled with vital energy and a soaring spirit, and nothing gives her more joy. Now is the time for allowing a truly authentic creative expression to come to the surface, celebrating being alive and all it entails. And sharing with those souls who are open to this spirit that naturally expresses itself spreads the love further, allowing the fire of Leo’s energy to shine brightly from within.
This eclipse is an invitation to open to the wisdom of Leo that inherently knows how to lila, or to delight in the grand play of life, bringing the gifts of light-heartedness and playfulness into being. Yoga reminds us that everything we experience, both in the outer world and the inner one, is a part of this grand play. The more we learn to get out of our own ways, letting the bigger energy move through us, joy and even bliss are natural byproducts. This isn’t to say that we’ll walk around blissed out as though we’ve just sung kirtan for hours, but that when we plug into this bigger energy (the force, Shakti, the divine, our true nature, etc.), we have access to infinite joy and limitless expression. Yes, we’ll still need to sleep, eat food, and take care of the things that go along with being human, but rather than taking ourselves so seriously, a natural delight will be given the space to arise, a delight that comes from knowing the creative flow of life and the divine presence in all things; a delight that comes from letting this divine presence express itself clearly and joyfully through us.
Carrying the archetype of the child, Leo also reminds us to take care of our own inner children. Recently in a yoga training I’m leading we did some of this inner child “work”. And sometimes it feels that way…like work! Yet it’s only work when the inner child hasn’t received the healing and love s/he so needs in order for all parts of our being to thrive. If there’s still a wounded little being inside, whether s/he’s super young, an adolescent, or in her/his late teens, s/he needs some attention for the deep integration to happen! When given a chance, this inner child lets us know that s/he needs some tender love and care. And when s/he’s given what s/he needs, feeling this love and support from the people we are now, an integration is allowed to happen, and the flow of Life moves through us more readily. As long as there’s disharmony within, the Shakti becomes blocked and dis-ease is created in the body/mind/spirit. Yet with a deep level of integration that comes from exploring and unifying all the parts of ourselves that feel separate or disconnected from life, the life force moves through us in naturally expressive and expansive ways, inviting us to delight in the grand play of life that moves through us magically when we let it.
If there are places inside that need to express themselves more fully in our lives, Leo reminds us to open to them, shining more authentically in all the ways we can and naturally do. The feedback we receive from those around us can inspire the Shakti to move through more even more playfully, expressively, clearly. I remember teaching yoga to a small class of men years ago, and teaching on the principle of “hug in to shine out.” There was a young man named Carl with Down’s Syndrome in class who I remember fondly. When another male student in class asked, in a somewhat peeved manner, what I’m even talking about when I say “shine out,” I had Carl demo a pose. The way he expressed the pose was naturally a “shining out”; his spirit expressed itself beautifully and inspiringly. As he demoed the pose, I said “this is what I mean by shining out”, but I honestly didn’t need to say a word. Carl’s expression of the pose said everything, and everyone in the room got it. His spirit was the perfect example of Leo shining radiantly like the sun on a beautiful day. And now we’ve an opportunity to do the same! If there are parts of you that need more applause from your shining brightly in your own life, there’s no time like the present to open to this part of yourself and your life.
What invites you to open to the play of life, letting go of inhibitions to go with life’s bigger flow? How can you delight in the Shakti that’s expressing itself through you, as you? How does your perception need to shift in order for this to happen? I hope you fully enjoy this creative, expressive, and playful New Moon Eclipse, opening to the force and to your own experience AS the force in all the ways you can. Enjoy!