17 Aug Soliloquy ~ New Moon in Leo- August 18th, 2020
On August 18th, 2020 there will be a New Moon in the sign of Leo. When the Moon conjoins the Sun in its sign of rulership, a potent seed of light is planted, offering you a path of illumination in these dark times.
The drama of this Leo season comes from the dissonance between the devastation of the social order set against the backdrop of a glorious summer. The natural wonders of summer, all the exploding color and fragrance, have been suffocated by the fallout of the pandemic. There remains such splendor in the grass, but a pall of depression haunts the atmosphere.
“I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory.”
No matter how dark the shadows may be, the Sun is powerful in Leo, imbued with all the solar virtues of vitality and generosity. The purest essence of the Sun’s power is the knowledge of self. And for divine light to know its self, to know its own immanence, it must experience darkness and decay. Thus, the black mood of 2020 serves a great purpose in the quest to know thyself.
“Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear;
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.”
In the northern hemisphere, the Sun in Leo is on its path of descent. The daylight hours flush as they yield more and more of their radiance to the night. The blazing heat of the August Sun has a pang of urgency in it. There is no time to waste being half-awake, half-alive, or half-sure.
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”
In the time you have left, you must fearlessly pursue life. What must you taste before the shadow of death falls? What were you born to learn? It is the answers to these questions that begin to sparkle at this New Moon in Leo.
The linguistic and intellectual influence of Mercury makes a conjunction to this New Moon, setting your mind and heart on fire! Alone with your thoughts, the stream of consciousness will flow through you uninhibited by other people’s opinions. Purified by the Sun’s rays, Mercury in Leo will burn through the many mind-forged manacles that have been obscuring the light of your true self.
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue!
In 2020, the heavens are on fire with divine love and demonic wrath. Since the Full Moon in Virgo back in March, the collective mind has been oxygen deprived and tied in knots by the many conflicting mandates and orders. Pushed and pulled to such a belligerent degree, many minds have cracked. But this Mercurial New Moon will revive the power and the resonance of your inner voice so that you can remain true to yourself no matter how the rest of this year unfolds.
It is hard to think in a climate of fear. It is so much easier to listen and repeat, following the groove of consensus reality. But with Mercury on fire at this New Moon, the calling to think for yourself and question authority will burn within. Your courage will rise as your process of questioning will no longer tolerate the abuse of your good-will, the weaponized social control, or the prophecies of doom.
The flames of temper will be fanned by the trine between the New Moon and Mars in Aries. But the upsurge of aggression will be restrained by a grinding square to Saturn Rx in Capricorn. This brings a challenging obstacle in all wars being waged, both personal and collective. The square between Mars and Saturn represents a fatalistic force, enslaving willpower in a seemingly endless struggle.
But what you discover about yourself at this New Moon in Leo offers freedom. When you have your own plan, you do not have to become a part of someone else’s. To thine own self be true.
Leonine energy is fearless because it trains in the fiercest battles: those that are fought within upon the boundary of selfhood. In search of understanding, there is no greater evocation of the drama of this year than Shakespeare’s Hamlet: the story of a prince whose mind is besieged by the struggle to remain true to his own heart during a tragic and fatalistic time. Hamlet has become an iconic figure in the collective imagination. He is the definition of the melancholy state of mind, his shadow silhouetted against the glittering corruption of a world he can no longer believe in.
The play begins with collapse of Hamlet’s kingdom after the murder of his father, the king of Denmark. Haunted by his father’s ghost, Hamlet learns that it was his uncle Claudius and his own mother who committed this crime. In a more conventional story, Hamlet would have focused all his energy upon avenging his father’s murder.
But in Shakespeare’s version, the fates align for Hamlet to take revenge. Instead of acting swiftly, Hamlet begins a long meandering journey of self-reflection.
Hamlet’s iconic melancholy suits the mood of 2020. As his moral and spiritual universe disintegrates, he becomes increasingly introverted and solitary. Paralyzed by inner conflict, he mourns the loss of his faith in human goodness.
The real challenge of 2020 is the same one that Hamlet faces. In the midst of great turmoil and aloneness, you are being called to choose the path of introspection. Rather than being forced into action by the hand of fate, you have the opportunity to see beyond this time and place.
“I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”
Hamlet can overhear the creative power of his own consciousness, leading him to understand how his own mind creates heaven or hell through his perceptions. Lost in a labyrinth of self-reflection, his process of truth seeking emerges in his soliloquies.
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.
To die: to sleep;
This most famous soliloquy from Act III is often interpreted as Hamlet’s struggle on the brink of suicide. And though he stands at the edge of the abyss, he does not say “to live or not to live.”
To be, or not to be.
To be is to speak and act upon your own heart and conscience. To be is to struggle against evil, breaking through the fear of death to discover the golden light of your true self.
Not to be is to sleep, to submit to fate without question.
The character of Hamlet has resonated throughout the centuries because he reflects the full breadth and scope of the human spirit, not demonstrated by his flawless virtues or his victory over adversity. Instead, Hamlet’s heroism lies in his philosophical struggle to know himself fully through the violent collisions between reality and illusion, sanity and madness; fate and free-will.
Existential aloneness takes you to the edge of the abyss where the specter of death threatens to drain all meaning. But in these darkest moments, a soliloquy is born upon the sea of boundless imagination and the light of your true self re-emerges from beneath the deep.
All the world is a stage. And you may be one of its players. But your true self knows the illusory nature of the earthly drama into which you have been cast. More than anything, the true self refuses to be bound by the fear of death.
“Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.”
Shakespeare’s Hamlet contains a gnostic message, delivered through its deliberate sabotage of the conventions of revenge tragedy. Hamlet knows that his society expects him to drink the hot blood of revenge. But instead of giving in to those expectations, he realizes himself to be hopelessly miscast in the story, revealing a streak of absurdity glinting from behind his suffering.
In the end, circumstances force his hand and Hamlet does kill his uncle. But he never committed to the role in his heart. In this sordid tale of revenge, he never grasped the climax of self-aggrandizing heroism. To thine own self be true meant that he maintained his knowledge of a deeper reality, one that knew revenge to be futile and the kingdom of Denmark to be an illusory prison. As he says:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
The spirit of Mercury influencing this New Moon in Leo relates so well to the moody and tragic qualities of Hamlet, whose words expand beyond the reaches of consciousness into a timeless meditation upon the human condition and the illusory nature of reality. Shakespeare’s Hamlet serves as a tonic in times of great struggle such as these, reminding you that the tangle of contradictory thoughts and emotions are an opportunity for a breakdown and breakthrough.
Like Hamlet, you may discover that the tormenting drama and conflict you are facing is not as real as it seemed. When this year is over, you may never see the world the same way again. But you’ll know the light of your true self more deeply than ever.