The Archetypes of the Zodiac allow a symbolic vocabulary. The interpretation of these symbols describes a Soul.
For clarity, whenever I write Leo I mean to include the Sun, Leo planets and the 5th house. Leo is a fixed fire sign. Fixed signs are about intensity of purpose, mastery, getting it done. There is an unstoppable element in them, they are here to produce results. The fire signs are about enthusiasm, about fast out of the gate and bursts of energy and teaches us to take charge of your life, you are here to create your life.
The synthesis of these encapsulates Leo. It is the astrological symbol of lasting creativity.
Creativity is a word that has a different meaning for every one of us. On a basic level, I would say creativity connects us to who we really are. The creating of something that is supremely you, that you go to bed in love with and wake up in love with, gets you out of bed at 5 am to start and keeps you up until 3 am to finish, is the experience of this creative energy. Let’s carry this example a bit further. Let’s say you are writing a fiction novel. Through bringing out the characters in the novel you become caught up in the drama of the lives of the characters. This is a birthing, a creative offspring. This writer requires self-confidence, self-focus, interest in the people being created, flare for the immediacy of the drama and an intense love that sustains all the other traits. If there is not love of the creation and the creative process itself, because Leo is very much about not only the creation but the process itself, there will not be the will needed to bring the story to completion. The path to creativity is very difficult and will not be sustained without love.
If we look closer at the above paragraph we can find some “keywords” that will give us a snapshot of this Leo energy. This will help us to encapsulate this and allow quick recall when we look at these symbols in a complex astrological chart.
A connection to who we are and why we are here
What gets us out of bed in the morning
Self-confidence, extreme will
Drama, performance and performer
Creations, children, procreation, carrying on the lineage
Father and the principle of the masculine
The heart as an organ.
With this introduction to Leo, we can look at how these keywords are used to interpret an astrological chart.
Take Sun in the 5th house in Leo. This archetype is a triple signature: Sun and Leo and 5th house! This individual would be all these characteristics in pure form, a very strongly Leo personality. The entire life’s purpose must be, to be true to their karmic inheritance, about these issues; creativity, carrying on the lineage, father, the expression of love of life. There may be an emphasis on the actual heart throughout the life as well. Here are two charts that illustrate this concept, both have Sun in the sign of Leo and in the 5th house.
Louise Bogan is a woman who quickly became known as a leader in the poetry circles of her day. She held the position of editor of poetry for The New Yorker for nearly 40 years. She was known for her outspoken manner, her relentless pursuit of her own identity. She refused to be limited in her creative voice based upon the role women were assigned within the society of her birth. To give a sense of her fight with the standard female role of her time she once stated that in her own poetry the women expressed a “locus of intemperate, dangerous and antisocial desires”. This illustrates an important point regarding this energy strongly featured in a women’s chart: if she is not able to express it positively (which is likely coming from centuries of patriarchal dominance and submission of women) it will rage, it will not be contained. Negative expression will certainly be chosen over no expression and anything she views as keeping her from this creativity is destroyed. In the age of the patriarchal belief that women’s creativity is to bear and rear children, these women can view their own femininity as a detriment to their creativity because they are not allowed to be creative on their own terms and may view the role of mother and childbearing as imprisonment. An important teaching point to be made is that there can be positive and negative expressions of any archetype in astrology and likely both expressions simultaneously. The process of growth in the present lifetime is to transform negative expression into positive expression as judged not by the society but by an absolute standard of right and wrong and is symbolized by the archetype of Capricorn, 10th House and Saturn. Another important point is that these archetypes function on many levels and represent a continuation of this transformation of energy from previous lifetimes.
Bindi Irwin is a young woman who is known for continuing her father’s job as explorer and animal conservationist. She stepped into this role after her father, Steven Irwin, was killed during a “shoot” for one of his adventure shows when a stingray punctured his heart. This is another expression of the Leo energy; her entire purpose became the continuation of the life started by her father. She is on a mission to complete his dream. Very poignant and symbolic that her father died of a wound to the heart! Interestingly, Louise Bogan died of a heart attack, another illustration of this archetypal energy.