July Astromusings – Happy Birthday Leos, Eclipse Cycle, Retrograde Mercury

Illustrated by Sue Robertson

Proud Leo claims
the centre stage of life
Sun ruled sun blessed
Strong ardent loyal
Whose noble heart emits
the vital flame
of Love

(c) Anne Robertson 1987

Esoteric Keyword Phrases for Leo
The Personality proclaims its keyword: I rule because I am
The Soul proclaims its keyword: I am that and that am I.

Happy birthday to all the Leos who celebrate their birthdays between July 23 and August 22. Leo rules the fifth house, which represents, creativity, children and romance. It is one of the three fire signs along with Aries and Sagittarius. It is one of the three fixed signs – the others being Aquarius and Scorpio. The ruler of Leo is the Sun and marks the hottest astrological month in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the heat of Leo’s Sun which ripens the fruit produced during the period of Cancer. Like the sign Leo the heat is constant and intense. There are biblical references to Leo. In the Old Testament the tribe of Judah is ruled by Leo. There are many examples of the cat deity in the Egyptian pantheon. Egyptian King Necepsos claimed that at the Creation of the world, the Sun rose in Leo near the star of Denebola. According to Alan Oken in his book, ‘Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology’, Pliny, the Roman philosopher relates that the Egyptians worshipped this constellation because the Nile rose when the Sun entered the stars.

Hathor, the daughter of the Sun god Ra, was a dual aspected goddess. As well as being the gentle celestial cow, she had a dark side as Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess, who wreaked havoc and bloodshed on those who dared to dissent against her father’s rule. The two lion deities, ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’, are depicted as guarding the gate to the shadow world. The lion is the emblem of spiritual power and wisdom. It is a sacred symbol of Buddhism. Buddha is said to have had a pet lion which was endowed with miraculous powers, and when the Great Teacher’s death was upon him, he chose to lay down ‘on his right side after the manner of a lion.’ The imperial lion was a symbol of the power of Rome. The feeding of the Christians to the lions symbolised the might of Rome overcoming and devouring any enemy of the state. Richard the Lion Hearted of England was renowned for his ambition to recapture the holy land from the Muslims (by slaying as many of them as possible) under the newly baptised banner of the ‘Lion of Christ.’

The Constellation of Leo

Unlike the faint constellation of Cancer, Leo is a very bright and easily identifiable constellation, in keeping with Leo’s regal demeanour. It lies between Cancer in the West and Virgo in the East and is best seen, in the Northern Hemisphere, in the late winter and early spring. Leo’s body is rectangular which culminates in a triangle of the Lion’s hindquarters. He is often depicted in a crouching position, ready to pounce. His tail is extremely long and curved, the tip of which is the brightest star in the hind triangle, Denebola.The distinguishing feature of the lion is his mane, which resembles a huge inverted question mark or a giant sickle. The point of the question mark is the exceptionally bright star, Regulus, the heart of the lion. Regulus, meaning the little King, the Ruler or the Lawgiver, is one of the four royal stars. The constellation Leo has in it ninety-five stars, two of them of the first magnitude. Its Egyptian name meant ‘a pouring out’, the Nile giving its full irrigation at that season. There are three constellations associated with Leo – Hydra, the serpent, Crater, the cup, and Corvus, the raven. In the zodiac of Denderah, Leo and the three attendant constellations are pictured as forming one great sign, for the lion is seen as treading on the serpent. Corvus, the raven, is perched on the lion’s shoulder, while below is a plumed female figure, holding out two cups, the cup of experience and of suffering.

The Leo Hall of Fame
Leos are attracted to positions of power like a moth to a flame. Leo has its share of dictators such as Napoleon, Benito Mussolini, Fidel Castro and Simon Bolivar.

Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother

Leo is well represented in the British royal family – the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and the Princess Royal, Princess Anne were all born under the sign of Leo. Other Leos who hold or have held positions of power include Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzeneggar,  former Prime Minister John Howard, and the former treasurer, Peter Costello.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis with her love of fashion, luxury and power is the epitome of Leo.

Leos, being ruled by the fifth house of creativity, are attracted to the screen and stage, including Robert Mitcham, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Antonio Banderas,

Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman

JonathonRhys-Myers, Julian McMahon, Eric Bana, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez,

World Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Enchanted" - Arrivals

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren, Michelle Williams, Audrey Tatou, Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Kim Cattrall, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, Sandra Bullock, Patrick Swayze, Roman Polanski and Mick Jagger.

Movie moguls are also well represented in the sign of Leo such as Cecil B. De Mille, Dino De Laurentis, Jack L. Warner, Alfred Hitchcock, and Samuel Goldwyn with the roaring MGM lion. Both T.E. Lawrence, ‘the uncrowned King of Arabia’, and Peter O’Toole who portrayed him are Leos.

Writers of note include Percy Bysshe Shelley and Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Bronte, and JK Rowling at Harry Potter premiereJK Rowling who is currently enjoying the limelight with the premiere of her latest Harry Potter play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Mme Helena Blavatsky and Dorothy Parker. Bindi Irwin the extroverted

Mme Blavatsky

daughter of the late Steve Irwin illustrates the Leo’s ease before the cameras. The renowned Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung,images Carl Jung who coined the word,’ individuation’, was a Leo.

Leo Health and Anatomy

Physiologically, Leo rules the heart. Vanda Sawtell in her book, ‘Astrology and Biochemistry’, states that the cell salt for Leo is Mag. phos. which acts upon the motor nerves. Through the sensory nerves we feel pain or sensation, and response to the sensation received through these nerves results in motion or action. It is no coincidence that the Sanskrit root for Magnesium is mag., which means to love, giving it Divine connotations. Mag. phos. is the great anti-pain salt, and is indicated in all cases of cramp and spasm, or where application of heat brings relief. Headaches, neuralgias, earache, spasmodic twitching of eyes or limbs, menstrual colic, convulsions, and all heart troubles are aided by this cell salt. Mag. phos. helps one to let go and relax. Vanda Sawtell claims that the best medicine for Leos is love, peace, and harmony. They need plenty of water, sleep, deep breathing, also recreation and entertainment. With their generous natures and broad outlook they are not suited to occupations requiring petty details. They are capable of rising to positions of trust and responsibility.

The colours for Leo are gold, yellows, royal blue and red. They also respond well to the regal purple which cools their fiery temperament. Leo rules metallic gold, the royal metal. The gemstones for Leo are yellow topaz and yellow sapphire. Healing aromas include basil, cinnamon, frankincense, juniper, neroIi and rosemary. Flowers and herbs include dahlia, yellow lily, red poppy, marigold and sunflower. Homeopathic remedy is chamomilla which is indicated for treatment of colds and fevers and easing digestion and tension. Bach flower essences recommended include vine for bossiness and inflexibility and chicory for possessiveness and attention seeking behaviour. The healing musical note for Leo is E.

Re the Leo diet more vegetables and less meat is recommended to calm their fiery natures. They should avoid meats that are heating such as beef, turkey and lamb. Vegetables that contain iron such as spinach, kale and wheat grass are beneficial. Blue fruits such as grapes, berries are recommended. Nuts, raisins and lentils are also beneficial for the Leo diet.

Overview for Leo for 2018
The karmic North Node is in your sign of Leo and there will be two eclipses in your sign of Leo – the first being a total lunar eclipse occurring on 31 January and the second is a solar total eclipse on 11 August 2018. Uranus the planet of sudden change has moved into your career and goals sector

Your career is activated by unpredictable Uranus bringing opportunities for change and innovation in your career. You may be drawn to careers in astrology, healing, science or IT. Mercury’s presence here from 14 – 29 May facilitates communication and networking. Venus graces your career sector with her presence from 1-24 April bringing harmony and cooperation with colleagues.

Work and Health
Pluto and Saturn are in your work and health sector. Pluto, the planet of deep transformation, continues its passage in your work and health sector which can disrupt work routines and challenge your health. Therefore, it is important to maintain good health regimes, sufficient sleep, physical exercise and a healthy diet. With Pluto moving through this sector you should not take any illness at face value. Poor health at this time is Pluto’s way of alerting us that you need to redress the imbalance in your life. Pluto brings to conscious awareness what is grumbling beneath the surface. If you are stubbornly holding down a job that makes you discontented then Pluto’s role may cause you to lose your job so that you are forced to let go and seek more fulfilling work. You may find that the routine is punishing or that your colleagues are bullying you or scapegoating you. Whatever the circumstances you find yourself in Pluto is demanding that you surrender and move on rather than hang onto a job that no longer serves any purpose in your life. Saturn, the Lord of Karma, will also be in your career sector until December 2020. This will bring hard work and responsibility in this area of your life. Part of Saturn’s passage here will be in its retrograde phase from 18 April to 5 September making it an ideal time to reconsider your plans or take extra to assess options before taking action.

Mercury, the ruler of commerce, will pay an extended visit to your finance sector from 7 – 22 September. Venus graces your finance sector with her presence from 11 July to 6 August.  Neptune, the planet of losses, continues its sojourn here making it imperative that you read all contracts carefully and keep your taxes up to date. Neptune’s lesson is one of non attachment so any attachments to the material world can be tenuous.

Your relationship and partnership sector is highlighted being activated by the presence of the karmic South Node and two eclipses as well as dynamic Mars. The first eclipse is a solar partial eclipse which occurs on 15 February and the second is a total lunar eclipse which occurs here on 27 July. Feisty Mars pays two visits to your relationship sector from 17 May to 13 August and then again from 13 September to 15 November. Gracious Venus, curious Mercury also pay a visit to your relationship sector. Mercury’s presence here from 1-18 February encourages communication and networking. Gentle Venus’s presence here from 18 January to 10 February promotes love and harmony in your primary relationships.

Home and Family
The main players influencing your domestic sector during 2018 are lucky Jupiter, quicksilver Mercury and gentle Venus. Jupiter will remain here until 8 November 2018. Jupiter’s presence here could see additions to your family or renovating your home or using your home as a base for study. Mercury pays a visit to your domestic sector from 11 – 31 October making it an ideal time to communicate and network with family members and organise tradespeople. Venus will pay two visits to your domestic sector the first being from  from 10 September to 31 October and then again from 3 December 2018 to 7 January 2019 bringing harmony and cooperation on the home front and a desire to beautify your home.

Creativity and Children
The Sun radiates in your creativity sector from 23 November to 21 December adding impetus to your creative urges. You may take up a hobby or just indulge your inner child. However you choose to express this energy, pleasure, fun and luxury are the name of the game. Mercury’s presence there from 1 November 2018 to 5 January 2019 facilitates communication and networking with children.

Travel and Study
Venus’s presence here from 7 – 31 April makes it a perfect time for that holiday romance. Quicksilver Mercury’s presence here from 7 April to 13 May facilitates communicating and networking. Chiron, the wounded healer, is also moving through your travel and study sector.

Venus and Mercury activate you social sector. Mercury will pay a visit here from  7 – 21 June giving you opportunities for networking and communicating with your social circle. Venus graces your social sector with her presence from  6 – 31 July adding to your charm and charisma promoting harmonious connections with your friends and associates. Spending time with your women friends or espousing women’s issues will be a priority now.

Your spirituality sector is highlighted by a solar partial eclipse on 13 July.  Mercury and Venus pay visits here in May and June,  making it an ideal time for introspection and to attend a spiritual retreat and record your dreams and musings in a journal.

New Moon in Leo 13 July, Full Moon Lunar Eclipse 28 July, Solar Eclipse Supermoon 11 Aug
The New Moon occurs at 20 Cancer 41 on 13 July 12.47 pm AEST Sydney time. The New Moon marks the beginning of an entire new cycle of activity. It is a time to sow seeds which will come to fruition at the Full Moon phase. Being in the sign of Cancer, the sign ruled by the Moon it will bring emotional intensity, especially with transiting Pluto opposing the New Moon. A mitigating factor will be that dreamy Neptune is making a nice trine to the New Moon. This will be a precursor to the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius on 28 July and then the Solar Eclipse Supermoon in Leo on 11 August.

Putin Trump cartoonTrump Putin cartoon 2Trump Putin cartoon 3Trump Putin cartoon 4Trump Putin cartoon 5Trump Putin cartoon 6Merkel stares down Trump at the G7 summitTrump Trudeau cartoonDuring an eclipse cycle things come to head and this eclipse cycle with Trump’s performance on the world stage has been no exception to this rule. On the very eve of the July 13 eclipse Mueller issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officer in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign.

In a short time Trump has managed to insult all his allies including Justin Trudeau of Canada, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. He has trashed all alliances, NATO, the EU, the WTO and Theresa May’s handling of Brexit while cosying up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin supporting Putin against his own intelligence community over Russian cyber attacks in the 2016 US elections causing outrage and accusations of actions beyond high crimes and misdemeanours and into the realm of treason from the former CIA Director, John Brennan.

In fact in an interview on CNN by Christiane Amanpour Richard A Clarke, former US National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, went so far as to say that Trump’s behaviour left him no alternative but to draw the conclusion that Trump is a ‘controlled asset’ explaining that is the term we use in the intelligence community when we have someone in another government who for whatever reason does what we want them to do because we are bribing them or we have something on them that is what is called a ‘controlled asset’. So strong was the outcry including from many Republicans that he had to backpedal claiming he misspoke. Meanwhile in Moscow they are popping champagne corks claiming the summit a great success while the Finnish media has characterised the summit as Trump 0 Putin 1.

Richard A. Clarke claimed that there is a great danger that the relations between the US and Russia will be even worse than during the Cold War. Clarke quoted Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, who said the lights are blinking red – it’s like pre 9/11 the Russians are doing things like cyber attacks on our power grid. Clarke explained Coats meant two things: 1. attacks on our infrastructure and 2. their ongoing attempts to affect our election system to affect the votes.

Trump witch hunt cartoon

Trump's bromance with Putin

From Russia with Love

President Trump has warned special counsel Robert Mueller against investigating his family’s finances including its links with Russian oligarchs which would involve Trump’s taxes taking it beyond the scope of the probe into ties between his administration and Russia in an interview with the New York Times in July 2017, he is seeing if his lawyers can undercut the extent of the investigation by Robert Mueller. He has also asked his lawyers about a possible presidential pardon for himself and his inner circle.

Just as I was about to conclude this post the bombshell news broke that Trump has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House in the Northern autumn not long before the US mid term elections. The White House made this announcement without informing the Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence was caught unawares when a journalist informed him of Trump’s decision on national television. The normally circumspect James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence in a interview on CNN said the following of Coats’ situation “I would resign in a heartbeat, particularly after being publicly thrown under the bus, internationally thrown under the bus by the president.” When questioned further Clapper added, “I think that I would have felt so irrelevant and so ineffective that I would leave, but that’s me. And that is a very individual personal decision.”




Trump Mueller Time1


Trouble with Brexit
Theresa May & Boris Johnson cartoonTrouble has been brewing in the UK with both Cabinet members David Davis, Brexit minister, and Boris Johnson, the foreign minister, resigning in protest over Theresa May’s plans to seek a ‘soft Brexit’ in talks with the EU. Brexiteers say this approach gives away too many concessions to Brussels and represents a betrayal of the EU referendum vote.

Rescue of Thai Boys Trapped in Cave
Thai Boys trapped in caveThai Boys in hospitalThai Boys freedDr Richard HarrisThe event that captured the whole world’s attention during the eclipse was the dramatic rescue of the Wild Boars, the Thai soccer team of twelve boys and their coach who kept them calm through teaching them to meditate. First there were fears that they would never be found after many days’ searching until John Volanthan, one of two experienced British cave divers, discovered them all alive in the far recesses of Tham Luang Cave. That discovery triggered the rescue effort that brought to safety via a three day diving mission, organised by Thai Navy SEALs and a global team of cave-diving experts. It was the one feelgood outcome amongst a plethora of negative news stories. There were two poignant events, the first one being the death of Saman Kunan, the Thai Navy Seal who cut short his holiday to join in the rescue mission and the other was the sad news of the passing of his father that greeted Dr Richard Harris, a key figure in pulling off the daring rescue, just as he emerged from the cave.

The Symbolism of the Cave
Myths abound with stories centred around caves. Rescues from caves project a strong archetypal image.

Theseus and the Minotaur
An ancient Greek myth that comes to mind is The Minotaur where the hero or initiate, Theseus, has to slay the monster, the Minotaur. He is led out of the cave by the beautiful Ariadne who symbolises the power of the feminine wisdom.

Another allusion to the cave myth is embodied in the later incarnation of the Greek Hecate. Queen of Witches and Mistress of the Crossroads. Hecate’s association with caves links her to the liminal – the link between the Upper world and the Underworld of Hades, the realm of Pluto or Hades. Hecate, the torch bearer, guides Demeter, the mother of Persephone. Esoterically it involves an initiation for the hero or heroine.

The Wheel of Fortune and the Role of the Three Moirai in the Cave
In Liz Greene’s mythic tarot The Wheel of Fortune card portrays three women, the three Fates or Moirai in a dark cave. The three Fates wove the thread of a human life in the secret darkness of their cave. The youngest Fate, Clotho who represents the Crescent Moon was the Spinner spinning thread from a golden spindle and Lachesis the Full Moon is a handsome mature woman, the Measurer, measuring a length of thread between her hands while Atropos the old woman, whose name means ‘she who cannot be avoided’ is the Cutter, holding a pair of shears. The cave represents the womb from which life springs or the tomb to which it returns

The Myth of Tham Luang Non – the Reclining Lady’s Big Cave
There is also a myth associated with the cave in which the boys and their soccer coach were trapped. In Buddhist Thailand, the relationship between human and cave is one that involves domestication. Caves are thought to harbour a special kind of substance-like power, which may be accumulated by the virtuous men who dare to enter them. Ascetic religious practitioners such as monks and hermits carry out these practices. By meditating inside a cave, they tame the wild side of such power, transforming it into something that is beneficial to society. The shrines and offerings that can be seen inside caves throughout the kingdom are precisely meant to appease the spirits of whoever managed to domesticate that power, in exchange for their protection.

Tham Luang Nang Non—literally, “the reclining lady’s big cave”—is inhabited by the spirit of a princess from the ancient local kingdom of Chiang Rung. Myth has it that the princess was impregnated by a commoner and that she sought refuge inside the cave while running away from her father, the king, who disapproved of her lover. Her plan was to rest inside the cave until her lover returned with some food, but the man was killed by the king’s soldiers. As a result the princess stabbed herself to death. Her blood became the Mae Nam Mae Sai river, her reclining body becoming the Doi Nang Non mountain. She is now the guardian spirit (jao thi) of the cave—an obvious allusion to her own genitalia—and visitors are advised to worship her before venturing inside, or risk being killed by floods.

The Power of Prayer and Positive Thought
With people around the world praying for the safe return of the twelve boys and their coach the power of the collective good will was realised with the torrential rain holding off until the rescue mission was completed. Not long after they had all been rescued one the pipes burst causing the cave to flood. The rescuers escaped just in time.

Statelessness of Three Boys and Their Coach
Another issue which came to light was the fact that three members of the team, as well as their coach, are stateless ethnic minorities. UNHCR estimates that at least 440,000 people are stateless in Thailand, yet the actual figure is thought to be around 3 million. Of the stateless Wild Boars, the most background information is known about the coach Ekkapol Chantawong, who is a member of the ethnic Shan minority. Born in Myanmar and orphaned at a young age, he entered the monkhood in Thailand for nearly a decade, a common option for orphans without financial support.

Another Boar, Adul Sam-on, 14, was brought to Thailand by his parents at age 6 from the conflict-ridden Myanmar territory of Wa, in the hope of an education. Many reports have stated that Adul’s grasp of English was crucial to communications between rescue divers and the trapped soccer players. Little information has been reported about the backgrounds of the other two stateless players, Pornchai Kamluang and Mongkhol Boonpiam; however, it has been reported that the three boys all have Thai ID cards, granting them some basic rights. The coach, however, has no legal status.


Super Saturday By-elections coincide with Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
Susan Lamb with Bill ShortenRebekha Sharkie & Georgina DownerJustine Keay & Bill ShortenMeanwhile closer to home in Australia we are gearing up for Super Saturday on 28 July which involves 5 by-elections brought about by the dual citizenship fiasco. This coincides with the next eclipse on 28 July, the Full Moon lunar eclipse. There is a fixed T square between Sun, Mars and Uranus which is a very volatile combination.  The five seats up for grabs are Longman in Qld held by Labor’s Susan Lamb, Braddon in Tasmania held by Labor’s Justine Keay, Mayo in South Australia held by the Independent and former Nxt senator, Rebekha Sharkie, Fremantle held by Labor’s Josh Wilson and Perth formerly held by Labor’s Tim Hammond the only one who was not caught up in the dual citizenship fiasco but resigned for family reasons. A lot is at stake for the two major parties, especially Labor with the two Labor seats of Braddon and Longman hanging in the balance under Bill Shorten who reassured everyone that Labor had a rigorous vetting process.

 Total Lunar Eclipse July 2018Mercury Stations Retrograde and Mars Turns Direct
Mercury, the planet of communication, stations retrograde for the second time this year in Leo on 26 July. This could cause confusion, misunderstandings and delays, especially with regard the results of the by-elections. Mercury stations retrograde at 23 degrees Leo 27 turning direct on 19 August at 11 degrees Leo 12. Dynamic Mars stations direct on 28 August inspiring new motivations and objectives.

My Personal Experience of the Recent Eclipse – A Burst Hot Water Tank Floods My Carpet
I was holding my breath wondering what catastrophe would befall me when I realised that the recent New Moon Solar Eclipse was not only conjuncting my natal Sun Mercury in the 8th house but also was opposed by transiting Pluto on 13 July 2 days before my birthday. My birthday celebrations went unmarred by any cataclysmic event but the impact of an eclipse does not necessarily occur on the day of the eclipse as the effects of an eclipse are ongoing. However, on the afternoon of 18 July I was sitting writing this blog post when I heard a loud bang. I looked up thinking that something must have fallen off my bookshelf but saw nothing so I continued working on my post. It was only after I stood up and went to walk into the bathroom that I saw that the carpet was saturated and realised with horror that the hot water tank inside my built-in wardrobe had burst causing the water to inundate the carpet of my main room. The positive aspect about Pluto transits is that it promises rebirth. My old hot water tank was taken away and a new hot water tank was installed outside on the balcony out of harm’s way. The hot water tap expelled all the dirty water out of the old pipes. The carpet cleaning team sucked out all the excess moisture, shampooed and deodorised the carpet and used a antibactericide followed by a drying process with 4 machines blowing the carpet dry. While the whole process was an ordeal the final outcome which involved purging and purification brought about a a rebirth and sense of renewal.


Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
Astrological Keys to Self-actualization & Self-realization by Clara A. Weiss
Astrology and Biochemistry by Vanda Sawtell
The Mythic Tarot Book: A New Approach to the Tarot Cards by Juliet Sharman-Burke & Liz Greene