Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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New Moon in Leo

On Wednesday, in the deepest dark of the Moon, I made a little nest of blankets on our balcony and sat back to try and watch the Perseid meteor shower. This is always one of our favorite Summertime traditions, as my kids and I shut off all the lights we can, and lay back to watch the darkening sky. This year, thin cloud cover veiled much of the show, but I saw spectacularly bright flashes across the sky. The rest of the time, I sensed, vaguely, that there was movement up there, but I just couldn’t quite see it. The clouds were bad luck, especially since the shower's peak was coming on a moonless night, the dark sky making the show more visible. The darker the setting of the night sky, the more brilliant the flash of shooting stars.

This New Moon in Leo lines up 5 planets in Leo, the sign of high Summer, the Fixed Fire of the zodiac, ruled by the Sun. Leo illuminates our sense of power and passion, shows us our desires, fuels our creativity and our play. The Sun and Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are all radiating Leo's boundless solar joy and strength just as the Sun itself is pouring down intense light and heat. The presence of the cosmic lovers, Venus and Mars, in the same sign brings luck and love, but this year, Venus is retrograde.

Venus retrograde, when the planet of partnership, love and beauty appears to move backwards in the sky, can be a challenging time, emotionally. With its retrograde movement occurring in the sign of self-expression and sovereignty, these challenges may feel even more confrontational and unsettling. Venus retro can bring things back from our past: old wounds, old patterns of thought, relationship dynamics that feel ancient and outworn. We may literally re-encounter former lovers or friends. We may experience deja vu, as old patterns and habits of thought and deed show up in their dysfunctional glory. We may see the negative side of the things and people we love, and we may feel disillusioned or disappointed.


But watching for the momentary flashes of star fire, I wished it was dark, so the hundreds of little lights would be more visible. In the same way, the challenges and heartaches of Venus's backward motion show us what direction we need to go, what battles are worth fighting, where we need to love more and where we need to retreat and regroup. Although what we see might not be comforting, the poignancy of Venus in retrograde is part of the enlightenment of Leo's transit. The oracle of Delphi exhorted all her supplicants, “Know Thyself.” This, too, is part of living into that knowledge.

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Tagged in: Leo new moon venus
Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.


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