Moving From In Outward


Leo always follows Cancer in the progression of the zodiac wheel.

Cancer lays the way, making the bed, cooking the food, vacuuming the red carpet, sending its psychic special-agents out in advance to check that the premises are secure. Protector, nurturer, behind-the-scenes preparer.

Leo arrives and, looking back over his shoulder at that sign which has preceded, casts a fond (though, between us, mildly condescending) gaze at Cancer and offers thanks for the preparations… then jokes, 'Now, lighten up and have a good time, you poor wet noodle! Do you always have to be so darned sensitive? ' As Leo sees it, there's fun to be had, life to be lived, people's attention to court and to capture.

Cancer hears Leo's words, takes on their jab as it stingingly smacks skin, and a shell comes up. Cancer smiles (a means to politely distance) and returns to folding napkins, thinking all the while, 'Why does he have to be so darned insensitive? At least I have feelings. At least I think about someone other than myself all the time!'

They are both right about each other, but neither is completely right. Leo absolutely cares about other people beside himself and is quite full of love and honor and all sorts of other feelings. Cancer enjoys plenty of fun and good times, and by the way, who says sensitivity is a reason to elicit others' uppity pity?

Despite appearances, these two actually get along pretty nicely. As the signs ruled respectively by the Moon and Sun, Cancer and Leo complement each other rather well, like two sides of a personality. Cancer's got a lot going on inside, and Leo lets it all hang out. Cancer nurtures feelings, and Leo instinctively expresses. Cancer caringly prepares, then Leo shows up with a grand entrance. They make a great team.

In our experience of the zodiac transition between Cancer and Leo, we gather burgeoning self-confidence from having withdrawn into our feelings, felt them to a full and broad extent, and attained some degree of emotional security… and then we use that confidence to externally express ourselves to others, so they can learn what we've been doing and thinking and feeling and living, and know us for who we are. Through Cancer we gain foundational footing, so that in Leo we can stand up and be seen.

With Saturn currently sitting on the Cancer-Leo cusp, our collective challenge is about to move from stabilizing our internal emotional homescape to responsibly proclaiming ourselves into the world—to see and be seen, to love and be loved, to recognize our unique gifts and to be recognized for them, without shrinking from the spotlight or burying our heads in the sand.

Yet, if we smother others' entitlements to stage their own productions, we risk generating bad press for displaying diva-like demands or acting as if we invented sliced bread. Dare we ascend to stardom by stomping on the heads of yesterday's idols or shoving them down the back stairs, we can only expect the same treatment from tomorrow's ambitious ingénues. And who wants to waste celebration by nervously looking over our shoulders the whole time?

In authentic self-confidence (and not its haughtily performed, snidely flavored imitation), I assuredly know there is no competition—nobody else in the whole world can be me but me. But what fun is it to be me, as long as I keep me to myself? Unseen, I start to turn invisible. In a vacuum, I make no noise. When no one hears me fall in a forest, I might possibly cease to exist.

Motions toward being visible and loud are boosted this week, with the double-decker razzmatazz of Mercury and Venus moving simultaneously into Leo. Mercury in Leo thinks and speaks with convincing optimism and vivid drama, and if we negotiate the right price, I'm quite sure I can sell you this bridge I've got in my pocket. Venus in Leo puts my wealth of talent on extravagant display. 'Look at me! Look at me! For your own good, look at me!' Together, they create a sense that I can do no wrong. I'm invincible and must never be stopped.

Do I even need to bother pointing out the downside of extreme Leonine showiness, or can I presume you know that too much self-concern on my part will make you want to spill a drink on my brand new outfit? ('It was an accident?') Confident as I may be, you don't have to buy my bridge. You can stop me, simply by deciding not to pay attention. Too much of a good thing, even the best thing in the world (that is, me), is enough to make anyone spew chunks.

So how much is too much?

The good news and the bad news are the same thing, and it's all in the fun of being alive: There is no one clear answer. You won't find the border of your tolerable self-celebrity, except through trial and error. Leo learns by firsthand doing, not being told what works for someone else. We just put ourselves out there, and our delicate egos will let us know if we've wandered too far into self-indulgence and pestered or perturbed our fans. Without taking the chance of expression, though, we're highly unlikely to find self-satisfaction.

I see this week as an initial starting-point for our collectively individual journeys out of a certain emotionally self-preservationist hibernation and toward greater self-expression, as Saturn prepares to enter Leo on Jul 16 and stay there through Sep 07. Over these past few weeks with Mercury and Venus in Cancer—and with both conjoining Saturn in Cancer last week—we have come face to face, perhaps silently or subtly or psychically but nonetheless in a real way, with our emotional realities. A last moment to soothe our anxious spirits, to mourn our losses and celebrate our lessons, and to appreciate where we've held to our emotional boundaries and looked after our own tender welfare.

Now, with Mercury and Venus entering Leo and leading the parade as official ambassadors to the Saturn-in-Leo period, it's time to throw a bit of caution to the wind… dispense with the dress rehearsals and open the for-real run in front of a live audience… let stutters turn to ad-libs instead of running from the crowd… stop trying to figure out who we are… just be ourselves and see what develops…