Make yourself an altar
bring beauty all around you
from the winged ones,
whorled shells from the sea's edge
crystals who carry
the heartbeat of the earth
flowers culled from
the gardens of the world
light a thousand candles,
watch the dance of their flames
then open your soul wide and
sing praise to all that is good.
- H. Ni Aodagain -
We’ll be having two Leo New Moons this year complete with a solar eclipse coming up in August. I’ll be writing more about the powerful energies of the New Moon and solar eclipse next month, but tonight’s New Moon is a warm up to next month’s eclipse. My natal Moon is in Leo so the energies feel close, personal, and difficult to describe (as so often the influence of our natal Moon are). So here is what I have learned as a Leo Moonfolk, walking with the lion as my lunar ally: when the Moon enters Leo we are asked to examine the ways we perform in the world. In other words, how do you do you? What are the ways that you perform your identities of gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and more? How do you perform your insecurities and doubts? How do you perform your confidence and bravery?
Leo is the guardian of the heart which is important to pay attention to especially because this sign can get a really bad rap in horoscopes and astrology books. Too often performance is seen as false, deceptive, and not to be trusted. This, too, has been said of the heart and those who are guided by the rhythm of their own beat as opposed to the personal and cultural expectations and rules of others. I think we degrade the performative aspects of Leo because we are terrified of living a life guided by an open heart instead of a calculating mind. Even worse, we fear accepting that our heart and mind are not separate entities - we simply choose to ignore that our heart is guiding us - thinking as us - far more than many of use would feel comfortable with. Because everyone is performing and nobody passes. And that is how it should be. We should revel in the ability to perform ourselves a thousand ways to a thousand different people. How else do we figure out what it is we want to say and how to say it? How it is we want to live and how to live it?
The New Moon in Leo is a time of measuring the boundaries of our self-expression, of re-examining the script we’ve been given and what we’ve also written, and figuring out how to say what we need to say while still remembering to listen (both to ourself and others). It’s a time of heart-tonics and doing things that invigorate the heart to act on its desires. Where do you want to be more brave in your life? Right now is an auspicious time to figure it out.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
New Moon in Leo Plant Ally
Motherwort is a classic heart tonic in the Traditional Western Herbalism materia medica. Look to its Latin binomial and you’ll get insight into the herb’s qualities for it has been named “Lion Hearted.” Motherwort improves the condition of a weakened or out-of-sync heart including arrhythmia, angina, and a heart muscle that lacks tone. Signs to look for when considering Motherwort are heart palpitations (especially those caused by stress, nervousness or anxiety), shortness of breath, and those who need some “mothering.” The herb reduces high blood pressure, alleviates palpitations and hypertension, and generally strengthens the heart’s tone.
Motherwort is like a hug in a tea cup and is an herb that shifts energy for the better faster than most other herbs I have encountered. It’s a good herb for the New Moon in Leo because it enhances the generous-hearted qualities of Leo while alleviating the stress and tension that can come about with the very humyn need to be loved.
Magickally, Motherwort can be kept as a charm in the home to bring about peace. Use to connect with the energy and wisdom of the Lion. The herb protects against harmful entities and spirits. I think it is especially useful in helping alleviate hauntings, whether emotional hauntings of the spirit and mind, or unwanted ghosts.
Flower + Gem Essences for the New Moon of Leo: Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Vine (Vitis vinifera), Illawarra Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), Willow (Salix vitellina), Gold, Citrine.
Essential Oils of Leo: Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Orange (Citrus sinensis), Jasmine ( Jasminum grandiflorum), Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
The Rite of the Hidden Heart
Behind our wants lies our true desire. We want to live in a house with a rooftop garden because we desire to remember that we are a wild and growing thing even in the concrete confines of the city. We want to be in a relationship with our one-true-love because we desire to learn how to love ourselves and sometimes it’s easier to do through another. Behind our heart lies our desire.
You will need a candle. Red, yellow, and orange are auspicious but any color will do. You will also need a pen and piece of paper. Begin in a sacred way (read the New Moon in Aquarius post for further inspiration).
With your pen and paper write a name poem. A name poem consists of words and phrases that describe you and your true nature as well as your magickal lineage, allies, God/dess/es, and whatever else you might want to put in it. Your name poem is a way of sharing your desire with yourself and others. It is a poem that either in theory or in actual practice, you would share with others as a way of introduction, especially at magickal gatherings. An example might be:
I am Azalea,
Daughter of the Sun Queen,
Keeper of the Citrine Secret,
Sister of Lions,
King of Drag and Rejector of Binaries.
I seek a world of kindness and justice.
With my words I open hearts,
With my performance I create new possibilities,
With my herbs I find healing.
When your name poem is written light your candle and turn off all other lights. Standing before your candle take six steps backwards (six is a sacred number of the Sun and adjust the movement for your mobility needs). Spend time in the shadow, the space beyond the light of your heart. What within you desires to emerge?
Take one step forward, towards the candle, and read your name poem silently to yourself. Ask yourself, what within you desires to be seen?
Take another step and whisper your name poem. Ask yourself, what within you desires to be heard?
Take another step and say your name poem a little louder. Ask yourself, what within you desires to be touched?
Take another step and say your name poem at your normal speaking volume. Ask yourself, what within you desires to be known?
Take another step and say your name poem at a volume slightly above your normal speaking volume. Ask yourself, what within you desires to be honored?
Take a final step so that you are right before your candle and say your name poem loudly, with confidence. Ask yourself, what within you desires to be loved?
Hold your hands on either side of the candle, infusing your energy with its fiery light and awakening the fire within. When your hands are warm with fire and energy, press them to the paper with your name poem written on it. You can choose to carry this name poem with you as a sacred talisman to be always seeking your desire.
With a divinatory tool of your choosing ask the following question. You can also ponder it during meditation or through journaling.
What part of me desperately wants to be seen?
Additional queries to consider:
- What do I fear those that I serve think of me?
- What part of me feels unloved?
Tarot Cards of Leo
Every card within the tarot deck has an astrological association. The following correspondences follow the system laid out by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. You can add these cards to your altar as part of your New Moon in Cancer magick or use them in readings to help with determining celestial influence or timing (i.e. this will come to pass at when the Moon is in Leo).
- The Sign of Leo : Strength
- Saturn in Leo : 5 of Wands
- Jupiter in Leo : 6 of Wands
- Mars in Leo : 7 of Wands
- The Fire Signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius : Ace of Wands
Need more astroherbology in your life? You can learn more about the astroherbology of Cancer by reading my in-depth profile on the sign. Check out the magick of each phase of the Moon. For those of you ready to learn how to live your magick and create your herbal remedies by the cycle of Moon and star, you're invited to join the The Lunar Apothecary.
Blessed New Moon, wise healers.
May your healing be healing to us all.
May our healing be healing to you.
Blessed be! Blessed be! Blessed be!