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Full Moon Cycle of Leo
January 20- February 18

Planetary ruler Uranus

The theme or lesson of The Full Moon Cycle of Leo  is polarity and the battle of wills with particular focus on male power and initiation, if female initiation is mensruation and motherhood then as day follows night men must have their own forms of exclusively male initiations. Many male trials of manhood are not involuntary like the female's. but relate more to physical and mental competition. See how the cards relate to the theme of polarity and masculine rites of passage.

The painting for the Chariot depicts the Sphinx, with the likeness of King Khafre, facing the east. The sphinx by itself faces the rising sun during the Equinoxes of the year. The great sphinx was known in later times as Horemakhet, Horus on the Horizon. This name alludes to Egypt's ancient sun god Horus which is closely associated with the kings of Egypt. 
"It is clearly, in some way, a solar monument. All the year round it looks directly at the sunrise. A priest, or anybody else, who stood on the plateau above and behind it, could look straight along its body and see the sun come up over its head at the spring and autumn equinoxes...”
(Riddle of the Sphinx by Paul Jordon ISBN: 1-84015-017-3 copyright 1998)
The only way for the ancients to know the solar astrology was to mark the nighttime planetary and stellar configurations between certain dates. The star constellation Leo, similarly posed to the sphinx, represents the lunar monument in the heavens. The phrase, "As above, so below" is meaningful in this context. During the day the sphinx monument to the sun acknowledges the sun's path. Between 21 January and 19 February, the full Moon is at its zenith as she crosses the constellation Leo, marking the lunar path in the heavens. The Sphinx, then, mirrors the constellation Leo. At this time of the year the two distinct orbital paths of the sun and moon are most apparent. During this time, the Moon is at its highest point and the winter Sun lies low on the horizon, clearly defining their separateness. At most times of the year it appears that the sun and moon move along a single orbital path.
The symbolism of the lion is also significant because most felines sleep up to 20 hours per day.  Lions are known for their power, fierceness, and their killing efficiency and are associated with the sun. In Ancient Egypt one of the sources of the lion symbol is found in Sekemet, goddess of the burning rays of the sun.  During the time of the full moon in Leo, the Lion symbol, true to the patterns of the feline, lies down peacefully, possibly asleep. This can be construed as a sign that the burning rays of the sun are in repose. In Northern Europe the fiercest months of winter are during the full moon in Leo. In this case, it is the Earth Mother who lies dormant, fast asleep. Several ancient European Goddess symbols are often flanked by two lions. The ancient Celts were well known for their command of the chariot and may be an indication of the extensive trade between Europe and Egypt. The chariot may also symbolize a means of getting ideas from one place to another.
The Chariot, from the Tarot, rides on two wheels and is driven by horses, lions, and sometimes sphinxes. These beasts are often shown with one being black, and one being white. In Maat Tarot one wheel of the chariot represents the Lunar cycle and the other the Solar wheel of the year. The traditional Chariot is driven by a warrior (child of the God and Goddess), who is adorned with the symbols of sun and moon. In Greek mythology, for instance, chariots were  known as two-wheeled vehicles, thought to drive the sun and moon across the sky. In Maat Tarot the Earth is the chariot and the orbits of sun and moon become the two wheels. The observer, then, becomes the chariot rider.
    Western culture is certainly driven by two wheels symbolized in the way we define ourselves psychologically. For example, we may call ourselves “Right-brained” or “Left-brained”, Feminine or Masculine. Solar/masculine symbolizes being conscious, precise, linear, sequential- logical, and rational. The Lunar/feminine being cyclical, intuitive, nonlinear, subconscious, and emotional. This polarization shows up in all areas of our world including our politics. The lesson is clearly that one side should never take control over the other as this creates imbalance. The key to a successful ride would be keeping these two powers in balance.
Other names: Apollo; Helios; Hyperion; Lugh; Ra (sun); Artemis; Nimue (newmoon); Diana; Mari; Isis (full); Hecate; Anna (waning); Semele; Selene; Phoebe; Hathor; Ceridwen (moon); Sphinx; Lion of the double lions (another name for Osiris-the sun at midnight); Charioteers-Greek; Selene and Artemis; Egyptian Isis; Phrygian Cybele; Semitic Ashtart (lunar); Greek Apollo and Helios (solar); other charioteers-Norse Freya, Thor; Celtic Morgan; Mywnawr

Symbols: Chariot; two wheels; chariot drivers; lions; Orbits of the sun and the moon; the ewe lying down with the lion; Goddess of the Mountain with two lions (Gate of Mycenae, Knossos, Crete); Solar and Lunar lions, Night and Day

Attributes: Synthesizing opposites; balancing female and male qualities; balancing left brain and right brain thinking

 Full Moon in Leo key phrase: "I will"

In a Reading: In a reading this card symbolizes opposing viewpoints. Whether the opposite points of view are male and female, right-brained/left-brained, liberal vs. conservative, young vs. old this card suggests some kind of interaction between the opposites. One would surely like to take power from the other or get the other to see it their way. However the opposites keep things moving forward. Each forcing the other to sharpen their skills, grow, adapt and change.

The New Moon in Aquarius- International relations

The image for the 7 of Wands is of an 18th century European fur trader doing business with two woodland Natives. During the 18th century the rivers were the roadways to trade the heavily wooded lands were impenetrable.When European hunger for spices and gold first drove them to seek alternative routes to China and they happened upon, 'The New World,' survival would have been impossible without the help of the indigenous people who lived there.In the late 15th century European life was enriched by contact with the 'New World'. While the indigenous people were enriched by European trade goods, they were also decimated by European diseases as well as murder and in some cases, slavery. As time passed more European people came to the New World seeking freedom and independence.

Some people view change in a positive way; change as growth, while others see change as loss, loss of control, loss of the way things have always been, the loss of security.


In a Reading: This card suggests that you have the advantage even though you are out numbered. You will only be able to maintain your advantage if you stay mindful of your personal position and keep your focus. Understanding and sensitivity to the perceptions and needs of others will keep the peace.

The First Quarter Moon in Taurus- Victory over dis-ease

The image for six of wands is the snowy owl descending to capture his nearly undetectable prey. The owl has been a symbol for death, for wisdom, for stealth, for seeing in the dark and for not being able to be deceived. This owl represents the defeat of a foe bringing freedom, and healing through wisdom. The foe is the vermin living below the snow that would eat away the winter's precious grain stores. Only the owl (or possibly the cat) has hearing that is good enough to find these villains of the storehouse. Mice and other small vermin can be the source for the spread of disease. The winter helps to ease the populations of bacteria and viruses in the outer world but the world of indoors must be kept clean to retard the spread of disease. Winter is a good time for purification of the domicile. Rest and eat right to promote health.


In a Reading: The card signifies success in battle and victory over disease, a healthy immune system and the ability to recognize deception.


Traditional tarot meaning: victory

The Full Moon in Leo- Fraternity over patriotism

The image for the King of Wands is the Freemason John Hancock paging through a book which contains a diagram of the large excavated chalk drawing called 'The Rude Man'. John Hancock was a part of a fraternity of men. This group of men called the freemasons had a brotherhood that was so strong it was enough to overthrow the 'sacred sovereignty' of King George of England. This was no small feat. John Hancock and his compadres risked their very lives declaring independence from England, their pens were mightier than swords and the document was the first step to living under their own rule. The picture hanging behind up on the wall behind Hancock is Hercules. The trials of Hercules were one of the first writings showing incidences of male rites. The Herculean tales were the first signs of men's imitation of goddess culture usurping her months for his 12 tasks. Hercules was made to go through 12 labors one for each month of the year.The first of his labors was to slay a Lion.


In a Reading: This card signifies the politician, the writer, the wordsmith, the poet, the idealist, the humanitarian, the public speaker, the activist, lodge member. A man with political ideals and ambition. He has the ability to work with others for the sake of humanity. It is also the genius that buds from the common man.


Traditional tarot meaning: a blond man from out of town, and the zodiac sign Sagittarius.

The Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio- The Mock Battle

The image for the 5 of Wands is an old man and a young boy playing chess. The old man has been the chess master but in time the young boy will grow in skill inventing new strategies out maneuvering and overtaking his master's moves. Outside the window a winter snowstorm rages while swelling buds cling to saplings. Symbolically this card represents the mock battle between winter and summer.


This card in fact represents the mock battle of all polarities. Fertility and Infertility, Light and Darkness, Ignorance and Enlightenment. It is through these polarities that progress is made, it is through the challenge that competence is aroused, personality defined and clarified. It is through the clash of opposites that purposes of individuals are exposed, allegiances are forged and the human race matures. Though it may seem as if the repression of 'winter 'will never relinquish its chilling grip on humanity it is only a matter of time before 'spring' takes root.


Traditional tarot meaning: mock battle


©2018 Julie Cuccia-Watts