Leo in Radical Transformation: A Sign Under Pressure

Every now and then, several planets will “team up” on a particular segment of the zodiac, and their effect on that area will be especially strong. This is one of those astrologically potent moments. The sign of Leo, in particular, is getting a workout.

(Note: this article is using the Vedic Zodiac, which amounts to the traditional Western Zodiac shifted backwards about 23-24°. So if you have significant Virgo in your Western astrological chart, then what I say about Leo in this article might actually apply to you)

My last post covered the unusual number of retrograde planets (since then Jupiter has gone direct, and Mercury will go direct on Sunday, May 22nd). In this post, I will cover how most of those planets are still heavily affecting anyone with Leo rising or key planets in Leo.

In the previous post, I mentioned that both Saturn and Mars were retrograde (Saturn until August 13, Mars until June 29). Now I’d like to point out that both of these notoriously rough planets, from Scorpio, are squaring back to the sign of Leo (although Mars is only squaring back to Leo until June 17, when Mars briefly exits Scorpio into Libra). This poses some hefty challenges for Leos (in this article, I will use “Leos” to refer broadly to everyone with Leo rising or key planets in Leo, not just for those with a Leo sun).

More than Double the Trouble

Like the bullies at your old elementary school, Saturn and Mars are much more brutal when working in unison than when operating individually. At its worst, Saturn is imposing, severe and taxing like a harsh prison warden. Mars, at its worst, is sharp, coarse and inflammatory like a fight-picking brute. Alone, each of these planets is a handful, but together, they can bring out the worst in each other.

Right now, those two planets are teaming up, not just on Leo, but also on Scorpio and Taurus as well. This is problematic for anyone whose ascendant is any one of those signs, or anyone who has key planets in any of those signs (about half the population!). But, it is most problematic for anyone who is Leo rising or who has key planets (like their moon or their ascendant lord) in Leo, as I will explain next.

On top of the difficult influence from Mars and Saturn, Rahu (the south node) is currently in Leo (until September of 2017), compounding and amplifying the strain on that sign. Like Mars and Saturn, Rahu is a “malefic,” which means that its astrological influence is often disturbing or painful for us. Rahu’s effect is to convolute matters and throw things out of whack, or at least to stretch things beyond normal limits. In a word, Rahu can be “crazy-making” (for a little background on Rahu, see my post about eclipses on this blog site as well).

So, Rahu’s passage through Leo is generally exacerbating and skewing the already malefic effects of the double-teaming from Saturn and Mars. It’s like when two bullies are already picking on a victim physically, but then a third begins to torment the victim psychologically with twisted taunts and the like. Rahu, when operating together with Saturn in Mars, is like that third bully. If you are a Leo, you may already be identifying with the victim in this analogy.

The other notorious malefic, Ketu, is always opposite Rahu, so we could think of Ketu as influencing Leo now as well (technically, the Sun is sometimes considered a malefic too—due to its ability to overpower the planets in its vicinity—but , it isn’t necessarily appropriate to treat the source of all life as a malefic).

In short, all of the undisputed malefic celestials are teaming up against Leo right now! They have been for the last five weeks, and they will continue to do so for the next four weeks.


Really. These past five weeks potentially contained some of the most intense, acute, and painful moments that a Leo might experience over the course of a decade or more. If it weren’t for the counterbalancing presence of Jupiter in Leo now also, things might have become intolerable for many Leos lately. As it is, Jupiter’s benevolent presence is acting like a safety railing that is keeping Leos from going over the edge. With Jupiter in the mix like this, Leos can expect things to continue to be challenging for the next four weeks, but they also can expect to get a helping hand so that things don’t go too far.

For comparison purposes, another moment in time when the all malefics joined forces to assault a segment of the zodiac was Feb-May, 2006, where they all teamed up on the sign of Virgo (about 10° of Virgo, in particular, was especially heavily bombarded in April 2006). Interestingly, all the malefics teamed up on Virgo from early June to mid-July 2005 too, but Jupiter was transiting through Virgo then, which prevented things from being worse for Virgos during those months (just as it is doing now for Leos, with its presence in Leo).

The difference for Virgos between summer 2005 and Spring 2006, therefore, was that Jupiter was mitigating the suffering in the former period but not generally helping in the latter period. If you know anyone with Virgo rising, Moon in Virgo, or their ascendant Lord in Virgo (and particularly around 10° Virgo), ask them if they remember those periods. They will probably say that both were difficult spells, but that Spring of 2006 was the worst. The difference was Jupiter.

Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

So far, it may sound like I’m just saying that Leos are getting beaten up now, just like Virgos were 10 years ago, and that Jupiter is just blocking some of the worst punches.But, fortunately, the picture is more favorable than that:

Leos are not trapped in a torture chamber; they are just in boot camp.

It’s hard to find a way to embrace torture as beneficial for us, especially when we’re being tortured. Yet, it is quite possible to embrace the thought that a boot camp can offer a certain kind of benefit. Whether we truly welcome this kind of benefit is up to each one of us, but most of us could at least admit that boot camps can make us stronger by pushing us to the limits of our ability to perform and endure. In the end, boot camp survivors are generally made stronger, hardier, and more self-confident by their training ordeal.

This kind of transformational growth will soon be a reality for most Leos, whether they like it or not. They will complete the hardest of the training around June 17, another level of training around early August (when Saturn goes direct), and the last significant level in late January and (when Saturn leaves Scorpio). If you’re a Leo, and you’re not dead by the end of the summer, then congratulations! You just graduated from boot camp!

Let me close with some advice on how to survive boot camp with more grace and sanity.

First and foremost, recognize that you are in boot camp! Your awareness of the special demands of this time will help you maintain your inner balance and perspective. If it’s hard, it’s supposed to be hard, because you’re in boot camp. When boot camp is over, it won’t be so hard. Remember this.

Secondly, don’t cry about being in boot camp, because it won’t help. In fact, it will only make things harder. Think about how children cry before they get an immunization shot (or if you don’t believe in immunizations, then imagine it’s some other shot that you believe is vitally important). The crying is not going to spare them from the shot, or help them endure the shot. Rather, it depletes them of the mental strength they otherwise could muster to help them brave the experience. You don’t have to laugh your way through boot camp; just don’t cry your way through it, if you can help it. It’s enough just to stay centered.

If you follow through with your responsibilities, but don’t expect too much of yourself or take on unnecessary burdens, you’ll at least be able to maintain some peace of mind. Better yet, if you can genuinely embrace your stint in boot camp with some appreciation of its transformative value, then you may actually relish some of the testing and feel yourself thriving through the process (see my earlier article, “Fatalism Versus ‘Surfing’ Your Astrology”).

Next, if you’re a Leo, don’t take it personally. You’re not being punished, and you are not weak or going crazy. It’s just your turn to be reworked and stretched toward your limits. Before the current planetary combination, it was someone else’s turn, and after this year, some other group will get their turn also. It’s like having to renew your driver’s license at the DMV—everyone has to do it, but at the moment, it’s your turn. Ugh, yes, but once your turn is through, you’ll even be able to help others manage when it’s their turn.

Lastly, look forward to the end of the process. Saturn and Mars, though still challenging, can be very constructive, when they combine with Jupiter (as they’re doing now for Leos). Saturn can cleanup and revamp a domain, Mars can give us the impetus and energy for change, and Rahu can allow us to visualize what we never thought possible for ourselves. So, optimistically visualize the finished product you could be once this year’s Leo Boot Camp is complete. It may be boot camp, but planetary boot camp is the finest and most effective boot camp there is! Have a little faith in your drill sergeants’ expertise.

There are many ways that this current astrology will play out for Leos, depending on whether they are Leo rising or some other ascendant, or if they have their Moon or ascendant Lord in Leo, etc. Some Leos will live out their boot camp at their work, while others in their marriage or living situation, and still others in their health or self-image. For some charts, Saturn Mars and Rahu will function more favorably than for others, and Jupiter is currently best positioned to draw out the best in those malefics for Leos (just as those malefics simultaneously draw out the worst in each other). But one thing that all these Leos will experience in common is that the past and coming weeks and months are to be a test of their inner fiber. Try to take this test willingly, Leos, because doing so will give you the best chance of being proud of your final results!

Please check back in after boot camp next Fall, Leos, and let us know how you think you weathered your trial!

If you’re a Scorpio or Taurus, hang in there! I’ll get to you in the next post! If you’re not a Leo, or a Scorpio or Taurus, but you know someone who is (again, about half the population), cut them a little slack! They are likely going through a rough patch right now.

In short, if you know more than two people, then you probably know at least one person who is struggling with the current astrology. So, it’s a good time to be patient, forgiving, and understanding with each other (and with yourself!). Actually, there’s never a bad time for that type of kindness… hopefully this astrology will help us remember to practice it.


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