We cannot know the truth of these esoteric teachings by thinking about them, but only through experience. We need to go deep into our hearts in meditation to experience the truth of our innate connection with the heart of the Sun.
The Sun’s heart beats at eleven-year intervals, and with this ‘beat’ it sends out its life-force into its entire system, just as the human heart sends out this same vital force, via the bloodstream.
– Errol Weiner, Transpersonal Astrology
Through the infusion of life-force energy, the Sun illuminates the path to self-realization, and Leo is the sign of self-realization. There are many steps on this path and they can be put into three stages: self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-realization. These three stages can also be equated to the three aspects of the Sun and three stages of development on the soul path of Leo.
The path of self-realization in Leo is itself a vital stage in the overall evolution of human consciousness. The German philosopher Friedrich Neitzche spoke of three stages of consciousness: the camel, the lion and the child. The camel represents tribal consciousness, where we follow the herd, follow the masses, and go along with the collective consciousness. This is the pre-egoic state.
The lion represents individualization – the ability and the willingness to stand alone. Separate. Apart from the herd. In terms of our personal spiritual development this is the development of, and identification with, our ego. At the same time this is the beginning of our spiritual awakening. Just as the great river Ganges has its source in a tiny mountain stream, so our collective spiritual awakening has its origin in our currently emerging egoic state. Within the lion stage are stages one and two (below) of our path of Leo.
The child represents the free spirit once we are liberated from our egoic challenges and delusions. This is the post-egoic state (and the third stage of the path of Leo, which is why Leo is also associated with creativity, playfulness, and children. Our spirit is free. The child is our fully awakened state of self-realization, or enlightenment. In this final stage we arrive at a deeper realization, through experience, that we are not separate but have an individual expression in our oneness. When we finally reach this stage we experience the truth of our connectedness with the Sun and all living beings.
Know thyself. If thou canst learn the true nature of thine own self,
thou wilt know the reality of the Universe.
We can see how important the path of Leo is for the evolution of consciousness. During the first stage of the path of Leo (self-consciousness) we become aware of self versus “other.” This is the first stage towards individuation. The path to individuation begins with an idea. An idea of separation. We become aware of the idea that there is a “me” in here, and there are others “out there.” This focus on the outer world, conditioned by the corona of the Sun, is vital for the development of a sense of an individual self. The individual at this stage will (necessarily) be personality–oriented with no sense of soul. This is the stage where we become self-ish, because our world is centered around our idea of “me” and meeting the immediate needs of our personality.
In the second stage of the path, self-awareness, we move to the heart. Conditioned by the heart of the Sun we begin asking, “Who am I?” We hear the call of spirit and our journey moves within. The individual at this stage is still largely personality-driven but has experienced soul awakening. We are aware of our spiritual nature but still experience soul and personality as separate. We become less selfish and more altruistic in our outlook.
At the final stage of the path, conditioned by the core of the Sun (the great spiritual Sun) the individual is fully self-realized. We realize there is no separation, and we live from unity consciousness (oneness). We are fully integrated in that there is full personality-soul fusion and no experience of separation. We become oriented toward world-service for the benefit of all living things, because we know from personal experience the deepest meaning of the soul keynote for Leo:
I Am That, and That Am I
-The Tibetan (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology)
It is under the warm, loving, life-giving, custodianship of the Sun in all his aspects, that we walk the path of Leo to the full realization of our true nature as spiritual beings. To fully express our divine purpose, we need a strongly defined sense of self. From our fully integrated self-realized state, we are able to fulfill our soul purpose, which is to be a unique individual expression of divine will.
Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer
Image caption: Sekhmet, original artwork by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie. See end of article for more info.
Karen MacKenzie has been working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art (her prints are very affordable).