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Leo New Moon: Tight Bud of Love

Speed of life is a killer

not a healer, so slow down

to bloom like a flower. Debasish Mridha

The New Moon on August 16,2023 at 23 Leo fans the flames of love. We are to nurture what brings us joy. Vitality, love, and creativity can bloom anew within us with encouragement and a belief that our life can bloom anew.

The Leo New Moon evokes an image of a tight bud teeming with energy. Something within us is readying to bloom. The flowering may happen unexpectedly - meaning through something we do not initiate, but in response to a surprising turn of events. More likely, we are needing added time to percolate for conditions to be just right (multiple planets Retrograde).

The desire to realize our potential for expressing love can have us impatient or discouraged that a job, a relationship, a work of art, or some desired outcome is not happening faster. We are encouraged to find pleasure in the bud teeming with promise and to savor the potential taking shape within us.

There are things we are keeping to ourselves (Venus Retrograde in Leo). Similar to a caterpillar that encases itself in a cocoon, what is dawning in us needs to be kept secreted away for a time. It can be beneficial to prioritize time to be alone, and if possible, to give ourselves a personal retreat.

New Moon Ruler: The Sun

Venus and Black Moon Lilith conjunct the New Moon

Uranus square the New Moon

Mars and Mercury trine Uranus and oppose Neptune

Venus Retrograde trine Chiron and square Jupiter

Planets turning Retrograde:

August 23: Mercury at 21 Virgo

August 28: Uranus at 23 Taurus

September 4: Jupiter at 15 Taurus

All outer planets are Retrograde until October 10

The New Moon is an optimal time to set an intention for what we will tend and nurture for the coming month. The area of your life where we are primed for a new beginning and where our heart's desire is being quickened is revealed by the nature of the house in our natal charts where 23 Leo resides. Planets we have at 22 and 23 degrees in our chart are being activated by the New Moon.

The blooming of flowers

is a symbol of the cyclical

nature of life, they bloom

and wither, only to bloom again.


Sometimes it is stressful to trust the cycles of becoming. We can easily become impatient and restless. We live in a culture that teaches us that life can be one continuous blooming. The transitions, the fallow periods, the time of seeding and waiting can be perceived as activities that are not productive and where we can be judged for not using our time wisely. Sometimes surrender and listening and allowing are as essential as the times of bold action and assertion. Yet, by observing nature and recognizing the seasons of growth, decay and rebirth, we can then relax and have faith in the rhythm of our life.

We are called to bring our light, our joy, our love into the world in a new way. The rest of August can be invigorating if we relish the passion mounting within us. Rather than forcing or rushing the bloom, the planetary alignments reveal that there is great benefit in giving ourself added space and time so we can:

  • encounter and dispel fears and thought patterns that have kept us small,

  • re-evaluate and work through details that need to be considered,

  • be open to what life may want to unexpectedly gift us, and

  • allow our heart's desire to percolate and bubble up within us.

A Full Heart

Venus, Juno, Black Moon Lilith conjunct the Leo New Moon

The Leo in each of us strives for personal fulfillment, to exercise right use of will, and realize our creative potential. The pathway to achieving this is through joy, a love of life, and a sense of play. For the rest of August, we are to love ourselves just as we are and affirm that we are enough. Situations or feelings that emerge may present an opportunity to discard what stands between us and the knowing that we are loveable as we are. We are to recognize that, through our presence and our love, we have something special and vital to offer the world.

Black Moon Lilith and Juno are asteroids that reveal wounds we hold from relationships with others. Both these asteroids speak of the wounding in one-on-one relationships, but also in response to a patriarchal culture that has sought to control, restrain or subdue the feminine. With both asteroids in Leo, we recognize our desire to be seen. We can also see how we may look to others to give us something we have not yet given ourselves. And in this, how we give our power away. Rather than hope others can fill a void, we can fill ourselves with the love we long for. Then, the admiration, acknowledgement and love we receive from others will be more satisfying and empowering.

Black Moon Lilith (BML) in Leo Conjunct the New Moon. It is human nature to want to be seen and loved for who we are, but we may feel shame for wanting attention and admiration. The idea of being seen can stir fears of being criticized or humiliated. By meeting and feeling the uncomfortable feelings around being seen, the fear can dissipate. We can recognize our worthiness and do the work to become someone worthy of esteem.

Juno, planet of partnership, at 0 Leo. We have a desire to shine, to be ardent, playful and desirable. Being loved is nice, but deep down there is a wish to be adored by a person, in our profession or even by the masses. It is the part of us that wants to be transparent, show our full colors, express the full measure of our heart, and be loved for it. Again, for this desire to be met, we must first give this to ourselves and not give into an impulse to control circumstance, manipulate others or make demands on the world to prove its love for us.

Don’t miss

the beauty of the bud

while you are waiting

for the flower to bloom.

R Eanes

Let Joy be our Guide

Venus Retrograde conjunct the New Moon

Every 18 months Venus has a retrograde cycle. As with all Venus Retrogrades, we feel the pull to take a step back, take time to be by ourselves. In this, we can see our relationships and life from a distance. There is an objectivity and increasing clarity around how our core values are expressed or not expressed in our daily lives. From this assessment, we may wish to make some changes.

This year, Venus is spending an extended time in the sign of Leo. We are to give attention to what inhibits or quiets our joy from being expressed in full measure in our relationships, work and life. Until September 3, we are gaining understanding and discernment for how to better create the conditions for our love, creativity and joy to flow more freely.

The peak moment of the Venus Retrograde, called Cazimi, occurred two days before the New Moon. Venus entered the heart of the sun. Infused with the light of the sun, she was reinvigorated and renewed. For us, our worthiness to feel and express our love more fully was quickened. New avenues will open for us a result. We have only to connect to and validate what is stirring in us and be willing to nurture the potential we find there.

We may suddenly be in contact with friends or romantic partners from our past. If someone from our past comes a-knocking, go ahead and open the door. Re-connecting with someone can serve to re-connect us to a more joyful or vital time of life. The invitation is not necessarily to forge a new bond with someone from our past, but to reclaim a key part of ourselves that has been dormant in recent years.

Venus trine Chiron. Healing can occur that dispels distrust of our heart's fire, passion, and love. This can lead to a renewed confidence where we feel more willing to assert, initiate and express love without the nagging belief that we may be hurt or disappointed for putting ourselves out there.

Venus square Jupiter – Jupiter serves to amplify the New Moon invitation and Venus’ Retrograde journey: to have our love more fully expressed. Jupiter amplifies and expands. There is a yearning to play, create, laugh, love and want what we want. The dance between Jupiter and Venus will continue for a few weeks and will continue to support us in nurturing our joy and enjoyment of life.

Like a flower

blossoming in the spring,

we too have the power

to emerge from darkness

and bloom into

our fullest potential.


Open to the Element of a Surprise

Uranus in the Mix

Uranus exactly square the New Moon. We may be reminded that we are not in control. Life may bring a quick and unexpected turn of fate, a sudden circumstance or brilliant flash of insight. If we try to control the movement of what is unfolding in our lives, we may feel this time as turbulent and stressful. If our life is disrupted in some way, we can look to how the disruption is liberating us, setting something free that has been held back or repressed. Uranus here can throw a curve ball and cause the bud to burst open, where we are called to stand forth, act with courage, and seize the day. But it is not something we will force or initiate.

Uranus trine Mars. We are feeling a readiness to meet and respond to the unexpected.

Uranus trine Mercury. Our minds are more facile, able to shift gears, see things from a new perspective, and give attention in a creative and imaginative way to address details, new information and plans that are being shaped and reshaped.

Earth Grand Trine Earth with Pluto, Uranus, Mars, Mercury. We can ground and stabilize what is emerging now. We may not be in control of the flow of the river of life and what may be coming downstream, but we can trust ourselves now to successfully navigate how to move on the river.

Mars oppose Neptune. Our ego is operating in a kind of fog as we our feeling, intuitive and creative nature are stimulated. We can attune to how we are connected to others and the world around. Tapping into the cosmic dance of creation, we can find ourselves tapping into a deep well of creativity and play. We each have a divine spark, a unique way of expressing that works in concert with the divine symphony of life. If we can feel into this, feel our unique expression as well as the humility of living in a world where each expression has its own specialness, we can serve, interact and be creative in an ecstatic way.

Fascination with What is Stirring Within Us

Venus, Mercury and all Outer Planets Retrograde


Pluto retrograde (April 29 - October 10)

Saturn Retrograde (June 17 - November 4)

Neptune Retrograde (June 30 – December 6)

Venus Retrograde (July 22 – September 3)

Turning retrograde soon

Mercury Retrograde (August 23 – September 15)

Chiron Retrograde (August 23 – September 15)

Uranus Retrograde (August 28 – January 26, 2024)

Jupiter Retrograde (September 4 – December 30)

We have entered the Retrograde Season when the vast majority of planets are Retrograde. This happens roughly around this time each year. All planets are or will be shortly turn Retrograde - except for Mars, and of course the Sun and Moon which do not have a retrograde cycle. What is unique, perhaps, is that this year's Venus Retrograde is part of the mix.

Outer planets in retrograde motion may or may not impact us significantly, however having all outer planets Retrograde gives us pause. It is invites us to pause, or at the very least, to slow ourselves down. We are being called to reflect and re-evaluate, to catch up with and replenish ourselves. Something within us is ready for change that will give rise to new clarity understandings about how to move forward. We are refrain from filling our schedules with lots of activity so that we can glean the rewards of what the Retrograde Season can offer us.

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo (August 23 – September 15). During its retrograde, we will be sorting and sifting, analyzing and looking at the details of what is working and not working. The house where 21 – 8 Virgo resides in our chart, will show the area of our life where we are likely to scrutinize with a fine-tooth comb. Virgo is a sign that appreciates order, and so it can be a perfect time to clean out a closet, clean up our diet, or begin some routine that can streamline our life. The Mercury Retrogrades of 2023 are all in earth signs, inspiring us to give extended attention to adjustments that can be made to incorporate practical ideas so that are lives are more functional and smooth running.

Dance like thunder,

sing like rain, and

bloom like a flower. Debasish Mridha

In Conclusion

We can ask ourselves:

How can I love more fully?

How can I better listen and care for our heart?

What shape would my life take if I engaged each moment with joy?

What beliefs, fears or traumas do I need to address that stand in the way of this?

We are all on a journey to realize our soul potential. August is an opportune time to forgive, to accept and to celebrate the beauty of who we are, warts and all. We can let ourselves be lit up with love, and with this love heal the wounds that have kept us small and dim. The end of summer can be a time where we take a quantum leap towards realizing our potential to have our lives be an expression of love.

Bloom like a flower;

express all of your love and beauty.

Debasish Mridha*

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