Neil Giles is a storyteller, astrologer and historian. He is a novelist and journalist and has written for theatre, radio and television, as well as many articles for Astrology on the Web.
His passion for mythology and the ancient traditions has led him on a journey through Astrology, Tarot, the Runes and the Celtic Ogham Script as a seeker and personal reader.
He is the author of a number of works on Celtic and Teutonic spirituality, including Odin's Runes and The Oracle of the Trees.
For Neil, the storyteller's path reminds us that while the wisdom of the past still lives, we can take wise action now and in the future. Always a traveller, Neil is at the moment living in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
...Good in parts! This will be a year of two different parts for the Lions. From January until August, you may well still be absorbed in a process of inner development, exploring new aspects of your nature, bringing new features to light or going through revelations with regard to old issues or matters. Spiritual or creative changes will be at work, or you may be in a fallow period, waiting for the right time to launch yourself anew. After August, new possibilities and pathways open up and a 'larger than life' theme sets itself strongly into the pattern of your activities, ventures and adventures.
The arbiter of this change is Jupiter, monarch of the Heavens, who blesses you lion-hearted ones with a move from Cancer and your solar twelfth house to your own fiery sign of Leo in the month of August. Have a happy birthday this year, you Lions, but remember that the theme for the early part of the year is still very much an inner one. Attend to the needs of your spirit. Give attention to creative matters. Seek the ideas and the teachers that will feed the inner self. Don't just coast along with things. Use a necessary period of gestation to prepare for a new level of activity or a change of direction in terms of outward expression that comes later on.
Love and Money
Revolutionary Uranus and mystic Neptune continue their journey in your solar seventh house of partnership. Romance may still come and go and partnership situations could change with startling suddenness. Partners may take you in new directions or change the course of your life and affairs.
Alternatively, you yourself may change, leaving partners or old associates behind as you seek something new. Take risks and strike out in new directions in August, but make sure you're not misled or doing anything misleading in mid September. The second half of the year could see you pulled between fulfilling your needs and trying to satisfy those of partners or close associates. Be honest about what you want. For those Lions in relationships, don't forget romance this year. Matters of work and health may consume you or leave you struggling sometimes as they may also take you away on fabulous journeys or excursions. Just remember to keep the romantic themes in place that will sustain you with your nearest and dearest otherwise cracks will appear.
For the single Lion, romance and adventure lie before you in the second half of the year. However, stability may not be a feature of any new developments so there could be lots of excitement and romance, but there could also be misplaced expectations or short term developments. For some, chasing what you want might prove more exciting than actually getting it. For others, this could be a year of expansion, travel and diversity so your love life may take you down such paths. Enjoy, but don't go too far.
Mighty Mars begins the year in Pisces and your solar eighth house, squaring off with powerful Pluto. There could be a strong temptation to overdo, overspend, push too hard or go too far so it will be best to follow a policy of restrained action or effort. This could strongly effect matters of joint finance (e.g. the credit card) and matters of deep desire or need. Work out what you really want and go for that, but don't just push ahead without insightful thought or understanding. Money spent wisely on matters related to work and health will bring the greatest benefit. You may have a strong desire to entertain or seek entertainment in the second half of the year. Once again, enjoy, but keep within the limits natural to your own budgetary constraints.
Relationships: the Journey to the Heart
Romance may come and go and partnership situations could change with startling suddenness. Partners may take you in new directions or change the course of your life and affairs. You may have had to deal with concealed or secret issues. Seek the ideas and the teachers that will feed the inner self, early on, then after August prepare for a year of increased personal magnetism.
Career and Finances: Stake Your Claim
You will gain through subordinates and colleagues. An interest in small animals, birds and so on may pay off, as well as anything to do with health, fitness and hygeine, especially books or articles on these. Dealings with health professionsals look good too. Whether or not your focus is on employment, you will or should be more concerned with organization, methods, and planning in general. Sports and entertainment could also be profitable. Overall, the year looks good.
Health: Balancing Your Energies
There is potential for severe illness, but if you keep in a straight line in your dealings the stress should be minimised. There may be some secret machinations regarding financial matters, so watch your back. There may be illness among friends or associates.
Home and Away: Family and Children
Your parents' health may be under stress, and singles should use caution in sexual relationships. Children should be enjoyed, but not unduly worried over, for they must in the end find their own paths. Some Leos will marry those who already have children. There may be travel over inheritances or legacies, or to pleasure resorts.
Periods of confusion affect
Jan/Feb: marriage, partnership or joint ventures, legal matters, negotiations, contracts, open enemies and disputes
May/June: friendships, organizations, income from career (as opposed to wages earned from a job), hopes and aspirations.
Sept/Oct: mental state, intellectual orientation, self-expression, communication, early education, mechanical dexterity and skills, local issues, neighbours and siblings. More on retro Mercury
Home and Family
Home and home life always have an intensity for the Lion, with the sign of Scorpio on the cusp of your solar fourth house of home, family and emotion, along with your natural inclination to pride and possessiveness around you and yours. This year, the months of October and November will bring important changes in that sector of your life as Venus the goddess turns retrograde (reverse motion) in Scorpio and your solar fourth house, in hard aspect to Jupiter.
There could be upheavals or changes, bringing developments or even reverses that will come with sudden or dramatic impact though the seeds will have been there for some time, perhaps hidden from sight. Even improvements could somehow prove to be costly in unexpected ways. This is not a time for extravagant spending around the home as the bills may hit harder than you anticipate. This is also a time when past spending may catch up with you. There may be comings and goings around the home as you, or those you love, come into opportunities or unexpected developments. Some of you may even experience a betrayal of some sort or be the author of one, so you will need to be insightful and clear as you keep your eyes on the situation around you and monitor your own conduct.
Work and Health
The year begins with the Chiron the wounded healer, the Sun, Venus the goddess and Mercury the messenger all in the sign of Capricorn and your solar sixth house of work and health. You will have to keep your head down and attend to necessary tasks this year. Though Jupiter calls you to expansion and growth, this array of heavenly bodies asks for a more straightforward 'nose to the grindstone' approach. This is not a year to shirk duties or leave responsibilities unattended to or there will be consequences. Keep your attention on the microcosm so that you can enter the macrocosm after August.
As far as health is concerned, this could have a distinctive focus for you this year. New health routines and a better approach for life and health management will be important in the first half of the year. As Jupiter calls you after August, you will need to be careful that his naturally expansive tendencies don't bring the expanding appetites and subsequent expanding waistline. Concentrate on a fitness for life. This is a good year to deal with any sense of inadequacy that you feel and also to branch into the learning of healthcare techniques you find that you need. The very thing that makes you sick this year could open a new door for you in the long term. Take health problems seriously and work on them with proper care and attention.
The development of new skills and the fostering of new ideas and communication or education practices in order to advance your hopes and wishes is a carryover theme from last year with Saturn still in Gemini and your solar eleventh house. Open up new and necessary avenues of friendship and connection to go with the new learning. Set limits and structures for the goals you want to achieve and you will find yourself going forward in a measured way. Achieve through certainty.
Powerful Pluto still urges you forward to a new lifestyle and creative undertakings, but the month of May could see the surge forward bring a cost in terms of the parting of the ways with friends or changes with regard to your own hopes and wishes. Put aside the staid and conventional in the month of May. Break the patterns that see you compromising your ideas and opinions because of any pressure to be agreeable or fit in. If you don't choose to make an important break by the month of May then you may be forced to do so after the midyear of 2003.
Mercury moves into retrograde (reverse) motion three times a year for about three weeks each time. This phase heralds a time of confusion and misunderstandings that can affect arrangements, travel, transport, appliances, machinery and communications. The breakdowns that occur are a function of neglect, inattention, simple misunderstandings or component failure. They will often bring to the fore the very contingency we should have planned for and didn't. When the retrograde phase occurs, watch out for such possibilities as well as putting off major decision-making or the signing of crucial documents and agreements. We tend to miss things while Mercury is in reverse motion and then have to come back and do them again. A process of review in the retrograde phase can efficiently show where problems might lie and help us with damage control or the mending of things. Double check arrangements at these times! What you think you've said and what others have understood will often prove to be two different things.
Mercury's first retrograde cycle for the year comes in Aquarius and your solar seventh house. You may find yourself up in the air with partners or close associates. There could be changes or unexpected developments in partnership matters. Go with the changes and see where they lead. Things will come clear after a time. Sort out any confusion that comes in communication with your nearest and dearest. Adopt a different attitude, take a new stance or see things from new perspective (the one from the other side of the fence).
The messenger's second retrograde cycle comes in Gemini and your solar eleventh house of friends, hopes and wishes in the trying month of May. This could be a confusing time as the ground with friends and with your own aims or goals shifts and shifts again. Play the developments by ear until mid June as you will find any changes you make will be ineffective or may even take you away from your goals. Signals will go astray and wires will be crossed as far as friends and associates are concerned so make sure you make a genuine effort to double check everything before you take it as read.
Mercury's third reverse phase comes in the sign of Libra and your solar third house of travel, communications, education and siblings. This could be a confusing time with regard to communications and arrangements of all sorts so make sure you stay flexible throughout this period and be ready to make necessary change at a moment's notice. Be especially attentive to what others are saying and to their points of view, otherwise you'll miss something crucial. However, don't create binding commitments during this period, as they will come back to haunt you later. Financial issues may come to the fore as a result of changes, unexpected developments or breakdowns at this time. Get appliances and vehicles attended to or serviced before this period. If they let you down, it will be at an in convenient moment. Consider educational options you may have previously rejected.
Your Full Moon comes on January 28th, bringing challenges in relationships and some difficulties with partners or close associates. There may be some hurt and confusion felt by you or others even if it is not intended. Some of you could even experience deception in love. For some this may bring a bright new romantic start, but make sure the romance doesn't fade or become lost because you fail to see the situation properly. If you find yourself at odds with others, take a detached view of the situation and see what others are seeing, even if you don't agree with it.
Your New Moon comes on August 8th, inviting a new course of action and excitement. There could be a new road of full of dramatic developments or a strongly sexual flavour to this time. For some, there could be an exciting renewal of old passions or involvements. Advancement may come through others. Leadership skills could come to the fore. Step up and meet the challenge. Be prepared for a roller-coaster ride though as you charge ahead and carry all before you with the flame of passion. The new, dynamic and vigorous course is favoured. Act now! This could also be a time of some conflict or inflamed feelings. Take the leadership position.
Eclipses of both the Sun and the Moon often indicate the end of a cycle or a significant change in the direction or pattern of the affairs governed by the house in which the eclipse falls. Eclipses of the Sun may affect work, direction and relations with people in authority. Eclipses of the Moon may affect matters of home, family and emotions as well as relations with women and children. Both may affect your health.
A lunar eclipse at the Full Moon on May 26th could disrupt friendships or creative projects. Relationships with children could be affected. There may be a significant pattern of change in life direction or your current associations after this time. Some losses with regard to friends may occur and arguments or disputes could be at the heart of any changes. Make sure you listen to what's being said and why before you react. Equally, make sure you explain yourself clearly to others.
A solar eclipse at the New Moon in Gemini on June 11th may bring a significant change to your plans or bring an end to a cycle that will affect a project or development you've been pursuing. Changes in friends or associations may come as a consequence.
A lunar eclipse at the Full Moon in Capricorn on June 24th could bring problems and the change of a cycle with regard work routines and health matters. Relationships with women you work with may prove difficult or challenging. Health, particularly, may be under pressure at this time so make sure you take care of yourself and don't be let down by poor health care practices.
A lunar eclipse at the Full Moon in Taurus and your solar tenth house on November 20th may bring challenges with regard to work and responsibilities. There might be conflict with superiors or people in authority. The balance of matters at home and work may be disturbed or changed in some way. There could be a strong eruption of feelings around work or home that will leave you or others gasping for breath. Be insightful. Talk matters through. Otherwise there could be problems or even endings or departures related to your situation.
A solar eclipse at the New Moon in Sagittarius on December 4th may somehow curb your desires or change matters with regard to friends and associations. There could be departures into other areas or places. There could be changes with regard to ideas or beliefs that distance you somehow from others.
May and August stand as the signal months in this year's forecast. May could turn the tide and set you free, but by the same token it may also obstruct your way forward as events in the bigger picture have the casting vote as regards future directions. August brings the advent of Jupiter to your sign, so you will profit from growth, expansion and a new cycle of optimism or plans on a grand scale.
Remember that Jupiter can cause us to lose our gains at a rapid rate if we don't keep a healthy sense of proportion with the way we're moving ahead. As mighty Mars also clashes with revolutionary Uranus in the third week of August, this could be a time of some fireworks and a few off-the-wall events or changes. Keep your head and your sense of humour and new horizons will open up for you in the next twelve months. Be prepared to pay the cost of change when it is required.
Finally, as Venus the goddess and mighty Mars conjoin in Scorpio and your solar fourth house for much of December, your domestic and emotional life could be either a battleground or a hotbed of sexual electricity to see you home at the end of the year. Make love not war.