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 sojourning on the north coast of New South Wales.
Leo, the Lion
Leo the Lion in the year 2003
Giant Jupiter, monarch of the Heavens, continues his majestic and expansive journey through the sign of the Lion until August. Thus, the emphasis continues to be on growth and expansion at a personal level for the first eight months of 2003. You need not only to take the opportunities that come, but also to take the initiative in creating them for yourself. This will mean acting with speed and boldness when the time is right.
Overseas travel, higher education and an elevation in status or a change of career direction may be on the cards for some. Be careful you don't get caught up in an 'expanding waistline' syndrome and make sure that high hopes or grand ideas don't lead you down an unrealistic path. After August, you should be able to consolidate whatever gains you have made through good financial management.
In March, revolutionary Uranus rings the changes for you as he moves from Aquarius and your solar seventh house of partnership to Pisces and your solar eighth house of joint finances and resources. In the long term this will bring a new stability to the relationship sector of your life, one that may have been hard to find over these last seven years. Some lions will develop a new interest or involvement with money, one that brings a sudden shift or reversal in the pattern of your financial lives. New arrangements with joint finances or credit may be involved. Other lions will find themselves withdrawing from current financial involvements, either by intent or through an unexpected change of circumstance. Some lions will find themselves drawn to matters of metaphysics or even the occult and you may find yourselves coming to a new understanding of the serious issues of life and death. Others may be drawn to the study of psychology and human behaviour. Some lions may benefit from an unexpected inheritance, one that will change their financial state. Others may find themselves drawn into a new walk of life, somehow becoming acquainted with a different sphere of human activity, one outside the framework of previous experience. This move is the establishment phase of a new cycle of seven years of growth and change. Over this time, you may come to know both yourselves and others in a way you had not thought possible.
Love and Money |
Mighty Mars and Venus the goddess begin the year in passionate Scorpio and your solar fourth house of home family and emotion, making tension with revolutionary Uranus as he comes to the end of his journey through Aquarius and your solar seventh house of partnership. Your life with loved ones could see some changes in the course of the year. For some, it will simply be an 'up and down' year. Ride out the bumps and find a new approach to old problems. For others, partners or close associates may go through changes of feeling or situation that affect your lives together.
Unexpected developments may alter how your partnership works. New occupations, preoccupations or interests may require a different attitude or approach on either side. There may be comings and goings that happen with dramatic speed or suddenness. For some, an end may come. For others, there will be a new beginning in the relationship department. Unexpected changes may bring the electricity back for some. For others, the obstacles of new conflict or tensions may prove too much. All in all, this will be a passionate year for the Lion. Remember the old adage of 'the baby and the bath water' and many of you will enrich what you have.
The single Lion will have an exciting year in store for them. Moves or changes around home or work will bring you into contact with new people though the price of this may be loss of connection with the old. Romance may come from occupational changes or vice-versa. The challenge may be in stabilizing new involvements into something more solid. You might find your interests changing very quickly or you may find that circumstances change so fast that it is hard to keep up. New people will bring new ideas and possibilities into your life so don't dismiss them out of hand. Don't let your personal life become too much of an extravagant drama between January and August.
August 27th sees giant Jupiter, monarch of the Heavens, move into Virgo and your solar second house of personal finances. There could be crucial changes around money matters. Some of you may move into an expanded area of income or spending. Others may be returned to the simple practicalities of budgetting. For some, health concerns will be tied to matters of income. For others, new skills or working methods will be important or even essential for financial progress. 'Care' and 'method' are the watchwords for your financial practices after August. If you are organized and efficient, you can not only solve problems you have to face but also flourish and find benefit in a new approach to finance.
A word of warning about money and desire! Watch the period from the end of July to the end of September when mighty Mars turns retrograde in Pisces and your solar eighth house. This is not a time 'to go for it' as extravagance will catch you out. Put limits on your spending and some constraint on your desires for you may not see the extremes you are pushing towards until it's too late to step back. This is not the time for a secret dalliance. It may blow up in your face.
Home and Family
With the state of Venus and Mars in your solar chart for 2003, action on the domestic front could be intense. There may be changes around the family home. For some there may be a new home. For others there will be exits and entrances from the family home, some taking place unexpectedly or with astonishing speed. As Mars in Scorpio forms a square with giant Jupiter in your sign as the New Year begins, there could be conflict in the home for some, especially where matters of religious or political belief are involved. If this occurs, negotiate, don't bluster!
For the lions with family, don't try to rule your pride with a rod of iron. If you can't cut your offspring a little slack, you may find yourselves at loggerheads. Use insight to see what is going on underneath the surface before you start laying down the law. Some of you may have to let your offspring take the course that they see before them, even if you are not so sure on their behalf.
If you're undertaking renovations at home this year, be careful that you don't blow the budget or bite off more than you can chew. A moderate program will have the best chance of a happy and economical outcome.
Work and Health
With the Sun and Chiron conjoined in Capricorn and your solar sixth house of work and health as the year begins, many Lions could be looking at distinctive changes in their daily routines. New skills or work methods will be the order of the day for some. New practices with regard to healthcare will be an essential for others. Some lions may be drawn to skills and practitioners of an esoteric nature while others may need the services of healers or even learn the healing arts themselves.
This is a year in which the call to new practices or methods will be simple and clear. If you need to exercise, do so. If you need to change your diet or use remedies, do so. If you need to learn new methods or techniques, do so. Don't fight the process for, one way or another, the way you live your life on a day to day basis will undergo change of a significant, practical and necessary kind.
Contact will be the watchword for the Lion in 2003 in regard to matters of career, especially after mid April when the Lunar Nodes move into the signs of Taurus and Scorpio, activating your solar tenth and fourth houses. You will find the advancement you need through people and connections. Take notice of the advice and influence of those who come into your life, even if it seems to suggest taking a different approach or a different road. Some of you may find it hard to keep a balance between home and work. You may discover that pressure or advancement in one area will have a significant effect in the other. There probably won't be any magical solutions to such difficulties. You will just have to do the best you can in maintaining a balance.
Mercury Retrograde |
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 phase begins on January 2nd in the sign of Capricorn and your solar sixth house of work and health. Be careful with regard to work-related accidents and minor health problems. You may need to look at communications with co-workers and there could be trouble with office equipment or machinery at work. Your daily routines may be interrupted or simply not go as planned. Take practical steps to solve any problems. Don't just let things slide. This reverse motion cycle finishes on January 23rd.
The messenger begins his second retrograde phase in the sign of Taurus and your solar tenth house on April 26th. There could be communication difficulties related to working or professional matters. There might be upsets or reversals in your dealings with those in authority or in situations where you have to take authority. You will need to review such matters and some of you may even be reviewing your professional direction. Don't make decisions too early. Clashes over values or money might be at the heart of any problem, no matter how things seem. Be reasonable and pragmatic. This period finishes on May 20th.
The third retrograde phase for the messenger takes place in the sign of Virgo and your solar second house of personal finances. This occurs from August 27th until September 29th. Watch both money and budgets here. Outstanding bills may catch up with you or you may need to spend monies not budgeted for. Review your personal spending. Make sure you communicate clearly over money. There may be dealings with minor officials about you finances. There may be errors in the handling of them. Double check ordinary or day to day transactions.
Unusually, Mercury brings the onset of a fourth retrograde phase before the end of the year. This begins on December 17th in the sign of Capricorn and your solar sixth house of work and health. It will not finish until 2004. Once again, daily routines may be interrupted or changed unexpectedly. Minor disruptions could occur. Health matters need to be under examination as you may be a little under par. Take steps to remedy what's wrong. Make sure relations with co-workers are clear and simple, otherwise there could be problems.
Your Full Moon comes on February 16th as the Sun conjoins with revolutionary Uranus and Lady Moon opposes it. There could be upsets or upheavals here. Things may be a little turbulent or disturbing. There may be problems with partners or close associates. There may be changes or reversals that will require a process of adjustment. See things in a new and different way. Someone close to you may go through an unexpected change of attitude or circumstance. There may be changes or challenges with women in particular. This could be especially strong around unusual women or women with strong or eccentric views. Ride the ups and downs with a shift of consciousness.
Your New Moon comes on July 29th with a whiff of opposition from mystic Neptune. Make sure you see and understand things clearly if you set out on a new path or in pursuit of a new goal, especially where partnership matters are concerned. Don't misread the signs and don't be influenced by excessive hopefulness or romanticism. Things may not be as they seem. Some of you will need to be careful also of deception by others, though whether they are deceiving you directly or just deceiving themselves and involving you will be a matter for some discernment. You may want to strike out in some new direction because of changes around you or because of loss of interest in old circumstances or associations. Once again, make sure you understand clearly what you are doing and why. This is not a time to act out of boredom or disaffection.
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 comes on May 16th with the Full Moon in the sign of Scorpio and your solar fourth house of home, family and emotion. A domestic issue or an emotional matter may have a new light cast on it or something from this sector of your life may come to a head. There could be a break or a separation with regard to home or loved ones. This may come as a consequence of intense feeling or powerful external circumstances. There may be little you can do except let things run their course. Try to see to the heart of what's going on.
May 31st brings a Solar Eclipse in Gemini and your solar eleventh house of friends, hopes and wishes. This could signal the end of the road with a dream you have been pursuing. You may need a change of direction. New information may influence your decisions. There could be an end of a cycle with a friendship or association. You may be going down different roads or a clash of ideas may bring a parting of the ways. There may be some loss of connection with an unusual woman who has been part of your life.
A Lunar Eclipse comes on November 9th and in the sign of Taurus and your solar tenth house of work, status and dealings with authority. You might be at the end of a cycle career-wise or there could be a change with regard to the people in authority that you are dealing with. The changes here could a significant effect in your emotional or domestic life. A strong or authoritative woman may play a part in the process. Someone from your home life could be involved in a clash with someone in authority.
November 23rd brings a Solar Eclipse in the sign of Sagittarius and your solar fifth house of leisure, pleasure and creative endeavours. This would not be a good time to get a new venture or creative project underway as it might well run into difficulty. There could be an interruption to your leisure and lifestyle pursuits. There may be a change of cycle or a problem with regard to children. There could be unexpected developments or difficult communications.
On June 3rd, sober Saturn, the measurer of effort, moves into the sign of Cancer and your solar twelfth house. He will journey here for two years. There may be some element of necessary withdrawal with regard to the pattern of your life over this time. You will need a deal of inner consideration and may even be more reserved than usual.
Some of you may spend time reviewing past efforts or have to deal with matters that arise from past events. This could be troubling for some but make sure you attend to the issues that arise and explore your relationship with these things to an insightful depth. Some of you may experience a loss or separation and will need to spend time reflecting on your situation.
Be careful in health matters. Your energy levels may not be at their familiar high. If problems surface through this period they will need attention, otherwise there could be long term consequences. Some of you will find it is necessary to withdraw from what you're doing in order to walk a more creative or spiritual path. Some of you may even be moved to a career change where you will be able to follow a dream precious to you. Be prepared to pay whatever price the dream demands. If you don't incline towards reflection and change over this two-year period, then you may find the years down the track to be hard ones. Use the time that's coming up to find a stronger sense of your spirit.