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New Dynamics in Astrology

by Dane Rudhyar

Table of Contents

2. Twelve Phase of Human Experience
      Page 1
      Page 2
      Page 3

3. The Creative Release of Spirit

Part Two:
Twelve Phases of Human Experience

LEO - Page 2 of 3

Leo is the realm of emotions, in contradistinction to Cancer which is that of "feelings." These two terms, feelings and emotions, should be clearly distinguished from one another. "Feeling" is an internal and organic sense, by means of which the personality as a whole (or at the strictly biological level, the body as a whole) passes judgment on what is constructive and destructive, good and bad for the entire human being. To "feel" is to react as an organic whole to a situation and a person and reacting thus means simply reacting for or against the situation or entity confronting the person who feels.
      As a result of, or synchronously with, such a "feeling" a number of things happen. Muscles contract. The blood pressure is raised or lowered, the pulse accelerated or delayed, however imperceptibly it may be. The endocrine glands also react to that "feeling," secreting more or less of their products in the blood. Organic chemistry is thus ever so slightly altered. All these organic changes constitute, psychologically speaking, the "affect" or emotion; and the emotion either transforms itself into an action (kissing or running away, for instance), or else is stopped from manifesting outwardly into a visible muscular action. Emotions, therefore, follow feelings: but the two must be clearly differentiated. The feelings belong to the realm of the Sign Cancer; emotions, to that of Leo.
      There are also what may be called "internal feelings." A man feels well or feels sick. Such feelings are the direct manifestations of the way in which the organism as a whole operates. The moment one of the functions of the organism is impaired or inhibited, the human being feels that there is something wrong. In a localized and acute sense the feeling of organic disturbance is "pain." Through external and internal feeling, and above all through pain, man gains progressively a sense of being a separate unit, somehow different from other similar or organisms. Man learns to say "I." He learns to say it at first through pain and frustration; that is, by not having what his organism needs or desires. He learns to operate as a "personal ego," different from other personal egos because he "feels" in a different way. Individualization begins through pain and the exercise of feelings. It grows through man's attempts at self-expression (the realm of Leo). It becomes set through the exercise of the power of intellectual analysis and discrimination (the realm of Virgo).
      In Cancer the human being becomes: at the biological level, an organism with a definite life-span and rhythm of growth; at the psychological level, a person an organism of feelings centered around an ego at the social level, the owner of a home which defines his social status. At each level what is built in Cancer is the basic capacity to meet as an integrated whole (an organism) the impact of other entities, and to establishes a foundation from which one may be able to operate creatively and socially. In Leo, man goes forth from this foundation and, with a still somewhat insecure determination to be a "social" person, he "moves-out" into the world brandishing his "yes" and his "no" as a flashing sword. In Cancer, the human person is like a square or cube a foundation. In Leo, he is an ego straining his to him glorious "I am" as a standard which will lead to victory.
      Leo has been often interpreted as the most individualistic sign of the Zodiac; but it is so only if one defines the term "individualistic" in relation to social relationships and everyday life in groups. In Leo the individual having begun to feel a responsibility to beloved and child, is impelled to participate in some kind of social activity; no longer as an adolescent in school, but as an independent personality having to determine his course of action and to be responsible for his failures. The result of such a situation is that the personality, at the Leo stage of experience, overdoes everything. He wants to make an impression upon society, very much as a seven-year-old child wants to make a big impression on his intimates. He feels that he is "the thing; that of course everyone will see at once how important he will be to society, and that quickly they will bow to his unusual abilities and bestow upon him riches and power riches and power he needs not only to feed, but even more to lord it over, his wife and children.
      Thus the keynote of Leo is: dramatic exteriorization of personality in order to gain social recognition and increased self-assurance as a social unit. The Leo type may not necessarily be a leader by right of ability. But, if so, he will undoubtedly attempt, even if in small ways, to bluff or push his way through, with big theatrical gestures, emotional fireworks and much gambling Leo likes to take risks as much as to manage people. But just as the so-called "aggressiveness" of the Aries type is the result of his sense of personal insecurity, so the dramatic bids for leadership and the generosity of the Leo type is a psychological compensation for an often poignant withal unacknowledged and most likely unconsciousness of social insecurity.
      Mussolini, whose youthful photographs betray his early sense of social inferiority and his neurotic character, is an excellent example of the course a true Leo type will or may pursue. If he finds himself in the midst of confused and disheartened people he will at once sense his chance and rise to the occasion; power will build him up in an amazing way and he will glow just as an adulated "young prodigy" usually does and likewise he may collapse into obscurity when the tide of success turns and the Virgo phase of self-criticism and self-mortification begins to operate. Then the proud Leo may astonish everyone by big public gestures of self-humiliation. He takes all the blame. There is no more convincing penitent. But he may soon forget and begin another cycle of social self-aggrandizement.
      Such a reliance on social gestures and gambles is a sure sign that fundamentally the man is not sure; often that he is actually filled with social fears. He does not know how to cooperate with people; so he has to lead them. Leadership in the manner of dictators means projecting oneself forcefully upon receptive materials. The creative artist acts likewise. Whatever be his field of creation, he encounters resistance from the materials upon which he projects his vision and his emotional intensity; but that resistance can be overcome by ruthless means. The musical instrument can be forced to resound; the oil can be spread over the canvas if enough insistence is displayed. It is not a matter of cooperating with materials, but of clever handling and of instinctive (or acquired) knowledge of how they react to the touch. Likewise dictators are adepts in mass-psychology. They use propaganda and they dramatize themselves. And such is the technique of leadership.
      True social consciousness is something entirely different. The typical Leo person has very little of it in his make-up; even though he may give the impression he has. He speaks in terms of generalities. He stirs crowds with words and dreams. He hypnotizes people through the intensity of his self-projection. But his wife often knows better; for dramatic gestures need foot-lights and distance to be really effective.

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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