The Gift and Test of Leo
The gift of simplicity
The symbol of Leo is the Sun. Sun forms the centre of the solar system and distributes its energy. Everyone turns to the Sun: the plants, the animals and the people. When the Sun shines, we get vitalised – grateful for the life it gives, grateful for its light that makes us see, grateful for the warmth that does not let our existence cool down. Sun rules our lives. We could not be without the Sun. It embodies true greatness. It demands nothing and gives everything.
A Leo type also feels this solar power within himself. He has a sense of mission, stands at the centre and distributes his energy. Generously, he gives of himself, and others gladly take from him. They feel his warmth, his love and kindness. Everything revolves around him and gets organized around him. This creates a system of its own, however large or small it may be. And he is the king of it.
On one hand he enjoys when others turn to him and acknowledge his achievements, but on the other hand he also expects it a little. In order to intensify its effect, he skilfully sets himself in scene. He dramatizes his ideas and packages his deeds in heroic stories. His whole life becomes a stage on which he walks with great pathos. He plays the outstanding leading role, others the supporting roles. The rest may watch and applaud. This automatically creates an up and down. Depending on the form it takes, this can lead to subtle suppression, up to a system in which others suffer compulsion and lack of freedom and become dependent subjects.
The pursuit of outward greatness and recognition moves off the Leo type not only from others but also from himself. His true nature remains hidden behind his stagings and masks. On the outside, he may be shining, but on the inside, he rarely directs his light of attention. For no other is the saying more true than for him, the sunny Leo: Where there is light, there is shadow. Self-confident in appearance, he is blind to his idiosyncrasies and mistakes.
The Divine Spirit therefore gives him the gift of simplicity. It relieves him of all drama, takes everything complicated and dramatic from his nature and leaves aside all exaggerated posturing. All masks may fall. All that remains is he, himself.
Greek mythology speaks of the sun priest Maron in the shadow grove. He had golden talents, a silver cup and the purest wine. True talents, creativity and pure spirit are found by the Leo type in the shadow of his still unlit inner being. However, these gifts only come to light when he is ready to let the masks of his personality fall and to allow the light of his true being to shine through him. As soon as the Leo becomes aware of these original forces, he is no longer concerned with impressing others, but with expressing his Self. He gives because it gushes out of him, out of his heart, the inexhaustible source of his energy. His radiation is permeated with pure, unadulterated spirit. He reaches the others effortlessly and without any elaborate “fuss”.
An ideal king like Maron is close to everyone and reaches everyone. He is not above the people, but is “one of them”. He stands out among them for his special qualities. Because he is there for everyone, he has the biggest heart. And he is the most thoughtful one, too. Therefore they wish to be guided by him. They lift him into his position of their own free will, and he does nothing more than simply be himself.
The test of truthfulness
The lion is the king of animals. On one hand he has no natural enemies in the animal kingdom, on the other hand he lives with his pack, in a kind of court, like a royal ruler. The reason why we give him the title “king” is mainly because his being embodies for us humans the majesty itself, the combination of greatness, power, energy and sublimity. No animal is by nature as free as he is.
Animals follow their instincts and do nothing wrong in this sense. They simply are what they are and do what their physical nature dictates: eat, sleep, woo, copulate, roar, yawn, hunt or kill. Thus understood, even a lion cannot do what he wants. It is conditioned by his instincts and completely integrated into the course of nature.
In contrast to this, the human being has real freedom of action. He can really do what he wants. However, if he acts predominantly according to his instincts, he is hardly different from an animal – except that he becomes aware of his actions and their consequences afterwards. To be truly human means to act consciously – and to act in such a way that expresses his inner nature. Originally, this is the meaning of self-confidence. The inner nature makes up one’s own being. That is what you are from the bottom of your heart. And the outer nature checks whether the inner is lived authentically. The ability to do this is given to this type.
The essence of the Leo-born is full self-expression, the creativity to draw everything from within oneself and to be what one is – in one word: truthfulness. Any form of spectacle, masquerade or show runs counter to this. If he makes himself too big, he suppresses others and they cannot be truthful. If he makes himself too small, he cannot be truthful. It is therefore a matter of appropriateness in self-expression.
Leo includes hierarchical systems such as institutions, companies, authorities and associations. Such systems carry the danger of compulsion and oppression. This is at the expense of truthfulness, especially for a Leo-born person. Whether he or she submits to such a system or is its ruler or partial ruler is irrelevant. He is not free in it and his creative power is curtailed. The test of truthfulness cannot be mastered if, in a company, one can neither do what the creative spirit inspires nor freely say what one wants. It is all the more impossible to succeed when one dictates to others what they should do and what they should not do against their will. Truthfulness needs freedom, which allows all thoughts and enables to act according to one’s inner nature.
Love is the natural bond that connects everything from within. Despite all wars, enmity and hatred, people are connected with each other in their hearts. Whoever acts half-heartedly separates himself from others and himself and cannot be truthful. The most essential quality of the heart is to give without expecting anything in return. When the Leo type seeks recognition or praise, it inhibits his actions. Then he is bound to the reaction of others and becomes dependent on them. As soon as recognition is not forthcoming, his strength and heartiness diminish. But the inner nature of a Leo person wants to express himself – no matter whether others acknowledge him for it or not. This means freedom of action.
If the will of the Leo-born is connected to his heart, society gives him freedom to do whatever he wants to do. For nothing that encourages and releases others is hindered by him. Conversely, obstacles or even defeats reveal a separation both from others and from oneself. Compulsion, laziness, arrogance or self-centredness may be external triggers for obstacles. Basically, however, there is a lack of self-knowledge. How can one be truthful without having recognized oneself and one’s inner nature to a good part?
The Leo type tends to self-blindness. He recognizes himself primarily through his actions. What remains hidden to him, namely the impact on others, he can often only experience with the help of his fellow human beings. Therefore it is important for him to ask for their impressions openly and casually. If they feel warmth, joy and freedom through him, and he feels free himself, he truly lives his inner nature.
The synthesis of gift and test
Be yourself. Leave any masquerade or show, if you want to express yourself. Your heart tells you what to do and gives you the strength. Don’t expect recognition. Otherwise, you did not act wholeheartedly. Use your power and strength also for others. Let them feel your warmth and love. Then you are completely in your power.
…will be continued
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