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July 23, 2017, the Leo new moon encourages us to take stock of where we can infuse more playful energy into our lives. If we’ve gotten too serious, haven’t taken a break in a while, or have forgotten to smell the roses, use this new moon energy to clear out the “serious” in favor of the “fun.” Commit to finding balance in your life, and release any workaholic tendencies that were illuminated earlier in the month by the Capricorn full moon

Leo’s energy includes playfulness and the ability to view life with child-like wonder. Have you stopped to look around and revel in life’s small things lately? Sharing delightful times with youngsters is also a fun way to align with Leo’s whimsical nature. A close relationship with Mars to this moon charges up the other side of Leo — the side that charges forth and is not afraid to take (calculated) risks.

If there is an adventure you dream of, or an endeavor you want to start, let Mars & the Leo new moon help you begin.

Take care to listen to flashes of insight and inspiration that tell you where your bliss lies. It might be difficult to let those messages come through, and you may feel derailed in your spiritual practice….but that’s where Mars’ energy can come in handy. Where there is a will, there is a way, and if your will is set on taking the risks necessary to follow your dreams and enjoy your life, now is the time!

Alchemical Ritual for the Leo New Moon

As a fire sign, Leo is passionately driven toward an exuberant expression of self and reveling in the company and attention of others. On the low side, Leo becomes aggressive or arrogant, or the opposite: shy with a lack of self-confidence. This new moon ritual for Leo emphasizes the high side of Leo so that we step out of the shadow, into our own light and present it to the world with joy and love.

Leo’s ruler is the sun, which represents the light of full consciousness. However, if the sun burns to brightly, it singes all those who touch it. And, without the sun, it leaves others cold and unfeeling. Leo’s inherent warmth must be generous, and humble; the perfect combination to allow Leo’s energy to shine appropriately. To keep Leo’s energy elevated in this ritual, gather yellow stones such as citrine, topaz or jasper, and place them in the center of your ritual space. You may also place your sacred items in a gold (or gold-colored) bowl or chalice, as gold compliments the sun.

Bring in the fire element in some way, by surrounding your ritual space with candles. Fire, being the inherent energy of the sun. Frankincense oil may be used to anoint your third eye and solar plexus chakra before and after the ceremony. Use sage, sweet grass or palo santo to cleanse yourself and the space by casting the smoke over yourself and encircling your own body three times. Light your candles and dim the lights. Sit in the center of your space and bring the hands together at the heart center. Close the eyes, and turn the inner gaze to the third eye and say the following invocation aloud:

Sun, light my way so that I may shine brightly for the benefit of all.

Do one round of a yogic breath called skull-shining (kapalabhati) to ignite the inner flame and fan it toward the third eye, allowing you to clearly see how to bring the fullest expression of yourself into the world. Place one hand on the abdomen as you sharply exhale through the nose. Repeat this rapidly for 10 – 20 repetitions. The sensation is the same as blowing the nose, or coughing as you use the abdominal muscles to push the air to the top of the nasal passages, and then out the nose. Allow the inhale to be passive, as the shoulders stay relaxed and the mouth stays closed.

After the skull-shining breath, resume normal breathing and notice the energy shift in the body. Ask yourself silently: “How may I best be of service to others?” Allow time for a subtle answer. It may be one you expect, or not! Whatever answer comes is the right one for you at this time. Hold your hand over your upper belly as you breathe into the answer you receive and feel it take hold of you, inside and out.

When complete, turn the internal gaze to the third eye and chant Om three times. Snuff the candles and write down the answer that you received (either on paper or as a reminder on your phone), so that you place your attention on it daily until sharing your gift becomes a natural extension of your daily life. This ritual allows you to know your purpose, understanding that the fullest expression of yourself is the greatest gift you give to the world.

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