Choleric Days / Sun in Leo

  • Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen.
  • Four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments.
  • Temperament is not the same as personality. Whilst the latter is shaped both by internal and external forces, temperament is inborn, innate.

As far back as Galan in the 2ndcentury it has been accept that no person can consist of a single temperament; such ‘pure’ states are not possible in nature. Still, it’s not unusual to display a dominant temperament and with the Sun now in Leo until 23 August, the dominant energy or temperament is choleric, the manifestation of fire which is hot and dry. 

Even if your Sun is not in Leo, Leo energy exists somewhere in your chart and so during this period whilst the Sun is in Leo, you might expect that it manifests for you n some way.

Choleric energy is characterised as commanding and aggressive. It is a time of energetic enthusiasm that may lead to impulsive ‘hot-headedness’. But it’s also characterised by a friendly atmosphere of generosity that can help to smooth over any cracks. This is a proud and bountiful time but beware, there’s a tendency not only to be lazy, but also to tell bold and audacious lies.

The Life of Madonna: an astrological thumbnail sketch

Imagine having a snapshot of the quality of time in your life right now?

There are many astrological techniques offering this opportunity but my favourite one, of classical origin, is called Directing by Triplicity. It provides a quick and easy thumbnail sketch of your entire life which, in my experience with numerous charts, is very accurate. 

Let’s see how this works with Madonna:


Madonna’s early life is characterised by wanting to shine but being held back. This time is best spent dreaming about what she wishes to achieve and gaining the skills to accomplish that.  Later, she can expect success in being of benefit to women and women’s issues. The suggestion here is achievement of a high-profile position that comes with a ‘bit of glamour’. In later life, she will turn to more philosophical than practical concerns although this is unlikely to give her the sense of contentment or achievement she seeks. 

Madonna’s natal chart


  1. Madonna was born during the day and so the focus is on her Sun.
  2. Her Sun is in Leo, which is in the element of Fire: the classical triplicity rulers for Fire are Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn (in that order).
  3. The first 1/3 of Madonna’s life is thus ruled by her Leo Sun:
    • Because this Sun is in its sign of rulership, is very strong. Here is a child that wants to shine but she struggles to do so.
    • This is because her Sun at 23 Leo does not make an aspect to the angles of the chart and so she’ll have little impact on her environment.
    • Her Sun is also in her 12th house, which suggests that however much she may want to be in the limelight, she remains hidden away.
    • This is a good time to sit tight and plan for the future whilst honing the skills that will take her there.
  4. The second 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by her Jupiter, which is at 26 Libra in her 2nd house: 
    • Although this Jupiter is not as strong is it might be, it is still very strong (by Face and Term).
    • According to the ancient texts (updated for 21st century ideals), this suggests a ‘benefit to women or women’s issues or those who are connected to high profile positions that have a bit of glamour’.
    • The 2nd house placement suggests this manifests in lots of money.
  5. The last 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by her Saturn which is retrograde (moving backwards) in Sagittarius in the 4th house (home and family):
    • This Saturn is neither particularly happy nor unhappy. Saturn is keen to achieve in a concrete sense and in Sagittarius, the focus must be more philosophical than practical. 
    • This Saturn also just misses out on being exalted (by Face and Term) suggesting that Madonna narrowly fails to achieve all that she would like during this period.
    • Saturn is also retrograde (moving backwards through the sky). Although Madonna may want to return to her former glories, she’s is unable to do so.
    • Just like her Leo Sun in the 1stpart of her life, her Saturn fails to aspect the angles of her chart and so her days of making a big impact are over. 

Changing Direction

Today, the Sun and Mercury have moved into Gemini and the atmosphere could not be more communicative, but communicative in a special way because the planetary ruler of Gemini is Mercury.  According to ancient wisdom, when communications got stuck, the god Mercury was invoked to shift them in a completely new direction.

For the next few days, you can do the same and here’s how to make this energy work to your advantage.

Let’s assume that you’ve been discussing something with someone and they are fixated on a point from which you’d like to move away. Use the following word pattern to adroitly change the ‘subject’ to that of your choosing:

The issue isn’t x (their point), it’s y (your point) and that means ABC.’ Finish the sequence by directing a specific question to the other person about ABC, eliciting their experience on the subject, and you’re on your way.

Rintu Basu, Persuasion Skills (Black Book)

For example, you want a new car but your partner keeps on about the cost. Gently (matching his conversational tone and style), say something along the lines of ‘the issue isn’t how expensive is the car, darling, but about the pleasure it will give you – imagine all the additional space you’ll have to store your kit for our camping trips. Where would we go first, sweetheart, how about that place you love in Cornwall?’

Conversation changer: ‘this isn’t about x (his point), but y (your point) and that means ….’

This works equally well in the office:

For example, assume your boss has just given you a new project that will, in your view, take up too much of your time:

‘I agree with you that the new project is very important, sir/madam, and the issue isn’t that I should take charge of it but instead that, as you say, it is done as quickly as possible. This means that because I have so much on my plate at the moment, it would be better if someone else takes the project. Now, sir/madam, who on our team , in your opinion, would be the best choice – I know, how about A or B? What do you think?’

… try it today and see how it works and, remember, practice makes perfect!

@ the mercy of her desires…

The ancients believed that archetypal themes or motifs format our experience of the world. Myth allows us to access these motifs in a meaningful way. Through identifying with the mythological heroes and heroines, we gain invaluable perspective on life experience.

  • Can you relate to them?
  • How have your life experiences been different or similar?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where did they go right or wrong?
  • Would you have done it differently?


For those born under the sign of Taurus, this myth is for you:

The God Poseidon helps King Minos gain his crown by giving Minos a magnificent white bull. But when Poseidon asks Minos to sacrifice the bull in repayment, the king refuses to part with it.

Taurus may be familiar with the king’s dilemma of what’s ‘mine’ and what’s not?

Poseidon is not amused and as punishment he causes the king’s wife to fall passionately in love with the bull.

Likewise, Taurus may sometimes feel at the mercy of her desires?

@ the mercy of her desires

Finally, the king’s wife mates with the bull and gives birth to the Minotaur, who is half man (intellect) and half bull (instinct). Conceived as the result of the king’s greed, the Minotaur is a shameful secret to be hidden in the dark labyrinth beneath the palace.

To avoid creating a monster, Taurus must temper instinct with intellect.

Myth for Aries

In many respects, each of us is the hero or heroine in our own mythic journey and that journey is all about your Sun sign.

To get the most out of these myths, ask yourself questions like whether you can relate with the characters and their dilemmas. Consider how your own life experiences have been different or similar to theirs. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these heroes and heroines? Where did they go right or wrong and most importantly, how would you have done things differently?

For the next thirty days, the Sun is in Aries – and so Aries, this myth is for you:

Jason must fight for his throne by bringing home the Golden Fleece. This feat requires a long and dangerous journey and Jason rises to the challenge to prove his mettle.  

Although Jason displays remarkable courage and skill, he is victorious only with the help of a sorceress named Medea, whom he promises to marry. 

Jason & the Golden Fleece

Jason returns home with Medea and claims his crown. 

But as with most Aries, Jason enjoys the battle more than the prize. Always seeking a new conquest, he decides to win a new kingdom by divorcing Medea and marrying another princess. 

Aries undervalues the feminine at his peril. When Medea takes her revenge, Jason loses everything.

When the fog clears…

Now is the time to drop back and regroup.

The Sun has moved into Pisces.

Pisces contains all of that which has come into being and is now being dissolved.

The goal is to wipe the slate clean so as to start again, fresh.

Although this may sound great, if often doesn’t feel that way. This is because Pisces carries a whiff of something beyond memory, something hovering on the borders of consciousness that obstinately refuses to become overtly manifest.

To make the best of this time, you need to step aside from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take time out to embrace the confusion. If you’re lost, admit it. Do whatever is necessary to get your bearings again. If you don’t, then how can expect to head off again in the right direction once the Piscean fog clears?

When the fog clears, which direction will you take?

  • If you could start over again, what would you do?
  • How will you pull all this together?
  • What does your intuition tell you?

An Eye to the Future

Myths express archetypal motifs that play out in human experience.

Myths exert tremendous influence (albeit unconsciously) in the choices we make each and every day.

Why not do yourself a favour and look in more depth at the myths closely related to your astrological sun sign? After all, your astrological (or natal) Sun is where you shine, where you play centre-stage.

Here’s a pertinent myth for those of you who were born under the sign of Aquarius.

What can you learn from it about you and what makes you tick?


Prometheus is an altruistic demigod with the gift of foresight. Seeing primitive man unable to keep warm or cook his meat, Prometheus went to Mount Olympus and stole holy fire from the gods to give to mankind.

Are you too, Aquarius, caught between your vision of how things should be versus what they are today?

Zeus, the king of the gods, was displeased with the initiative of Prometheus and punished him for his humanitarian acts. Not only did he make the visionary an outcast, but he also chained him to a rock where an eagle tears out his liver, anew, each and every day.

Are you, Aquarius, rarely thanked when you act as the catalyst for progressive change? Do you feel alien in a world into which you’d secretly love to fit? Can you accept that the life of a visionary will never be easy? How might you avoid taking too narrow and rigid a position in your zeal for reform?






From Father to Son

Like the author and lecturer Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myths), I believe myths express archetypal motifs that play a significant role in human experience.

I also believe that we are in large part unconscious of the power that these myths exert in our lives. Thus I advocate making special efforts to understand those myths which are most personal to us.

An easy way to do this is to examine the myths closely related with your astrological sun sign.

For those of you with the sun sign in Capricorn, know that the steely god Saturn (or Chronos) is your astrological ruler.  Here’s a myth of Greek origin about Saturn just for you.

Uranus, the King of the Gods, swallows his children at birth to ensure he is not overthrown by them as has been prophesied.  Understandably, Uranus’ wife, Gaia, is not pleased with this, so she helps their son Chronos (Saturn) to castrate his father and usurp his throne. Unfortunately Chronos, like his father, swallows his own children and is eventually overthrown by his son Zeus (Jupiter) and so life goes on.


The old king must die so the new king can be born.

Capricorn’s job is to buck the ‘system’ in order to earn a place of respect for himself in the new order.  Capricorns’ lot is one of fear, frustration, and mastery.  Indeed it is by pushing against obstacles, that Capricorn builds the endurance and discipline to succeed.  Reward comes from hard work and it is only with such hard work that Capricorn takes his position as the new king.

Capricorn is asked to make the rite of passage from being the son to the father.

  • How can you take more responsibility for what happens in your life?
  • How would you summarise your efforts so far?
  • When you’re ninety-five years old, what would make you most proud of you?

Personal Branding – aka – how to positively distinguish yourself from the crowd

You already have a personal brand, whether or not you know it.

If you’ve not built it yourself, then others will have created it for you:

  • She’s friendly,
  • He’s not.
  • We can count on him to finish the job,
  • She makes a mess of everything she starts.

Your personal brand shows the world that which makes you unique, that which makes you stand out from the crowd. It not only defines who you are but also that which you value.

Personal branding has long been used by the likes of Oprah, Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Naturally, with time, both you and your brand will evolve. But you have to start someplace and the best place to start is with the essential qualities of your natal, or Sun sign. Even someone with the same sign as you will express those qualities differently. This is because each person’s Sun is positioned differently within his or her chart.

Mood boards, a collage containing a variety of images, text, and/or other objects to express feelings, values, and ideas, are often used by professional designers to help  their business clients to develop their brand identity. You might use one to develop your own personal brand.

Look for images that convey what is important to convey the essence of you. For example, are you playful or serious, simple or sophisticated, feisty or calm?  What do you want most in life? What motivates you to get up each morning and start a new day? When narrowing down your choices, stay focused on your message.. Each time you decide to include something,  make sure it communicates an essential aspect of what it means for you to be the best that you, personally, can be.

Astrologically, this equates to your Sun, or Star sign – where you shine!


moodboard communication
My Sun is in Libra and it’s all about relating and communication

Your astrological sun is your essential focus, shining like a lighthouse beacon to  keep you clear of the rocks and safe on your path.


  • With my Sun in Libra, my focus is on relating and at least to me, that implies a two-way street requiring listening as well as talking. I’ve conveyed my take on this in the mood board above.
  • If your Sun were in Aries, your focus would on breaking new ground whilst if in Taurus, it would be on establishing stability.
  • Gemini’s focus is to facilitate communication whilst Cancer gathers folks together in an intimate group.
  • The focus of Leo is to deliver good cheer to self and others whilst the focus of Virgo is to sift through that which has been harvested so as to extract all that which is of benefit.
  • Scorpio is meant to shine light on that which is other hidden so that it can be dealt with in a timely manner whilst Sagittarius shines light on that which is, as yet, a mere potentiality.
  • Capricorn shines his light on organisational systems so we understand how they work whilst the focus of Aquarius, a fragment of Capricorn’s light, is on showing up the cracks and crevices that require fixing.
  • Finally, Pisces is meant to refocus the light through a different lens so that dissolves boundaries.

Hopefully, that’s enough to get you started and have fun!

In the new year, I plan to offer coaching workshops or webinars on using astrology for personal branding so if you might be interested, please sign up for my blogs and newsletters and watch this space.

The Winter Solstice – what’s your take?

The Winter Solstice is a dark time.

In the northern hemisphere, it is the longest night of the year.

Yet it is also a joyous time, a time of celebration for we know in our hearts that the light will return, yet again.


I believe that no one has captured the essence of the Winter Solstice more poignantly than has the 16thcentury metaphysical poet, John Donne, in his work, A Nocturnal Upon St Lucy’s Day.

In this poem, Donne helps his speaker come to grips with a difficult situation.

‘Tis the year’s midnight’ – the winter solstice – when the ‘sun is spent’ and the world’s ‘whole sap is sunk’. Someone important to the speaker, likely a lover or former lover (suggested by the speaker’s address to ‘other lovers’), has died.

It is indeed a dark time.

Yet the cycle of death is now complete – ‘this time to the Goat is run’ – (i.e. at the winter solstice, the sun enters Capricorn, ‘The Goat’, in order to die and be reborn). Because ‘spring’ is connected through rhyme with ‘thing’ (‘I am every dead thing’), there is hope of regeneration not only for the sun but for the speaker as well. In turn, this will ‘fetch new lust’ (the goat being associated with the genitals and the union of male and female powers).

The desolate speaker takes solace from the next (‘summer’) solstice – ‘let me prepare towards her’ (emphasis added) for after ‘midnight’ comes the new day.

With this, Donne has effectively reset the clock and puts a difficult situation into new perspective.

At the Winter Solstice, we can also choose to do the same. This is a time not only of rest and reflection but also of making choices. Will we carry our troubles into the new solar year or, like the speaker in Donne’s poem, set aside that which no longer serves us in preparation for that which is yet to come?

Standing at the gateway to the next cycle of life and light, you are in position not only to cut away the dead wood of winter but also to sow the seeds for the next spring.

  • What will you take away from this poem?
  • What action will you take as the result?



A Nocturnal Upon St Lucy’s Day

‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,
Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;
The world’s whole sap is sunk;
The general balm th’ hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed’s feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr’d; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compar’d with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness;
He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that’s good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;
I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave
Of all that’s nothing. Oft a flood
Have we two wept, and so
Drown’d the whole world, us two; oft did we grow
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)
Of the first nothing the elixir grown;
Were I a man, that I were one
I needs must know; I should prefer,
If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love; all, all some properties invest;
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light and body must be here.

But I am none; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
At this time to the Goat is run
To fetch new lust, and give it you,
Enjoy your summer all;
Since she enjoys her long night’s festival,
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.