HOUSE 1: Personality

Welcome to "shine time," to a lifetime of taking your place in the sun and radiating the warmth, optimism, and generosity of the Leo energy you're learning about into all areas of your life. In this lifetime, using those Leo qualities to initiate new endeavors and assert yourself - your ideas, your goals, your needs - into your environment is central to achieving success with this assignment. And welcome to challenge of doing all this without going overboard.

Leo energy is comfortable with attention. It emits some kind of invisible magnetism that draws people to it, people who will want to applaud your very existence and follow your lead. However, with that kind of energy in the part of the birth chart where the goal is to develop a strong sense of self that you assert out in the world, the stage is definitely set for a "too much of a good thing" scenario. Legitimate, soul-growing self-assertion could morph into domineering willfulness. In other words, if you're not careful, you could find yourself in the lead role in your own local production of "The Emperor's New Clothes."

A different challenge is coming at you from your Aquarian South Node in the Seventh House of Partnership. When life on the regal red carpet gets hectic, it can be awfully tempting to fall back to the comfort, safety, and karmic familiarity of relationship and totally detach yourself from the current lifetime's pressures and challenges (and also from opportunities for important forward motion toward this lifetime's goals.) Look for the signals. The Universe will let you know if you wander off course, usually by sending the message through your relationships, especially a partnership relationship with someone whose detachment and intellectual approach to feelings will leave you with a chill around your warm, generous Leo heart. If that happens, step back and regroup. Is it time to polish yourself up and cross back over the threshold into your own life?

Step front and center and shine. Just don't let it go to your head.

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HOUSE 2: Values

When the lion's proud roar is heard in the Second House of values, it signals a lifetime of using the generosity and confidence and strength of the Leo energy you're learning about to bring into your life whatever you need to feel safe and secure and proud to be just who you are. You're learning to shine this time around, so it wouldn't be surprising to discover that an important component of what you need to feel secure is to attract recognition and attention, and Leo's tremendous creativity can be just the ticket to that place in the sun.

The other key ingredient for success has to do with not short-changing yourself in the lifestyle department. The Second House has a definite material, earthy feel to it, and Leo has a real taste and appreciation for the life well-lived, a hand-in-glove fit for the luxury of fine clothing, beautiful jewelry, and opulent surroundings. In this lifetime, the extent to which you allow yourself the indulgence of fine living can be a genuine barometer of your northerly progress, as long as you're the one who's paying the bill.

Now this is probably starting to sound like you've hit the karmic jackpot, and in some ways that might be true. But this assignment is not without its very real challenges. For starters, you have to be responsible with all your resources and manage them consciously or you'll undermine the very security you're working for. Even the Federal Reserve banking system has its limits and so do you. Then, resources aside, there's the matter of over-achieving on the assignment. Combine the material nature of the Second House with Leo's "living large" approach to life and sense of entitlement. and you have a set-up for a major pratfall if you're not careful. It's not so much a question of not knowing when enough is enough as it is about not even caring whether or not it is - in other words, flirting with the Midas Touch.

And let's not forget that Eighth House South Node with its Aquarian energy. Intense, even traumatic experiences in the karmic past made it important for you to seek the support and sustenance of others, typically in deep, bonded partnership relationships where you surrendered your own individuality and freedom for sake of safety. The magnetic pull of that node operates at deep, unconscious levels and it can pull you off the path, causing you to look to others for your support, instead of discovering that you've got everything it takes to provide it for yourself.

Live large and shine - it's money in the bank, this time around. Just don't overdraw the account.

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HOUSE 3: The Mind

Welcome, welcome! It's a "walk your talk" lifetime you've signed up for, so just start by walking on in and getting comfortable. The warm, generous Leo energy you're learning about knows a lot about drama and creating just the effect that will connect with your audience and get your message across. This is going to come in handy with the part of the assignment that involves "spreading the word." And Leo's energy is also going to help you in the " getting the word" department as well. Fiery Leo learns through action. Combine that with a hard-wired ache for self-expression, and the stage is set for your unique take on "learning by doing." Immersing yourself in painting a picture might teach you about color and texture and form in ways that volumes on art theory and technique never could. Running a daycare center for a year could teach you more about child psychology than the six it would take to get a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Development.

However, the more you move into this assignment, the stronger one of its challenges is liable to get. The very qualities that make Leo comfortable and effective in front of an audience can conspire to alienate you from it. Yes, it's that "center of the Universe" regal-ego side of Leo that we're talking about: self-importance and self-entitlement; pomposity; the "I'm Leo, therefore I'm right" world view. Not only is all this off-putting to others, but if you know everything already, how are you going to motivate yourself to get out there and collect new information and experience?

The next challenge takes us to your Ninth House South Node. The Aquarian energy there is a very comfortable fit, bringing a lofty intellectual approach to the Quest for Meaning. The problem is that the fit is almost too good: too much abstraction; too much theorizing; little, if any, practical awareness of the need to link a philosophical world view to the everyday world of the here and now. If you fall back in that direction, you might get lost in the Big Picture and get so comfortable there that the need to "walk your talk" in the mundane Third House would feel like a real come-down. Staying focused on the Northbound goal is certainly a challenge fit for a king.

Grab your cloak and get to it!

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HOUSE 4: Home

Welcome to a lifetime of using the warmth, generosity, and optimism of the Leo energy you're learning about to take your place in the family constellation. This is a lifetime for opening your heart; for giving and getting love and support; for stepping to the center and shining without rocking the family solar system and alienating those you care so much about. In this lifetime you're not supposed to go it alone. Welcome home.

Now challenge is part of the North Node assignment, and this one is no exception. Once you start really resonating to Leo energy, you might start to feel that immersion in family identity is diluting your radiance. Your South Node Aquarian legacy of knowing how to maintain your own individuality can help you with this, but it can also make it all too easy to disconnect and detach from the very roots you're nurturing in this lifetime if the North Node going gets rough. Add to that the Tenth House South Node history of success in large-scale, attention-getting initiatives, and the probability - no, virtual certainty - that with your new Leo strengths you would rise to a position of leadership and prominence in a heartbeat, and you have a compelling scenario for a slippery slide South. If that happens, you'll never find the security and connection that are at the core of this North Node assignment. If you come to take yourself too seriously as a superstar, the Universe is likely to call your attention to it by sending you people, especially near-and-extended-family-type-people, whose detachment and intellectual approach to feelings will leave you with a chill around that warm, generous Leo heart of yours. That will be your signal that you've wandered off course and it's time to regroup before you continue North.

Step front and center. Share the wealth and the warmth of all you are. But don't ever forget the home team that's rooting for you.

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HOUSE 5: Creativity

A double "Welcome Home" to you, dear voyager. The lion is likes nothing more than to bask in the warmth of its own specialness, attended to and admired by all the other animals in the pride, and with a Fifth House North Node, the king of the beasts finds himself heading toward the part of the birth chart where it feels right at home. Welcome to a lifetime of exploring the essence of what makes you you and bringing that forth, and even maybe being recognized and applauded for who you are and what you create.

It might be sounding like you've hit the karmic jackpot, and in some ways you have. But along with the doubled-up opportunity comes doubled-up challenge. For starters, it can be all too easy to over-achieve with the assignment. Will you be able to create something from yourself - a memorable performance, a flair for romance and living large and generously, an ability to release your own joyful sense of play and inspire others to join in the game - and take your place stage center without going overboard? Without letting it go to your head? Without believing your own publicity? It won't be easy. It might be a good idea to go back to the "Don't go overboard" part of Chapter 19 in "Perfect Together" and commit it to memory.

Then there's the challenge beaming at your from your South Node back there in the Eleventh House. It speaks of a karmic history where the lightening-quick, dispassionate and objective intellect of Aquarian energy was comfortable being one-among-many and dealing interpersonally from the cool left side of its brain. In those Eleventh House groups, connections through shared causes and interests masqueraded as true relationship, and emotional detachment was typically the real order of the relationship day, the exact antithesis of the warm, heartfelt energy you're here to bring forth and express in this lifetime. Surrendering to the strong and unconscious pull of that South Node magnet could leave you feeling awkward and uncomfortable in the very spotlight where you're meant to be.

Step forward and shine. Just don't let your head get too big for your crown!

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HOUSE 6: Service

Good for you for stepping up to this threshold. Sure, the warmth and generosity of the Leo energy you're learning about absolutely wants everyone to live the good life in every possible way, and the more you get in touch with that Leo energy, the more likely you'll be to attract just the audience that can help you get the job done. Leadership is a very good and necessary quality, and Leo excels in that dimension. But in the Sixth House environment of unequal relationships, Leo's expectation of always being in the one-up position relative to everyone else can really become a problem if you're not careful. This time around, you've signed up to serve the needs of others. You simply won't be able to pull this off if you insist on holding on to your place on the elevated platform at the far end of the throne room.

Your Aquarian South Node in the compassionate Twelfth House can provide considerable help. That humanitarian spirit knows about the importance of making the world a better place, and in the karmic past traded away lots of its own uniqueness and individuality for the sake of participating in group initiatives to realize that goal. A little of that humility and team spirit can go a long way to help you in this lifetime. But that South Node also calls to you to hold on tightly to your independence and freedom, so if you're not careful - or, I should say, conscious - you could find yourself walking off the job you came here to do in order to find a kingdom more respectful of your self-proclaimed right to shine. Without a doubt, that kingdom would lie in a Southerly direction.

Leave the crown in the closet and get going. You've got important work to do.

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HOUSE 7: Partnership

Welcome to a lifetime of exploring Leo's warmth, generosity, and creativity by participating in true partnership. (And if that partnership turns out to be a personal one, you'll also get to explore Leo's incredible gift for over-the-top courtship and romance.) You're learning about give-and-take and balancing the energies of two separate-but-equal individuals, and about how to stand in the spotlight with someone at your side. This may not be an easy lesson for someone who's also claiming Leo's confidence, leadership, and comfort with being the center of attention. Welcome to a lifetime where shining is not going to be a solo performance.

Your Aquarian South Node in the First House of Personality adds challenge to this already complex assignment. It points to a karmic history of autonomy, of being able to do exactly what you wanted to do exactly when you wanted to do it, which feeds right into Leo's fiery star-quality. This can make it all too easy to take yourself too seriously as the center of everyone else's solar system in this lifetime. Let's say you're giving your partner a big-decade birthday party. The time comes to sing around the birthday cake and it's you who, uninvited, steps to the plate and "helps" blow out the candles. What's that about? Well, one thing it would be about is a big kick to the balance of the relationship applecart.

The Universe will be happy to send you a message if you're wandering off-course. Perhaps you'll find yourself in a partnership with someone who's always trying to intellectualize their feelings, or who keeps their own much-too-healthy, safe, detached distance from real connection. Either way, the chill that's setting in around that warm, generous Leo heart of yours is a clue that it's time to regroup before you can continue North.

Step front and center and share the wealth and the warmth of all you are. With your partner, of course.

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HOUSE 8: Transformation

Welcome to a lifetime of exploring the warmth, creativity, generosity, and confidence of the Leo energy you're learning about by plunging into the deepest, most private and mysterious part of yourself and claiming the power you find there. This is a tricky, complex, even unsettling assignment. The mysterious, turbulent waters of the Eighth House are not exactly the venue that fiery Leo energy is most likely to choose for its next star-turn. However, one you get acclimated, you may start to develop a thirst for those waters. As you retrieve the power you find there and claim more of your "Leo-ness," you could easily find yourself magnetically attracting the appreciation and attention that is like mother's milk to your warm, loving heart.

The good news is that you're slated for company on the journey. Leo's warmth and generosity and, if it fits the relationship, flair for romance can help you reach out to another. But that means you may have to share the spotlight ( Hmmm ...), and have to think about what that other person needs to feel safe and secure on the journey themselves (Double Hmmm... ) And we're not done yet. Your Second House South Node speaks of a karmic history where "do it yourself" (in your own, unique Aquarian way) was key to your success. The more successful you were back then, the tougher it may be now to blend another's point of view and wants and needs into the mix of your own. And the Aquarian energy in that South Node can make it all too tempting to pull back and detach if someone gets close, which could case a real chill to settle around the warm, generous Leo heart you're just getting to know.

Remember the phoenix.

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HOUSE 9: Expanding Horizons

Welcome, welcome! I expect you're going to like it here. Leo's fiery ability to instantly and intuitively flash on big ideas and concepts is going to be a huge asset in the "connect the dots" part of the Ninth House assignment, and its outgoing, generous, comfortable-with-getting-attention energy is a great resource for the part of the job description that asks you to share what you learn about the meaning and framework of our big Universe. There's no question that the audience will gather and give you its attention, and once it does, Leo's gift for enthusiastically encouraging the growth and development of others is just what's needed to help you "ace" this assignment.

Now, we're talking about the North Node, so no matter how much of a hand-in-glove fit the assignment may be, challenge is part of the deal. For starters, the very qualities that allow Leo energy to be comfortable and effective in front of an audience can run amok and conspire to alienate you from the very people you're trying to reach. Yes, it's that "center of the Universe" regal-ego side of Leo that we're talking about: self-importance; pomposity; the "I'm Leo, therefore I'm right" worldview. All this can become hugely off-putting to others. If you're not careful, you could find yourself alone in the spotlight, and without an audience you're simply not getting the job done.

The next issue takes us to your Third House South Node. The lightening-quick intellect of the Aquarian energy there likes nothing better than to gobble up knowledge and information - the more eclectic the better - and keep it in the vast data storage vaults of its brilliant mind. Because of Aquarius' independence and high need for freedom, that South Node energy can go spinning off into its very own universe of endless accumulation of data, mistaking fact for meaning, creating a challenge fit for a king.

Grab your cloak and get going!

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HOUSE 10: Authority

Welcome to "shine time," a lifetime of taking your place in the sun and radiating the warmth, optimism, and generosity of the Leo energy you're learning about so that those of us here in the audience can bask in the glow. But make no mistake: even though your enthusiastic, encouraging nature is going to put us all at ease, there's only one chief and that's you. Welcome to a lifetime of pursuing your ambitions and actualizing them in a front-page kind of way; of taking charge and taking responsibility; of being recognized, and, yes, applauded, for the contributions you make in the role of leading others. I expect you're really going to like it here, so step right in.

You may be starting to feel like you've hit the karmic jackpot, and that's okay. But North Node work is always a challenge, and this assignment is no exception. To begin with, there's that matter of how much you're going to like it. Leo thrives on attention, and the Tenth House North Node asks you to step into the spotlight in a "Big Kahuna," take-charge way. So the more you move North, the easier it will be to get just too comfortable; too taken with your own charm and success; too out of touch with those of us in the cheering section; too immersed in attitudes and behaviors that allow you to disregard others and their own needs to be themselves. Being responsible is a big part of the Tenth House assignment, and that includes taking responsibility for being aware of the sensibilities of those you're here to lead.

Your Aquarian South Node legacy of knowing about group dynamics and team participation can help you negotiate this lifetime's assignment, but that South Node brings its own challenge. It's located in the Fourth House, the piece of astrological real estate which is all about home and roots. It can be very comforting to return there for a while when life on the public red carpet gets too hectic, but its familiarity, safety, and ease can be hard to leave when it's time to cross back out over the threshold to the larger world. And Aquarius likes being one among the many in the clan, which only adds to the comforts of the Fourth House location. Rest assured that your resolve will be tested, probably with a family situation that seemingly can't be managed without your involvement. Let's say you're slated to speak at any important business weekend seminar five states away, which turns out to be on the same weekend as your favorite nephew's baby's baptism. And your recently single-again sister broke her arm last week and not only expects you to attend her first grandchild's important event, but needs you to drive her there. What are you going to do?

The Universe will be sure to let you know if you're heading too far off-track. If you come to take yourself too seriously as a superstar, you're likely to find yourself in confrontations with all kinds of attention-mongers and "drama queens" of either gender. On the other hand, if you're returning to the family womb too often without an exit strategy, you could find yourself in the middle of all kinds of family interactions with people whose detachment and cool, intellectual response to you will leave a chill around your warm, generous Leo heart. Either way, it's probably a signal that it's time to regroup and head North.

Step front and center and take the lead. We're out here waiting to give you a "Standing O."

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HOUSE 11: Goals & Groups

Welcome to the opportunity to share the warmth, generosity, and creativity of the Leo energy you're learning about with those of us here in the Eleventh House clubhouse. Welcome to claiming your place in the sun by stepping into a leadership role, something that is Leo's natural domain, without compromising your acceptance by taking your own importance too seriously; to figuring out how to lead and still be a part of the team. Welcome, in other words, to the paradoxical, exciting and phenomenally rewarding terrain of the karmic "switcheroo," the situation where the themes of this lifetime's assignment bear a striking resemblance to the experiences of the karmic past.

Your North Node sign of Leo is naturally associated with creativity and playfulness, leadership, warmth, and generosity. Leo energy is most comfortable claiming its unique spot in the center of any given solar system, but your Leo North Node is staked in the all-for-one-and-one-for-all turf of the Eleventh House where acceptance by the "gang" is based on how well you can fit in, not on how much you can stick out. Complicated enough. Then add the fact that your humanitarian, somewhat cool and impersonal, intelligent Aquarian South Node is in the part of the chart where warmth, creativity, pleasure and love affairs, and the heart of a child hold court. In this lifetime, it's going to be hard to know if you're moving forward to the North Node or back to the South. In fact, there could even be times when you literally won't know whether to parade anonymously as one-among-many in a human rights march or give the keynote address at the rally!

Agreed, this assignment has more than its fair share of challenge, but it need not be daunting. You have everything it takes to move toward your goals. The brilliant Aquarian South Node part of you knows about group dynamics and how to stay true to its individuality even as it collaborates in joint initiatives, and that's what the Eleventh House challenge is all about. And the Fifth House karmic history that played out in the arena of specialness and pleasure and love can help you recognize and nurture the Leo energy you're learning about now. But missteps and detours and dead ends are part of the "switcheroo" deal, so go easy on yourself. Just keep the most positive qualities of your North Node sign and house in the forefront of your consciousness as much as you can. You're learning a complicated lesson. When you have the reversed sign and house situation, it's often an indication that you're working on an issue that takes more than a single lifetime to master.

Get to that meeting. When you get elected chairman, don't be surprised - and don't let it go to your head!

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HOUSE 12: Spirit

Good for you for knocking at this door! The quiet, watery world of the Twelfth House isn't likely to be the kind of environment that the fiery Leo energy you're learning about would select at first for the stay of a lifetime, but it's a wise and knowing choice. You see, you're here to learn about getting in touch with the gifts, talents, creativity, strong sense of self that are Leo's signatures, and going quiet and shutting off the clamor of the outer world is an excellent approach for doing that. And you can't hope for a better pot of gold at the end of this lifetime's rainbow than to infuse Leo's warm, generous energy with the wisdom and knowing peace that connection with Spirit can bring.

In your Sixth House Aquarian karmic past, you gave away too much of your sense of self in the name of giving service to others. Trading away individuality to work devotedly as a cog in the wheel of important undertakings, it was likely that if you stepped out of the crowd in any kind of way, it was to confess your inadequacies and seek out someone more masterly and experienced than yourself to help you improve somehow. Getting away from the call of those noble but self-effacing activities and going where peace and quiet and calm prevail is just what you need in order to go within and find yourself again. In this lifetime, Leo's star quality gets shined to its brightest in calm, soothing waters. Muster your determination and claim that light.

Dive right in. A back flip would be great - we're all waiting to applaud.

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