The Leo/Aquarius Polarity

In my previous post I mentioned that the twelve signs of the zodiac could be thought of as six basic polarities, with the two signs opposing each other across the horoscope wheel being ends of a spectrum or opposite sides of the same coin.  In that context, we looked at the Taurus/Scorpio polarity and its role in acquiring or eliminating things in our lives.  The famous hoarders, the Collyer brothers of NY, each had the Taurus/Scorpio polarity prominent in their birth charts.

Jenny Brown posted the following very insightful comments on my  Facebook page, and I thought it worthwhile to repeat them here so that others might benefit from her observations.  Jenny wrote:

“The only thing that left me scratching my head was the description of Aquarius as ” I have fun with others, I assure others’ right to self expression.”  We must know very different Aquariuses. I’ve known more than my share and while they are highly social and self-identify as rebels, in my experience they project their own needs onto the group and then feel fully justified, because the group supposedly needs what they want, in rolling over the rights of anyone who might stand in their way — including others in the group who don’t agree with them. The Russian Revolution was very Aquarian in the way that the needs of the group were used to justify extremely selfish actions of the leadership. Leos are more honest about having an ego with the usual ego needs.”

“The dominance of FB and the way that FB imposes on those it has lured into this Uranian medium what it has decided we need, because that is how it profits bests is very much in the spirit of the Age of Aquarius, and the deterioration of the ability of the individual to self-express will be a major theme of this next 2000 years. Alas.”

“That Saturn rulership of Aquarius is how it mostly manifests here on earth. There has to be a very strong Uranus on the chart for the outer planet rulership to emerge.”

“I totally get the polarity thing but having lived a lot of my life learning that Leo/Aquarius balance, I think it might be one that still needs more work. I keep going back to Saturn as the Night Sun balancing Sun as the Day Sun, and remembering how the Sun is a malific in some of those older schemes. Ego does seem to be the issue, with Leo doing it completely personally and Aquarius doing it in a way that completely projects. That doesn’t explain why the most positive Aquarius archetype I’ve observed seems to be The Scientist.”

Jenny got me thinking more about the Leo/Aquarius polarity, which for me is one of the most difficult to grasp.  I searched my memory for an example of a notably Aquarian individual, and Thomas Paine came to mind.  Paine was, without question, the intellectual father of the American Revolution.  His pamphlet, Common Sense ( January 10, 1776), which promoted independence for the colonies, was read by virtually every literate person in America and quickly spread to Europe where it influenced the French Revolution.  It was the best-selling book of the 18th century.  In 1776 Paine also penned The Crisis, which made famous the lines:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. … Tyrany, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

In January of 1791 Paine published The Rights of Man, which was highly critical of the European monarchies (Leo) and directly influenced the French Revolution (Aquarius).  Kings of old regarded their authority to rule as a divine right (Leo).  Revolutionaries felt that the authority to rule rested equally in all individuals that made up the community (Aquarius) rather than in a divinely appointed individual (Leo).  Paine’s revolutionary ideas got him imprisoned during his stay in France.  During his French incarceration, he wrote The Age of Reason in which, like Marx who regarded religion as the opiate of the people, Paine was critical of the power tactics of organized religion and its stranglehold on rational thinking.  Paine pointed out inconsistencies between the Bible and what a person could rationally believe.  He advocated  “free rational inquiry” into religion rather than reliance on divine revelation.

Paine underestimated the fundamentalist religious underpinnings of America and, despite his essential contribution to the formation of the new nation, Paine became a persona-non-grata in America for advocating rational thought (Aquarius) in place of religious dogma (Leo).  Apparently when Paine died in NYC in 1809, only a handful of people bothered to attend his funeral.  The dogmatic religious fundamentalism that treated Paine, the intellectual father of the American Revolution, with such ingratitude, persists in American politics to this day.  The United States demonstrates this polarity in the groups who seek to impose their “revealed” religious views (Leo) on the majority of  Americans, who value the individual freedom to do what their minds (Uranus) tell them.  Leo says, “It’s my way or the highway,” but Aquarius says, “Let’s think about that.”

There is some doubt about the birth data of Thomas Paine.  He was born in 1737 in Thetford, England.  At that time the Julian calendar (OS) was still in use.  England did not officially adopt the Gregorian calendar (NS) until 1752:  “England finally followed suit in 1752, declaring that Wednesday, September 2, 1752 was immediately followed by Thursday, September 14, 1752 … The English calendar was also used in America.”

Thomas Paine’s birth date is generally given as 29 January 1737, and many authors believe this date to have been recorded in the Julian calendar.  AstroDataBank lists his birthdate as 29 Jan 1937 Gregorian and gives a birth time of 11:30 a.m., but the source of this birth time is not clear.  Given that England did not officially adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752, I prefer the “Old Style” chart, which is not too different from the “New Style” chart.  For completeness, I have included both the OS and NS charts both.  Because the time is not certain, I used the 11:30 a.m. positions as given in AstroDatabank but  cast the charts with equal houses, Sun on ASC,  because the Sun rules Leo and occupies Aquarius and we are looking at the Leo/Aquarius polarity.  This tells us the role of the other planets from the point of view of Paine’s Aquarius Sun.  If the chart were cast for 11:30, the charts would have Gemini rising, which is fitting for a writer of such stature.

Thomas Paine, 29 Jan 1737 OS, 11:30 a.m., Sun on ASC. (This is the chart I prefer because England did not officially adopt the NS calendar until 1752. Venus in Aries is square Uranus in the 11th and quincunx Pluto in the 9th, symbolizing his preference for rational thinking over religious dogma, from the point of view of his Aquarius Sun.)

Thomas Paine, 29 Jan 1737 NS, 11:30 a.m., Sun on ASC. (This is the chart given in AstroDataBank which regards the birth date as a Gregorian rather than a Julian date.)

These two possible birth charts are very similar.  The main differences are:

Mercury in Aquarius (NS) vs. Pisces (OS).

Venus in Pisces (NS) vs. Aries (OS).

Moon in Capricorn (NS) vs. Gemini (OS).

Although I don’t have a definitive source for the actual birth date (NS vs. OS), I lean toward the Old Style chart.  If anyone has an authoritative source for Paine’s birth date, please let me know.  The following delineations of the above OS chart factors are from Lyela Rael’s Mindfire site:

Moon in Gemini: “The Moon in Gemini gives a keenly developed imagination and a ready wit. They may be a jack-of-all-trades, but are particularly adapted to be a writer, since they have an instinctive feeling for language and grammar. … People with this restless combination are often on the move both physically and mentally. … The natural instinct to speak up will be very strong.”

Venus in Aries with Sun in Aquarius: “Independence is most important, as is the Aquarian lifestyle; there will be an active social life and many like-minded friends.”

Mercury in Pisces:  “If the Sun is in Aquarius and Mercury is in Pisces, vision and imagination can be turned to widescale humanitarian enterprises. These people, although basically rational, may have unusual ideas which are in advance of conventional modes of thinking, and they are fascinated by the unsolved mysteries of science and what they may imply.  … The rather brittle Aquarian traits are softened and the humanitarian qualities of Pisces are warmed and sympathetically expressed. The creative and very original imagination must find specific areas of expression, perhaps through some unusual, off-beat hobby or career. There is much more flexibility of mind and opinion, and usually the emotional level is greatly heightened, perhaps with less ability to be detached from the feelings. Aquarian perversity and unpredictability are less evident, since Mercury in Pisces contributes considerable sensitivity towards other people’s feelings.”


About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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2 Responses to The Leo/Aquarius Polarity

  1. Charl says:

    I like this Anthony, I have all your books and was so happy to find your blog. I’m an Aquarian sun18 degrees trine Uranus in Gemini, with Saturn 18 Leo in the 9th house (mutual reception) and mercury 5 Pisces. When I first read Thomas Paine I felt completely at home with his thought, have grappled seriously for most of my life to understand religious fundamentalism and typically felt alienated from the Christian thought and belief practiced in my family and the culture I live in. The golden rule is how I attempt to live my life. Fortunately I discovered astrology which I’m also quite at home with, ironic, for according to most modern rationalists it is regarded as a “pseudo science”. My father was a Leo, and we have quite few Leo’s in the family, your post has given me a lot to think about, thank you. Charl

    • Thanks for your comments. Thomas Paine was a remarkable man. I also have a hard time with religious fundamentalism. It seems to me to be a way to avoid thinking about important philosophical issues. I find the message of Christianity quite compelling but I think Jesus would be appalled to see how his teachings have been distorted and abused in the name of intolerance and bigotry. It seems inconceivable that Christian fundamentalists have ever read and understood the words of Jesus in the New Testament.

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