On August 16th, 2023, at 2:37 AM PT, we have a new moon at 23°16 Leo. Electrified by a square to Uranus — which is forming one corner of a beautiful grand earth trine — and conjunct Venus retrograde and Lilith, this new moon is bound to bring some surprises.
Role-playing is a particularly fun way to interact with the planets, especially during Leo season. So for this lunation, I'm bringing some dramatic flair to the cosmos. First, I'll introduce you to the cast of characters (the planets) and the unique roles I imagine them playing this lunar cycle. Then, I'll set the scene. From there, you can imagine what's next. Although this is mostly for fun, I hope it helps you actually tune into the energies at hand in your own unique way.
After our little drama sesh, I'll share a three-card tarot spread for this lunation. But first, here's your new moon in Leo playlist — something to jiggle to as you read, and maybe to help you shake off some tension this week.
Your Leo New Moon Cast
Each of the characters below will play a unique role in this story. Some are in the foreground (the main characters) while some are in the background (the supporting characters).
The Main Characters
Sun at 23°17’ Leo: The Bold HBIC (head bitch in charge) — They're feisty, proud, and a bit problematic sometimes, but we turn the other cheek because they have a good heart. This main character is the protagonist in today's story. They've got a lot to say.
Moon at 23°17’ Leo: The Quiet Creative — They're shy but powerful. They conjure magic from their depths, although they're timid about sharing it sometimes. You might have to ask. They're working on something big with the HBIC. Stay tuned.
Venus Retrograde at 18°39’ Leo: The Wily Siren — They've recently realized just how hot they are and they have no qualms about using it to their advantage. They seem harmless but they tend to poke at, flirt with, and derail the rest of the cast.
Black Moon Lilith at 24°37’ Leo: The Salty Witch — They are equal parts vengeful and indifferent. They oscillate between craving destruction and creation. They enjoy rage rooms and heavy metal. It's obvious they're working through some shit. Little intimating.
Uranus at 23°00’ Taurus: The Loud Liberator — They're a contrarian who questions everything. They're currently plotting to free a herd of sheep from a farm upstate. They carry the energy of an earthquake — loud, radical, a tad unstable, and super powerful.
The Supporting Characters
Mercury at 19°30’ Virgo: The Nerdy Sidekick — They know so, so many facts. Like a library's worth. They just started micro-dosing in an attempt to soothe their anxiety. Their knowledge will come in handy later on when the main characters are on a quest.
Mars at 22°53’ Virgo: The Serious Strategist — They're the "I told you so" friend who the main characters hate to love. They have very little patience for frivolities and prefer to get to the point. They're usually taking heated business calls in the background.
Jupiter at 14°58’ Taurus: The Group Mom — They always have an inexplicable amount of snacks and tissues on hand. They're generally jolly but forgetful. They have healing gifts that they share generously. Their earthy wisdom will come in handy in a pinch.
Saturn at 4°39’ Pisces: The Group Dad — They're gentle, quiet, and studious. They have a concerned look on their face most of the time. They prefer to stay in the background but will intervene when things are getting out of hand.
Neptune at 27°08’ Pisces: The Elusive Mystic — They're rarely around. In fact, they seem to disappear from every social function. No one remembers seeing them leave. Mysterious, hypnotic, and ethereal, they're the one that got away for everyone.
Pluto at 28°32’ Capricorn: The Stubborn Outcast — They act like they don't want to be a part of the crew, but they tend to show up anyway. They've been through some shit. They were kicked out of their last apartment and no one knows why yet.
It's a windy Wednesday, closing in on dawn. The sun is about to poke over the horizon and illuminate the aged brick wall of a three-story Brooklyn walk-up where our cast members live. The place has bad plumbing and thin walls, but it's rent-controlled and a stone's throw from corner bodega. It's home. Most of them have lived here for years and plan to live here for many more. Inside, some are sleeping, others are wide awake. All of them are inexplicably stressed.
When the clock strikes 5:30, Mercury shoots up in bed and checks their watch. They grab their phone and send a frantic text to Sun, who groans and rolls over in bed. (They assigned a custom tone to Mercury after the little episode last year where they live-texted Sun from their grandfather's funeral.) They have a big project to finish today, and Mercury is convinced Sun's overconfidence with deadlines is about to ruin it.
One floor down, Moon is about to close out an all-nighter. They started painting frantically at 6pm after a Sufjan Stevens song came on shuffle and they heard Venus and Lilith arguing in the hallway again. Something about Neptune, per usual. After one final touch, Moon grabs a blanket and brews tea they'll fall asleep drinking on the couch again.
Around 6am, Uranus comes raging into the hallway, keys jangling, after their shift at The Lab — what they call the local bar they work night shifts at to make rent while they "plot next steps." (No one knows what this means.) They wake up Saturn who was finally about to complete a REM cycle. Saturn sighs, gets up slowly, and starts making coffee. Meanwhile, down the hall, Pluto takes a shot before working up the courage to sext Lilith.
On the third floor, Mars is already up slamming their keyboard while Jupiter luxuriates in another impossibly deep sleep that they'll tell everyone about over brunch. Roommates for six years, they're wildly different, but it works. Jupiter strolls into the living room around 8 after being woken up by Venus and Lilith's morning spat. They laugh and grab a croissant before curling up on the couch to watch Mars work while they listen to a podcast.
Today isn't an average Wednesday, though (most) of our characters might think so. There's a building meeting at 2pm. They got letters in the mail about it last week, which half of them ignored or misplaced. Mercury has been reminding them about it all week though, so they'll show up, begrudgingly. (At least there'll be Jupiter snacks.)
As some of our characters rise and others retreat for the day, they all startle at once to the sound of a siren echoing through the halls.
Now you get to play. Take a few minutes to picture the scene and imagine what the characters might do next. Comment below with your plot advancements! (Hint: You can check out the tarot spread below for ideas.)
Your New Moon in Leo Tarot Spread
Every new and full moon, I ask three questions: What is the anchor? What is the challenge? What is the gift? Below, you can see the tarot's answers, channeled with the help of my guides.
The Anchor: Ten of Pentacles Reversed
What's left over from a past life that needs to be let go of so you can be fully in the now? "Past life" doesn't have to mean prior incarnations — it can mean a life lived by a version of yourself you no longer know well. Maybe ancestral healing is called for now. Maybe it's time to stop cyber-stalking your ex. Maybe the job you once staked your identify on feels like soul death. What false security are you clinging to as a means to prop yourself up? And is it really doing the job?
The Challenge: Judgement Reversed
Coming out from under the soft blanket of denial can be excruciating. But as you blink your eyes and adjust to the bright morning light, the discomfort brings you into your power. You remember the countless other moments you've done this — peeling away layers of safe uncertainty as you come to recognize what you've known all along. While self-awareness can be a bitter medicine, it's a medicine nonetheless. Now you have the power to choose differently.
The Gift: King of Wands
Power, indeed. There's a lot of that right now, if only you can believe it. Do you feel that energy coursing through you? Yup, that's yours. It's not a fantasy. It's not a borrowed treasure from that person you've been admiring. It's the self-possession you've worked hard to build these past few years. Spend a few minutes with yourself in the mirror. Listen to the sound of your voice. Imagine what you'll do as you become more fully yourself. Then do it.
Have a beautiful Leo New Moon 🌕
I left the astrology intentionally vague this week. Why? Because I don't think it's necessary to talk about every lunation literally. I think it's necessary to feel. And today's new moon is an invitation to do that — to feel what comes up, to engage your senses, to allow your body to move and process and grieve and shout and scream with joy. It's a moment to step into the role of creator with the understanding that you have the autonomy, power, and rare brilliance to make your life up beautifully as you go. So go.
If you're interested in exploring the personal themes that are coming up for you this lunation, you can book a live tarot reading or purchase a recorded reading (under Services). I'd love to help you navigate the moment and discover the personal meaning this new moon is illuminating for you.