Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 12, 2009

Spotlight on Leo—a Tale of three Queens

  ©2006-2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 This month we’re celebrating proud, regal Leo.  If Leos had their way, we’d celebrate them each and every month, but this is their birthday month, and  many of them are celebrating it in typical lavish fashion for the full  31 days.  (Don’t take the number of candles on the cake literally; it’s just a rough approximation.) They’ll especially expect homage around the Leo New Moon on the 20th, so prepare some suitable tribute.  

lioncostume-a2dWhile coping with one Leonine diva or another among my friends recently, I’ve been reminded of a piece I wrote about this sign for The Mountain Astrologer while Saturn was in Leo, back in 2005-2007.

While I’m at it, let me thank TMA for providing me with space to explore individual facets of astrology in depth these past many years. They have an excellent forum on Facebook here, as well as PLANET TRACKS on their website to keep you informed of current astrological positions. The final piece in my long series of articles on outer planet transits to the career houses–this time on Pluto–is on the stands now, and my new series on aspects will begin with the October-November issue of TMA.    

At any rate, the article as it stood then recorded what I was observing about three distinct types of responses by Leos to transiting Saturn’s presence in that sign. When Saturn finally ended its siege of Leo and moved into Virgo, I yanked the piece from my ebook but couldn’t really bear to throw it out.  (I have the tear sheet of every single article or column I’ve ever written—it’s what authors do.) The text file for the article slunk away to some dusty, neglected sector of my hard drive. 

Lately, Leo Suns, Moons and Ascendants around me have been having dramatic public meltdowns, thanks to the eclipses. I’ve been thinking that maybe that piece wasn’t just about transits, but has relevance to ways Leos in general handle pressure—planetary and otherwise.  Since Leo is the sign of royalty and of the inner child, let me share my observations in storybook fashion as a tale of three queens.

 #1: A Diva in Meltdownqueenoffwithheads-a2d

 Queen Uno had enjoyed her reign immensely, some 21 years of being the center of attention at the dazzling royal palace. She led a pampered, luxurious life, dressed to the nines, and kowtowed to by one and all. No one expected her to do anything more responsible than to grace the court with her presence at sumptuous feasts, and if she staged the occasional high volume tantrum, she generally got her way.

Recently, however, His Highness had been making the most unreasonable demands on her, telling her she had to take on some of the royal functions. He even insisted that she start visiting the sick and the poor. He said he was feeling his age and needed her to share some of the burdens of his reign.

She couldn’t fathom how he could let himself go like that—far from admitting her age, she did her best to ignore it. For some years now, she’d banned birthday celebrations and avoided full frontal views in the mirror, while her ladies in waiting flattered her that she didn’t look a day older than when she took the throne.

One morning, however, she happened to catch her reflection in a mirror and was desolated. She was NOT. AGING. WELL. There were now deep lines and wrinkles and even unsightly age spots on her royal countenance. Clearly, she had to do something without delay. The king had only married her because she was a beauty back in the day—and now she’d caught him casting admiring looks at a stunning young duchess who’d recently arrived on the scene.

 The queen consulted the royal astrologer for a good time to have a facelift, but he—with understandable trepidation—counseled her not to do it. “With Saturn sitting on your Ascendant, the result won’t be good. Your skin will be too tight, and it will make you look hard and strange.” After beheading him, she went right ahead and had the surgery. He was right—awfully, appallingly right.

 Depressed, she dramatically attempted suicide, soaked up sympathy from her hordes of sycophants, and when that palled, hid in her chambers for the rest of her reign, full of self-pity and stuffing herself with sweetmeats.

 #2: The Queen Bequeenbeeonlitterbd-a2de Casts out the Drones

 Dos was born a queen, the only one in the hive with the proper equipment for the role. She never questioned it, just went on about her functions, and was a hard-working and capable queen—the center of the hive upon which all members depended. There came a time, however, when she could feel that she was getting older and didn’t have the stamina she once did. 

She kept up with the queenly workload, but it cost her dearly and she was finally forced to make some changes. The hive surely needed the thousand or so worker bees to gather the nectar, make the honeycomb, defend the hive and feed the larvae, but why did the hive need all those drones? There were a hundred of them to feed, and they did nothing except fertilize some eggs once in a while. With the support of the worker bees, Queen Dos drove almost all of the drones out of the hive that fall, and the cutbacks made it a smaller but happier and healthier hive. 

#3: The Queen in Spite of Herselfqueenreluctantcrownbd-a2d

 Trace was a distant cousin of the king’s—in line to the throne, but from a branch that had seen far better days and that wasn’t even invited to court functions. Then the king died, his heirs abdicated, and when the rest of the line was wiped out by a plague, Trace found herself drafted.

 The crown sat heavily on her brow—she had no idea how to be a queen and knew she would go down in history as a failure. Each morning, she rose in dread of making a fool of herself, and she agonized over every royal function and decision, though she was too proud to let her uncertainty show.

Some older members of the court saw that she was intelligent and had a noble nature, so they counseled and tutored her until she began to emerge in her own right as a solid reagent. Never forgetting her humble beginnings, she championed the unfortunate and instituted programs that improved their lot, becoming much beloved in the land. In old age, Trace was venerated as the best, wisest, fairest, and most devoted queen they had ever had.

If you’re among those with important placements in the sign Leo—Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or several planets—which of the three queens are you most like? In order to keep your crown and wear it for a good long time, you might do well to be more like Trace than Uno. 

I’m torn about whether to leave the comments turned on for this piece or not.  I’ll probably have to issue a full public apology to Leos tomorrow or face a class action lawsuit.   Hey, you know I’m just funning you, right?  Consider it a roast like the well-deserved one to Joan Rivers on the Comedy Channel recently. 

More Impertinent Articles about the Zodiac Signs:


  1. The story of Trace reminds me of something Caroline Myss says about nuns/priests volunteering and mystics being drafted…
    Amusing article.

  2. Well, I loved it! But all the Leo I have is Saturn conjunct Pluto in my 9th house . . . 🙂

  3. Leos have been through the wringer for years now: Saturn transits, south node eclipses, and the wrenching Aquarian mirror of dissolution and unredeemed redemption rat packof the rabble and technology.

    We’ve had to dig deep for our higher expression of will, light and love; let go many lower forms of expression while still generating the “heart” magic that others depend on us for.

    Yes, I have a stellium of planets in Leo. Yes, everyone wants to smack-down the Diva. The truth is: Leos will never understand why.

    Here’s a snippet from Robert Wilkinson’s Aquarius Papers describing Leo as the King/Queen and also the Divine Orphan:

    Mythologically, Leo is the sign of the King/Queen, the ruling nobility of that which shines eternally, the central force of light and heat in any fixed field of activity. This function is the direct representative of that which bestows life, the central order of any given “realm.” It also is the Orphan, in that the ruler has no one to defer to, no one who can make the decisions that must be made about the order of things, the laws of the system.

    Leo is where the buck stops and starts, and as such symbolizes the Divine Power of Spiritual force used to curse or bless, destroy or allow. In the wisdom-tradition, it is said that there are good Kings and Queens, as well as bad ones. Historically, we have Arthur as the symbol of the good King that blesses the knights to embrace their holy quests, and Herod as the symbol of the bad King, one who would destroy all life that might someday challenge his hegemony.—courageous-noble-fire-spirits.html

  4. In 12 minutes from now, it will be midnight here and my birthday (Sun in Leo)!

    I just finished writing something and was saving this to read as a “reward.” I feel amply rewarded. It misted my eyes.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you–glad you feel good about it. Birthdays are such a time of re-evaluating one’s life path.

  5. I have Cancer Rising with Moon conjunt jupiter in Leo (squaring Sun in Scorpio. I have long been convinced am Queen#3. Mercury i Sag sez am Queen 3. sadly i just realized this by living like Queen 2!

    • Me, I’m all three Queens, depending on where the Moon is that day. I aspire to Queen 3, but blush to say I am occasionally 1.
      Queen Donna

  6. I’d like to think of myself as always being Queen 3 (Saturn in Virgo in 12 adds a bit of service oriented humility to the mix) but I know, at times, Queen 1 and 2 have had their wicked, wicked ways. As I have aged, I think Queen 3 is coming out of the royal closet.
    In my 20’s, I was a bit of a flamboyant Leonine peacock, swanning around wearing glittery fashions and jewelry and an opera cape or magenta fake monkey fur jacket.
    Now I let my cat be the beautiful drama queen. I have retired from the stage.

    • Love it, Meloh! I must fess as a Leo Rising that I’m a mixed bag of queens myself. Donna

  7. Wow…interesting comments and take on Leo.
    My Sun is 29 degrees Leo conjunct Fixed Star Regulus, ( the Heart of the Lion”)
    29 degrees of any sign is said to be over developed in that sign or just putting the finishing touches to it or is a ” fate “degree, when set off by transits of either Saturn or Jupiter it is said that one has to deal with karmic ties involving the Sun and its aspects.

    By the way the Sun is NOT alone there are billions of them in the playing field of the universe. Regulus being one of the first magnitude and instrumental in our Suns communications with Sirius . Our Sun being on the Ray of Love/ Wisdom and Sirius her teacher and initiator.
    The Sun, ruler of Leo, is a living being with a super state of conscious awareness juxtaposition a city dweller hailing a cab.
    Being that LIFE ( Sun grounds the LIFE FORCE) creates multiplicity of forms on Earth and the other planets.
    Other Suns are of different energy Rays .
    Sorry to digress….
    One really important thing about Leo and why it must be understood and embraced. We are shifting gears into the AGE of AQUARIUS and there will be no advantage in it if one does not connect to the HEART CENTER which is ruled by LEO. Aquarius rules over the circulation systems, but Leo is the driving force. Leo can call divergent circulatory systems together into an entity exhibiting cohesion and integrity. Look at Leo in your chart.

    Yeah…I was once a Queen in conjunction with the King and equal in status and duty to the people, our children. We discussed every decision and agreed on the solution before implementation. It was a union of perfection that a man and woman can have. I have also been a soldier, a poor hermit and many other things. It was and is all valuable.

  8. Why is it that Leos are always seen as a joke? Even in websites I find only the superficial characters being written as if Leos don’t have any depth in them. I have known Leos who were genuinely tolerant and kind and deep thinkers-and not because they were expecting some praise. I haven’t found a word of indepth analysis on other aspects of their psychology other than the continuous repetitions that they seek praise- and hence concluding that they are insecure inside..when the truth is Leo or no Leo any insecure Zodiac sign would behave that way! I have seen insecure scorpios claiming that they ‘were scorpios and so they sting’ and blah blah…i have seen insecure librans seeking attention for their beauty…

  9. I have gone through site after site and I couldn’t help noticing the superficiality to which a Leo woman is attributed .Like a silly piece of pampered barbie doll who doesn’t even take a wee bit of time to look within( I am sorry I am using this blog to express myself ! )…And as if to soothe the egos of all Leos who read them they end it with..’ charming beautiful intelligent ‘ ; will cook delicious food for you ha ha’ ( which is so-not sign-specific)

    • Thank you Someone. You are correct. We Leos have not had it easy and tolerate things no other sign would tolerate. I appreciate your kind words.

  10. Someone, I would be interested in Donna’s take on your comments but much of what you see being said about Leo’s is probably the superficial sun sign stuff, not in-depth astrology.
    Yes, Leo Suns (and others with Leo emphasis) can and do sometimes act in the manner those articles mention, but that is not all there is to be the sign.
    We can also be very generous and indeed, lavish with our praise of others.
    I have seen charming more attributed to Libra/Venus and intelligence more attributed to Virgo,Scorpio or Aquarius (very different kinds of smarts there)
    but that doesn’t mean all Libras are charming or all of those other three smart. (or for that matter, dumb.)
    That is whay one needs to learn the WHOLE of astrology and refer to the actual chart of individuals in order to get the gist of that person’s essence.

  11. I have a stellium in Leo, plus a Leo Descendant. Mars, Venus, Moon, Mercury, and Sun; Sun in 7th and all others in a sixth house stellium. Being an Aquarius rising, I’ve never been able to relate to the typical Leo story, and the Trace story is probably the first Leo story that actually reminds me of myself.
    Everything about Trace screams “me”:
    1. “she was intelligent and had a noble nature”
    Indeed, my mother comments on my seemingly sophisticated nature. I have different standards and mannerisms than do the rest of my family; in addition, I’m more the intellectual, scholarly type, which is very unusual considering my family is very uneducated. I’m hilariously bad at cleaning and other housework (ironic because my mom is a custodian); they laugh and say my hands are not meant for working, that I’m meant for some sort of office job. In other words, I’m very Virgo-like, which is expected given the prominence of the sixth house in my chart.
    2. “humble beginnings”
    Working class origins, like you’d expect from someone with a sixth house stellium. My parents are immigrants, have always done the hard work. If I were a queen, I’d definitely do what Trace did and fight for the unprivileged! Brings that touch of service from the sixth and twelfth houses (where I have a total of six Leo and Aquarius planets), and humanitarianism from Aquarius rising.
    3. “agonized over every royal function and decision”
    With so many planets including the Moon in the sixth house, every day feels like a chore. I dread responsibility, and one of the reasons I like to not to be in a leadership position is the accountability involved in the role. Plus, my introversion would have me prefer stay inside than go to a royal function. If I were a queen, these are things I’d definitely have to learn to work past.

    I can easily see myself being Trace. My numerology placements have the number 1 all over the place, emphasizing the leadership theme evident in my natal chart. Plus my MBTI type, INTJ, has me functioning well as a master strategist. I suppose if I work to develop my natural strengths, I too can become the “best, wisest, fairest, and most devoted queen they had ever had”.

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