From the Blue Zenith

Golden Leo

Posted 12/31/69

We’re at the very end of LEO time now. In fact, when you read this, if I still have the indulgence of the River Reporter, Leo period will probably be over. 

I blame it on Saturn, the …

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From the Blue Zenith

Golden Leo


We’re at the very end of LEO time now. In fact, when you read this, if I still have the indulgence of the River Reporter, Leo period will probably be over. 

I blame it on Saturn, the planet of delay, which is conjunct my Sun. 

Moreover, I’ve been preoccupied with getting a little bookstore off the ground in Jeffersonville, also delayed but, as we say, coming soon. More about that below. 

The Sun is the principal identifier of the horoscope, and the sign Leo which the Sun traverses from the 23rd of July to the 23rd of August, is said to be ruled by the Sun. Thus those summer-time babies are fated, at least in their own minds, to roar and rule and emulate the king of the Zodiac beasts.

Is it because their parents were enjoying vacation time? Infants who thrived in warm weather? Who knows? Obvious carriers of this season’s energy radiate a solar charisma (and, often, glowing tresses): Madonna, Mae West, Lucille Ball, Martha Stewart, Hulk Hogan, Andy Warhol, Arnold Schwartznegger, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Julia Child, Kim Cattrall. Mae West said it best: “I’m the regal type—that’s not a posture you learn in school, dearie. It’s the way you look at the world.”

Two Leos notable for casting as royals are Helen Mirren (both Elizabeths, a Queen Charlotte, a Queen Margaret) and Peter O’Toole (Henry II twice, King Priam), indelibly Lawrence of Arabia, aka “Uncrowned King of Arabia” and “Lion of the Desert.”

T. E. Lawrence himself was a charismatic Leo who drew this description from Winston Churchill:

“He wore his Arab robes, and the full magnificence of his countenance revealed itself. The gravity of his demeanor; the precision of his opinions; the range and quality of his conversation; all seemed enhanced to a remarkable degree by the splendid Arab head-dress and garb. From amid the flowing drapery his noble features, his perfectly chiseled lips and flashing eyes loaded with fire and comprehension shone forth. He looked like what he was, one of Nature’s greatest princes.”

Lawrence’s sergeant recalled, “He was hero-worshipped by all the flight for his never-failing cheery disposition, ability to get all he could for their benefit, never complaining… Quarrels ceased and the flight had to pull together for the sheer joy of remaining in his company and being with him for his companionship, help, habits, fun and teaching one and all to play straight.” 

Of himself, he wrote: “I drew these tides of men into my hands 

and wrote my will across the sky in stars.”

 … which recollects the epitome of Leo rulers—Napoleon Bonaparte. Josephine, in a letter, considering marriage with the ambitious young colonel, wrote, “I don’t know why, but sometimes this absurd self-confidence of his impresses me to the point of believing anything possible to this singular man—anything at all that might come into his mind to undertake! And with his imagination, who can guess what he might undertake?”

Napoleon would not allow himself to be crowned, but seized the emperor’s crown from the hands of the pope and crowned himself.

Other Leos beyond modesty: Jacqueline Kennedy, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Mick Jagger, Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, Meghan Markle.

For some reason, which at first I hesitate to rationalize, three Leos have died in mysterious plane crashes! Amelia Earhart, famous in her lifetime, is now known solely for having disappeared (who was btw a vivid round-faced red-head), Antoine de St. Exupéry (aviator hero and author of The Little Prince)—the fighter plane he piloted in WW2 was lost somewhere over the Channel; and Dag Hammarskjold (inspirational UN Secretary General; his plane crash in the Congo believed by some to have been an assassination). 

Come to think of it, Lawrence’s death is also thought by some to have been an assassination. An insanely accomplished person like Lawrence shouldn’t die in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident near home at 46 years old. These dramatic exits are grandiose Leo gestures. Shelley, whose charisma was celebrated, drowned at 28. As a foreigner in Italy, local authorities insisted his corpse be disposed of on the beach. His heart escaped the pyre, wouldn’t burn, a great operatic moment of English literary history. 

Leo rules the Stage. G. B. Shaw was Leo. He wrote “Androcles and the Lion.” Bert Lahr was Leo; he played the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.” He also played Androcles. 

The poet Rupert Brooke (another tragic early death) was famous for his charm. In a condolence letter to his mother a, perfect stranger wrote: 

“I have never met so entirely likeable a chap, and when I could ‘get him going’ about his wanderings, or provoke him into discussions about Literature, I was one walking ear!... I almost wept to know I could never again see that golden head and kindly smile—‘Young Apollo,’ I used to dub him in my mind, whilst the fresh wind tossed his hair, and his boyish eyes lit up with pleasure at some of my anecdotes… Your son was not merely a genius—what is perhaps more important, he had a charm that was literally like Sunshine. To say that his manner was perfect is putting it quite inadequately… His memory is blessed by the hundreds of men who were so fortunate as to meet him—”

Brooke died, another abrupt and shocking death, before he had time to develop as a poet, but his most notable poem, a rapturous outpouring that many folks used to know by heart, is called “The Great Lover.” He sings “the high cause of Love’s magnificence.” Life-giving, warm, sunny, benevolent the sign is associated (in medical astrology) with the heart, seat of love. The above-mentioned heart of Shelley, Lucille Ball’s big red heart. Leo lovers Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffiths shared heart tattoos. Blond Leo Sean Penn underwent a heart transplant in “22 Grams.” French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy (born July 26) also underwent a heart transplant. His birth sun was exactly conjunct Pluto, planet of death and transformation, and the one-in-a-million event. 

Speaking of philosophy, there’s old Ludwig Feuerbach (with whom I share a birthday), who was a tremendous influence on the forward-thinking youth of the 19th century, and whose effects, if not whose name, continue to reverberate. He argued that sexual love was the highest state and foundation of true communitarian religion. 

This Leonine generosity of heart takes the form of the polygamy seen in the social organization of the lion into “prides,” in which several females accompany a single male.

Oddly, I can think of four Leos who scandalized with harems: the electronic composer Stockhausen, psychologist C.G.Jung, theologian Paul Tillich, and physicist Erwin Schrodinger. (Schrodinger is even associated with a cat!) All happen to be respected German intellectuals. I wrote about the situation in greater detail here.


I admit it, I’m a bookaholic and hoping to attract other bookaholics in the area. The store, which I call BookMark, is tiny, the stock is of used, collectible, and occasionally rare edition, curated from my personal shelves.

I’ll keep my astrological files there, and shelves on Bloomsbury, Stein, Henry James, 19C Am.Lit. (Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson), modern lit, art & architecture, entertainment & film, music & opera, diversity, gardening, cooking & home, history, places, philosophy, psychology, sex, mysticism, religion & Judaica, science & technology, sci-fi, sports & outdoors, belles lettres AND children’s books. And there’s wi-fi. I aim to open on Labor Day weekend. 

Blue Zenith, Mark Shulgasser, astrology, books, BookMark, Leo, T.E. Lawrence, Rupert Brooke, Percy Bysshe Shelley


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