Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech became the touchstone for Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly. She adopted and adapted his words to explain something important about her call to be vulnerable.
Yes, she says, to experience a full life, we must bring our true selves into the arena and share openly. But, but, anyone not also in the arena being vulnerable cannot criticize those who are.
They can and do criticize, of course. The internet troll, the gossip, the giver of backhanded compliments, the gaslighter are all too present in our world and our lives. Brené Brown and Teddy Roosevelt say, we do not listen to them. They say nothing important or useful.
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And yet, when we step into the arena to share our creative hearts, don’t we want attention? Don’t we hope for admiration?
This is the risk. Will we receive praise or condemnation? The laughter of joyful appreciation or derision? Kind words or criticism? Success or failure? As we step onto that stage, this not-knowing is the source of our fear and also our longing.
• Are we in the arena? Have we put our creative heart into the world?
• Which arena are we in? Is it the right one?
• Whose feedback are we listening for? Are we focused on voices who support us? Are we letting unimportant, uninvolved voices stop us?
• What do we need to move forward?
Early Sunday morning, the New Moon arrives at 0 degrees Leo. This is the opening into fixed Fire, the sign of courage, of the heart, of joy, playfulness, children, theater, leadership, and creative expression. It is also the sign of ego problems (too big or too small), of attention seeking, grandiosity, and petty drama.
As we might expect when the New Moon meets the Lion at his own doorway, this is no ordinary New Moon. We have entered a time of Fire that will continue into September. On July 20, Mars entered Leo. His role looms large in the coming weeks as he travels with the Sun: He will conjunct this New Moon, the Full Moon and lunar eclipse in early August, and the second Leo New Moon and total solar eclipse in late August.
Mars is action. He is our will and our ability to affect the world around us. He is libido in the Jungian sense of raw life force and in the narrower Freudian sense of sexual potency. A clear and dedicated Mars will work hard toward our goals, defend our boundaries, and protect us. A frustrated or suppressed Mars becomes passive aggressive or filled with rage.
Beginning with this New Moon, and during the weeks to come, we will want to pay attention to how we do Mars. Are we acting effectively? What triggers our anger? How do we process anger? Can we clearly defend ourselves and those needing our protection? Do we feel alive and energized?
Mars questions, issues, and intentions are all vital at this New Moon.
There’s more … Mercury is in late Leo conjunct the North Node of the Moon. This gives us the ability to think about Mars issues, communicate about Mars issues, and connect those thoughts and communications to our life path.
This Mercury pattern also continues into September. Mercury turns retrograde on August 12, between the Full Moon lunar eclipse and New Moon solar eclipse. Although Mercury will be in Virgo when he begins his retrograde, he will travel back into Leo territory. He turns direct in early September in the same degree as the solar eclipse while conjunct Mars.
Setting intentions at this New Moon to enlist our abilities to think and communicate as we examine issues around passion, anger, and the work that needs to be done is a great idea.
The outer planets also have voices here.
Uranus the revolutionary sits in late Aries. He continues to fuel the Fire energy we feel all around us. He is flowing energy to the Mercury–North Node conjunction, making sure we are considering the most radical next steps on our path. He is also challenging the New Moon in an out-of-sign square, a not-too-subtle push to get us into the largest, most daring arena ever.
Saturn in late Sagittarius flows energy to Mercury–North Node from the other side. He will try to provide structure and set boundaries. As we know, appropriate boundaries are a good thing. At the same time, putting explosive energies inside a box only serves to increase the pressure.
Chiron in late Pisces creates an out-of-sign trine, an easy flow of energy, to the New Moon. This opens a door for clearing anything that came to the surface during our emotional journey through Cancer. If there’s still gunk floating around, burn it away in a healing fire.
The list of possible intentions and wishes for this New Moon is getting long! There’s so much going on and so much at stake. Yet this Moon, despite her complexity, calls for clarity. Before making our wishes, we need to focus.
Part of the focusing process comes from comparing the New Moon to our birth chart. Where is 0 Leo? Which house? What planets and points do we have at the beginnings and ends of various signs, especially the other Fire signs (Aries and Sag) and fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius)? These connections will tell us how the New Moon will feel to us.
Another part of the focusing process is getting clear on what is vital to us. The Fire element is about energy––chi, prana, kundalini, life force. Where is our energy flowing? What excites us? Scares us? Calls forth our most creative, most daring, most courageous self? That’s who this New Moon calls to. Those are the arenas whose doors open to us now.
I use Unsplash for almost all my images. The images in this post include the title, created from a photo by Oscar Keys , the protestors by Andrew Vickars, the bike by Nicolas Picard, and the man facing into the rising sun by Warren Wong.