Oakland-based Yeye Luisah Teish is a Yoruba priestess and a daughter of Oshun, the African Venus. When I first met Teish in the mid-80s at the Council of Feminine Fire in Ojai, California, she blew me away. As a newcomer to the ways of the Goddess, I’d never experienced a woman who was so in her power – not to mention her body! I soon devoured her autobiography, Jambalayah, and have followed her ever since.

Teish recently appeared on Conscious Cosmos, a stimulating online discourse with astrologer Richard Tarnas and other teachers. In it, she shared that her oracles have foretold that it’s time for the divine feminine and the sacred masculine to dance together. This certainly involves a deeper understanding and flow between men and women, but it also speaks to re-establishing our connection with nature.

“What comes to my mind,” she explained, “is the flight of the Sankofa bird. We have the image of a bird that is looking behind it with an egg in its mouth, but it’s flying forward.” Its message, she believes, is that “we need to take a look at that which is most potent from the past, from an indigenous point of view, and fly forward with that.” And what’s most potent to a daughter of Oshun is cultivating love and pleasure.

The Sankofa bird is a beautiful image for the Leo New Moon (Aug. 16, 2:37 a.m. PDT). At that time, the Sun (male principle) unites with the Moon (female principle) at 23 degrees Leo, not far from retrograde Venus. The Sun’s exact conjunction (cazimi) to Venus happens three days prior, on Aug. 13, which makes the period between the 13th and 16th a powerful time to devote yourself to pleasure, art and creativity. While love goddess Venus cruises backward in heartfelt Leo through early September, we’ll continue to be called to reclaim our heart’s desires – and also to revisit old issues around love, desire, money and values.

The Sun and Moon in Leo also square Uranus in Taurus. When these planets in stubborn fixed signs go head-to-head, there could be unexpected events, surprises, breakdowns or breakthroughs. Uranus is a trickster, so stay light on your feet and let your heart lead the way. As the modern ruler of Aquarius, Uranus also symbolizes community, so you may find support by joining with others in common cause.

In my book, Moon Power: Lunar Rituals for Connecting with Your Inner Goddess, I feature Oshun as the Goddess most aligned with Leo. There are suggestions for rituals to Her in that book, as well as its latest edition, Moon Rituals. Or, simply create an altar to Oshun and call Her name at this New Moon, asking for guidance and blessings. Make your altar as beautiful as possible, with items like a bowl of water (Oshun is a river goddess), a jar of honey (for sweetness), and yellow flowers or gold candles (these are her colors). Adorn yourself with shimmery fabrics, special jewelry or whatever suits your fancy. Spray your favorite perfume or light an incense you love, to bless the altar. Then consider: Was there a time in your life that you truly felt your innate power and beauty? Now is the time to hit the ‘refresh’ button and reclaim that feeling. Ask Oshun to bless you at this New Moon, and to shower you with love and courage.

Yeye Teish is an earthy Taurus, but her fiery Mars in Leo is what’s activated at this lunation – the part of her that’s a passionate warrior of the heart.  Her latest project of enlisting local midwives to aid pregnant homeless women in Oakland is bound to get a boost from this lunation. You, too, may want to energize a heartfelt project, or get the divine feminine (love and nurturing) and the sacred masculine (will and action) dancing together in some other way. Once Oshun is on board, magic happens. “I can guarantee you,” states Teish, “that Oshun is the most potent force in the universe. Have no doubt about it, baby!”

One thought on “Leo New Moon: Reclaiming Pleasure

  • August 12, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    Hmmm.. Natal Pluto at 21° Leo. This should be interesting…


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