Vital Leo: Rituals to Open the Heart

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It’s quite possible that every morning, with every sunrise, our hearts beat a simultaneous rhythm of relief and terror. Relief because, today, we get another chance at life; terror because we are called to put our hearts out there once again–to open up to vital vulnerability. Some days we just want to hole up in our comfortable dark corners where no one can criticize or stretch us. Thank you, season of Leo, for pulling us out of the dirt and into the sunshine where we are brave enough to be seen, playful enough to laugh with a warm heart, and free enough to give the best of ourselves to the people we interact with day after day after day.

Dear Leo, here’s to summoning our best parts to the surface.


Greet the Sun With the Breath of Fire

Every morning we come back to life. We reclaim and interpret our night visions–we bring them to light, that is, we bring them to life. Make time for greeting the sun on a morning walk or run. Recognize the new day for what it truly is–another day to love the people you love, and to give the world a piece of your ever generous soul. Find gratitude for the opportunity to rise once again on this earth, and keep that gratitude with you throughout the day.

Make a promise to yourself that what you’ve incubated throughout the night, throughout the dark spaces in your life, you will bring forth with light for all to partake. That idea you’ve had for months and know so many people would benefit from it? Call it forth. Commit to a sunrise walk or run every day this week.

Recite this passage from 12th century mystic and visionary, Hildegard of Bingen:

I am the supreme fire and energy. I have kindled all the sparks of the living. I have properly ordained the cosmos, flying about the circling circle with my upper wings, that is with wisdom. I am the fiery life of divine substance, I blaze above the beauty of the fields, I shine in the waters, I burn in sun, moon, and stars. And I awaken all to life with every wind of the air, as with invisible life that sustains everything. For the air lives in greenness and fecundity. The waters flow as though they are alive. The sun also lives in its own light. The breath of the soul strengthens and sustains the body so that it does not weaken. Thus I am concealed in things as fiery energy. They are ablaze through me, like the breath that ceaselessly enlivens the human being. All these things live in their essence, and there is no death in them, for I am life. I have breathed life into everything, so that nothing by its nature may be mortal, for I am life. I am the helper.

Gather Your Womenfolk, Bring Dreams to the Light

Take advantage of Leo’s warm-hearted and generous energy. Host a gathering of your nearest and dearest womenfolk where you can give each woman an opportunity to bring her hopes and dreams to the surface, to the light. Your playfulness will put all guests at ease, and they will feel the support and warmth of the group. As the hostess, you’ll benefit from being the vibrant hub that has brought so many women together in one place. All hearts desire to be seen. You can give them a safe place to give voice to their deepest desires, and to feel a lightness about accomplishing the tasks ahead.

Broken Heart, Open Heart

The season of Leo is definitely a light-hearted and playful season, full of romantic sensibilities and so many good intentions. However, life will continue to serve us circumstances that are uncomfortable–even a dose of suffering. So what to do with a breaking heart? It feels easier to retreat ever deeper and into darker corners when our hearts are breaking. If your heart is breaking, keep it open, keep it in the light of the generous hearts surrounding you. This season will meet your suffering with compassion, with a warm heart.

Write in your journal daily about the soft and tender places in your heart. Don’t sweep your pain under the rug, but, rather, give your broken heart the chance to be seen–even if it is seen only on the pages of your journal.


Words and Images: Ann Whittaker @annwhittaker9
Ann is a new contributor that we are excited to see more of, bringing a rich background in literature and writing and an outlook that’s deep and Priestess-like. Stay tuned for more about Ann, soon!
Model: Lauren Stern @feralchildrenofarchitecture




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