An award winning media company committed to sharing the perspectives of people of colour from marginalised genders

gal-dem horoscopes: Find authenticity this Leo season

The month ahead is a perfect time to reflect on what both seeing and loving yourself truly mean.

01 Aug 2021

Nadia Akingbule

Leo energy begs questions around authenticity, performance, and the liminal space where the two meet. This fire sign loves crossing the boundary of the stage and breaking the fourth wall; not quite letting you know if you’ve cracked the code of their truest self, or who exactly their theatrics are for. 

Whether you find Leos vain or not, they are unbelievably enduring. As these courageous lions of the zodiac saunter into our lines of vision this August, I invite you to evaluate what exactly makes you uncomfortable about how the current media landscape tries to solve the question of “self-love”.

Is it the way neoliberalism narrates “self-love” from a stance of toxic individualism and doesn’t tie it to wider ideas of building up those around you as well? Or is it the belief that part of our humility is connected to the rate at which we replicate and proliferate our own image? Answers around this shouldn’t come to you right away – they’re simply ideas to hold onto as the month progresses.

This Leo season, I also want you to meditate on this quote from the late John Berger: 

“To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognised for oneself.”

― John Berger, Ways of Seeing

Keep in mind that Western patriarchal ideologies thrive on women and femmes not being able to recognise their own beauty and power. While cultivating love between yourself and others on the basis of a common enemy is not something I recommend in healthy interpersonal dynamics, an enemy of heteropatriarchal structures will likely point towards a friend.

With all of this in mind, here are my thoughts for each zodiac sign this August!

Leo & Leo Rising

A transformation of the self isn’t always visible on the outside, Leo. 

If you know you’ve changed, you don’t have to prove it to anyone but yourself. What’s true will always naturally reflect in your actions. The new moon in your sign on 8 August is a moment of digging for a deeper sense of self assuredness. Now is the time to release the need to perform, and set intentions about how you freely express your authenticity. A few days later, these intentions take the form of a solid plan as meticulous Mercury makes a move into your neighbouring sign Virgo. As Mercury moves through a zone of your sky where work and planning become a priority, you’re able to strategize and systematise what has felt like a chaotic time of moving into a new version of yourself. Work negotiations are also likely to move more smoothly during this time! Don’t be afraid to jump on a work call and plead your case on a big offer looming in front of you.

On 15 August, goddess planet Venus makes its move into a sign that’s a fellow lover of the finer things in life – Libra! Venus’ vibe in Libra is one of harmony and lighthearted fun. This transit is set to bring you a new slew of friendships and exciting adventures around your town/city. Look towards group-hangs for belly laughs and loud singalongs. 22 August brings the full moon in Aquarius to your zone of relationships and partnerships once again. Last month was a full moon in Aquarius as well, which began the process of releasing patterns and people from your romantic past. Now, with this lunation, you’re called to keep up what you’ve started and put your foot down when you know something needs to end.

Virgo & Virgo Rising 

Moments of release aren’t always easy, Virgo. 

The patterns you cultivate in day to day life often function as the bedrock of your mind; making moving away from them an intense and exhausting process. On 8 August, when the new moon in Leo brings a burst of renewing energy into the slice of your sky where darkness and endings fall, people and rituals alike undergo a massive reset. Expect relationships to end and voices to be raised! Practice speaking out loud the ways you want to welcome in newness rather than focusing on the poignant emptiness you might be feeling. A few days later on 11 August, fast moving Mercury moves into your sign and brings with it a strength to your voice. This confidence hasn’t been very present in the last few weeks, so this new transition feels (and sort of is) a superpower for you. 

On 15 August fruitful fiscal vibes come your way as aesthetic Venus makes its move into the original material girl sign Libra! While Venus is moving through this familiar airy energy, it’s able to bestow blessings into the money matters you’re undergoing at the moment. Whether it’s a business deal you’re in the middle of finalising, or a big investment you’re about to make; this Venutian influence is ideal for manifesting abundance. The full moon in Aquarius on 22 August lights up your zone of routine, physicality and scheduling once again! Last month on 23 July was another full moon in Aquarius, which is quite a rarity to occur. What this does is help you dually harness the spirit of release and transformation in these areas of your life, and finalise (or get back on track with) what you started in July. Godspeed!

Libra & Libra Rising 

Do you allow yourself to shine as bright as you know you can? Or do you dull the shine for fear of causing upset in your environment, Libra? 

Your month begins with the Leo new moon on 8 August calling you to take on a bolder role in your community. One where you can be both a leader and humble participant; a voice of guidance and constant inquirer. Let the confidence of this lunation help you sow intentions surrounding backing yourself and being courageous in group settings. A few days later on 11 August, Mercury, planet of communication, traverses into a shadowy area of your sky. Here, your intuition is heightened, and connection with your body feels more natural than how your brain connects with words. Expect to be tongue tied in your texts, and expressive with your hands! When your vocabulary seems to fail you, remember that there’s nothing like sitting in silence with someone listening to a beloved album.

Any waivers in confidence you’ve experienced lately are ready to be shaken out of existence when Venus enters your zone of self development and individuality on 15 August! Venus returning to and traversing its home sign of Libra means you’re able to get that bold haircut you’ve been debating, speak up when you know it’s your turn to be heard, and pose for the camera as much as your heart desires. Finally, the full moon in Aquarius lights up the zone of your sky that rules flirtatious fun and exciting creative progressions, dear Libra. This full moon is the second of two full moons in Aquarius – the last one being just last month on 23 July! When two full moons occur back to back in the same sign, it puts extra emphasis on the themes you were engaged in prior. Keep releasing what doesn’t inspire you and celebrating life as an extroverted adventure. 

Scorpio & Scorpio Rising 

How do you wish to be remembered, Scorpio? 

Your legacy is more important to you than you let on to others, and your spirit easily leaves an imprint on the spaces you inhabit. The Leo new moon on 8 August brings a strong chance to renew how you guide the course of your public-facing life. Set intentions around the ways you wish to move forward in your career and the aspects of yourself you’re most widely recognised for in your community. A few days later on 11 August, communication planet Mercury makes a move into your zone of community and shared ethos; encouraging you to connect with people who see you for more than just an intriguing soul to be around, but a comrade and ally. Mercury is a connector and system builder. Use its Virgo-dipped energy to put routine and structure around how you keep in touch with people on the periphery of your life.

Transformation in your desires arrives on 15 August as Venus, planet of love and sensuality, makes its move into air sign Venus. In this part of your sky, endings and secrets from your past are likely to rise up in the new romantic situations you’re cultivating. What’s most important is to affirm the reality of how these events manifest in your life now (especially to whoever you’re seeing), and be honest with how they make you feel. On 22 August, the full moon in Aquarius blesses your zone of safety, ancestral ties, and the places you call home once again. This is the second of two Aquarius full moons we’re experiencing this summer, putting extra energy towards your need to release the concepts you carry in these arenas that hold you back from higher fulfilment. Revisit the feelings and events that were happening on the last full moon (23 July) and complete that unfinished business.

Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising 

Where would you be without your mentors, Sagittarius? 

Know that you play this role with more people in your life than you think. The knowledge you impart on others always has a wider tone of wisdom to it, which is why so many people seek you out for advice. 8 August on the Leo new moon, you’re called to recalibrate how you assert yourself in these scenarios. Set intentions around how you wish to cultivate relationships where you have guidance to offer. A few days later on 11 August, career matters fly to the forefront of your mind as busybody Mercury moves into a zone of your sky that stays concerned with your public reception and workflow. Mercury is spending this time cruising through Virgo’s energy, bringing you bold and routine-oriented hustle vibes. Let this period be one of growth in projects that are near and dear to your heart, and monetary manifesting moments.

As the month progresses, a new community of like minded souls await your company, Sag. On 15 August, Venus, planet of desire and charm, moves into sociable air sign Libra! On this new journey, Venus is ready to bless you with sweet social interactions and chats that transform your ethos, while also growing your heart. So don’t shy away from that invite to the park or hang with a group you’ve not met before. 22 August brings the full moon in Aquarius into your zone of communication and the topics you hold ultimate curiosity over. This full moon supplements last month’s lunation in the same sign by giving an extra jolt to this area of your life. Full moons are about release and celebration, so continue to act in the spirit of change and evolution within your friendships and local sphere.

Capricorn & Capricorn Rising 

The love and loyalty you offer to others are deeply intertwined for you, Capricorn. 

Vetting and supporting those who you care for the most often comes second nature, and you’re reminded of this as the Leo new moon energises your zone of ancestral connection on 8 August. This lunation encourages you to be fearless as you cultivate the relationships you have with people you consider your “day ones”. Set intentions around being confident when questions of reciprocality arise. If you can feel that a sentiment goes both ways, trust it. A few days later on 11 August, your mind shifts into a research-oriented zone as communication planet Mercury enters Virgo! Here, you’re called to think about the broader picture in terms of who you look up to from an ethical perspective. The leader you’re looking for might not be as local as you think. Equally, this is a great time for you to go on a nourishing adventure far from your area.

A nudge in the right direction reaches your zone of career on 15 August as Venus, planet of desire and bringer of abundance, moves into air sign Libra! This period of ease helps you welcome alignment within your work projects, and make decisions which will positively impact your legacy in your field. Basically, just let things flow, and trust the process. 22 August marks the second of two Aquarius full moons that grace your sky this summer – the last one being only last month on 23 July. This full moon helps create a forceful final moment in your zone of materials and value; directly linking to your relationship with money! Finalise those work projects, start a new chapter in your world of spending/earning, and remember you can adjust your workflow into a perfect, unconventional zone that fits your specific needs.

Aquarius & Aquarius Rising 

Do you compromise or coalesce in your partnerships, Aquarius? 

Your fierce will to live your life as authentically and independently as possible can sometimes grind uncomfortably with the eb and flow of those you’re attached to. You’re especially confronted with this notion on 8 August as the new moon in Leo brings a courageous burst of energy into your zone of partnerships. This lunation is a moment for renewal and honesty in both your romantic and platonic bonds. New love connections will feel intense at this time, and existing ones will undergo new boundaries being laid! A few days later on 11 August, communicator Mercury makes its move into detail-oriented Virgo. Here, Mercury is able to bless you with a solid foundation to communicate your more shadowy thoughts, and help you be honest about the depths of your feelings for someone you truly feel connected to.

On 15 August, the sky brings you higher alignment and a strong desire towards wanderlust, water bearer! Venus, the planet that helps you get in touch with your yearnings and cravings, makes its move into fellow air sign Libra and gets you feeling inspired to search for more esoteric schools of thought than the ones presented to you in your day to day life. Embrace this feeling of global connectivity, and plan your escape from whatever makes you feel shackled. 22 August brings another full moon in your sign, dear Aquarius. Intensity just can’t seem to escape you this year! Major personal changes are meant to be undergone during lunations like this. Don’t lose sight of the journey forward. Like last month, let yourself be seen, heard and unapologetically celebrated in the space around this time.

Pisces & Pisces Rising 

Being consistently inconsistent with your routine isn’t as chaotic as it may sound, Pisces. 

When you follow the natural tides of your romantic desires and creative whims, life is rarely boring. In fact, it’s often generative in unconventional ways that are needed to break hegemonic shackles and normalise new ways of seeing/being. As the new moon in Leo blesses the routine-focused zone of your sky on 8 August, you’re offered a chance to bring more trust into the way you do,or don’t, do schedules. New moons wipe the slate clean and give you a chance to recalibrate. This one is ideal for checking in on your body and getting your feet good and grounded where you stand. A few days later on 11 August, communication planet Mercury makes its move into your opposite sign Virgo, where new partnerships begin appearing in your peripheral vision. Welcome them with intention and focus; these bonds hold the potential to be anything from an exciting and long lasting romantic connection to the perfect hot girl summer partner in crime.

On 15 August, Venus’s move into airy Libra helps you transform the relationships that have been blooming in your life into solid, stable bonds. Seek out moments where vulnerability takes you to new levels of connection, and there isn’t punishment for revealing the shadowy sides of your thoughts. Whoever is willing to do this feat with you isn’t there by accident. The Aquarius full moon finds your sky once again on 22 August, dredging up the same heaviness that you experienced last month (on 23 July, to be exact!). This is your reminder to once again put to bed unresolved issues between you and people you thought you’d be able to avoid for the rest of your life, who resurrected themselves like the walking dead last month! Avoidance really is futile.

Aries & Aries Rising 

How much do you rely on others to entertain you, Aries? 

Your month begins with the new moon in Leo bringing you a new perspective on the artistry and authorship of how you play and create. This lunation on 8 August says that rather than sitting in a state of constant commentary and speciation, you should begin new projects and trust your creative confidence. Welcome in this new fortitude within your fiery spirit and lead yourself fearlessly into flirty flings and inspired lines of inquiry. A few days later on 11 August, communicator Mercury leaves the confrontational energy that Leo imbues it with and gets comfortable and critical in earth sign Virgo. From this point until 30 August, Mercury is looking to help you tick off items on your to do list and get in touch with people in frank, logical ways. This is a perfect time to engage in truthful communication as a means to aid the projects you began around the new moon!

15 August brings romantic Venus’ return to the sign Libra, where it feels truly at home and able to express itself with ease. Libra energy inhabits a zone of your sky where relationships flourish and partnerships take priority! The next few weeks of Venus’ journey through Libra’s airy whimsy gives you space to cultivate stronger ties with the people who have recently entered your world and are looking to get closer (and perhaps, steamier) with you! Your month rounds off with a second full moon in air sign Aquarius lighting up your zone of community, mutual politics and shared dreams. It’s a rarity to experience two full moons in the same sign back to back in one year, and this one should make you realise that there’s really no point in following a hegemonic rulebook when it comes to the set of ethos you use to guide your life. Think back to what you were releasing this time last month, and treat this moon as nourishment for your journey forward as you continue releasing unhelpful traditions.

Taurus & Taurus Rising

Dominating a space doesn’t always look like yelling across a room and swirling body movements, Taurus. 

Sometimes it’s as subtle as a carefully placed object, or letting your artistic vision rule what vibe you’re creating. The Leo new moon on 8 August asks you to exercise boldness in your home through cultivating a stronger relationship in how you let yourself merge with that space. To let your comfort take precedence over practicality or caution for upset you might cause, while also staying aware of who you share that area with. A few days later, Mercury, planet of transportation and connecting our voice and spirit, moves into steadfast Virgo on 11 August. This movement stimulates a desire to be both playful and practical with how you pursue creative projects, dear Taurus. Although Virgo likes to err on the side of caution and collect lots of data, the zone it’s traversing with trickster planet Mercury is one of innovation and individuality. Let your words slip and slide more than usual. Get silly and witty while you flirt with new ideas.

15 August marks aesthetic Venus’ move into air sign Libra, where this planet of both love and war wants you to pay extra attention to the beauty you let into your life on a daily basis. Are you dressing in ways that bring you pleasure and prioritising the sensual appeal of your space? The key here is to make sure that at least a few aspects of your routine invite warmth and allure. The full moon on 22 Aquarius falls in your sky with more grace and nourishment than the last full moon in Aquarius on 23 July! It’s rare to experience two full moons in the same sign in a row, and even more so to have it in the star sign that’s really defining this year! Keep releasing career and work related frustrations and focusing on cultivating a new relationship to your public persona.

Gemini & Gemini Rising

Do you treat cultivating new friendships as a competition to be won, or an exploration of overlapping energies? 

Your month begins with the new moon in Leo arriving on 8 August into your zone of communication and new ideas you’re learning about. This is a time for releasing your need to perform for others in order to generate a genuine bond. If you’re excited to get to know someone, it’s great to show people you’re keen whilst working on not feeling the need to beg for anyone’s affection. Trust that you’re as charming as people say you are, and let them come to you! A few days later on 11 August, Mercury, a planet that’s all too familiarly chatty, moves into Virgo – a sign that also likes to take an analytical approach to things. As Mercury cruises through this earthy energy until 30 August, you’re called to cultivate a dialogue with family members you’ve lost touch with, and evaluate the form and function of your home environment. This is a time for reorganising the junk drawer while you’re on the phone to an aunty you’ve not spoken to much this past year.

15 August brings sensual planet Venus into its home sign of Libra; spreading a fun and flirtatious energy through the zone of your sky that rules artistic expression and sexy flings! This is a peak hot girl summer moment for you, Gemini. Lean into the multiplicity of an experience when it comes to lust and creation. Don’t limit yourself – just flow to where you feel most inspired and trust it will work out. On 22 August, the full moon lights up your zone of ethics and higher knowledge once again in the sign of Aquarius! Look back to what you released last month on the first Aquarius full moon (23 July) for guidance around what you want to keep ushering out with grace and flow. This lunation feels easier and more gracious than the last, so although the themes remain intense, you’ll be able to find a better pace amongst it all.

Cancer & Cancer Rising

Selflessness in how you treat your material resources is a quality that you often let show in humble and generous ways, Cancer. 

The sense of fulfilment you receive from it is something to always hold onto, and never let fade. The new moon in Leo on 8 August adds a caveat to this quality of yours by inviting you to be giving with yourself as well. Do some spending that serves you! Invite in abundance and look out for new work opportunities. If you’re feeling down about how your wallet looks, remember that fiscal security is more of a myth for most than a reality in the late stages of capitalism. A few days later on 11 August, communicator Mercury makes a move into earthy Virgo! Here, your introverted nature might take the wheel and drive you towards more reliable sources of camaraderie and friendship rather than new, chaotic environments. Speaking over a dinner table is preferred to the noise of a loud club. Seek out smaller groups where you can explore innovative political ideas and exchange knowledge as a means of getting to know others.

On 15 August, sensual and soft Venus moves into air sign Libra and begins its journey through the area of your chart where introversion and home-based activities occur. Venus is able to traverse comfortably through Libra’s lighthearted terrain, and blesses the remainder of your month with a smooth synastry in interpersonal relationships occurring under your roof. Finally, the full moon graces your sky on 22 August in the late degrees of Aquarius, making it the second full moon in Aquarius we’ve had in a row. This is your time to release and let go of matters to do with deep, interwoven interpersonal connections and ancestral guilt you may carry. This lunation may feel heavy, but it won’t be as solemn as the one in July!