Original article published in 2007 by Austin Coppock
Venus in Leo is bright, radiant, authoritative, wrathful, loving and sovereign. A brief backwards glance into the pantheons of the past reveals a pair of goddesses whose resonance rides easy on the currents of Venus in Leo- the Egyptian Goddesses Sekhmet and Bast.
Healer, Protector, Destroyer
Sekmet and Bast are both cat-headed goddesses of the Sun. Both were originally portrayed with lioness-heads, but eventually Bast’s image was softened and she came to be depicted as having the head of domestic cat. Each served a protective role for her respective kingdom, with Sekhmet protecting Upper Egypt, and Bast protecting lower Egypt. Both cleansed the land of evil in various forms, with Sekhmet protecting the pharaoh with arrows of flame while Bast removed harmful vermin from the human realm. Both were protective, potentially destructive solar goddesses.
Sekhmet was seen as having mastery over disease, both causing it and removing it. In fact, she was regarded as the patron of physicians during the Eqypt’s Middle Kingdom period. The destroying solar heat also had the power to burn away corruptions of the body. Bast had similar significations, for she preserved the kingdom from disease by destroying the vermin which caused it.
Bast was also considered the patroness of perfumes and ointments. This particular association echoes Sekhmet’s association with medicine, as much ancient (and modern) medicine depends on the application of an ointment or salve to the body. “Apply Directly To The Forehead.” Here the potentially healing aspect of the Sun is mixed with the indications of Venus- the mistress of surfaces. If we move beyond medicinal applications and onto perfume, we see one of the tools most sacred to Venus- the manipulation of the sense of smell to attract and repel. Insect repellent and perfume. Like the Sun, our message of attraction and repulsion is broadcast loud and clear into our area. One also imagines that Bast would not take affront to the various oils used to in massage, both therapeutic and sensual.
Burnin’ Hunk of Love
In both of these goddesses we can clearly see Venus’ essence manifesting through a Leonine, solar form. On a personal level, many women will feel the Sekhmet/Bast archetype awakening within them. Independence, ferocity, and powerful projections of love and hate come with this particular mode. As with the sun, when the heart flares with love or hate, these intentions mobilize energy in that direction. This awakens both the power to heal and to destroy, depending on whether the impulse is that of love or hate.
The Sun’s Arrows
The power of these solar goddesses to heal and destroy suggests a particular human art- Reiki, the Japanese art of projecting healing energy into others. Reiki is actually two characters, “Rei” meaning an unseen spiritual force, and “Ki” (synonymous with the Chinese “Chi”) meaning energy or life-force. In Reiki, the practitioner, like mythical Sekhmet and Bast, projects energy into another person in order to cleanse them of disease and imbalance. If one is comfortable with Kabbalistic methods of word-association, it is interesting to note that the syllable “Rei” is the same one as the Spanish word “Rey” meaning King, and the English word “Ray,” designating a unidirectional shaft of light. If we add this to “Ki” meaning “energy”, we have Rei-Ki as the “king’s energy” (Rey Ki) or “light’s energy” (Ray Ki). These associations are intriguing, indeed, consider the solar associations with the pharaoh/king and Sekhmet/Bast. Although not commonly taught, a practitioner capable of mobilizing and projecting their energy via a healing intention can certainly harm in the same way. As the Sun flares, so does the heart.
Hot For Creature
Although Sekhmet/Bast is an excellent mythological model to understand Venus in Leo, we must stray from strict mythology in order to fully grasp Venus in Leo. If we move beyond what is stated, and on to what is implied, we find Venus’ favorite activity- sex. Here the mythology of Bast is suggestive, as she was concerned with perfume, and later came to be associated with fertility. Sekhmet’s myths are largely silent in regard to her sexual role, except for one, where she gets drunk and becomes the Eqyptian Venus herself- Hathor. With Venus in Leo, the emotional intention, be it love or anger, extends to fill the entire kingdom. Like a perfume wafting into every corner or flames consuming all they can, Venus in Leo makes a statement of herself that no one can mistake. When this is turned to the purpose of sexual interest, what results can only be described by the term “bombshell.” Combining attraction and destruction in the simple act of presence, this is the piece the Egyptians might have left out.
Sekhmet protected the pharaoh in war and his kingdom from disease while drowning his foes in firey doom. On the mortal level, Venus in Leo puts much greater power to heal or destroy their mates into women’s hands. Here Venus is teaching lessons on the importance and power of expressing both love and anger. A failure to express or an severely imbalanced expression of either will be a source of problems under Venus in Leo’s auspices. Relationships that depend on the women playing a submissive role will also fair poorly. Sekhmet/Bast is a feminine archetype to be honored, or else.
Venus was in Leo:
July 29th-August 21st, 2011
The author: Austin Coppock is an astrological consultant, teacher, writer and speaker. He is well known for his free weekly horoscope column and is noted for his rare fusion of pragmatism, vision and insight