Books by Stefan Stenudd:
Astrological 2013 Predictions for the World and the Zodiac Signs. This book explains how forecasting with the horoscope is done, and includes extensive predictions for the coming year. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
This book shows you what your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. You learn what the planets, the Zodiac signs and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.
This book presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot, consisting of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
This book is the translated, richly commented and explained Taoist classic by Lao Tzu, who was the first and foremost of the Taoists. In 81 chapters, he presented Tao, the Way, and its calm philosophy of life. The book was written around the 5th century BC and has been a world classic ever since. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Louis XIV of France. Painting by Rigaud, 1701.
The Leo Archetype
The Allegorical King
Leo is the Zodiac sign the sun occupies when the summer is the most brilliant and warm. That's a yearly reminder for a Leo to be proud and to stand tall in the sunlight. With the nearest star as a spotlight, who wouldn't feel like a king?
The archetype of Leo is the king. Not in the sense of being the person in charge, necessarily, although Leo certainly doesn't mind but would find it natural. No, this archetype is about the pride, the personality that faces the world with the confidence of someone sure to be unique, the most unique of all.
That's why I chose the painting of King Louis XIV of France above. He was famous for his brilliance, so much that he was called the Sun King (Le Roi Soleil). He knew how to shine and made sure he had a sutiable palace as well as hordes of servile servants, assisting him even with the most intimate chores.
Louis was quite aware of what he was doing. By the splendor of his palace and his own majesty, he drained the aristocracy of its significance, thereby also of its power. He became a mighty king, indeed.
But don't imagine for a second that this archetype is a male thing. When women get the chance, they prove to be as majestic as any man with a crown. A famous example is that of Queen Elizabeth I of England, who knew how to impress everyone - and make sure of their obedience.
Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Ditchley portrait, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, 1592.
There are other splendid examples of this majestic archetype. Those who behave as if larger than life, much larger, and making the people around them agree - not only willingly but with enthusiasm, as if it was by their appointment. Another such figure that comes to mind is the pope, who has often through history been more pompous and on a larger scale than any king. Still is.
That leads us to another relevant image of the Leo archetype. The uninhibited delight in oneself is the symptom of Narcissus of the Greek myth, who fell head over heels in love with his own reflection in the mirror of a peaceful pool of water. Narcissus is the ultimately self-occupied personality.
Narcissus. Painting by Caravaggio, c. 1599.
In psychiatry, narcissism is a serious diagnosis with the risk of very unfortunate outcomes - for the patient or for persons in the surroundings. But the archetype is not altogether unwanted. It's a necessary ingredient, up to a point, in everyone who is to make something more of life than just vegetate from birth do demise. Like Jesus said, we must learn to love ourselves, or we will be incapable of loving others.
In addition, the universe works in such a way that the one able of self-love will find others attracted and seduced by it. Love is contagious.
The element to which Leo belongs is fire, and the heavenly body ruling this Zodiac sign is, of course, none but the sun. They bring the warmth and the light that Leo takes for granted. Also the symbol of the sign supports Leo's proud self-image: the lion, the king of the wild. With its posture and its mane, it is just as majestic as any crowned human being can get.
Archetype is a concept familiar already to Ancient Greece, where it was called archetupon and meant "first-moulded" - like a prototype. Plato had theories about mental ideas - or forms - that were imprinted in the human mind before birth.
The psychoanalyst C. G. Jung picked up the idea and developed his own meaning to the word. He claimed that there is a set number of models or types that we all share, without necessarily having been taught them. They're part of what he called our collective unconscious and influence how we look at reality and what we expect from it. He also meant that we should see these archetypes as inner clues as to how we can grow into self-realization.
I've written more about C. G. Jung's theory on archetypes here: Jung's Archetypes
I don't altogether share Jung's view on the concept, but there is some truth to the idea that certain roles or characters, as well as some inanimate objects, seem to be somewhat familiar to all mankind, as if innate. They are probably results of what it is to be human and the life experiences we share, although in sort of dream versions, more or less.
Although Jung stated that there is a fixed number of archetypes, he never made a list or even mentioned the number. He certainly imagined more than twelve. Still, the twelve signs of the Zodiac can fruitfully be seen as a system of archetypes, making a complete world of sorts - let's say the cast of characters needed to make a play that represents human life kind of completely.
The twelve characters can be seen as separate individuals making up the variety that mankind offers, at least in a generalized way, or they can represent the different aspects and potentials of any one single person. Each of us does play different roles to different people around us - through time, of course, as we grow older, but also in any moment of that time. We are children, parents, lovers, friends, adversaries, strangers - all of us, at one point or other, and very often several of the roles simultaneously.
So, I find it interesting to speculate about the Zodiac signs as archetypes of sorts, each representing one of the characteristics that we all have and all meet, simply because we are the creatures we are.
The Zodiac Star Constellations, by Albrecht Dürer.
I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. I've written several books about astrology. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Google Profile. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
By classical Zodiac sign astrology I mean the proper traditional reading of what can be deduced from only your star sign (where the sun was at your birth). That's but one of the many components in your birth chart horoscope. For a full presentation of astrology, please visit: Complete Horoscope.
Try the old Tarot deck of cards for divination online. How to use the Tarot and what each card means. Click the image to visit.
Try the ancient Chinese divination online. The 64 hexagrams of I Ching, The Book of Change, and what they mean in divination. Click the image to visit.
Creation stories from around the world, and the old beliefs about cosmology they reveal. Click the image to visit.
The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world, presented and explained. Click the image to visit.