Monthly Overview:

Roll up your sleeves and get down to business, Leo—it’s time to build! Until September 23, the Sun is in Virgo, your second house of finances and security, putting you in industrious spirits for the first three weeks of the month. You’re motivated to build both your confidence AND your bottom line, stabilizing your life now that your birthday season is behind you. It’s all about priorities, so pare down to the essentials and focus on your most important goals. You have added motivation—and luck—around work and money, as lucky Jupiter begins its first full month in Virgo and this lucrative zone of your chart. On August 11, enthusiastic Jupiter entered Virgo for the first time since 2004, and it’s bringing major growth to your income and career until September 2016. Don’t be surprised if money-making opportunities pop up all month.

September is a busy time, with two game-changing eclipses (a Virgo solar eclipse, and an Aries lunar eclipse) turning the tides in the second part of September. Communication planet Mercury goes retrograde (backward), while affectionate Venus and powerful Pluto turn direct (forward). And on September 17, restrictive Saturn will also change signs, settling in to Sagittarius and your passionate fifth house for the next two years. Whew! There’s a lot of action in the stars.

Things start to heat up on September 13, with the first of September’s TWO eclipses—a partial solar (new moon) eclipse. You could get a new job offer or suddenly realize your own worth as an employee as you boldly request a raise or a new title. This is the first Virgo eclipse in a series on the Pisces/Virgo axis which began March 2015 and runs through 2017. These eclipses will touch your sectors of money, intimacy, work and merging, and they will revolutionize the ways you deal with budgets, property, sex and self-esteem (among other things).

Amidst all the eclipse-fueled changes, you may come to realize one important thing: True worth comes from within. It’s time to recognize your own value and to get clear about what makes you special. Beyond that, what do you want to be “known” for, Leo? If you're a great accountant, for example, but would rather be recognized for your creativity or dancing, it's up to you to push your best qualities into the spotlight. Speak up! Only when your self-esteem is solid can you draw in external support and resources—signs that others value you for these traits, too.

The changing of the guard continues on September 17, when disciplined Saturn reenters Sagittarius, your fifth house of seduction and self-expression. On December 23, 2014, the taskmaster planet moves into this festive zone of your chart for the first time since 1988, making work feel like play and play feel like work. At the end of last year, Saturn started to show you where you could have better boundaries, especially in love, creativity and self-respect. Leos are known for loving praise and attention, but with restrictive Saturn here, you really had to EARN those accolades.

Leo is the natural ruler of the zodiac’s fifth house (you’re the fifth sign), so hosting Saturn on your home court is kind of like having a curmudgeonly older relative move in for a two-year stay. There’s no coming home in the wee hours or bringing home losers under paternalistic Saturn’s watchful eye. And while you may resent feeling controlled like this, you’ll also be glad that Saturn is helping you make better choices.

Besides, Saturn’s presence in fellow fire sign Sagittarius will be MUCH easier than the cycle you’ve endured since October 2012, when Saturn entered Scorpio and your foundational fourth house—forming a tense square to your Sun. On June 14, regimented Saturn backed into Scorpio for a brief final visit, helping you solidify matters in your home and family life. Over the past three years, you may have weathered some tough times, particularly with a female relative or a living situation.

Now, Saturn settles into Sagittarius until December 19, 2017, so get ready to hunker down for the long haul and learn how to take yourself seriously (in the best possible way). The downside of this transit is that you may not find that romance or artistic projects come easily. Saturn wants you to dig deep and protect your most precious resource—yourself—nixing any fly-by-night (and potentially bad for you) flings or relationships. Hire a love coach to help you identify your deal-breakers, so you don't get sucked into a draining, yet dramatic relationship. If you're an artist, you may have more difficulty finding your muse…but that just means you have to get strategic, Leo. All Lions, not just the Picassos among you, can benefit from scheduling weekly “artist dates,” a la Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.

Back up your data and watch your words in the second half of September. From September 17-October 9, clever Mercury turns retrograde (backward) in Libra, your third house of communication. During this cycle, be extra careful what you say to colleagues, or what you put in writing. People may misunderstand your intentions or ideas. Sales pitches could go awry. Watch for information falling through the cracks—emails not being received, voicemails disappearing into the ethers, a package gone the way of the Bermuda Triangle (just where DID you put that tracking information?). Since the third house AND Mercury both rule travel, be extra careful when you're on the road. Double check appointment times and train schedules. It's better to give yourself extra time, as weird mishaps are likely. Ditto goes for deadlines…Mercury can cause technological breakdowns, and you don't want to get stuck because your computer went on the fritz! 

In the middle of Mercury's mayhem, the Sun also enters Libra on September 23. For the next four weeks, communication is where you shine—retrograde be damned! With the backward action, you could benefit from revisiting an old project, marketing plan or piece of writing. Think about ways you can engage more effectively with your colleagues, friends and wider audience. Since the third house also rules local action, you might want to branch out in your 'hood. Make friends with your local bartender (if you haven't already). See what the community board is up to. There might just be some fun in store.

The urge to express yourself openly and honestly could feel irrepressible on September 27, when a total lunar (full moon) eclipse in Aries, your ninth house of blunt talk, gives you a celestial syringe full of truth serum. This is the last Aries lunar eclipse in an annual three-part series (the last two were in October 2013 and October 2014). Since then, you have been expanding your whole conception of freedom—and, yes, part of that means taking off your filters and just being authentic. If you have to clear the air with someone, the outcome could be momentous, as eclipses bring major life changes. Maybe you lobby for a new position or just tell so-and-so you can't deal with their whining anymore—shape up or ship out. And ship out they may, but if that's the case, it's probably good riddance. Eclipses clear our lives of people and commitments that no longer serve us. You should also seek out greener pastures, perhaps in the form of an overseas trip, study, a publishing project or an entrepreneurial start-up. The developments of the day might feel out-of-the-blue, but that doesn't make them any less potent—or promising. Get real with yourself: How can you further expand the ceiling on your life? Even live-out-loud Leos can stand to push the boldness envelope. If you get the urge to take a leap, the universe has your back. Stretch…and pounce!