Welcome to another post from the monthly neurodivergent tips series! In this series, I offer quick tips for each astrological season, geared at neurodivergent folks and written from my own perspective as an AuDHD astrologer and neuroemergence guide. These are some recommended focuses to work with the energy of the season, not a to-do list or something to feel guilty about if you don’t get to it. All our neurotypes are different, so take what feels right for you and release what doesn’t!
When I say “season” here, I’m talking primarily about the time the sun spends in a sign, shining a spotlight on the sign’s energy. At the same time or close to it, Mercury and Venus will pass through the sign, and a New Moon also occurs in that sign, so its energy is amplified. But you can expect these seasons to also be flavored by the positions of other planets in the sky and in your chart, so they don’t feel the same to everyone or happen in the same way every year.
Leo is the sign ruled by the sun, and thus it’s a sign that likes to be visible. Leo energy thrives on recognition and a chance to be in the spotlight, whether as a leader or showcasing one’s talents. It’s also sign of fixed fire. The creative talents associated with Leo, such as the performing arts, require a steady commitment to one’s passion, the endurance to cultivate those talents and to show up on stage time and time again with a consistent quality.
Metaphorically, you can think of Leo as representing the inner flame, or the steady rhythm of the heartbeat. It’s a sign associated with compassion and with courage and confidence, though its shadow side can be a need for attention or even a shyness and fear that one isn’t good enough to deserve that recognition.
When I think about Leo in the context of neurodivergence, my mind immediately jumps to the complicated relationship many of us have with attention, recognition, and visibility. For some neurodivergent folks, we have a desperate need to be recognized, and in particular to be seen for who we are, not for a neurotypical mask. At the same time, though, visibility can be dangerous for some neurodivergent folks, particularly those with stigmatized neurotypes and those with intersectional identities that are frequently targeted for violence. Sometimes hiding our neurodivergence is an important skill for safety, though some have more access to this ability to hide than others.
Another thing that comes to mind for me in this context is how neurodivergent creativity often comes up when we’re trying to argue for our right to exist on this planet—for example, the idea that neurodivergent people have creative approaches that are important for business innovation is often used as a justification for hiring us. And we are, in fact, often beautifully creative, with our neurotypes allowing us to make interesting connections and express ourselves differently. But Leo energy isn’t just about performing for others, it’s also about our sacred inner flame. To keep a fixed fire burning, we need to tend to it in ways that resource us, whether or not anyone is watching.
Our passions are so important to us as neurodivergent people, and Leo season encourages us to shine boldly in those passions, regardless of whether they’re considered “useful” to institutions or neurotypical individuals. Finding spaces where we can be ourselves is also super Leo: think of the lion’s roar and how when we’re not being surveilled we might be more likely to physically or verbally stim, feel free to talk “too loud,” express chaotic emotions, fully inhabit personalities of different alters, speak honestly and with rage about our trauma, etc.
Part of Leo energy is cultivating self-love. While it may not always be safe to inhabit our natural embodiments fully in public space, there’s something important about finding ways to experience ourselves unmasked, even if that primarily happens on our own. This might require a lot of healing from the trauma of being taught that our natural ways of being are wrong, immature, dangerous, inadequate, annoying, or a burden. But the more we’re able to believe in our inherent validity, the more resilient we’ll be, and the more able to embody Leo traits like courage, confidence, and compassion.
Fortunately, neurodivergent spaces and neurodivergent relationships often can offer opportunities to experience Leo-style compassion from others, as well, and to recognize each other as ourselves. You also might find this energy in spaces and communities that are dedicated to your passions, where people are all nerdy about the same thing. If you often feel like “too much” when you’re shining your Leo light out into the world, finding folks who share an interest can be a great way to connect with those who will appreciate your passion and your enthusiasm.
One final thing I really like about the idea of fixed fire for neurodivergent folks is that it’s a different approach to consistency. Often we can struggle to be consistent in terms of our routines, energy, and effort when we’re neurodivergent, but we are much more consistent in our passion and our heart.
This Leo season, you might want to consider the following practices:
- Think or journal on visibility: where do you like to be visible? Where would you rather not be seen? Are there areas of your life where you’re craving recognition or attention, or areas where you’d like more privacy? How do your identities affect how you’re seen and perceived, and whether people listen to what you have to say? Are you seen as a natural leader or performer, and why? What parts of yourself are immediately recognizable, and what parts require getting to know you better?
- Learn about the concept of masking and brainstorm a list of ways, spaces, and times you feel safe to unmask, or would like to practice unmasking. If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, experiment with one of these during Leo season.
- What creative practices and expressions make you feel most alive? What brings you a sense of play, joy, and enthusiasm? Can you make a little extra space in your life for one of these pursuits this month? Can you practice in a way that isn’t about the final product or a performance, but just about nourishing your own passion and creative freedom?
- Try something that makes you feel good in your body, without judgment. You might want to freely stim on your own, have a little dance party, or sing at the top of your lungs. What’s your version of the lion’s roar?
- Try something that scares you, even just a little. Celebrate your courage afterwards and bring a friend for support!
- Seize an opportunity to be recognized for your passions. If you love acting, dancing, or singing, try an audition. Want to teach a workshop on your special interest? Apply to present at a conference or for a community group. Writer or academic? Submit to a publication. Is there an award in your field or hobby that you can apply for? A podcast you’d like to be interviewed on that you could reach out to? Or if you’re not interested in something at this scale, consider a post online about something you created, achieved, or want to share knowledge about.
- Seek out an experience where being “wild” with others in a way that feels good for you is encouraged: maybe that’s a singalong, a jam session, an improv class, a live-action roleplay, a conscious dance space, practicing an extreme sport, or going to a concert (don’t forget to wear a mask!)
- Share a performance in a welcoming, encouraging space like an open mic night, spoken word event, karaoke, or beginner’s comedy event.
- Do a fun mirror or selfie photoshoot just for yourself, wearing whatever makes you feel most awesome.
- Visit a thrift store and find some items that make you feel visibly yourself. Even if you don’t feel comfortable wearing them out in public right now, pick out something that makes you feel joy and try it on this month! Perhaps you want to experiment with a different gender presentation or a style you’ve never tried.
- Take yourself on an artist’s date or throw yourself a Secret Birthday Party. The artist’s date is a concept invented by Julia Cameron, and is basically an experience where you take your inner creative out to do something that engages with play, joy, or inspiration. The Secret Birthday Party is something I came up with after a bunch of my own birthday trauma, and is basically a day you choose and tell no one that it’s your SECRET BIRTHDAY. Fill the day with as much as possible that you love: favorite foods, music, activities, outfits, etc. The sillier the better! You can plan in advance or just do whatever feels good on the day.
- Make a list of people that make you feel most safe expressing yourself, and see if you can spend some time with one of them this month.
- Make a list of people you admire who show up in weird, unusual, and non-normative ways. When you’re feeling nervous or embarassed about being too weird, too loud, or too much, look back at this list for inspiration.
- Create a hype-up playlist of songs that make you feel pumped up, excited, free, and playful.
- Spend time with a neurodivergent friend or someone who shares one of your special interests. Or check out an online community where you can find these folks!
- Spend some time doing something you love in the sunshine.