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Black Chancery text

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Leo, by Johfra Bosschart

Johfra Bosschart Leo

Leo by Johfra: pg. 86 in your Handmade Fine Art Book You and the Universe



         What a regal and majestic lion Johfra’s Leo is! The most vital of all the signs, Leo is the fire (sign) of the heart. The heart is depicted at the top of the painting within a shining crown, for the lion is king of the beasts. He wants and needs to rule and has the natural authority and dignity to do so. Leo is fixed fire, its keyword is “I will”, and it rules the heart and the spine in the body. Through its ruler the Sun Leo symbolizes our will, sense of purpose and basic drive for significance—and how the sun shines in this portrait! Having all this natural power and authority is problematic for the regal lion when it comes to others, however, for Leo needs to learn dominion over him(her) self rather than over others, and to delegate authority where and when appropriate—which is far more often than the lion would care for. Brilliant in its steady controlled fire of affection, Leo has faith, loyalty, power and confidence.

         This poster is far simpler with far fewer symbols than Johfra’s other 11 signs of the zodiac, perhaps because he wants to let us know that the lion, with its power, dignity and authority, is simple and direct in its person and its meaning. At the bottom center of the painting we have what is probably Hercules wrestling with the Nemean Lion, the first of his 12 labors. Hercules soon found out that the Nemean Lion was impervious to weapons, so he had to block one of the two entrances to its cave and then wrestle the lion to death in the dark. After killing it, Hercules could not skin it because its skin was impervious to all weapons; but finally Athena, taking pity on him, told him to use one of the lion’s own claws to skin the beast. Whether or not the figure in Johfra’s painting is in fact Hercules, wrestling the lion symbolizes the courage, fortitude, power, authority and might of all Leo human beings, and the necessity of Leo to learn dominion over himself.

         On the bottom left of the painting, surrounded by sunflowers and playing the lyre is the sun-god Apollo. Twin brother to Artemis centered in the previous painting of Cancer, the lyre was Apollo’s instrument given him by his half-brother Mercury in the Gemini painting preceding Cancer’s painting. Apollo was depicted as a beardless, athletic youth, and was the god of light and the Sun (as his sister Artemis was goddess of light and the Moon), prophecy, truth, healing and plague. He was leader of the nine muses who personified the arts and knowledge, and as director of their choir was patron god of poetry and music. Hymns in Apollo’s honor sung to him were known as paeans. According to Homer, Paean was the Greek physician to the gods themselves who cured the wounded Ares/Mars and Hades/Pluto in the Iliad. Paean later became an epithet for another healer-god Asclepius, who was mentioned under Johfra’s Gemini painting in regard to the caduceus.


Links to all 12 of Johfra Bosschart's Zodiac Series posters:







small Scorpio glyph in the Johfra Bosschart sign-links table










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Pages 2-3 from your astrology reading in a fine art, personalized astrology book: You and the Universe








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The personalized Fine Art Book You and the Universe.









© Carl Woebcke: Leo, by Johfra Bosschart, 1991-2017. All rights reserved.