• Basha

From CANCER to LEO - Astrology of the Lion King, Scene 3

After a long few months of many retrogrades, and 2-of-7 eclipses down for 2020... I'm finally back, doing what I love! Over-analyzing & obsessing over two of my favorite things: masterful storytelling & Astrology. And I am still only at the beginning of interpreting the rich symbolism of one of my favorite movies of all time:

The Lion King

If you haven't been reading along since the beginning of this series, I advise that you avoid the juicy Astrology spoilers & start at scene 1. Trust me, it's worth it!



Now, in this analysis of scene 3, we will finally be uncovering some hearty LION symbolism that lives in Astrology, mythology & many other mystical philosophies...

CANCER to LEO: Queen Mother to King Father

Simba re-enters the scene. And what a surprise, the Aries Prince has woken up with the sunrise!

The lion cub appears to have grown significantly since his coronation ceremony, but exactly how much time has passed?...

The rambunctious play-fight manner that Simba uses to wake up his father is not only an adorable display of Aries traits, I believe it also gives away the lion cub's current age! According to Animal Hype, Simba is exhibiting characteristics of being in the "lion-cub learning phase." Between 3-6 months of age, young cubs learn to hunt & fight through practicing/play-fighting with their siblings and parents.

Since we know from Scene 1's analysis that Simba was probably born during Aries season, we can deduce that 3-6 months later places scene 3's timeline along one of three Zodiac months: Cancer, Leo, or Virgo season.

Solely based on the symbolism of Simba's "learning phase" through "rough play," my initial guess would be that this is our prince's first LEO season, a month after The Ceremony at Pride Rock...

Interestingly enough, these developmental stages of young lion cubs align pretty directly with the story's real-time transits of Zodiac symbolism.

In Aliza Kelly's podcast episode of Stars Like Us - The Story of the Zodiac - the astrologer describes Cancer as "the mother" of the Astrological cycle.

"Cancer provides us with this platform to feel safe, protected & supported. It is [the] home-base." - Aliza Kelly

After going through the sign of Cancer, Aliza explains the developmental transition to Leo:

"[After helping us] feel well fed & supported, Cancer has given us confidence! Knowing that we are safe, we are ready to go out into the world." - Aliza Kelly

To me, this perfectly encapsulates the lion/Leo symbolism that 5 month old Simba is demonstrating. After months of being nurtured, fed, and cared for by his lioness mother, Sarabi - as well as all the other females of the pride - young Simba is ready to test his newfound strength & learn a few moves from his father.

But before Mufasa even begins Simba's first pouncing lesson, our story's very own Leo archetype has some important teachings that he would like to pass down to his son.

As the sunrise beams it's rays on the very top of Pride Rock throne, Mufasa begins explaining to prince Simba what it means to be King...

Hold on tight, because we are about to hit the mother-load of Leo symbolism!

The LEO King's Lesson for the ARIES Prince

"Everything the light touches is our kingdom[...] A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here and will rise with you as the new King..." - MUFASA

If you notice in his teachings to Simba, Mufasa's vocabulary is always revolving around the symbolism of the SUN & LIGHT to explain to him how the animal kingdom of the Pride Lands is meant to be ruled by its king. This is extremely fitting, since in Astrology it's known that the celestial Sun rules the sign of Leo - aka, the King of the Zodiac.

While facing the eastern sunrise, the royal Leo & Aries are basked in the celestial orb's light, shining a giant spotlight on them as Mufasa passes his wisdom down to his son.

The majestic Leo also hints towards the evil temptations of being a king, through vocabulary and symbolism of DARKNESS & SHADOWS...

As Simba turns away from the sunrise, and faces south, he asks his father about the lands overshadowed by darkness, despite the rising sun.

"What about that shadowy place?"- SIMBA
"That's beyond our borders. You must never go there, Simba. [...] There's more to being king than getting your way all the time." - MUFASA

As they touch on the shadow aspects of power & rulership, Mufasa and Simba's faces are literally cast into shadows...The Lion King yet again shows a mastery of symbolism in storytelling!

Mufasa continues with Simba's royal lesson, displaying that a true king not only understands his freedoms as ruler, but he also understands his duties to the people.

"Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance & respect all creatures. From the crawling ant, to the leaping antelope." - MUFASA

In Astrology, the dynamic between a king/ruler & his subjects is represented through the LEO - AQUARIUS axis of the Zodiac.

"Leo is all about building community, but being the epicenter of that community."- Aliza

However, the Leo King's wisdom shows us that he is completely in tune with the entire Zodiac; through being in touch with all of the natural cycles of the Pride Lands.

"When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so, we are all connected in the great circle of life..." - MUFASA

The Great Circle of Life... The Circle of the Zodiac... SAME THING if you ask me!


Even after having all these wisdom-bombs dropped on him, it's obvious that Simba still has a long way to go before he's ready to fill his father's footprints as king.

"Well, he's the future king." - NALA (to Zazu)
"Yeah, so you have to do what I tell you." - SIMBA (to Zazu)

Realistically, no one can expect a 5 month old child to have a king's wisdom when it comes to understanding royal responsibilities, duties & traditions. Even a prince deserves a pass until he's of a more mature age.

Besides, having a big ego is kinda part of the Leo process...

In The Story of the Zodiac, Aliza Kelly's description of the Leo cycle of the Zodiac aligns almost exactly with the lyrics of "I Just Can't Wait to be King."

"I'm gonna be a mighty King!" - SIMBA
"I'm gonna be a Star!"- Aliza
"I'm gonna be the main event [...] I'm working on my roar!" - SIMBA
"I want to be the center of attention [...] I'm a performer, and a creator. "- Aliza

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way Simba is developing his ego.

At 5 months old - the equivalent age of a human toddler - the young Aries prince displays extremely extroverted social skills & confidence. Not only are these traits that any King would need, they are also a direct result of having received enough nourishment, care & affection during his first developmental Cancer Season!


The real problem is that, at 5 months old, Simba thinks he's ready - or rather, feels he needs to be ready - to take on the throne. His eagerness to prove himself & his reckless Aries tendencies are what end up getting him and Nala into life-threatening trouble...

"Danger? Ha! I live on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger!"- SIMBA

With a little secret encouragement from his uncle Scar, Simba disregards Mufasa's warning the very same day it was given to him - and ventures off to the shadow realms outside the kingdom.

In desiring to live on the edge & attempting to showcase his bravery, Simba is quickly humbled into realizing just how vulnerable and weak he still is. The young cubs, along with the royal messenger toucan Zazu, are no match for a trio of hyenas who discover them stranded in the shadowy lands of the elephant graveyard...

Just as the royal trio were about to be devoured by a small - but hungry - pack of hyenas, Mufasa pounces on the scene & scatters the threat.

COURAGE in the SUN & FEAR of the DARK

And so, young Simba's plan to showcase his bravery & strength ended in disastrous near-fatal failure. As they head back to the safety of Pride rock, Mufasa asks Zazu to walk ahead with Nala, so that he and Simba could stay behind to talk. As the sun dips over the western horizon & the stars begin to emerge, the King has another lesson to teach his son...

"I was just trying to be brave like you." - SIMBA
"I'm only brave when I have to be... Simba, being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble." - MUFASA

Listen, as far as first major mistakes go, this particular pitfall is not surprising for Simba as an Aries archetype. According to Steven Forrest's The Inner Sky, Aries can often seek crisis in order to attain courage. The archetype can be a danger-magnet if they are constantly in a state of trying to prove their bravery.

This type of courage-overcompensation is almost always coming from a place of avoidance; of not wanting to feel afraid.

Which makes sense, because all the lessons Simba had heard earlier that day implied some pretty scary undertones...

Lesson 1:

"A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here and will rise with you as the new King..." - MUFASA

What's so scary about this lesson? Well, Simba is being told that one day he will have take on the responsibilities of being King...which also implies that Mufasa won't be king forever...

Lesson 2:

"When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so, we are all connected in the great circle of life..." - MUFASA

This second lesson clarifies & reiterates the existence of death; all living things eventually die, even Lions.

Simba is obviously terrified - not just at the idea of his father's death, but the idea of death in general, as it was only introduced to him that very same day!

What do most kids do to try to prove they're not afraid of death: they visit their local "haunted" sites on a dare: old houses, abandoned buildings, and of course, graveyards! Behaviorally, it really checks out - and Simba's recklessness makes a little more sense within that context.

From talking to his son calmly about his actions, Mufasa is able to recognize the fearful source triggering Simba's daredevil tendencies.

"But you're not scared of anything..." - SIMBA
"I was today. I thought I might lose you." - MUFASA
"I guess even kings get scared, huh?" - SIMBA

I mean, imagine the day our young Simba has had!

To add to the list of scary lessons he has heard within 24 hours, Simba has just been presented with a third.

Lesson 3: Our fears never go away.

It is important to reiterate that, at this point, this conversation concerning FEARS is happening at night, in the DARK. Again, I am just constantly in awe at how well The Lion King uses symbolism.

Just as the sun will surely rise everyday, it will also surely set every night. The darkness & SHADOWS of nighttime are inevitable, just like our fears. But what Mufasa is trying to teach, is that we don't have to let our fears drive us to destructive behavior.

Even in the dead of night there is still light to be found...

"Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars [...] So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you...And so will I." - MUFASA

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