restore the sick old king to health and win Parzival the Grail Maiden as wife and the Grail Castle as inheritance. And the question is: What does this mean? There was once a man who said, 'Though
Parzival awakens from his vision cold and alone in the wood. He realizes that he has been blind and ignorant, and resolves to find the Grail Castle again one day. The second part of the legend concerns the process of his slow maturing. Eventually, a man and a true hero, he rediscovers the castle after much pain and suffering and the passage of twenty years. This time he remembers to ask the question. And he discovers that he is really the son of the Grail King, and becomes the new King and custodian of the Stone of Life.
If we remove the later embellishments which Christianity has placed over the tale, we can see in it the pattern of Leo's life. For the quest of Leo is the quest of the Self: Who am I? What does my life mean? What is it that makes me different from others? It is a deeply introverted and profound quest. Many Leos are not aware in any way that this is their road; but they follow it nonetheless. The showy Leo of traditional readings is usually either a very young Leo who hasn't awakened yet, or an older Leo who has lost the Grail Castle and hasn't the courage to try again. So he seeks his identity in the audience. But Leo is not really the showman of the zodiac. That role must go to Sagittarius, whose profligate ruler Jupiter, is a much better representative of amateur dramatics. Leo's path lies within himself, although the fruits of his creative searching are often products which the world sees and acclaims. But the creative process doesn't really have anything to do with the audience. It is between Leo and himself, the think within him that creates. It is this discovery that an Other, a Something inside is capable of offering creative ideas and images through the medium of one's own mind and hands that is Leo's most important discovery. That's the road to the Grail Castle. The Leo who is courageous enough to pursue this road will come eventually to his own centre. The psychology of Carl Jung is an excellent expression of this quest for the Self. Jung called the process of individualism the process whereby a man becomes himself. It is a lifetime's journey. The central motif of the Self, the inner essence of the personality, is paramount to Jungian philosophy. It isn't coincidental that Jung was a Leo.
For this reason too, Leo is self-centred. He has a kind of constant self-consciousness, a sort of watcher that is always watching himself watching himself, that never really allows him to be totally aware of the environment except in relation to himself. It is almost impossible for Leo to detach from himself. Nor should he. His whole journey is about discovering who that watcher is. As the Alan Watt's limerick goes:
I think that I know that I know,
I wish I could see
The I that knows me
When I know that I know what I know.'
Leo's tendency towards self-centeredness can be irritating to other signs. But it needs to be seen for what it is: a powerful drive towards self-recognition. Leo also needs to understand it, because otherwise he can make the mistake of assuming that it's the little 'me' that's the object of all that energy. Then he really becomes insufferable. He can inflate, and think he's the most wonderful thing in the world. God's chosen son to whom all the world owes obeisance. But if Leo ever understands that the Other is not him, but his source, then he has truly come to the vision of the Grail, and becomes a light which illumines the lives of others not by what he does, but by what he is - the true hero who has found his journey's goal.