JULY/AUGUST - When the sun travels into Leo it goes into midsummer, also known as the Serotinal season. The sun’s strength is undeniable, as the heat and light stretches far beyond daylight hours and into the warm night air. The world is eternally hot and dry, with hazy lines drifting up from sun-baked soils. The grass grows tall and frayed, forests grow thick, and rivers drift lazily on by. Fruit and berries ripen into sweet little clusters and drop to the ground. Leaves spread themselves wide under the sun, and hard roots knot thickly beneath them. Animals eat well, and people do too, growing fat and tan in the summertime. The height of summer carries the world like a mother cares for her children, providing everything they needed in abundance. The weather is beautiful, and everyone enjoys it!
Back when people's survival was dictated by the weather, harvesting summer crops was everybody's full time job. Tying (drying hay in the sun) and winnowing (separating grain from the shaft) was hard work. But aside from that, all people needed to do was eat as much food as they could to fatten up for fall. Fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy, fresh eggs, early wheat, wild caught fish and hunted meat: an over-abundance of food was one of the reasons midsummer was so revered. People did not have to worry as much about their survival. For one month out of the year people could relax about finding food, keeping warm, travelling, and providing for their families. This was their free time to pursue other pleasures, like travelling, visiting with neighbours, late night bonfires, artwork, swimming, or just playing around outside!
Pagans and Christians alike began celebrating the beginning of harvest season with blessings, feasts, and festivals, such as Lammas. Germanic cultures associated this time of year with plants, hay, and harvest. The West Frisian Calendar too called this “Harvest Month” for all the food that could be eaten at this time of year.
The sign and constellation has been widely regarded as a lion by ancient cultures across the Indo-European sphere, with Babylonians recording it as far back as 6000 years ago. Babylonians astrologers called it “The Great Lion”, Egyptian astrologers referred to it as “The Lion”, and “leo” is, in fact, the Latin word for “lion”. Greek mythology states this constellation is the Nemean Lion that Heracles faced in one of his twelve labours. Unable to pierce the beast’s flesh, the hero strangled it to death instead. He wore its hide from then on as armour, and Zeus placed the image of the lion in the sky to commemorate the completed task.
The lion, with golden colouring and halo mane, has long been associated with royalty, solar deities, and with the sun itself. The King of Beasts has always been a symbol of fearsome strength, power and aggressive energy. In heraldry the animals has been revered as honourable, loyal, courageous, and as a totem for kings throughout time. Lions have been feared and honoured for many thousands of years, provoking roars from leaders and thunderous cries from the hearts of man. Nobles, monarchs, gods, messengers of gods, and even the devil himself have all been called a lion. Ancient man feared the creature, and respected it, and even now we use its image to symbolize their own power and regality.
The glyph used for Leo is a circle connected to a line that swoops up and back down again, almost like a tadpole. The image is of a lion’s head and mane; it also bears a sort of resemblance to the Greek letter lambda, which is where we get the letter “L”. In medieval medical astrology Leo was said to rule the heart and back, and so the glyph is also the heart and curved spine of a person.
Leo is formed by mixing the Fixed Quality with the Fire Element. Look at a cat, or a pride of lions, and you see how the males and females of each fill their roles differently. Between male and female Leos, the women carry an aloof regality, a queenly demeanor, as they rule over their kingdom, be it a tiny apartment or an elementary school classroom. They crave affection and admiration, and feel they are entitled to it whenever they want. But touch them when they don't want it, and they make ribbons out of your arm just as a cat does. Leo men are much more openly affectionate, doting and fawning over the ones they love, much more "lovey-dovey". But, being men filling society's male gender roles, they cover up their affectionate nature with strong, powerful, aggressive masculinity. Both the sexes are loud, confident, sexy, dramatic, and demanding people. And both have a colourful creative imagination, sometimes living in a fantasy realm all their own.
Leos are usually led to astrology because it is talking non-stop about themselves. And astrologers have the foresight to pad their articles with (albeit shallow) compliments to get them to stick around. They point out how when a Leo walks through a door, everyone's eyes are on them. They say that people are attracted to their warm aura of kindness and generosity, their charm, their sexiness, and how everybody wants to be their friend. All of this is true. But that is usually where they stop, too afraid of wounding a Leo's pride to say any more. Astrologers know fully well that Leos are not interested in digging deeper to discover their inner selves - they come to read the list of positive traits and then angrily dispute any of the negative. But there is more to this Sign than just its happy-go-lucky and well-loved exterior self, and to really get to know a Leo, you need to look under the veil.
Leo inherited a shell from the previous Sign, Cancer. The Cancer shell is made of their home and family, their mother, money and material items, cynicism and high emotional walls. It is made to protect the constantly shifting, sensitive, vulnerable emotions underneath. A Leo's shell, on the other hand, is their image. It is made of bravery and confidence, fabulous wealth, sexiness and a luxurious lifestyle. It is expensive too, as Leos spend a lot of money making themselves look good. Their shell is there to protect their actually very small and fragile ego, their shyness, and all their insecurities. But Leo, like Aries, avoids introspection and so is often unaware of the underlying vulnerability and fear that drives them to do the things they do. They prefer to believe, as they hope others do, that their outer image is their authentic self. Seldom will they admit that deep down they feel weak and insecure, and that they cover it up with feigned confidence to convince themselves that they are brave when they really feel like a wet kitten.
All secretly-soft-and-vulnerable Leo wants is to be loved and admired, if not outright worshipped. Also like Aries, Leo has a reputation for being something of an egomaniac. They do genuinely believe they can do no wrong, that they are special, the best and the brightest star of your world. Like the sun itself, they expect to be made the center of your universe, and act like the world revolves around them. But the same egocentrism that makes them selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, and entitled, is also a source of their confidence, self-love, self-respect, and a lot of their strength. Still, although they may genuinely love themselves outwardly, remember that it is because they are unaware of the deeper insecurity driving them to do what they do. And their hypersensitivity to criticism, their inability to be ignored, and their enormous pride, are all a part of that defensive Leo shell.
Think of Leo as a little kid, or a puppy dog. Always happy-go-lucky, playful, and well-meaning, loved by everybody because of the positive energy they carry around with them. Always needing constant love and attention, always wanting to be right by your side, soaking up all limelight. All they want is to impress you, for you to love them, for you to give them constant validation that they are doing a good job. Sure, sometimes they are noisy, annoying, or too energetic for the little patience you have left. And sometimes they shirk their chores out of laziness, or boredom, or because they don't think they should have to do them. But get mad at them and they shrink back, not sure of what they did wrong. You need to love a Leo unconditionally, and they need to know that you do through gifts, praise, and physical touch. Treat them right and that little kid will adore you forever. And that puppy will grow into a loyal companion, always by your side, ready to defend you to the death.
Leo children are tough, defiant, and powerful, even at a young age. They frequently become the leader of their friend group, and are comfortable in any role where they are in the spotlight. They love recess and games and art classes, and hate the boring academics. Leo children will sing, dance, and clown around to entertain the family. They will give you the biggest hugs, make you cards for every occasion, tell you how much they love you every hour of the day, and look at you like you are the only person that matters in the whole world. Leos will sit quietly for hours doing something creative, and then parade out their latest project for everyone to see. It is your job to praise them for being well-behaved and for doing such a great job. Everything they do is to get love and attention from the people they love most, and as the parent or family member of a Leo child, you should give it to them.
Especially as they age into their teen years, this Sign becomes very emotional. They can't handle any sort of humiliation, embarrassment, or criticism. They fight against discipline, either silently or loudly, and pad their ego with a buffer of pride whenever they feel they've been slighted. As a teenager, their inner insecurities and vulnerability will begin to show more in everything that they do. A changing teenage social dynamic means that Leo needs to be cool, sexy, and popular in order to gain the love and attention they so desperately crave. They might do their hair, make-up, and clothes in a stylish, eye-catching way, or suddenly become worried about their body image. Leos usually become obsessed with celebrity culture and dream about being famous, convincing themselves that they could be a singer, actress, sports star, or model themselves, if they really wanted to.
I have a Libra brother who is eight years younger than me, and a Leo sister who is eleven years younger. When my sister was little, she was a super cute little baby. Our grandmothers, aunts, and cousins would want to love her, cuddle her, get kisses and attention from her. But she would scream in their face if they got anywhere near her. Her temper tantrums were legendary in the family, with everybody walking on eggshells to keep her from going off. She only liked my mom, one of my aunts, and me, her big sister. Leos are closer to the family members who are the most affectionate, the most spoiling, the ones who give them the most attention. Which in most cases is their mother or other women in the family. After I moved out, whenever I would come over to visit, she would scream my name and pretty-near tackle me. When my aunt came down from Chilliwack, she did the same thing. With mom she was always hugging her, hanging off her arms, or cuddling her on the couch. She played with her hair and pulled on her clothes. Then, on days when my mom finally had enough of her clinginess and pushed her away, she sulked and pouted in her room, angry that the one she loved dared to ignore her.
Leo children love you to the point where any demand for personal space hurts their feelings. These constant demands for attention, coupled with a selfish, dramatic, bratty attitude, is why some parents call Leo annoying. While it is good to teach Leos about boundaries, responsibility, and humility, most parents deny Leo the attention and validation they demand on the principle that Leos are too spoiled, need to be "disciplined", and that their egos "taken down a notch". But that is the wrong way to go about it. Your Leo child needs to know that you love them, that you care about them, that you are proud of them and all their accomplishments. They need compliments and praise and kind words. A Leo that acts out is doing so because they aren't getting enough attention, and anything is better than being ignored. You will find that they curb their dramatic episodes when you talk to them more and acknowledge their efforts to be close to you.
Leos are so fun and outgoing, so happy and charming, that making new friends is a breeze. Even if they are shy on the inside, on the outside they play the role of extraverted party-person, going out of their way to make sure everyone has good time. To their very close friends, Leos are loyal to a fault. They are supportive of your dreams, generous with all their time and money, and ready to defend and take care of the people they love. But most of their friendships tend to be shallow and superficial. A lot of people end up being jealous or petty about Leo's attention-seeking antics. Even if you are one of Leo's real friends, don't be surprised if they leave your side in search of more followers. A lot of moths are drawn to the Leo flame, and Leo loves having an audience. Don't worry - they will always come back to their true friends eventually!
Falling in love with a Leo is also very easy. This is a Sign that seeks to be admired, craved, desired, flattered, courted, and chased, and everything they do is designed to get people to fall head over heels for them. They are very beautiful and handsome people, with curves and muscles and fantastic hair. They clown around for your entertainment, making you laugh, making you feel very comfortable around them right away. They draw other people to them through a warm mixture of charm and optimism, and keep them there through their power and strength of will. Commonly, Leos draw in admirers, people who become infatuated with the image they've created. These other people's adoration and attention turns them on, and in turn Leo becomes obsessed with the people who are obsessed with them.
Leos tend to settle down in an early marriage (or equally serious relationship) early on in life, either in their late teens or early twenties. This Sign is committed and naturally monogamous, not fit for sharing the spotlight with other lovers. They get together and are head-over-heels in love, honest in their belief that their marriage was fated to be. They dominate their partner, yet they are also considerate and attentive, just sweet enough to get away with it. Unfortunately, as infatuated as they may be, they settle down when still emotionally and sexually immature. While it is initially nothing but pure bliss, it becomes very apparent that Leos love their partner more like a child loves their parent. To quote School of Life, "...when we first say we long for love, what we predominantly mean is that we long to be loved as we were once loved by a parent. We want a recreation in adulthood of what it felt like to be administered to and indulged. In a secret part of our minds, we picture someone who will understand our needs, bring us what we want, be immensely patient and sympathetic to us, act selflessly, and make it all better." But that is not a mature, adult relationship. That is an immature, childish take on what it means to love and be loved.
The parent-child relationship is not equal or reciprocal. Sure, each loves the other, but one person is doing all the work while the other does nothing in return. A Leo in love expects their lover to serve them, to know what they want and need instinctively, to act without having to be asked, and they expect to be pampered, entertained, and romanced, all without any maintenance or effort on their part. "True love", in their mind, is effortless to maintain, it is permanent, it is unchanging. Their lover does not make demands or challenge them in any way. They are the center of their partner's world, and nobody else even comes close to being their top priority. Love, in their mind, is you giving them everything just to make them happy, and their happiness being enough payment back.
Leo comes into every relationship with these high expectations. And they are are quickly dashed when confronted with the reality of how an adult relationship works. Immature Leos, whose self-worth is especially frail, are leeches who use other people's adoration as a way of feeding their ego. And when their marriage or relationship begins to fall apart, these Leos may conduct extramarital affairs out of selfish intentions. But a more mature and enlightened Leo rises to the occasion, abandoning their own selfishness to become more intimately involved. A difficult relationship can be mended when the Leo grows up and starts putting in more effort to make their partner happy, doing their half instead of expecting everything to be done for them. Leo loves to make other people feel good about themselves, but true change happens when they do it out of love, not in the hope that it will shine kindly on them. If a divorce or a break-up does happen, Leo will grow up after the fact. And the following relationships will be far better, even though they are not being treated like a baby anymore.
Leos attract a lot of attention at work. Coworkers and clients flock to them because of the Sign's cheerful disposition, their friendliness, and the shining optimism that they tackle every problem with. Their natural warmth and kindness makes them a lot of friends, as well as the target for more than a few coworker crushes. Leo is loving and supportive of everybody else's dreams and aspirations - so long as those goals do not cross paths with theirs, in which case they can be ruthlessly competitive.
To be their happiest and most productive at work, Leo needs to be seen. They need to be recognized for what they do well with praise and attention, particularly from their superiors, especially in front of other people. Put a positive spotlight on them at work and they may act bashful, but know that deep down it makes them feel really good about themselves. A Leo who feels needed in the workplace is a loyal and dedicated employee who comes to work with enthusiasm for the work that they do. To make the most of a Leo, give them some sort of specific title or role to fill in the workplace, something special they can call themselves. And don't be short on the compliments!
Your Leo employees and coworkers will be well-liked by everybody. But as their boss, you should stay on top of them. When things slow down and boring, they slack off. It is a combination of their laziness and their fun-loving nature. Leos stop working and start visiting, and nothing gets done during playtime. But that can be mended by simply giving them work that is faster-paced and more demanding of their time and energy, or giving them work where everybody relies on them to complete it on time. Leo always rises to the occasion when other people are watching. However, their image does make them too proud to admit when they've made a mistake. Make it easy for them. Despite how arrogantly they defend themselves and deny any wrongdoing, know that on the inside they are shaking at the thought of letting you down. Let them fix it, and then praise them for it!
As a Sign whose image is everything, and who tells people what to do regardless of their position, the power and the prestige of top management speaks to them on a soul level. And so, they usually set out for the company throne they feel is their divine right, even if it involves taking risks. Once there, a Leo boss is very similar to the Aries boss: charismatic, idealistic, ruthlessly driven, demanding of all your time and attention, obnoxious and aggressive, but also very generous and loving towards all their loyal staff members. Thing is, this department, business, or storefront is their kingdom, and they are the ruler lording over it. So forgive them for being high-maintenance, proud, and hard-working, and expecting the most of you. The company and everyone in it is a part of their image, and you don't fuck with a Leo's image!
The biggest obstacle of Leo's success is in the dramatic emotional outbursts they tend to have at work. Leo takes things more personally than they should and blow small issues way out of proportion. They blow a fuse and cause a scene, and then make a dramatic exit. These overreactions can cost them future opportunities and relationships with clients, coworkers, and employers alike. It would be wise for Leo to recognize when they are taking things too personally, and to curb the irrational responses in turn.
I attract Leo Moons like nobody's business. I know eight in total (including my dog) (yes, I know, let me live), four of whom are Capricorn Suns with Leo Moons, reflecting on my own Saturn in the 5th House placement. I think I prefer the Moon placement because I can handle people who are emotionally loud, dramatic, entertaining, loving, sweet towards children and animals, and creative. I know it is their little hearts crying out for attention. Perhaps I am more sympathetic to hurt feelings than bruised egos, as my own attitude has always been for Leo Suns to "get over themselves". Nowadays, though, I know better. And I find myself surrounded by more Leos than I ever did before!
My sister has her Sun, Venus, and Jupiter all in Leo, all in the 5th House. When was little she did all sorts of arts and crafts. She made things for her doll houses out of sewing supplies, cardboard, plastic, and construction paper, and would proudly show them to us at the dinner table every night. She's always gots straight A's in art, music, and drama classes, seeing as that is where her Leo shines the brightest. But while she lovingly supports her writer sister and musical brother, she doesn't seem to believe in her talents enough, and hasn't quite found her own artistic niche. She hasn't been pursuing anything totally. But I watch her build things in Minecraft and take beautiful pictures for her Instagram accounts. And I believe she has a lot of creative potential!
An old high school friend of mine has her Descendent, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Chiron all in Leo, all in the 7th House. When we were teens she always had a boyfriend and a best friend, or else she was the star of her friends group, being the relationship-oriented person that she was. But I also remember her as a very creative person. She had long blonde hair that she did up in pink and black, as well as an assortment of goth-inspired outfits and a style that was all her own. She was obsessed with everything Alice In Wonderland, loved to dance, put herself in the role of director in our Video Production class, and drew whimsical, colourful portraits in her private journals. After we graduated, she moved out on her own, got a few pets, and set out on a career working with children. She is probably the most Leo person I ever met - even though most of it is hidden in the shadow of her 7th House.
THE leo TRANSFORMATION
As childish Leo matures, it overcomes its selfishness, its egotism, and its narcissistic view of itself. Love and relationships are no longer used to serve their desires or feed their ego. The Sign turns into Virgo, the caregiver, the nurse, the one who serves others. The roles are reversed. And instead of being the child who soaks up love at no cost to themselves, they become the parent who gives endlessly to another out of selfless love. The need to be liked and admired by others stays the same, as Virgo is also insecure and needs to know that their peers respect them. But the selfishness and immaturity is gone from the Leo Sign, and in its stead is calm, patient, responsible, hard-working Virgo!