Extended sign description for Leo

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Leo is a fire sign, and is known as a fixed sign, coming at the peak (center month) of its season. Leo is also one of the most misunderstood signs. But it’s easier to understand if you remember that while the other signs are ruled by a planet that orbits the Sun, Leo is ruled by the thing at the center of our solar system, around which all the other planets orbit (some 500,000 now known).

So while Leo has the tendency to be at the center of it all, there is a deep responsibility that comes with having this as your Sun sign or ascendant. You’re likely to feel this all the time, and it manifests as a selfless and hard-working quality. It’s associated with the metal gold — the reference standard for all value.

You can be generous with others and frugal with yourself; you hold yourself to a high standard and often strive for a kind of perfection that is impossible to attain. The less well-adapted (or insecure) natives of Leo can be incredibly egocentric and bossy, which can give the rest a bad name; for the most part those born under this sign emphasize leadership and responsibility rather than a privilege.

You’re strongly drawn to group activities and organizations, and you have the self-confidence and presence of mind to play a useful role in any such activity. You need to be visible, and you also need a steady career that is in tune with your deepest values. If you want to understand yourself, study the house position and the aspects to your Sun, for which you will need your whole natal chart.

More than any other sign, the house position of the Sun is vital to understand with Leo. It will tell you the ways you’re most naturally inclined to express yourself. Your rising sign will tell you a lot. That said, as a Leo you want to be seen, known and you need to find roles in life that give you a bit of visibility and put you in a position to be appreciated. It’s unbecoming of your regal nature to expect adulation, however. You’re only as important as the role you play in the lives of the people around you, and it’s necessary to take a big view of what that means.

Your relationships are with humanity first and individual humans second. You understand how important it is to see humanity as a collective entity, and you can actually grasp that idea. Make sure everyone you care about knows how deeply you really feel about them.


Leo is THE sign of human vitality and in many respects the source of strength, light and creation. As the sign associated with gold, it is the reference standard for all things valuable.

Health-wise you must take care of your heart. Leo rules the heart, but it requires special care. I’ve seen a disproportionate number of Leos encounter cardiac problems. You have to take care of your heart. Get your fiber, exercise more than annually and don’t even think about smoking.


Generally, you’re accustomed to playing the adult role in any situation where you get involved. Ironic, given that Leo is the sign of children, play and pleasure; but many adults have lived through recent generations where what used to be called the ‘latch-key kids’ had to look after themselves, and their sibs, and to some extent, their parents as well — and this is still a common situation.

For you, this works out to be a strength. Yet because others tend to depend on you for that adult capacity, your presence can be an excuse for them to be less than mature. One of your constant quests is to find actual peers, not people you have to raise.

Having Aquarius as your opposite sign puts you in the position of constantly negotiating your own individuality, and it always has. This particularly shows up in group environments, with the first one being your family of origin. Groups, or our belief in groups, have a way of exerting pressure and enticing us to give up our power. Many people give up power to groups so fast they have no idea they did it. If we had a sense of who we are, that would be a lot more challenging; and the more you cultivate this in yourself as a conscious act, the more you will find it in the people around you.

You can tell you’ve made some progress on this issue when you recognize that you’re hanging out with people who are ardent individualists, who set this example for you, and who encourage you to be the person who you are.


In the natural time system of astrology, the Sun — the planet of Leo — is the focal point of the seasons. It is, of course, the Earth that is moving around the Sun, so the two are in a distinct relationship that is the basis of many other viewpoints. The roundel of the seasons tells a story based on the relationship between the Earth and the Sun, and the tropical zodiac — the one used by most western astrologers — is oriented on the Sun’s angle to the equator and the tropics.

The Sun is central to our reality, and the Sun is your symbol, and this suggests that you will benefit from honoring the movement of the seasons, the measure of time of one year, or any other natural process associated with the Sun.

Engaging with natural cycles in this way is one of the most beneficial things you can do to enhance your state of wealth. All real wealth comes from the Earth. This suggests two things: one is to honor the Earth any way that you can. The second is to keep looking for the connections between your wealth and the Earth.

I suggest you work with seasonal and annual goals. Know when is the time for planting and when is the time for harvesting. Work with both solar movements and those of the Moon. The Sun, the Moon and the Earth are like your totem animals, each representing different aspects of who you are.

You tend to be somewhat narrow in your concepts about money, and you will benefit from the vision of others who have ideas that are perhaps less pragmatic but prove to be useful. The clarity you are working for in your relationships will benefit you significantly if you remember that honest, grounded partnerships offer your greatest income potential.

There are a few pound-foolish Leos, and a few spendthrifts too, but you tend to take some sincere pride in how much you can do with how little money.


It’s always interesting how your life seems to turn like a pivot on the service that you offer to the world. Or is it owe to the world? This is always a fine line. But for you, service happens.

We might speculate that the sign ruled by the Sun and whose totem is King of the Jungle would be less directly involved in the hands-on, day-to-day operations of the family, the world, the company, the community. Where did the need to be central in your community, to rise to any challenge, and to take responsibility for the world, come from?

I’m going to propose it comes from the prominence of Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces in your chart. These signs, which cover the true topics and subjects that are too large to actually understand, comprise most of what is called your zone of projection: your relationship area.

Second, I’m going to propose that it’s because your ruling planet, the Sun, is not really a planet but rather the center of our solar system. The Sun provides most of the energy that we use in our world (and a tiny fraction of what is emitted, in all directions, all the time). You could call this dharma: acting as if to hold the world together.

As usual, you get to set the example. This is a lot of what you’re here for: that’s the heart of the dharma. If you set the example of holding the world together, not only will your part of the world probably stay together a lot better than it otherwise might have; your example will radiate out like kinetic energy and teach everyone around you to hold their bit of the world together. If you pay attention, others will have to. If you refuse to compromise the truth, or your truth, it will become safer for others to do so and then we can have a real conversation with real compromise possible.

And if this makes some sense, now you see why your sign is the one associated with gold, with the king, with the Sun and while I’m making a list, with you.

While self-interest plays a role in the motivations of the world, deep inside the engine of what prompts us to get anything done, indeed, to get through the day, is a sense of obligation. The way your solar chart is set up from birth, this is powerful in your energy pattern.


As the king of the fire signs, the children of the Sun and the heart of the zodiac, Leos are among the most grounded and hardest-working people around. Most lions are too busy getting things done to bother themselves with being too frivolous. More than needing your “moment in the Sun,” you need to recognize that you are the representative of the Sun on Earth.

For as open, glamorous and self-centered as Leos can have a reputation for being, inside that blazing personality is someone who barely allows herself a moment’s rest, and who knows more doubts than certainty.

It is little wonder then that the homeopathic remedy most closely associated with Leo — aurum metallicum, that is, pure gold — is given to people who feel they must work all the time or push their limits, and in any situation where they are given the role of leader, or must be the one who sets the example by taking on the most responsibility or burden. The need to be the kind of boss who does it all can emerge from extremely deep self-doubts and a feeling of worthlessness that few people would dare to associate with Leo. Those doubts can involve not believing you deserve help.


A human being has so much psychic energy it’s amazing they don’t bounce off the walls 24/7. You are one of those people who exemplifies this quality, and luckily for us, you often choose to put ethics before anything else. You know right from wrong, and you don’t avail yourself of many opportunities to suspend your judgment. It matters to you. It does not matter to everyone else, and you need to allow people into your life on the basis of who actually cares about you and who shares your values.

You are alive, you are inherently creative, and you have a profound sense of duty and obligation to the world. Part of being alive and doing what you came here to do means existing outside of fixed patterns, routines and expectations. It means understanding yourself as part of your environment, and apart from it; as one with the people you embrace, and as apart from them.

This fits your concept of responsibility, beginning with responsibility to yourself. By now, you may know the many ways you’re at an advantage moving through a world where so many are hobbled. You have the capacity to set a goal and work for it, and what’s more, you like to do it. You have the ability — if you choose to apply it — to align yourself with yourself, and move from your center as a unified entity. That’s a fucking miracle on this planet. You understand intention. You believe and live the truth that there is such a thing as responsibility. You really can stand up and be counted, and you do.

There are vivid astrological markers for this. Your planet, the Sun, is not a planet at all; it’s a star, and yours is the only sign ruled by a star. It happens to be the star that holds all the other planets in their orbits, and serves as a kind of central computer for the astrological system. By one theory, astrology works because the Sun itself picks up the shapes and energy shifts in the planets that surround it, and then broadcasts this vividly with its own rays.

In the system described in Esoteric Astrology by Alice A. Bailey, there are two additional sets of planetary rulers given, and Leo is the only sign with the same body ruling on all three levels. The implication here is that on whatever level you like, from the most mundane to the most spiritually advanced, Leo is simply Leo, and strives for consistency. If you’re ever struggling spiritually or psychologically, remember this. If you happen to be born under one of the other signs, look for where Leo is in your natal chart or your solar chart and explore the idea that this is where you seek your integrity.

You can both insist on integrity from people and have a greater chance of getting it; you can see where they stand with themselves; you are less subject to the disruptive states of others. You have insight into the denial and delusion that others so often live by, and you don’t have to be distracted by what is not true. These things are gifts of alignment with yourself.
And you need your own definition of love. To do all of these things, you need to feel good about yourself.


The creative force — not ambition — is the driving factor in your life. You are likely to be so obsessed by what you are doing, whether you consider it to be work or creativity, that you’re unlikely to think particularly ambitiously.

While Leo is often assigned properties of high creativity, more often what you will find Leos doing is taking care of the necessities of life, rising and setting each day like the Sun, making sure the crops grow and the seasons change. Leo may shine like the Sun some of the time, but you also shine behind the clouds, rain or shine.

The gift and the lesson that Leo brings for all of us is one of being at the center, unapologetically. The lesson and the gift that the rest of us bring to Leo is the part about there being nine members on a baseball team and many instruments in the orchestra. Living the center implies being the center of something; that something implies others, a mission, an active purpose. It’s a good exchange.

Leo, as the sign of the Sun and the sign ruled by the Sun, is the sign of what is called vital force: the life force, prana, chi, orgone, kundalini — the energy of life. Leo is symbolized by a cat. The cat appears in the tarot card Strength or La Force, the Leo card, which depicts a woman spreading the jowls of a lion, symbolically spreading her vulva. The ancient esoteric masters drew a connection between the female genitals (the gateway to life), a cat and the vital force.


It is often the case that you need to be the bigger person in life situations, but when you recall your role as the central star of our solar system, rather than a satellite orbiting it, this makes a lot more sense.

Most people don’t know how challenging it is for you to fit into this world. You are very good at warming up the people around you, thawing some of the social ice, and spreading your good vibes. In all, this makes your world considerably more comfortable for you, and we all benefit. But to actually be part of a community to which you can relate is, inwardly, a challenge of which you rarely speak.

Leo is a brave lion, but right beneath the surface are very human fears, needs, simple pain and a desire for emotional comfort. Much of your worldly confidence comes from your quiet assurance that you’re held gently in the womb of the cosmos. In the womb, we’re alone but we’re surrounded by protection and love, and all our needs are met.


Leo is one of the most important signs that directly references sex. Leo-styled, sex has a certain curiosity-driven quality, a childish innocence, and a sense of creation, expression and sharing. It’s the kind of sex that humans experiment with until ideas about commitment and morals get in the way.

Leo is also the sign of children and one’s inner child — passionate, dramatic, giving and sensitive.

Alice A. Bailey, in Esoteric Astrology, tells us that Leo represents two great mysteries, one being the mystery of the Sphinx. This is “connected with the relation of Leo and Virgo, and tied up with the secret of the solar Angels. This is not the mystery of the soul and form, but the mystery of the higher and the lower mind and their relation to each other.” [Virgo is represented by a woman or goddess.]

In the tarot card Strength or La Force, there is a sense of unselfish self-possession, freedom, divine blessing and the complete absence of shame. She is not afraid to be noticed. An enlightened woman is the master of her own most fearsome quality; she herself is not afraid of the yearning sexual beast within. More to the point, she has gradually become a source of strength and creativity for herself, and those around her.

These qualities seem to reside with womankind like a great Sphinx, rising up out of the dry desert, offering their nourishing waters, and underestimated by anyone — if they even notice.
But that’s a pussycat for you. They usually see you first — and you’ll be shining out from your center, ready simply to do what you do.

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