Once an obscure and “underground” body of knowledge and practice, astrology has enjoyed a burst in good favor in recent decades, thanks in part to the emerging New Age movement. Though the temptation is present for people to misuse astrology as a kind of shortcut to understanding their particular life’s path – and human interaction in general – many who understand its principles and use it in a balanced way with other approaches find that it can be a valuable tool. Generally speaking, the Sun signs (what people are referring to when they ask “what’s your sign?”) paint an overall picture of various personality types. They are oriented around the four elements of alchemy tradition: Earth, Air, Water and Fire (and revolving in that order). The Zodiac consists of a total of twelve signs, which begin with Aries. Leo, whose symbol is the Lion, is fifth in the Zodiac.
Leo is a fire sign, as befits natives born under the sun as their ruling planet. Its stone is amber. Some of the perceived qualities of the lion are attributed to this sign: strength, exuberance, and energy, as well as more shadowy connotations as pride and dominance or an overbearing personality. The male lion enjoys prowl like kings of the jungle (that’s the myth, anyway – they actually live in the savannah) and let loose a good roar when their life energies are spilling over. Female lions are more domestic and not so prone to roam. How does this relate to the human personality? Leos tend to prefer letting their passion steer their life’s course. Creativity and enthusiasm is thus associated with this sign, as well as impatience with more “earthy” energies that may be associated with day-to-day society and its slow processes. Leos are known to prefer drama over the safe and prudent road.
It can be helpful, in attempting to understand this sign, to set aside the great lion and consider instead his smaller prototype: the cat. Cats can be alternately aloof and affectionate as their mood dictates. Many of them crave attention, and this is an oft-observed trait of Leos. A Leo without an audience might well wonder what’s the point of it all.
In love as in life, Leos can be expansive. This has its positive side (generosity in emotional as well as material giving) and negative (coming across as perhaps a bit too headstrong and overwhelming). Their passion can be bonded with strong loyalty. Leo’s may be attracted to natives of the Earth signs (Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo) but at the same time find long term commitments difficult because Earth signs, well, bring them down to earth when they want to burn, burn, burn. With Air sings Leos may have better luck: the combination of passion and intensity with movement and inspiration can engender a possible fulfilled romance or binding friendship.
Leos mingle well within the realm of fire, also, though there are certain challenges. Aries and Leo together may have a hard time deciding whose in charge. Leo and Leo might compete over who gets the attention. In Sagittarian Leo may find a very auspicious match. Philosophy and creative exuberance can make for a satisfying life’s journey. Leo and Libra is another potent combination. Libra’s emphasis on balance can curb Leo’s more extravagant tendencies without ruining the fun. The two generally carry a similar love of passionate and soulful expression – i.e., the various arts.