The modern day Leo is a figure that is considered to be strong and powerful. The perfect leader, Leo has a natural magnetism that draws others to his cause and the determination to see the cause through to fruition. The downside with Leos is like anyone in power, too much of it can go to their head and they can come off as arrogant, self-centered, and power hungry. Leos are easy to get along with, everyone loves Leo, after all, there’s not much to hate about it. It’s this easy going nature that contributes to Leos natural magnetism and makes Leo such a popular sign. Not popular in the sense of everyone wants to be a Leo, but popular in the sense that everyone wants to be Leo’s friend. Things seem to come easy for Leo because people are willing to do a bit extra to help it out, knowing full well that Leo would probably do the same.
Leo contains several bright stars and has a notable reputation of having even some of its dimmest stars named as opposed to having just a nomenclature. Leo is one of the constellations of the zodiac to contain an asterism (basically a mini-constellation), Leo’s asterism is called the Sickle, but in reality, the Sickle represents Leo’s head and mane. Deep inside Leo is a star called Wolf 359, this star is one of the closest stars to earth. Gliese 436 is a star that has one of the smallest exo-solar planets ever discovered orbiting around it. Leo also contains many galaxies like Messier 65, 66, 95, and 96. Also, left over from Creation, the Leo Ring contains a cloud of hydrogen and helium gas from the Big Bang.
Leo has been represented as a lion by numerous civilizations, including the Persians, Turks, Syrians, Jews, Indians, and Babylonians. While this connection has permeated the different cultures, there is surprisingly little mythology behind it. In Babylon, the lion is often a representative of the goddess Ishtar (Greek equivalent would be Aphrodite). However, the Greco-Roman tradition holds Leo is the Nemean Lion which served as Hercules’s first labor. Now, the lion could not be hurt by weapons, having such a thick hide, so the struggle came as one of sheer might where Hercules had to strangle the monster with his bare hands. After the struggle, Hercules himself would wear the lion’s thick hide.
In William Lilly’s Christian Astrology, he says of Leo: “Is the only house of the sun, by nature fiery, hot, dry, choleric, diurnal, commanding, bestial, barren, of the east and firey triplicity, masculine.”
Masculine signs are those that are said to be extroverted. Leo is a very extroverted sign, everyone knows what’s on Leo’s mind one way or another. Even when he tries to keep his emotions and thoughts hidden, it doesn’t work. Leo loves the limelight and loves being the center of attention and often expresses himself as if he were on stage.
Fixed signs are those that take place during the middle of the season, as is the case of Leo, which marks summer at its full strength. The good side of this is that Leo is persistent and has the staying power to see long projects through to the end. The bad side is that Leo is stubborn and it takes a lot of persuasion to get Leo to do anything he doesn’t want to do. Stubborn in action and mind, once he’s made his mind up about something, he usually doesn’t change it. The same goes for forming opinions on matters, which may take awhile. After the initial gathering information and thinking, the conclusion that follows is one that is going to stay for awhile as Leo will usually not except new facts on the matter for one reason or another. Leo is often called simple-minded, as he usually only responds to things as they appear on the surface, failing to find the hidden and deeper meanings of things. The battle continues, though, after the underlying messages are pointed out to him, Leo will often dismiss them as contrived or pointless. This detailed orientation is not for Leo, who prefers to see the whole picture and draw conclusions from that.
Leo is one of the three fire signs, exemplified by spontaneity, creativity, intuitive responses, and an infectious way of relating to others. Leo wants to be the center of attention, and is a fire that wants moths to circle it. Being a big fan of drama, Leo will use dramatic gestures and hyperbole like it’s no one’s business in a conscious or unconscious attempt to get attention. Like all fire signs, Leo can be roused to seemingly easily (note that Leo is the least angry of the fire signs due to the fixed quality of the sign) and will either outwardly show anger through a raised voice and other angry characteristics, or will show it inwardly through the throbbing temple vein and flushed face.
The sun rules Leo, and as such, Leo embodies a lot of solar qualities including courage and an unconquerable optimism. Traditionally, the sun signifies the boss, whether it be the president, king, commander, or general, this carries over to Leo, who strives to be that boss. The sun has its ecliptic, and as such, so too is Leo extremely territorial. This territory is different for every Leo, it could be the home, the work environment, an interest or hobby, or just about anything else. They put their entire heart and soul in this one area of life, and their pride for their accomplishments in that area is just as extreme. Severe heartbreak can befall Leo should he ever be one-upped in that area. Another planet that plays a part in Leo is Saturn and its weakness in the sign. As such, limitations and depression don’t work well for Leo who has a natural optimism. Leo is poor with money and budgets, seeking to spend when they should be saving as their natural optimism tells them money is just on the horizon.
Leo is also given the title of bestial and feral. While he is very well known for understanding his own emotions, he is also well known for not being able to understand the emotions and thoughts of others. Leo responds more with animalistic instincts rather than reasoned logic and is not very well gifted in social graces despite the popularity. Leo’s feral association manifests itself through insensitivity for other’s feelings.
The stars that make up constellations have an effect on shaping the early significations of the sign. Ptolemy likened the stars in the head of Leo to be of the nature of Saturn and to a lesser degree Mars. The stars in the neck were of the natures of Saturn and Mercury. The chief star of Leo, Regulus, was given a distinct association with the natures of Mars and Jupiter. The stars in the loins and tail of the lion are of the nature of Saturn and Venus, and the stars in the legs are of the nature of Venus and Mercury.
The alpha star in Leo is Regulus, who is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter. This star is one of the four royal stars that ruled the south and signified the power of the sun. Regulus shows a civil disposition, ambition, and a will to lead. The star is generally beneficial due to the Jupiter nature and the brilliance of the star, but there is a danger through sickness and fevers due to the Mars influence. The star in the tail of Leo named Denebola is of the nature of Saturn and Venus and while it does have the ability to show a rise to fame and fortune, it is not near as a fortunate star as Regulus. Denebola is generally seen to show a sort of fall from grace such as the happiness turned to anger signification given to it by Robson. Another Saturn and Venus natured star in Leo named Zosma is considered an unfortunate influence and is said to bring disgrace and melancholy.
Dignities and Degree Influences
The sun is the ruler of Leo, due to the sun reaching its height in the sign and the heat and dryness that accompanies it showing the raw power of the solar energies. Saturn is in detriment in this sign as he does not do well in the extreme heat and dryness of the sign. No planet is in exaltation or depression in this sign. Leo is part of the fiery triplicity which is ruled by the sun during the day, Jupiter at night, and Saturn as a participary ruler.
0° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn
1° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Increasing Fortune
2° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn
3° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn
4° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Masculine, Increasing Fortune
5° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Deep
6° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Mercury, Increasing Fortune
7° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Mercury, Feminine
8° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Mercury
9° Leo: Face of Saturn, Term of Mercury, Dark
10° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Mercury
11° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Mercury
12° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Mercury, Deep
13° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Venus
14° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Venus, Masculine, Deep
15° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Venus
16° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Venus
17° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Venus
18° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Venus, Increasing Fortune
19° Leo: Face of Jupiter, Term of Jupiter, Smokey, Lame
20° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Jupiter
21° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Jupiter, Deep
22° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Jupiter, Feminine, Deep
23° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Jupiter
24° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Jupiter, Void
25° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Mars
26° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Mars, Lame
27° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Mars, Deep, Lame
28° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Mars
29° Leo: Face of Mars, Term of Mars, Masculine, Light