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I believe that the Principle which gives life dwells in us and without us comes from the Supreme Intelligence through the Rays of the Sun.
Leo is the fifth sign of the Zodiac. To call someone a Leo they would have to be born between a certain set of dates that are generally 23rd July to 23rd August. I say generally as it does depend where in the world you were born and also what time of day. And if you were born during those dates mentioned above, you would really need to check with a good astrological programme or Astrologer to make sure your Leo actually is a Leo.
If they were born very early on the morning of the 23rd July, the Sun might not have quite changed sign into Leo, and you might have a Cancer on your hands.
No need to worry though, as we're going to use a reliable Swiss Astrological website that Astrologers use.
Each sign of the Zodiac has a planet that 'looks after' it, we call it their 'ruler' and the ruler to Leo is the Sun.
That vast ball of burning flame that we can see in the sky is connected spiritually (not literally) with our friend the lion.
The Enormous Burning Star
If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.
In astrology, we call all the celestial beings 'planets' which isn't technically correct. The Sun is actually a star, and while there are thousands of millions of other stars in our own Milky Way, our Sun is special because we depend on it for our survival. It provides us with heat and light, which are rather necessary things for us on Earth. Imagine what life would be like if it was cold all the time and dark. No plants would be able to grow because they depend on light to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen via photosynthesis ... and if there was no oxygen, we'd all be dead in less than 10 minutes. Not a fun thought is it?
So for us, the Sun is jolly important.
The Sun is called a 'great powerhouse' because it is like a giant nuclear furnace. It is 1,392,000 km across its diameter, big enough to swallow up our Earth a million times, and produces 7,000 million tons of hydrogen every second. This enormous energy release makes our Sun shine and it's been doing this for more than 4.5 billion years and hopefully will continue to do so for a similar length of time.
The Sun isn't actually yellow. This is an illusion as it's really an enormous white ball of gas with no solid edge, with a temperature of 5,500°C. Astronomers think the temperature at its core could be 15,000,000°C. Bit too hot for sunbathing!
There's a lot going on, with sunspots and solar activity and things called 'coronal mass ejections' hurling electrically charged particles out into space. These cause the celestial light shows called northern and southern lights when they hit the Earth, but too many of them can pose a threat to satellite electronics and power grids.
Like everything, too much of a good thing can be a problem.
I asked a few Leos about their thoughts on the Sun. Here is Helena, a young 30 year old English lady who works for a media company in Portugal:
I couldn't live without the sun. It makes EVERYTHING better! I go a nice caramel brown, and feel sooo happy when the sun is out. After living in Portugal, I would struggle living in the UK again, purely because of lack of sun!
Clarissa is a full-time Mom who lives and works in Canada:
I love the sun as far as lifting my spirits – I can achieve a nice tan but also have to be careful to not burn.
Laura is in her late 20s and lives and works in New Zealand as a graphic designer:
I love the sun. I like to be warm. I dislike being cold or wet, prefer warm/dry. I have fair skin and don't tan easily. Summer is my favorite time of year.
I feel like I have more energy when it is sunny and happier. I like red sunsets especially over water.
Julie is in her 70s and lives in middle England and is a housewife. She loves the sun too:
I love the sun, I am out in it all the time. I have my meals outside. The windows and doors open wide so the fresh air can come in. I am fair skinned but have a good tan. The sun makes me feel charged up.
Margaret is a holistic practitioner and lives in the USA:
I am not sun sensitive and I tan nicely. I've always loved the sun and thrive on it. To me it feels that I am alive, it makes me happy and I can be outside. The sun is our life giver and I feel it gives me life. If it gets humid I deal with it. I could call myself a sun worshipper in a sense that I just love the sun, not that I lay outside all day to get a tan, which I don't do. Without the sun we would have no life.
Only one of the people I asked wasn't quite as positive about our burning star. Diane is an Astrologer and lives in South Wales:
I don't like the hot weather, I burn easily and so avoid sitting out when it is very sunny.
Notice, how all of them (except Diane) have in their answers 'I love the Sun'.
I remember my lovely Leo nephew, who used to live in Bristol, bemoaning the lack of Sun here in the West Country. Our weather is very temperate, a bit like Irish weather and we do have lots of rain, which is why it's so green here. But he was getting depressed that the Sun hadn't been out much and eventually he moved abroad.
The Sun is such a majestic and magnificent planet (remember it's actually a Star) it can't fail to have an influence on our friend the Leo who was born during the Summer months, when the Sun is at its zenith.
Qualities and Element
Each sign of the Zodiac has a quality and element that describes it. Leo is a 'Fixed' quality, doesn't like change, prefers things to stay the same (with them being worshipped and loved) and likes certain things without much alteration. Its Element is 'Fire' (more of this at the end of this chapter).
So what other qualities do astrologers say that Leo has?
Let's ask Colin Evans in The New Waite's Compendium of Natal Astrology, 1967:
This sign is of the element Fire, and of fixed quality. Leo individuals are proud, passionate, ambitious, masterful, honourable, irrepressible, delighting in all that is really big in life.
Here is Linda Goodman in her Sun signs:
These men and women never lean on others. Instead, they prefer to be leaned on. Responsibility towards the weak and helpless appeals to them. Leo may roar theatrically that everyone depends on him and he's forced to carry the whole load, but don't pay a bit of attention to his complaints. He loves it. Try to relieve him of his burdens or lend a helping hand, and you'll see how quickly Leo will disdainfully refuse your help.
How about asking AT Mann (who is a Leo) in his: The Round Art: The Astrology of Time and Place:
Leo governs Self-consciousness, pride, the affections, love of the self and others, creation, acting, confidence ... self-glorification, leadership, courage, extroversion, fun-loving, arrogant ...
Here is Christopher McIntosh in his book Astrology, the Stars and Human Life: A Modern Guide in 1970:
The person born with his Sun in Leo is almost invariably a strong personality with a taste for leadership. The sign has always been associated with monarchs and rulers. The faults than can afflict the sign are conceit, vanity, pomposity, and a lust for power. At his best, however, the Leonian is a thoroughly likeable person, warm, and out-going, with a great capacity to attract the friendship, loyalty, and respect of others.
What does Rae Orion say in Astrology for Dummies?
The sunny side
You've got flair. If you're a typical Leo, you are generous, outgoing, loyal and likeable (most of the time) ...
The sorry side
Beneath your flamboyant personality, you would be humiliated if anyone ever knew how hard you try or how vulnerable you actually are. You desperately want people to like you ...
What about Marion D. March and Joan McEvers in their The Only Way to Learn Astrology:
Key phrase I will ... dramatic, idealistic, proud, creative, dignified, generous, self-assured, optimistic, vain, boastful, pretentious.
Here is another astrological team. Felix Lyle and Bryan Aspland in The Instant Astrologer say:
self-assured, sincere, generous, optimistic, constant, dignified, spontaneous ... also arrogant, intolerant, sloppy, demonstrative, domineering, self-obsessed, pompous, lazy and autocratic.
I think we can safely say that the main keywords for a Leo personality are warm and demonstrative, dramatic, optimistic and vain.
Warm and Demonstrative
There is no doubt that being warm and demonstrative are typical Leo traits. They are playful and childlike (not childish, see below) qualities and make being with a Leo fun rather than draining.
Leos love to show their affection by buying carefully thoughtout gifts. Here are a few examples:
Here is Laura again:
Best presents I have given people have been things that came from the heart, like paintings I have done for friends just because I knew they would enjoy the surprise.
One Leo lady I asked had a very simple answer:
The children's first pony.
Margaret also likes to give things she has made:
Being able to give things that are unexpected, handmade or bought, to family and friends and see their surprised faces.
Jenny is a Virgo and an author and is married, second-time round, to a Leo. She talks about her husband Patrick:
He's one of the most caring men I've ever met. He'll go far out of his way to help a friend. You've heard the saying: 'He's in touch with his feminine side.' Patrick definitely is. While absolutely secure in his masculinity, he will cry, even in public.
He's also so very supportive of any of my endeavours. I'd never have written/published my books if it weren't for his 'go for it'.
I know Leos who are excellent at making people feel a warm, fuzzy glow of happiness just by being in their presence. It's as if they are radiating some concealed energy that we love to have. They also won't hold back in telling you, or demonstrating to you how much they like or love you. You can guarantee that the person you know who has arranged a surprise birthday party, or made a collection for a charity, or written 'I Love You' in the sky with a jet contrail is probably a Leo.
I always thought I should be treated like a star.
My dictionary defines 'dramatic' as 'of drama, sudden and exciting or unexpected, vividly striking.' I think this quite sums up part of the Leo character.
The drama that a Leo enjoys can be literal, as in enjoying being on radio or TV, or figuratively in being a 'dramaking/ queen' and wanting everything and everyone to revolve around them.
Here is Isabella describing her son Harry when he was small:
There is something about drama here. Harry was a dramatic little boy and he wanted to be noticed. He was never ever shy and was very confident with adults. He loved parties, especially ones where he got a lot of attention. When he was about three we were out for the day and we had tea in a village hall with a stage. Harry got on to the stage and started dancing about so that everybody could see him. It was very funny and he made everybody laugh. In fact it was hard to get him off the stage when we were leaving ...
As Leo is a Fire sign, they're swifter to react to things and also quicker to take offence. They prefer an appreciate audience, no matter how small that might be. This isn't meant in a negative way. They genuinely can like or enjoy all eyes on them. I know a Leo Dad that sadly died of cancer. Even on his deathbed, he enjoyed a quartet of musicians serenading him in the hospital where he was a patient. Compare this to a Virgo, who would more likely curl up inside if you so much raised your voice in a hospital ward, let alone had four young ladies playing violin, viola, cello and flute.
On the literal side of drama, there are endless amounts of Leo actors, singers, dancers and creatives, who like to bring their talents to amuse and entertain.
When I asked my Leo volunteers how they'd prefer to be lavished, not one of them suggested a quiet, domestic scenario:
Helping people, particularly in creative ways – I am currently volunteering for my local Arts Centre and totally love it! I also love walking my dog, walking in nature and doing anything creative. Just did the Race for Life and that made me very happy – both the fundraising and the taking part. I would like to be surprised by a trip to somewhere in the country or by the sea to have a lovely day out with great food and not have to worry about money.
I don't think I've ever met a truly sad Leo. I've seen depressed Leos but that's not the same as gloomy or sad. That's not to say that they don't exist, but, as yet, they haven't made an appointment to see me. The Leos I have seen, even if they're in a really bad way, will want to talk things through, and go away feeling that what they're going to do, or have done, is validated.
Unlike an Air sign, I don't have to come up with billions of ideas to help them along. No, they just want to know that what they're doing is 'right'. Which can be a little subjective. Like all fixed signs, Leo doesn't like change, and as long as what they're planning or involved in is legal and decent, I'm not going to argue.
Their optimism mostly centres around their outlook on life, which is generally positive.
Alan is a Leo Homeopath and author who lives and works in the USA. He also edits an online Homeopathy newsletter and makes funny little homeopathy cartoons to keep us all smiling.
Here are his views on optimism:
For me, optimism is not the idea that fortune always smiles on us, but the belief that problems can be solved and crises endured, as long as we stay present, keep our courage and be open to all the possibilities. It helps to understand that good fortune and bad fortune are deeply connected, and one always leads to the other.
They view life as a playful place, with lots of fun things going on, with everyone getting along and helping each other out. When I was a child, a popular author was Leo Enid Blyton. She only wrote children's books and created Noddy and the Famous Five series with motivating titles like Five on a Treasure Island and Five Have a Mystery to Solve.
In one of her books she has a character say:
The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.
Which could almost be a call sign for Leo.
My dictionary defines vanity as: 'conceit and desire for admiration because of one's personal attainments or attractions.'
The downside to the Leo character is a tendency for unevolved Leos to be self-obsessed. They can think that the whole world revolves around them, which isn't entirely true, as we know that the Earth revolves around the Sun ...
I remember a song from my teen years called You're So Vain by Carly Simon (who is Sun sign Cancer) which had the catch-line, 'you probably think this song is about you,' and that nicely sums up the sort of problems we can encounter when the Leo ego gets too big.
They can construct, in their mind, that they are the most important person in their family, their city, their country ... and if you're really unlucky, the world. This self-inflated issue only arises because of a deep need to feel acknowledged and admired by others.
There are Leos who are aware of this vanity. Leo Poet Laureate Ted Hughes wrote a poem called "The Decay of Vanity":
Now it is seven years since you were the Queen That crowned me King: and six years since your ghost Left your body cold in my arms as a stone ...
I loved the way the poem has a King, a Queen and Vanity all in it, and it is written by a Leo!
There are some lovely Leo quotes attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte:
I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.
The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.
Makes you wonder if Napoleon's welcome was for vanity or need!
Childish vs. Childlike
Leo has a wonderfully childlike view of the world. They see it in rays of shining light and love to go 'wow' at things. They enjoy the company of their admirers, to be the centre of attention, to feel as if everyone is a friend.
This child-like view can sometime swing into being child-ish, which is a completely different story.
I once worked with a Leo lady. Her father was an alcoholic, and she and he lived the most awful life. She still hadn't left home, even though she was in her late 30s and she told me (constantly) that she wanted to get married and have children of her own, except she just couldn't grow up.
To 'grow up' she would have to leave home, but her father was convinced she had a personality disorder, when in fact his drinking must have clouded any judgement he could make.
He was an ex-psychiatrist, and was violent and verbally abusive. This poor woman would tell me about how unreasonable her father was, and how he told her what to do ... but their relationship seemed to be codependent and impossible to fathom.
Excerpted from How to Lavish a Leo by Mary English. Copyright © 2013 Mary English. Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Chapter One: The Sign.................... 5
Chapter Two: How to Make a Chart.................... 18
Chapter Three: The Ascendant.................... 21
Chapter Four: The Moon.................... 28
Chapter Five: The Houses.................... 36
Chapter Six: The Difficulties.................... 42
Chapter Seven: The Solutions.................... 48
Chapter Eight: Lavishing Skills.................... 53
Further Information.................... 78
Astrological Chart Information.................... 79