Ruling Planet: Sun
Sun in Leo: from about 23rd July until 22nd August
Time of Year: the parching heat of high summer, inexhaustible energy
Cultural: holidays, relaxation, a time to play and have fun
Part of the Body: spine, heart, circulation
Star constellation: Leo
Mythology of the constellation
The first of the twelve labours of Heracles was to slay and skin the Nemean Lion. The lion was a powerful and fearsome beast that terrorised the inhabitants of the town of Nemea by constantly demanding new sacrifices. The lion was invulnerable to any kind weapon and the only way that Hercules could defeat it was by resorting to his own - subjective - physical strength. He finally managed to strangle the lion with his bare hands. He then used the lion's own claws to skin it. He used the lion's pelt to make a cloak and wore its skull as a helmet. In this way he absorbed the lion's strength. However, Zeus, who admired the lion's strength, immortalised it with its own star constellation.
Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac. It is here that the zodiac reaches its greatest splendour. It is a centrifugal force that radiates warmth.
Leo longs to give form to something. It wants to be creatively active and express its own being, whether in playful interaction with life, creative work or giving birth to children. Leo wants to make something of its talents, it wants to leave something to be remembered by. According to the psychoanalyst and astrologer Liz Greene "the greatest creation of the Leo individual should be him/herself".
Individuals with an emphasis of the sign of Leo in their horoscopes love to be the centre of attention and to allow others to bask in their glory. They like to be the Sun at the centre of their own universe around which everything revolves. For this they naturally need an audience willing to reflect back their greatness.
The danger is that Leo individuals may not be able to fulfil their own expectations. They can then resemble an elaborate facade with little substance behind it and can appear conceited, arrogant and hypocritical. As the Heracles myth shows, Leo individuals must defeat the wild animal within before adorning themselves with its attributes. Only then will they be bestowed their dignity and power. Leo individuals must earn authority during the course of their lives. The more they can achieve this, the more they can take control of their own lives and preserve their independence.
These individuals are open for the concerns of others who are less well-off than themselves. And they are ready to help whenever possible. The basis for this is their warm-heartedness but it also has the effect of reflecting back and making them aware of their own importance.
Leo shares with its opposite sign Aquarius an interest in the development of human potential. Leo is interested in personal development, Aquarius in the community as a whole. Leo also possesses, together with the other fire signs Aries and Sagittarius, a passionate energy. But whereas Aries channels this energy in a particular direction to initiate something new, Leo radiates its energy in all directions and warms its surroundings. Finally, Sagittarius uses its fiery energy to inspire others.
Leo can also learn valuable lessons from the two signs which stand in natural square to it. From Taurus it can learn to cope with world of concrete objects, and from Scorpio the power of transformation.
- Leo the Lion (Deborah Houlding, Skyscript)
- The Zodiac Suite: "Leo" (by Rebecca Tripp; youTube - Video)
- Sound of zodiac - Leo (youTube - Video)
- Karl-Heinz Stockhausen - Zodiac: Leo (Liam Hockley, clarinet; youTube)
- From Liber Astronomicus by Guido Bonatus, 1491.