A Sign at a Time: Leo

This is the first post in the “A Sign at a Time” series. Ordinarily, a listing of the signs would start with Aries and end with Pisces, because the astrological year begins at the Aries equinox (the sun enters Aries on the March equinox, spring in the northern hemisphere, autumn in the southern). In honor of the sun currently being in Leo, its home sign, I am starting here. 

I do not know how long it will take me to go through all the signs, but probably not a whole year. Cancer and Gemini people will not have to wait that long to see their signs.

The king of beasts. Royalty. A roaring lion. A purring cat. A child who lights up the room by her presence. A comedian telling jokes, and telling more in response to the audience’s laughter. A campfire inviting songs, storytelling, and performances.

These are some things that fit the Leo archetype.

Leo’s qualities are fixed fire. The growth energy of a fire sign, with the steadfastness of a fixed sign. Its ruler is the sun, and its message is similar: personality growth. 

For people with the sun in Leo, the sun’s message is amplified by its sign. All other signs modify the sun’s message, providing a hint of what exactly you need for core personality growth. For Leo, the message is, simply, grow. Be yourself, as much of yourself as you can. Be all you can be. The house placement modifies the message of a Leo sun, but the sign placement does not.

Pop astrology claims that Leos are self centered, generous, outgoing, and need to be the center of attention. These are possible ways a Leo-driven personality could develop, given that the sign’s message emphasizes personality growth, but far from the only ways. 

For every solar Leo (and rising or lunar Leo) who thinks highly of him/herself, at least as many struggle with self esteem. For every one of them who is outgoing, at least as many are introverted, more like a shy kitty cat who will only approach a few select people than one who will demand attention from all. For every Leo who really does command the center of attention, at least as many shy away from it. 

However, for all Leo-driven individuals (this includes Leo moon and Leo rising as well as Leo sun, and sometimes those with a significant planetary presence in Leo even if it’s not one of their prime triad), a strong desire to be appreciated exists. It might be quiet, personal appreciation, or it might be adoring crowds. Either way, “I want to be appreciated” is a very Leo desire. It may be modified to “I want to be noticed,” or, “I want to be accepted.”

Leo represents the kind of personality development that happens through interpersonal exchanges, give and receive and react. A comedy duo play off each other. That is a Leo exchange. A performer adjusts their performance in response to the audience’s response. A cat purrs when petted, prompting the petter to pet the cat more, prompting the cat to purr more. All of this is very Leo.

Archetypally, Leo is the king or queen: regal and dignified. Leo is the performer. Leo is the child: playful, curious, wondering. A healthy response to Leo placements is to have a solid sense of self. Paradoxically, Leo is the most selfish sign (though not necessarily selfish in a bad way) and the most generous sign.

Leo generosity stems from having enough, and enough for Leo means a full sense of self. A happy, fulfilled Leo is compelled to share the happiness, because that makes him/her the happiest of all: just like the purring cat or the joking comedian, Leo energy is, and thrives on, unselfconscious, shared joy. It is a creative, joyful, in the moment, sharing energy. However, without a healthy sense of self, or without joy, the Leo-driven person can become arrogant and demanding, or depressed and withdrawn. There’s nothing to give if the Leo-self is not being properly nourished.

If you have Leo placements, particularly a Leo sun or moon, and do not have a healthy sense of self, or are generally unhappy, the solution is to do what brings you joy, as much as you can. If you are uncertain of what brings you joy, the first step is to go looking for it. What have you enjoyed in the past? Does that bring you joy now? If not, is there something similar that you can do? Or perhaps something you’ve thought you would enjoy but not tried?

“Follow your bliss” is a very Leo saying. All of us can find the Leo in us by doing so.

This post is dedicated to all Leos everywhere. Happy Birthday! Publishing it three days before my own birthday, I must include myself.