©2003-5 by Diana Stone

The Sun typically passes through the sign Leo from July 23 to August 22. If your Sun sign is not Leo you may think that you do not relate to this sign. But you could be wrong! You may have other placements in Leo in your birth chart that make this sign significant. It may be your Moon sign or the rising sign. Read on and see if this reminds you of anyone YOU know!

Leo is one of the power signs of the zodiac meaning there is a strong will and a persevering nature. And never forget that this is the sign of royalty. No matter how an individual may express the leonine nature, there is one thing you should never do to your Leos, never ignore them! The nature of this sign gravitates toward center stage. This is a sign of style and a strong presence. We notice when Leo makes an entrance!

There is a reason for this beyond purely ego gratification. This is a sign that facilitates self-awareness by observing the reaction to one’s behavior and ideas. Their psychological dynamic is dependent on social interaction and feedback from others. There is a common saying that we can never see ourselves as others see us. We can never observe from inside our skins totally objectively. So it is the Lion that puts it all on the line to see how others react. If ten people point out that we are a jerk for a certain behavior, then we change it. The Achilles’ heel in all of this is that it doesn’t work very well if we have a Leo who lacks confidence and a fairly good idea of who he or she is. Not all criticism is helpful criticism or given without a hidden agenda. The wounded Leo may take in all criticism wholesale without discernment and be quite damaged and confused by it.

The two primary psychological needs of Leo are recognition needs and approval needs. Leo as the rising sign is especially sensitive to this in early childhood. Recognition needs mean that someone tells the kid that he or she is at least okay to take up space on the planet. If that need is seriously absent this can produce a suicide script. Recognition of mere existence is one thing, but approval is quite another matter. Are you okay or are you not okay? Leo is not rebellious by nature.

If there is heavy criticism and not-okay messages, the natural actor in the Leo psyche is challenged to adapt to a role that DOES get parental approval. If that happens you may not recognize the Lion. You may have met the woman in her fifties that is still Daddy’s little girl in dress and mannerisms. The doctor has a mid-life crisis because he always wanted to be a writer. The person locks into a role whether a positive or negative one and the true self is limited by it.

Leo is the sign of creative self-expression. One of the things we create is a child, and Leo may be very good with children and desire to be a parent. Leo is associated with the heart. We have many expressions that suit the Leo personality; kind-hearted, tender hearted, big-hearted and so on. They are often generous to a fault and can be very indulgent toward family and friends. It is a powerhouse of a sign but they are suckers for a sob story.

Sometimes even the most powerful parts of the horoscope are repressed. One client’s chart featured five planets in Leo. Instead of the roar of the Lion that one might expect, there was only a whimper. Early childhood messages warned of beatings unless she kept her mouth shut. The problem with repressed material is its availability for projection onto another person. Sure enough, her husband was the personification of negative Leo traits, an arrogant, self-centered know-it-all. I encouraged the woman to reclaim her power. She eventually did through therapy. She divorced and was later successful in her campaign for a seat in her state’s legislature.

This is one of the most positive and optimistic signs. If expressing on the positive side they bring sunshine into the world. They have a lot of energy and can sometimes over-extend themselves like there is no tomorrow. There is then a danger of burn out in mid-life if they don’t watch it. Leo is also associated with gold. Now you know what to buy for a gift, the stuff that glitters will put a sparkle in any Leo’s eye.

If Leo folks can control the personal ego, overcome a tendency toward self-centered attitudes and arrogance and also put the brakes on power trips, they deserve the approval and attention that they love so much and will return in equal measure.

This series on the twelve signs of the zodiac is adapted from Diana's column at The MetaArts. To download a copy of all twelve signs in handy booklet form, click here for a Word for Windows document or here for a PDF document. Diana also publishes a free online newsletter. If you'd like more of her wit and wisdom to appear in your mailbox from time to time, sign up here.

Interested in Personalized Astrological Services?

Would you like Diana to comment personally on the various signs and planets in your own chart? Read about her astrological services here.

Want a chart, but you're not sure of your time of birth? To get your birth time, write to the Vital Statistics bureau for the state where you were born. Vitalcheck.com is a site that gives addresses, Web sites, and procedures for Vital Statistics Offices throughout the United States. (No birth time is necessary for horary charts.)