Leo the Lion [22 July - 23 August] | star sign, horoscope, astrological and zodiac facts
Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac spanning 23 July – 22 August. It’s also the second fire sign – the others being Aries and Sagittarius. Leo’s symbol is the lion.
The colours associated with Leo are gold, yellow and orange and its celestial body is the Sun. Leo is associated with the fixed quality; that of confidence, uncompromising, the future and the intertwined old and new.
- Dates: July 23 – August 22
- Symbol: Lion
- Element: Fire
- Colour: Gold, yellow, orange
- Day: Sunday
- Quality: Fixed
- Most compatible: Aquarius, Gemini
- Birthstones: Garnet, labradorite, onyx, rhodochrosite, carnelian, peridot, ruby
Traits of a Leo
Strengths: Passionate, creative, dramatic, humourous, generous, loyal
Weaknesses: Stubborn, arrogant, lazy, self-centered
Leo’s burn brightly with confidence, creativity and passion. This is often why Leo’s are thought of as natural born leaders, after all the lion - ‘the king of the jungle’ is their symbol. They’re passion and dedication can see them confront difficult situations with ease.
Often a Leo’s mix of generosity, loyalty, confidence and humour will bring them many close friends. The sun – Leo’s celestial - is the centre of our solar system and Leo’s are often the centre of friendship groups, uniting individuals together with a shared cause - if they’re not busy being the centre of attention too (you attractive little Leo you!). Leo’s do have a tendency to crave admiration.
Fun loving and passionate Leo’s often like bright colours, expensive things and indulging in the arts, travel and hanging out with friends. Being a sign of the fire element, Leo’s are usually warm-hearted, in love with life and have many a burning desire. They’re also very self aware of what they want and need and aren’t usually afraid to ask for it.
The downside to such a self aware, passionate and confident sign is that Leo’s, can sometimes act without fully considering their impact on others. They’re also a bit more prone to feeling down if ignored or not being treated like the king or queen of the jungle.
It’s always wise as a Leo to make sure that you don’t become too blinkered or attached to your own achievements and personal gain at the expense of those close to you. Lions often like to sleep a lot too – it’s tiring being such a passionate individual. Just make sure that you direct that passion to the right pursuits and don’t end up sleeping through what’s important!
The Leo constellation
Leo lies between Cancer the Crab to its west and Virgo to its east and is one of the most easily recognizable constellations due to its distinctive shape and abundance of bright stars. The lion’s mane and shoulders form a sickle (resembling of a backwards questions mark).
Of its many bright stars Leo contains four stars of first or second magnitude. The brightest of these stars is Regulus (meaning ‘the little king’) or ‘Alpha Leonis’ - a blue-white main-sequence star, 77.5 light-years from Earth. Leo’s second brightest star is Denebola (meaning ‘the lions tail’), also named ‘Beta Leonis’. Leo also contains a variable star (one who’s brightness as seen from Earth fluctuates), the red giant R Leonis.
An abundance of bright galaxies lie within Leo, the most famous ones being Messier 65,66,95 and 105. It’s also home to the ‘Leo Ring’ – a cloud of hydrogen gas that orbits two of Leo’s galaxies and some of the largest cosmic structures in the observable universe including several large quasar groups.
The Leo constellation is also home to the ‘Leonids’ a meteor shower peaking November 14-15 and the ‘January Leonids’ – a minor shower peaking January 1-7.
There’s certainly a lot to see in Leo!
Leo in History and Mythology
In Ancient Greek mythology it is thought the symbol of Leo is based on that of the Nemean Lion – the Lion killed by Hercules during his first of twelve labours. The Nemean Lion was know for taking women hostage in order to trap warriors from nearby towns who came to rescue them (much to their demise). The Lions hide was impervious to weaponry. Account tell of how Hercules defeated the Nemean Lion in hand to hadn combat, either by strangle it to death with his bear hand or by breaking its back. Upon its death Zeus placed the lion in the sky as the LEO constellation.
In Ancient Mesopotamian mythology, some believe that Leo represented the monster Humaba – a Lion faced monster raised by the Sun assigned to be a terror to the human race by the god Enlil.
In Babylonian astronomy Leo was called UR.GU.LA (the ‘Great Lion’). Leos brightest star (Regulus) was known as the King Star.
The Persians called Leo Ser or Shir; the Turks, Artan; the Syrians, Aryo; the Jews, Arye; the Indians, Simha, all meaning "lion".
Some famous Leo
- Daniel Radcliffe
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Barack Obama
- Jennifer Lopez
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Meghan Markle
- J.K. Rowling
- Whitney Houston
- Chris Hemsworth
- Steve Carell
- Anorld Schwarzenegger
- Mick Jagger
- Robert De Niro
- Roger Federer