July 23th through August 22nd
Leo, the lion, rules all the other animals. Leo, the person, rules you and everybody else. (Yes, yes, I know he really doesn’t. But please don’t tell him. It would break his big, warm, egotistical heart.) It’s best to humor him. Then he’ll purr, instead of roaring and scaring you half to death. The lion alternates between being energetically gregarious and beautifully indolent, as he stifles a luxurious yawn. If you want to study the beast, hit all the bright, sparkling places around town. At least half the people you see living it up in style will be Leos. The shyer pussycats will be at home living it up. Leo hates the dark and boredom equally.
If you see one who blushes easily make sure you aren’t getting a blush confused with a flush of pride or ego. There’s more difference between a blush and a flush than a letter of the alphabet. His face may be pink because he’s been dancing too hard. His cheeks may be suffused with a rosy glow because the love of his life just passed by. But his high color isn’t caused by introversion or self-effacing timidity. There are no introverted Leos. There are only Leos who pretend to be introverts. That’s important to remember. You may find a few lions who keep their ruling Sun
dimmed and go about being strong, dignified and determined quietly. Don’t let that soft purr fool you. Even the gentle Leos are inwardly sold on their royal right to rule friends and family as they peek out from behind the curtains and watch for their chance on stage. If you don’t believe me, just choose a quiet Leo who’s pretending to be an introvert, and attack his pride. Take something away from him which he believes is rightfully his, give him orders and show him no respect. You’ll hear that supposedly gentle cat roar from here to the zoo. It takes a brave soul to challenge him when he’s defending his rights and his dignity. Some Leos mellow with age, but the lion never really lowers his proud head. Never.
As for the physical attributes of this Sun sign, just look around for people who resemble a lion or a lioness, with a mane of hair that sweeps back off the face, and a deceptively lazy look. Leos walk straight and proud, with the smooth glide of the cat. The females combine lithe grace with a hidden, quivering intensity. This last will be disguised by a soft, usually calm and steady nature. But don’t forget that the lioness is always ready to pounce if she feels threatened. Her claws are sheathed, but sharp.
You’ll notice a commanding air and stately bearing, as Leo looks down on all the mere mortals beneath him. Ordinarily, the movements and speech are deliberate. Leos seldom talk fast, run or even walk quickly (unless there’s an Aries or Gemini ascendant or Moon, for example). You won’t ignore the lion for long in a group. He’ll either get the center of the stage with dramatic statements and action-or he’ll get it by pouting and sulking behind the potted palms until someone rushes over to ask what’s wrong. The sign produces its share of blue eyes, but many Leos, especially the females, have dark brown eyes that are first soft and gentle, then snap and crackle with fire, often round in shape and slightly tilted at the comer. The hair is dark or reddish blonde and usually wavy, worn in a wild, careless style that upsweeps, stands out fully on the top and the sides or is sleeked down tightly, one extreme or the other, and there’s a noticeable ruddy complexion.
Leos have a strange effect on people that’s downright funny to watch. It’s hard to stand in front of the lion without drawing yourself up to full stature, stomach in- shoulders back. I really don’t know whether we peasants do this in imitation of the royal manner of the Leo we’re facing or to gather courage for a possible lecture, for they do love to give free advice. They have a knack for telling you with a slightly superior, condescending manner exactly how you should manage your life.
This love of teaching is why so many Leos end up as educators, politicians and psychiatrists. The exasperating thing is that they’re quite good at rationalizing things and smoothing out the wrinkles in your life. Too bad they can’t manage their own affairs with as much ease and finesse. Still, this is what makes the lion so downright lovable; his honest superiority and excellent abilities, incongruously mixed up with a terrible, transparent vulnerability of ego. The proud, dignified cat vulnerable? Yes indeed. He’s deeply wounded when you don’t respect his wisdom and generosity. To subdue him, simply flatter him. Nine times out of ten, he’ll turn from a roaring beast into a bashful, docile kitten, almost visibly rolling and basking in the warmth of compliments. It’s this weakness which is the Waterloo for many a stem, autocratic Leo. His vanity is his Achilles’ heel. Flattery acts like catnip to him, lack of respect blinds him with rage and both extremes make him incapable of balanced judgment. There are some Leos who control these tendencies successfully, but they’re always latent in the Sun sign and present to some degree.
Try it sometime. In the middle of receiving one of his lectures, interrupt respectfully and tell your Leo friend he looks positively magnificent in that sweater. The result will probably be an abrupt fall from dignity, as the lion blushes and says, completely disconcerted, “Really? You really think I do?” In most cases, appreciating the intellect works as well as complimenting the appearance.
Leo just can’t help feeling superior and behaving dramatically now and then. One of my children has an August-born teacher. She came home from school one day to say, “Mother, my teacher is so funny. He’s awfully smart about everything, but sometimes he runs around the room and waves his arms in the air and shouts, ‘I’m surrounded by idiots!’ We always giggle, because we know he doesn’t mean it.” Poor lion, even the children know his roar is worse than his bite. It’s only fair to remind you that you may stumble on one who has an afflicted Mars or Mercury with, say, Scorpio rising, and then the bite will be more serious, but we’re speaking now of the typical cat In many ways, Leo is extremely astute. Hell seldom waste his energy trying to get water from a dry well, as Aries often does, which makes him a superb organizer and a wise distributor of duties. His commands are surprisingly effective when he tones down the dramatics, because he can be a master of the simple, straightforward speech, even if it smacks slightly of theatrics. Leo expresses approval generously and openly, and can give almost embarrassingly extravagant compliments. He’s not at all bashful about his displeasure, either. Whatever he says, he usually means. It can soothe or burn, but it never fails to leave an impression.
The regal ways of this Sun sign are splendid when the Leo man or woman is host or hostess. They make you feel you are being entertained in a royal palace. You keep expecting to see a coach and footman pull up outside the door at any moment to drop off Marie Antoinette, or, at the very least, Nell Gwyn and Madame Du Barry. Leos surround their guests with heaps of superb food, fine wines, beautiful women, and soft music. I must admit I do know one lion with strong Virgo planets in his natal chart who serves diced cucumbers sprinkled with herbs, parsley and wheat germ at parties, but the other trimmings are luxuriously leonine, always including the feminine guests. Such pulchritude! Louis XIV never had it so good. But after Louis XIV the deluge-and after many a Leo’s romantic dancing and dining comes a deluge of proposals, passion, tears, anger, apologies, and just plain sentimental confusion.
Now that we find ourselves on the subject of romance, which is a pretty common place to find yourself when you’re involved with the lion, either in person or on paper, we should note that you won’t find many bachelors or spinsters born under this Sun sign. If you come across one, don’t form a definite opinion until you’ve discreetly checked the closet. There’s usually a paramour hiding nearby any lion’s lair. He may not be married when you first meet him, but he’ll be in love, or just about to be, or hell have recently broken a romantic shackle, and will be wearing a pathetic, lost look. The fiery pride of Leo causes plenty of shattered love affairs and marriages. A lion minus his mate is usually a woeful sight to behold, but when his pride has been injured by a lover or a legal mate, he can drop his sad-eyed look and become pretty fierce and wild instead. Still, there’s no one who can bear more in stoic dignity, or adjust more courageously to depressing conditions with sheer faith and optimism when it’s necessary.
Since forgiveness and sympathy of spirit are part of the big cat’s inner nature, the reconciliations are about as frequent in Leo’s emotional life as the splits, once the fireworks of outraged dignity have sputtered out and he gets lonely. He’s almost continually in the throes of passion, not just with the opposite sex, but with life itself. Life without love, to both lions and shy pussycats, is like a plug without a socket. The Sun forgets to shine for them when romance dies.
These men and women never lean on others. Instead, they prefer to be leaned on. Responsibility toward 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. Accepting financial aid is something he especially prefers to avoid. Though he may be broke frequently, he’s always certain he’ll find some way to line his pockets again soon. Very few Leos are cautious with cash. You may find an occasional one who was frightened by a bill collector at an early age, and behaves as if he’s headed for debtor’s prison any moment. But the typical lion is a spectacular gambler at heart, often wildly extravagant; even the rare cat who pinches pennies will dress expensively, and always look well turned out. He wants first class and luxury all the way, and he’ll spend freely on fun and pleasure. Leo will give money to almost anybody. If he’s asked for a loan and he’s short of cash, he’ll often go out and borrow it from someone else before admitting that the King isn’t in a position to help his needy subjects. That’s a last resort, however, because Leos are mortified to be forced to turn to others for money, advice or encouragement. They have enough ego to supply their own encouragement, they’re clever enough to accumulate their own pot of gold-and goodness knows they don’t seek advice readily. One seeks advice only from those above him, and who is superior to the lion?”
***To Be Continued*** (from Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs)