Leo is the Queen of the zodiac. This sign likes to put on a show and be the center of attention. Yet, Leo does not want to shine just for herself. She likes to share warmth, light, and love to those around her. There is a bright joy to this sign that is quite infectious, and it is hard not to smile in the glow of her presence.
Leo by Season
In Western Astrology, the signs are not tied to the actual constellations. Instead, they are tied to the seasons. Each season begins with a Cardinal Sign, which starts at either the Solstice or the Equinox, deepens with a Fixed Sign, and ends with a Mutable Sign.
Because the signs are based on the seasons, it is generally possible to tell your Sun Sign by your birthdate. The approximate dates that the Sun is in Leo are between July 23 and August 22. These dates to vary by a day or so from year to year, so if you were born near the beginning or end of this time frame, you may need to have your Natal Chart calculated for the exact date, time, and place of your birth.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Leo is the Fixed Sign of Summer. This is when the Sun is shining brightly, and when most plants and flowers are growing quickly and reaching their full power. The job of Leo is quite simple, to grow and to reach for the Sun. The planting is finished and the harvest has not yet begun. While there is still watering and weeding to do, this is a time to enjoy life and the beauty that nature has to offer.
There not many holidays in the Western calendar that take place during the Sun’s sojourn through Leo. In a sense, this time is one big holiday and celebration. Filianism does have one Feast day during this time, however, and it is Chelanya, which is also known as the Golden Festival or the Feast of Regeneration.
This is a celebration of the first fruits of the harvest, as well as the mysteries of birth, death, and rebirth on the natural, human, and spiritual levels.
Leo by Element
Leo is a Fire Sign. Fire represents energy and the force of Will. Being Fixed Fire, Leo is the most steady and stable of the Fire Signs. This sign does not often seek adventures like the other Fire Signs, Aries and Sagittarius, but she does need to express her courage and valor from time to time.
Leo’s Dignities and Debilities
Even though the planetary principles themselves are always at their highest expressions, their reflections come to us in imperfect form through the planets themselves. All of the planets do better in some signs than in others. The relative strengths and weaknesses of the planets in each sign are known as their essential dignities and debilities. Below are the essential dignities and debilities for Leo.
Ruler – The Sun
The ruler of Leo is, naturally, the Sun. Everything about this sign is a tribute to the Solar. Leo’s natural state is bright and cheerful, and like the Sun, is generous and desires nothing more than to spread joy to others. Leo is often accused of pride and having a rather large ego, and of course, those are the negative traits of this sign.
Still, one cannot expect Leo to stop shining, any more than one would want the Sun to. At her best, Leo wants to help everyone else around her to shine brightly as well.
Exaltation – None
It is probably not surprising that Leo does not exalt any planet.
All three signs of an Element are ruled by their Triplicity Rulers. In the Dorothean system, the rulers of Fire are the Sun by day, Jupiter by night, and Saturn is the participating ruler. William Lilly also assigns the Sun to Fire by day and Jupiter by night. In his system, there is no participating ruler, however.
Detriment – Saturn
Saturn is a rather severe planet, and Leo’s exuberance is a bit too active and noisy for her. Yet, even so, there is no such thing as life without hardships of some sort, and one of the ways that Leo can shine is to overcome such hardships. Thus, Saturn does have some dignity in this sign.
Fall – None
Just as Leo does not exalt any planet, there is no planet that is in Fall in this sign.
In addition to the planets that have dignity in a sign in its entirety, there are planets that rule specific degrees of each sign. These are known as the planet’s terms or bounds. There are two main systems of the division of the terms, Egyptian and Chaldean.
Egyptian Terms for Leo
0 – 6 Jupiter
6 – 11 Venus
11 – 18 Saturn
18 – 24 Mercury
24 – 30 Mars
Chaldean Terms for Leo
0 – 6 Saturn
6 – 13 Mercury
13 – 19 Venus
19 – 25 Jupiter
25 – 30 Mars
Each sign is divided into three parts, known as face or decantes. Each face has a separate ruler. The faces of Leo and their rulers are:
0 – 10 Saturn
10 – 20 Jupiter
20 – 30 Mars
Leo and the Body
Leo rules the back and the heart. Those with Leo prominent in their chart need to be careful of their heart and their back. This is also the case if you have a Pisces Ascendant because in that case, Leo governs your 6th House of injury and illness.
You need to be especially careful of your heart if your Sun is in Leo. The reason for this is that the strong parts of your chart are the most dangerous. If you have a Capricorn Ascendant, you also must be careful, because Leo rules your 8th House of Death.
Leo in a Nativity Chart
When reading a Nativity Chart, most astrologers look first to the placements of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, which is also known as the Rising Sign. You can learn these by getting a Nativity Chart report from an astrologer, or by getting a computerized report for free from Astrolabe. Below are brief descriptions of how to interpret a Leo Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.
As the Sun is the ruler of Leo, this is the sign where she is most at home. In Leo, the Sun can shine fully and completely in all of her glory. Not everyone shows their Sun Sign in an obvious manner. Various factors can mute or overshadow the Sun Sign. Yet, it is rare for anyone with a Leo Sun to not be easily recognizable as a Leo! You have a sense of the dramatic and the exciting, and you know how to put on a show.
Leo Sun by Day
There is no stronger placement for the Sun than in Leo in a day chart. If you have a Leo Sun by day, you are able to spread joy and cheer wherever you go. Of course, pride is always a bit of an issue, but you wear it so well! It is also easy for you to manifest positive Solar traits, such as courage, generosity, and honor.
Leo Sun by Night
While a Leo Sun by night may be muted, depending on the sign of the Moon, it is hard to dampen the bright light of the Sun in the sign that she rules. You will still be full of life and vitality, and you will still have a deep desire to shine. Still, it may be more difficult for you to express your Leo nature as fully as you like, and you may have to wrestle quite a bit with your ego.
The Moon has a bit of a difficult time in Leo. While it is easy for the Sun to shine fully in Leo, the softer light of the Moon becomes a bit strained in this sign. The nature of the Moon is to nurture and to reflect the light of others. In Leo, the Moon can feel like she is not getting the attention that she needs.
Leo Moon by Day
This can be a rather difficult placement for the Moon. Your Leo nature may be hidden and unable to express itself, depending on the placement of your Sun. This could cause your Leo nature to become inverted and rather than pride, you may be subject to self-pity and feelings of lack of self-worth. It will be important for you to let your Leo side out to play every so often to avoid such problems.
Leo Moon by Night
If you have a Leo Moon by night, it will be easier for you to integrate the nurturing nature of the Moon with Leo’s desire to shine. You may be very good at entertaining children, for example. Your natural courage may come out in protectiveness towards those under your care.
With a Leo Ascendant, you seem extremely extroverted and it is easy for you to be “the life of the party.” On the other hand, depending on the rest of your chart, you may find this to be a strain as it could push you to be more social than the other parts of you are comfortable with.
Because the Sun rules Leo, the sign and house placement of your Sun will become all-important, as she is the Lady of your chart.
Using Whole Sign Houses, your Ascendant will also determine which planet and sign rule all aspects of your life.
Home – Scorpio
With a Leo Ascendant, Mars-ruled Scorpio governs your home and hearth. You are fiercely loyal to the family that you were raised in, and you will go to great lengths to protect it. You may have family secrets which you will guard as well. You are likely to know a great deal about your ancestry, and it is a source of pride for you.
Partnership – Aquarius
If you have a Leo Ascendant, you can face quite a dilemma when it comes to partnership. You want and need attention, but you find it hard to be attracted to those who give it to you. This is because Saturn-ruled Aquarius governs partnership in your chart. You need someone who is a bit aloof and not easily charmed. You want someone with whom you can take off your mask and come offstage. Yet, even so, your partnerships tend to be quite stable.
Career and Public Reputation – Taurus
With Venus-ruled Taurus governing your 10th House of career and public reputation, you are comfortable and relaxed when you are in public. People tend to see you as easy-going and friendly. You are able to accomplish quite a bit through charm, and people often want to help you advance in your career.