The Sun moves into Leo today, July 22nd 2021 (14:26 UT) and, quite appropriately, the day has dawned under a flawless blue sky. The heat is rising and, like a cat, I’m looking for a cool place to spend the day. I know the Universe does synchronicity and my Leo son (Sun and rising sign) also called to tell me he’s now managed to re-schedule a summer break – so the day has begun with a Leo-flavoured coffee for sure.

Some of you reading this will also have the Sun in Leo. I don’t. I’m a Sun Scorpio and there’s nothing I like more in the midday heat than a cool rock to crawl under. Does that mean that Leo’s heat is something alien to me? Not at all. Like many of you I have a planet in Leo so – yes – I have parts of my psyche that benefit from Leo’s golden glow. And of course, the simple astrological truth is this. Every one of us has Leo in our life. Your natal chart contains all twelve signs and each one of them plays a part in making you who you are.

I’m currently working on a new book that explores the planets, signs and houses in your natal chart and yesterday I drafted some words on Leo that I’m going to share with you here. The book won’t be complete until later this year, but I want to put this draft text out there – and that’s a Leo thing. Every time we offer ourselves for scrutiny we make ourselves vulnerable because we have no way of knowing how our audience will respond.

So, if you’re interested in seeing how Leo works in your life? Read on…

Extract From Planets, Signs & Houses: Leo

Leo is the second of the Fire signs and is ruled by the Sun. It’s no surprise that Leo energy is designed to shine and it is, perhaps, the most vital of the Zodiac signs. Leo energy makes you feel good to be alive, in fact that’s it’s central purpose. A fixed sign, Leo represents the point at which we celebrate simply being alive and we want everyone to know it. Its energy is a joyous and creative response to simply being here on this Earth – and being a confident extraverted sign, that energy is focused outward. In other words, planets that are found in Leo do not hide their light under a bushel.

A quick diversion here. Leo is one of the signs that appears with regularity in my life (many of us will have noticed that we seem to collect some signs more than others) and I can count a solar Leo father, son, cousins, ex-mother-in-law, hairdresser, a sprinkling of Leo rising people (son, partner) and I have a Mars in Leo myself. What I will say about the things I have observed about Leo energy is this. It’s often dramatic, proud, self-possessed and is not averse to a round of applause. Like the Sun, Leo likes to be the centre of the solar system and any planet in that sign is going to do its best to be seen.

You may have noticed I often use an image to describe the archetypal energies that are associated with each sign. That’s easy with the fire signs and easy with Leo in particular, because that energy takes you to centre stage. So, there we have it folks – the actor in the spotlight, radiating charisma, emotional energy and charm, his words warming your heart. You cannot take your eyes away from the stage (or the screen) because you feel a certain compulsion to head towards the light. Leo energy radiates – and does so powerfully.

My Leo son has a friend, who is not a solar Leo (in fact he’s a solar Cancerian) but I would wager he has a planet in Leo somewhere. I checked. He does. Venus. As you may recall, Venus attracts and over the years this young man has been the centre of attention wherever he goes. People gravitate towards him. You may be asking, ’so what?’ However, one of the key points to be made about Leo energy is its gravitational pull.

As the Sun’s gravity holds the solar system together, planets expressing with Leo energy have a gravitational pull. They draw you in. Life revolves around them – not the other way around. ‘Here I am’ says a Leo planet – and you had better take notice.

And take notice we do. We have to as Leo energy will not be ignored, after all it’s the performative energy bar none. I’m going to explore the actor archetype a little further and begin by asking a question; how comfortable would you be under the spotlight? Many of us would shy away from being in the public gaze, but planets with Leo energy relish the opportunity to perform. It’s not that this energy is simply about showing off – though that is a facet of Leo energy that you’ll read about in a moment – and by no means are planets in Leo required to express themselves in public.

Leo energy simply encapsulates the basic human desire for self-expression and, at best, those planets in Leo will enable an authentic, genuine and heart-felt statement of how you experience the parts of your psyche that reside in Leo’s grand and well-appointed domain.

So how can we expect Leo influenced planets to perform? Running through the planetary cast list, a Leo Moon needs creativity, humour and sincerity to feel at home with itself. Leo Mars may act ‘theatrically’, or maybe Mars’s natural assertiveness is done with a sense of humour or in a dramatic manner. Venus in Leo will love attention and entertaining and Leo Mercury? Verbal and written expression may be humorous, witty and carry the warmth and generosity of spirit that is associated with the sign.

Performative Leo is not, however, something we switch on and off as we would a TV. You can’t put your Leo planets (or, for that matter, those in any other sign) back in a box when you feel like it. For many people with Leo planets that may seem like a tall order. Having to be ‘on’ the whole time may seem exhausting. After all, does it allow you space to admit to feeling nervous, scared or uncertain about what it is that Leo’s energy is asking you to be?

Anyone who ever trodden the boards knows that clenched feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you stand in the wings. It takes courage to bare your soul to the world. However, Leo energy reminds us that when the actor takes the stage, that courage enables something truly magical to occur, and that magical thing is to allow your heart and soul to be evident in all that you do.

Having to reveal your inner motivation – whether it’s in love, or in words, or by your actions, or  in satisfaction of your deepest needs requires you to say to the world, ‘this is who I am’ and that means your core vulnerability is on display. When – or if – we show our vulnerability to others, we hope they will treat us with kindness and respect and, most of all, appreciate us for who we are. For those under the influence of Leo, that appreciation means everything as it is essential to maintaining the will to live.

So, what happens if that applause is not forthcoming? Leo energy will always seek attention, and if it isn’t forthcoming then planets in that sign will act up or act out. Acting-up (or bad behaviour) and acting out (a compulsive response to emotional hurt) are two different things but, where Leo is concerned, I can’t help but feel that such behaviours originate in a similar way – and that is when the Leo show dies on its feet. There is a difference between the two, however, and I’ll explain it here.

When Leo acts out, it’s often because they have been under appreciated, unsupported or ignored. The planet(s) in Leo will suggest the part of the psyche that carries the wound. Mercury in Leo may feel that no-one listens or appreciates their intellect, so they compensate by being verbally domineering or overthinking issues. Leo Moon may feel their deepest needs are being ignored and, by being a ‘drama queen’, they will somehow get the attention they crave.

Whatever the issue is, we tend to ‘self-medicate’ or respond sub-consciously and that may be difficult to control. Acting up is a different matter. Conscious bad behaviour, ‘because you can’, is a choice you are motivated to make. Your reasoning may be adrift, but when, for example, Leo energy results in you choosing to be snobbish because you think you’re a cut above other people, or lazy because you think the world revolves around you and making an effort is for little people, then it’s no surprise that the audience is going to tune in elsewhere.

To avoid the pitfalls, my advice to those of you with Leo planets is the same as it is for everyone else. We make conscious choices to behave the way we do and if you’re expressing your Leo qualities in a way that’s closed the theatre – perhaps you need to take a good look at yourself in the mirror. 

Many of you reading this may not have a planet in Leo, but you will all have Leo in your chart, and some of you will have a house cusp in that sign. Leo’s influence on the affairs of any house in your natal chart colours the affairs of that house – and tends to do so in a grand manner. You may feel a sense of pride connected to the affairs of the house with a cusp in Leo.

For example, the cusp of the fifth house may indicate that you’re proud of your children (if you have them) or it may show that you have an almost child-like enthusiasm for a particular creative activity because it makes you feel that life is worth living. If the seventh house is ruled by Leo you may be attracted to dignified, creative and playful partners. Fidelity and trust is also likely be important to you – and for that reason you may put up with a partner who is domineering or overbearing and experience a less positive side of Leo coming at you through this house.

They are just a few ideas to play with but I suspect if you look at the house – or houses – in your your own natal chart, you’ll be able to identify a Leo imprint for certain. A preference for as grand a house as you can afford, or sunflowers in your garden? Fourth house. Pay a lot of attention to your hair? Hello Leo rising. This may be starting to sound like a game but the serious point of Leo is this.

Leo’s house is the place where you discover what it means to enjoy life and have a good time – and that’s the essence of a joyous and contented life.

© Sara Shipman 2021

Picture Credit: Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

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3 thoughts on “Leo: Love Your Inner Big Cat

  1. Interesting article. I have a Leo Sun, Mercury in Leo, and Uranus in Leo. You would never know, though. I am solitary, quiet and reclusive. That may be partly due to my (wounded) 12th house moon in Cancer, opposed by Saturn in Cap. Also, Moon conjunct the ascendent. The aspects associated with my Leo Sun also have a big effect – Pluto and Uranus both conjunct my sun. The Pluto especially is so dark and deep and seems to blot out the Sun’s light.
    I’ve also read that we have put in a lot of work towards embodying our Sun-sign energy, whereas the Moon with our rising sign is our instinctual response. I can sure agree with that! I am now working hard on trying to become less identified with my weepy, victimised Moon, and become more fully sunny Leo. Albeit with a Pluto/Uranus/Sun conjunction, an eccentric, mysterious deep, yet sunny Leo!

  2. Thank you for your comment Maliah. You are absolutely right, some of us do have to work hard at manifesting our solar traits, as it’s so easy to gravitate back to our lunar comfort zone – even if that’s an uncomfortable place to be. Growing into the Sun is a process we need to do consciously over time and, alongside that, we often have to consciously ‘parent’ our own lunar instincts if they refuse to let us evolve. Sometimes it’s like dealing with a kid’s tantrum… We always have the choice – to remain attached to the Moon or fulfil our solar destiny. I truly believe we ‘get’ our Sun sign the older we become – but sometimes it’s a real effort!

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