Leo: Your Ultimate Guide To Understanding The Zodiac Sign

Born between July 23 and August 22, Leo is depicted by the majestic lion — brave and fierce. While Leos tend to exude the strength of a lion, they also demand attention, with a roar that stands out in a crowd. While this sign may be the vainest of the zodiac, Leos are as warm as the sun and do what they can to keep their friends and loved ones safe and cared for.

Leo is a fixed sign along with Aquarius, Taurus, and Scorpio — a collection of signs who live in the middle of the seasons in which they're born, Leo being the middle of the summer. This keen timing adds to their warmth and creativity and makes them a stable ally. Another benefit of being born "in the middle," much like a middle child, is that Leo is the balancer — Leo is the person to go to when you need something worked out, as they keep friend groups together and can always see both sides of a situation.

Like any sign, Leo has its positives and its negatives, and sometimes, one person's experience with this sign is skewed by their incompatibility. So, before you judge that overly confident Leo, let's take a look at what you should know about this powerful lion.

Leo's mythological beginnings

Western astrology named each of the zodiac signs after constellations, but where did the constellations get their names from? As far as Leo goes, this constellation is a reference to one of Heracles' or Hercules' (depending on whether you're reading Greek or Roman mythology) 12 labors. In one of these challenges, Heracles had to fight a lion that was said to be invincible because weapons couldn't kill it, and, while Heracles won the battle, the lion did put up a good fight and took one of the warrior's fingers. Heracles defeated the Nemean Lion with his bare hands by strangulation — no weapons needed.

The constellation was meant to be a symbol of bravery, one of the most prominent attributes given to those born under this sign. Fierce, brave, strong, and invincible are all descriptors of Leos, and their toughness comes from believing in themselves. Where some folks may see Leo as conceited, they're really just sure of themselves. 

Leo's positive traits

Leos have an infectious personality that brings life to a room whenever they enter — it doesn't matter where they are. Their bright personality glows like the sun itself, and their warm smile is contagious. Those who have a Leo on their side can attest that this zodiac sign has a warm spirit that makes those they love, admire, and care about feel as if they are important. For a Leo who is balanced and who exhibits positive traits, you can expect a person who readily helps others, is unlikely to beat around the bush, and easily sees the silver lining in any given situation. Although Leo would give the shirt off their back to help someone in need, they'll hand it over along with some honest and truthful advice on how to avoid the situation in the future.

Leos are loyal friends and lovers — after all, lions prefer their pack. Because you can trust Leos in your inner circle, they're often seen leading the pack and tend to have large groups of friends or, at least, acquaintances. How can anyone help but fall into the comforting and protective atmosphere of this strong person?

Leo's negative traits

An unbalanced Leo can have some fairly negative traits that make them seem less like the warm-hearted Care Bear Cousin and more like the hungry lion in the movie "Beast." When a Leo lets their self-confidence turn into pride, all bets are off. They become more concerned with themselves than helping the people around them. A Leo who isn't the constant center of attention and who wants to be may act overly domineering in relationships and try to control friends, family, and partners.

Leos can come off as arrogant at times, and sometimes they are — but their healthy self-confidence can also be mistaken as more than it is. Much like a hungry lion, Leos can have a jealous streak when they see someone else who has what they want, and this jealousy can get in the way of friendships and relationships. Their jealousy can also push them to be ultra-competitive — which can be both beneficial and harmful. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, but when that jealous nature gets in the way, watch out.

Leo is a fire sign

Leo is one of the three fire signs, the other two being Sagittarius and Aries. These fiery folks can be passionate or hot under the collar. Much like the positive and negative aspects of this sign, there are two sides to every fire sign. But what does it really mean to be a fiery Leo?

If you're a passionate Leo, you put your all into the things that mean the most to you, from your job and family to your hobbies and friends. You fight for what matters to you, fists blazing if needed. Your courage knows no bounds when you're all in on something. However, if you're feeling angry, you're a force to be reckoned with — you'd rather burn those that hurt you than listen to their excuses. Then again, a fire sign — especially one with the power of the sun, who doesn't let their feelings out and keeps them bottled up inside — is likely to either self-combust or explode, both of which have harmful consequences. 

To get the best out of your affinity to the flame, learn to find calm when the fire is raging, but don't snuff it out — that passion, good or bad, could fuel you to greater things in life.

Leo in the fifth house

Each house in astrology is known for a different aspect, and the fifth house, which Leo is born into as the fifth sign of the zodiac, is all about pleasure. Pleasure can mean many things to different people — just think of what you most associate with pleasure. For some, pleasure is what happens behind closed bedroom doors (or in other fun and exciting places). For others, pleasure comes from the joy of having a big or small family, from creating something out of nothing, or from fulfilling some long-sought-after goal.

What's most important to know about people with some attachment to the fifth house (whether you're a Leo sun, Leo moon, or a Leo somewhere else in your natal chart) is that they are creative folks who often have great ideas. You're the person people come to for help with any and all things visual.

The planetary aspects of Leo

Each zodiac sign has a ruling planet, and Leo's is the sun, of course. The warmth Leos have for the people they care about and the things they're passionate about originates from this planetary alignment. Without the sun, all things would cease to exist, and, thus, Leo is the sun that shines on everyone so they have a sense of authority. As a leader, it is important for Leo to feel authoritative, as long as you don't let that fiery confidence burn the people around you. If you're blistering hot, some people will move on to cooler temperatures, which can mean losing friends and employees, or finding yourself on the market again.

Leos radiate positivity most of the time, though, which is why others want to bask in your light. When you're dedicating your courageous attitude to helping, people will follow you to the ends of the earth. Just remember, don't let your ego get in the way of communicating with the people in your life, as this communication can keep things under control even when you're feeling extra spicy.

The best careers for Leo

We've already pointed out that Leos are natural-born leaders. These lions have charisma that helps them excel as managers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. You have the motivation to make things happen, though, if you push too hard, you could end up with employees who aren't a fan of having you in charge, though it's okay since you can't always please everyone.

Because Leos are creative, a career in the arts is a great idea as well. When it comes to entertaining people, Leo needs a career that puts them in the limelight — which means that an exciting career as an actor or actress is an excellent choice. You get to be in front of the camera, walk red carpets, and even give speeches when you win awards.

Remember when we mentioned that Leo is passionate about family? Their passion for people, children, and helping makes them wonderful candidates for jobs as teachers, motivational speakers, and mentors. If you are a Leo with some free time, consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen, as a Girl Scout leader, or anywhere in which you can spend time radiating warmth to people in need, whether they need help or someone to look up to.

Leo in love and friendship

As a Leo, you're wondering whom you would be best paired up with. Leo's top four romantic partners are Aries, Gemini, Libra, and Sagittarius. Two of those are your fellow fire signs, able to put up with your more heated moods. As for Gemini and Libra, they're both air signs, which may seem like a bad combo; since air feeds fire, it makes it grow stronger, which could make a fiery and angry Leo angrier — although, most often, these fun-loving signs help Leo ease up when they're too focused on work or themselves.

As far as signs to avoid, stay away from the water signs: Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio. These water signs are far too emotional for Leo. Even though Scorpio has a fire side all their own, this just makes the couple clash even more.

When it comes to friendships, while it may not be as important to find the perfect sign to complete you, six signs will ensure your friendships aren't full of disappointment. Air and fire signs are where you want to look when it comes to fulfilling friendships. That means you should spend time with Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Sagittarius, and other Leos. Air signs help you breathe, continue to move forward, and keep your imagination running wild. Other fire signs will understand your passion and your moods.

Leo in the Tarot

Every zodiac sign has a connection to one or more tarot cards. With the strong connection between astrology and tarot, knowing the cards that connect to your sign will give you an even stronger understanding of your spiritual self. 

While the main card for Leo is Strength, it's not the only one that has a little something to do with the lion. The Strength card depicts a lion on traditional decks, which is one reason it is Leo's card. After all, we've already discussed how strong you are. Another aspect of this card that screams Leo is the color — the bright yellow is warm like the sun. We also see the person stroking the lion's chin, showing a loving big cat. The Sun is another great card for Leo, since your ruling plant is that fiery ball in the sky. The Sun is a card of happiness and self-confidence, which are words often used to describe Leo.

Some minor arcana cards also reflect the fiery aspect of Leo, most of them in the wands, which are represented by the element of fire. Like Leo, wands are charismatic, warm, and energetic. 

The health of a Leo

The zodiac signs each rule over different parts of the body. For Leo, it's the heart. This means you want to give lots of care to your heart health, and you'll want to watch out for anything that's harmful to the heart, such as high blood pressure. To protect your heart health, pay attention to your weight and diet, and be sure to get plenty of cardio fitness. You also should be careful whom you give your heart to so you don't end up with yours broken. As someone ruled by your heart, you could be a candidate for broken heart syndrome if you lose your true love.

Another section of the body that is connected to Leo is the upper back — this means you may suffer from back issues, sore shoulders, and even headaches. If you're working in a position of power, you probably have a lot on your shoulders, which can add to your stress and pain. The best thing Leo can do for self-care, aside from eating a heart-healthy diet, is to visit a massage therapist on a regular basis to help keep tension at bay.

Which Decan of Leo are you?

A Decan refers to the different degrees within each zodiac sign, based on which part of the sign you were born in. Each Decan is 10 degrees, and your specific Decan separates you from the other Decans in your sign. Calculating your Decan can be done by looking at your birth chart, but, technically, if you were born within the first third of your sign, you'd be in the first Decan or the third if you were born in the last third of the dates of your zodiac sign.

The first Decan falls within the degrees 0 to 9. If you are in this Decan, you have Saturn as a partial ruler, which is Leo's detriment (the ruling planet of the sign opposite you, which is Aquarius). Saturn is a planet of authority and control. Because of this connection, you may struggle sometimes, whether it be emotionally or by butting heads with people in authority (just another reason for you to be the boss). The second Decan lies between 10 and 19. This Decan is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of confidence, making them the most charismatic of the Leos. That leaves us with the third Decan, between 20 and 29 degrees. The planet associated with this Decan is fiery Mars, a planet of conflict. Yet, this doesn't mean you'll always struggle — as a powerful Leo, you have the drive to get through the tests and find success.

Famous Leos

If you want to look at the lives of some of the most famous Leos out there, we have a few people for you to check out. These powerful lions are great examples of the charisma, creativity, strength, and success you can achieve as someone who falls under this zodiac sign.

Spicy Jennifer Lopez is one such Leo — we've seen her struggle in love, but she is a bold and powerful woman with a career in the spotlight — from acting to singing, she loves being in front of the camera and on the stage. Other acting Leos include Daniel Radcliffe, Elisabeth Moss, Helen Mirren, and Lisa Kudrow. J.Lo isn't the only singing Leo either. Other famous vocally talented Leos include Madonna, Mick Jagger, Dua Lipa, and Joe Jonas, just to name a few. We see Leos playing sports as well, such as Tom Brady. Some of them are famous designers, like Tim Gunn. So, even if acting or singing doesn't sound like a career option you'd enjoy, there are plenty of others to allow you the spotlight you deserve as a Leo.