When the lion arrives in the zodiac, they command attention. This is one sign who wants all eyes on them, and they’re very accustomed to getting what they want.
That isn’t to say that they’re all trying to hog the spotlight — beyond that regal exterior, there are hidden depths to Leo.
Leo is the fifth sign in the zodiac. In tropical astrology, it covers July 23rd to August 22nd. In sidereal astrology, it’s August 7th to September 14th.
This constellation is named for the Nemean lion, a beast slain as one of the twelve labors of Heracles. These were a series of penitent actions imposed on Heracles. He was the son of Zeus and Alcmene.
Zeus’ wife, Hera, tried to kill him ever since his birth. He managed to avoid this fate, but the jealous goddess eventually succeeded in driving him mad enough to kill both of his sons and his wife, Megara.
After recovering his sanity, he traveled to the Oracle of Delphi to learn how he could atone for the murders. There, the Oracle Pythia told him to go to his cousin, King Eurystheus. He was to serve Eurystheus for ten years. After that, he’d be given immortality.
The first task King Eurystheus set Heracles to do was to slay the Nemean lion. The lion was said to have claws sharper than any sword, and a hide tougher than any armor. Heracles attempted to shoot the lion with arrows, which bounced harmlessly off of him.
He only succeeded by stunning the creature with his club and strangling it with his immense strength. Heracles then skinned the lion (with one of his own claws, the only thing sharp enough to pierce his hide). Some say he turned this pelt into armor, while others claim that Heracles’ lionskin armor was actually made from the lion of Cithaeron.
The constellation of Leo wasn’t only recognized by the Greeks, however. In Egypt, it was named Knem and considered a very fortuitous sign. Its appearance coincided with the flooding of the Nile, which deposited nutrient-rich silt over the land and granted bountiful harvests the following seasons.
Leo is considered a fixed Fire sign. Its ruling planet is the Sun.
Leo Personality Traits & Characteristics
People born under the sign of Leo are bold, bombastic, and brave. They are fiery, passionate, and ambitious, but can be as gentle and playful as kittens.
They’re also excellent leaders, able to put in the hard work of earning respect. As showy as they may be, they’re certainly not all presentation — there’s plenty of heart to back it up.
On the other hand, this sign also has a reputation for attention-seeking and arrogance. These aren’t people who take criticism lightly, and can have a hard time not taking things personally.
Leo Male Traits
Leo men are confident and charming. When they walk in a room, they have an almost uncanny ability to get everyone’s eyes on them — which is just how they like it.
As lovers, they’re very warm and caring. As a Fire sign, they’re also extremely passionate. Unfortunately, they can lack some of the emotional depth of Water signs, so certain Leo pairings may feel that their feelings aren’t fully reciprocated.
When a Leo man pays attention to you, it can have an almost addictive quality. If that attention wanders, it can feel like being plunged into a cold shadow on a sunny day.
Living with a Leo can be very much like living with a lion. Leo men are protective and territorial over their domiciles. These homes are often lavishly decorated, too. This is a sign that loves beauty, ornamentation, and things that make them feel regal.
Leos need someone who can match their (considerable) energy. They’re intense people! Leos also don’t like to be ignored, and they absolutely hate to be mocked or criticized. As charming, boisterous, and playful as they are, self-deprecation often isn’t in their repertoire.
Leo Female Traits
Leo women are regal, poised, and stylish. Like Leo men, they often attract attention deliberately. They’re powerful and comfortable in their skins, and don’t put up with nonsense from anyone else. A Leo woman knows the value of her time, and woe to anyone who wastes it!
Like Leo men, Leo women are warm and passionate. If her partner is able to return her passion, they’ll be rewarded with a sensual, devoted lover for life.
A Leo woman’s sense of style extends far beyond her personal attire. Her home is guaranteed to express her personality, and be filled with beautiful, luxurious things. Expect a lot of gold accents — that’s the lion’s ruling metal, and the one most reflective of Leos’ fiery, sunny personalities.
Female Leos may be a bit sweeter and more patient than male Leos, but don’t take that the wrong way. They’re every bit as fierce as their male counterparts. This is a woman who wants positive attention, knows how to get it, and won’t waste her time on anything less.
Careers, Business & Money
Leos like careers that lead to fame. As much as they like having the money to buy nice, lavish things, they like attention even more. If they can parlay that attention into riches, so much the better!
The best careers for Leos may lie in showbiz. This is a sign that thrives as a lead singer, diva, prima ballerina, actor, or even social media star. Failing that, they may excellent public relations managers and spokespeople. If a career requires charm, wit, and style, they’re all but guaranteed to excel at it. This goes double for fields that are highly competitive.
This sign is also good at styling others. If they can’t be in the spotlight themselves, then they can send their sense of style there instead. They make wonderful makeup artists, hairdressers, fashion designers, and personal shoppers.
Leos like living lavish lifestyles, but what good is money if it doesn’t get you attention? Luckily for them, their ambition, charisma, and competitive natures make them a perfect fit for the stage and screen.
Love & Relationship Compatibility
Leos are known for pursuing their desires when it comes to relationships, but that doesn’t mean that they always pick the best partners. Some signs are much more compatible with Leonine energy than others.
Two Leos usually get along very well. They understand each other’s wants and needs, and won’t have a problem sharing the spotlight as a pair. They may be competitive with each other at times, but this is more likely to turn into an encouraging rivalry than anything else.
Leo and Gemini form a pretty solid pairing. Gemini loves fun, and their innate charisma is all but guaranteed to captivate Leo. Both Leo and Gemini like parties and being the center of attention, and both tend to be flirtatious. If either partner happens to feel a little jealous, they don’t have any problem turning that jealousy into very passionate making up.
Challenges may arise when it comes to home life. Leo likes things organized, when Gemini all but thrives in chaos.
Aries is another good partner for Leo. Those born under the sign of the ram are brave and ambitious, which Leo definitely vibes with. These are two personalities that complement each other very well. There’s also likely to be a lot of physical chemistry — these signs are both very passionate lovers.
One obstacle an Aries-Leo pairing might encounter comes from their desire to be in charge. Leos are the Kings and Queens of their domains, and Aries likes to be the one to lead whatever charge strikes their fancy. This can lead to the occasional power struggle as both signs try to be the head honcho.
Libras tend to be very drawn to Leos. Fortunately for them, this match also usually works out very well. Both of these signs like attention and showing off. While Leo tends to be the flashier of the two, Libra exudes class and refinement.
Some challenges will inevitably arise when Leo wants to make decisions. Libra prefers to explore every angle of a situation before settling on anything, and doesn’t appreciate feeling like they’re being strongarmed into a choice. This is one area where these signs can learn from each other.
Leos need people who will give them the adoration they desire, and who they can lavish their warmth and passion on in turn. This isn’t a sign for everyone — while many people will be drawn to the lion’s attention-getting nature, it takes a special person to stay basking in their light.
See also: Check out our full Leo Love, Marriage & Relationship Guide here.
Challenges & Obstacles
Leos thrive on positive attention. When they aren’t getting it, they may want to retreat to lick their wounds. Unfortunately for them, this means that they miss out on a lot of opportunities for growth — if criticism isn’t phrased very carefully, they don’t want to hear it. Worst of all, their tempers are nearly legendary.
This sign also has a reputation for laziness. They believe in fashionable lateness, and nothing can speed their royal procession along. This is a source of frustration for other signs, and can cause problems both at work and at home.
Lastly, Leos can be a bit sanctimonious. They tend to have a very “their way or the highway” attitude, and don’t brook any dissent.
Leos are a powerful presence, no matter where they are. They’re bold and stylish, and they can shine like the sun when they put their minds to it. All they need to do to find success is learn to treat criticism and dissent as a challenge, rather than an affront.