The symbol for Leo, 5th sign of the zodiac, is that of a looped hook. It is a lion’s tail and represents the path of the Sun, which is lower in the sky at this time of year. Ruling planet: the Sun. Season: Summer. Element: Fire
Leo – Cosmic Lion Cubs
What a delight, you have your very own adorable, fun loving Cosmic Cub. You’ve certainly got a Prince or Princess on your hands and they won’t want you to forget that. A little bowing to their higher majesty will keep them happily looking after the peasants in their lives.
These are the Kings and Queens of the Zodiac, with the Sun, the centre of the solar system, their ruling planet.
Just as the Sun takes centre stage in the solar system and is the giver of all light, so are these little cosmic limelight stealers. They just love to be the centre of attention and to feel that they’re the centre of your universe.
Your little Cub has earned his or her right, the moment they were born and don’t ever try and take it away from them, or try and take them off that pedestal. They belong up there and they were born to shine. Your job, as a parent, is to make sure that all the creativity, colour and magic in your little Cosmic Cub, can find its way out.
Your little Cub has so much pride, that the way to hurt them the most, is to hurt that pride. Even when they’re taking themselves far too seriously, never laugh at them, just keep them close to you and make sure that they know that they’re Daddy’s little princess and Mummy’s knight in shining armour.
Your little Cub’s hero is Hercules, deity behind this sign. Hercules struggled with his own strength and achieved success by harnessing his own talents and skills. Your little Cub belongs to one of the most talented of all the signs and from an early age is likely to display a talent, even if it is to just whirl around the living room, singing out ‘watch me everybody, watch me dance’.
As your Cosmic Cub grows up, let them experience opportunities to find their niche. Let them be the guide, for there’ll be a talent in their somewhere, trying to come out. Don’t hinder that, or decide what it is. It’s god given and it will come out naturally, at the right time and at the right stage. All you’ve got to do, as the parent of a Cosmic Cub, is to keep that confidence strong.
Leo’s energy is one of love, laughter and play, yet Leo’s can have their dark times, especially when they fail to come up to their own, really high expectations.
You’ve brought a little ray of sunshine into your home and the light will grow stronger by the years. Everything about your Cosmic Cub is creative and fun.
Love them and watch how they develop and continue to surprise you. Just when you think you know them, they’ll grow and develop even more. They’re going to grow up to be the Lovers of the Zodiac, the great romancers. Your Cosmic Cub will thrive when there’s lots of open love and affection between his or her parents.
Leo – The Constellation
In the constellation of Leo, we meet the Nemean Lion that Hercules encountered in one of the most well known of all his 12 tasks. By the time of the Roman Empire, there were no lions in Greece, so it was assumed that there weren’t any. However, in ancient times lions did roam the countryside, but by Roman times they had been hunted into extinction.
Hercules was the son of Zeus, by a mortal lover by the name of Alcmene. As usual, Zeus’ long suffering wife was jealous of Hercules and of her husband’s adultery and so submitted Hercules to terrible ordeals. At one point she drove him mad and in that state he murdered his own wife and children. To atone for his sins he went to the oracle at Delphi who ordered that he must perform twelve, almost impossible tasks, in order to redeem himself.
Thus, he set about to do what he could and take responsibility for his actions, regardless of what or who caused him to act that way. The most famous of these was the slaying of the Nemean Lion, an enormous beast that was terrorising the neighbourhood and depopulating it of people. It couldn’t be killed because its hide was impenetrable to iron, bronze and stone.
Hercules tracked the lion down, covered in blood from that day’s kill. He first shot arrows into his hide, but they simply bounced off. His sword simply bent and his club slipped on contact with the lion’s head. In the end, Hercules used his intellect. He strung a net over the entrance to the cave, and then when the lion was asleep, crept to the back of the cave. He then frightened the beast who ran at the entrance to the cave, only to be trapped within the net. Then with his bare hands Hercules strangled the lion and killed it. With its own claw, he ripped the skin from the carcase and used its skin as protection for himself, making him as invincible as the lion itself.
The story of Nemean Lion is one of accepting responsibility for your own actions, despite what course and triumphing by using your own skills, not any outside aid. This is true courage. A similar story is found in other cultures, particularly in that of Gilgamesh, the Babylonian Sun God.
The lion is the most proud and passionate of all the beasts. It is the king of the beasts, just as the Sun is king of the solar system. Since ancient times, long before the Greeks, the lion has been a symbol of masculine power, rulership and divinity. Even to this day, buildings of importance are adorned with lions either side of the door, or protecting the gates.
On the Ninevite cylinders, Leo the Lion is depicted in conflict with a bull, this is an ancient and archetypal symbol and represents the victory of light (Sun) over darkness (Moon). In the predawn of civilisation, religion was lunar based and feminine. At some point that switched to male domination and solar based religion.
Throughout the ages, the constellation of Leo the Lion has always been connected with the Sun.
One story says that the Lion lived on the Moon and that he descended to earth one day as a shooting star. The Romans depicted the Lion as conquering death itself. The Chinese thought the lion took on human form and fought alongside them in their wars, only returning to the mount of Buddha Wen Shu, when victory was won. In Buddhism, the lion is the defender of the law. Hindu beliefs say that he is the destroyer of demons.
The Sun moves through the constellation of Leo at the height of summer and represents the abundant generosity of nature and life itself.
Much of the characteristics of Leo, come from the beast itself. The lion is the most majestic of beasts and in the animal kingdom he reigns supreme, but it’s within its own environment that we find its characteristics. Lions are large, strong and fearless as well as being the deadliest of all the animal kingdom. Even humans bow down to its majesty.
Lions are social animals. They are also ‘family’ orientated, living in prides which are made up of related females, their cubs and one or two males. The females do almost all of the hunting, while the males defend their territory against other males. Note, I said ‘other males’. They don’t defend their pride against other animals that may harm them, rather other males that may try and take their place within the pride. Male lions are defensive and guard against other males, building up a trust with one or two other males, all of whom know their place.
On the other hand, the females are lethal hunters. With powerful jaws, claws, teeth and muscles. They can bring down an animal that is larger than themselves, especially when the girls of the pride gang up together.
The male lions spend a lot of time making sure that they look good, for one of the main drives within the Lion family is that of procreation. A male lion leaves the pride when it’s around 3 years of age. Once they reach mating age they’re seen as a threat by the existing adult males, so leave before this happens, to establish their own pride. Once they find fertile females, a male lion will allow one or two males in, not out of good will but to ensure the chance of reproducing. For reproduction is what Lions are all about and successful reproduction is dependent on the males ability to hold the pride together. All this sounds excessive, until you realise that it is estimated that it takes 3,000 copulations to produce one cub that survives infancy.
Leo – The Planet
Leo’s ruling body isn’t a planet at all, but the Sun itself, giver of all light and life. It’s the largest object in the solar system and if all the matter in the solar system, including planets, moons and asteroids were put together, it would only make up .2% of the total mass, with the Sun composing the remaining 99.8%.
As well as heat and light, the Sun emits a stream of particles called the solar wind, which roar through the solar system at 450 km/sec. When these solar flares come near earth, they have a dramatic effect, in the form of power surges, radio interference and in the form of beautiful and stunning ‘aurora borealis’.
The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. It will continue to radiate for another 5 billion years, with its luminosity doubling in that time. Eventually it will run out of hydrogen fuel, but not for billions of years.
Leo – The God
The God that is most often associated with the Sun is Apollo. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, the ‘goddess of the night’. As a baby, he wasn’t nourished on his mother’s milk, but nectar and ambrosia. He grew to manhood with amazing speed. He was still a newborn baby when he threw off his swaddling clothes and stood, in all his manly glory.
The smith god Hephaistos gave him a bow and arrow and with that he set off to find a place of sanctuary. He chose a gorge that was inhabited by a female serpent (Python), sent by Hera, to destroy Apollo. He killed the serpent and made the gorge his sanctuary and called it Delphi. This is the famous oracle of Delphi where Hercules himself went to have the massive weight of guilt lifted from his shoulders.
At birth he was given the gifts of prophecy, music and knowledge and it was to the oracle of Delphi that many of the gods came for guidance and prophecy.
Once a year, in the autumn, he left Delphi and travelled to the mysterious land of the Hyperboreans, where he could enjoy eternal light, for Apollo could endure the dark days of winter. In fact, he was the enemy of darkness. He also had the power to lift the burden of guilt and shame from men, driving away illness, sadness and internal shadows.
Leo – The Season
Leo is the middle sign of the Summer Triad, so is a fixed sign. Here, summer is at its height and the days are long. The earth is dry and often parched and the air itself is sometimes too hot to breathe. Energy is sapped and it is hard to work, so manual duties are light. The harvest will come next month. While the Sun is in Leo, it is a time to have fun, play and celebrate.
Nature itself is celebrating in an array of colour. Everything is full and ripe. The fruit will already have been picked, if not it will be lying plump upon the trees and vine. It is a time of enjoying the bounty of the land. Food and wine are abundant. With no hard labour needed, it’s a time to party and celebrate. Dances and celebrations took place in the home and this was when couples had the time to court.
Finding a mate was important during this time, for once the Sun moved on into Autumn and then winter, survival itself depended on banding together in a family unit. Love was in the air and so was optimism and warmth. Leo is the sign that rules conception, with a lot of ‘baby making’ going on while the Sun is in Leo.
Anne Macnaughtan/Forecasters © 2004