Persons born between July 24 and August 24, or those who have this sign rising at birth (which can be ascertained only through a knowledge of the hour of birth), will come under the dominion of the fiery, fixed, executive and magnetic sign Leo, symbolized by the Lion, which is ruled by the Sun, the “Giver of All Life.”

As the Sun is the center and archetype of his entire system, the native of Leo is the most complete and balanced representative of humanity. All his faculties and proportions are in just equilibrium and harmony, and this is particularly the case in his physical appearance. The Greeks instinctively recognized this, making Apollo and Hercules the adolescent and adult types of Sun Gods, the models of manly beauty.

The typical cranium is neither too long nor too broad; the brow is brave and clear, with the frontal lobes well developed. The hair is usually blond, sometimes reddish. The eyes are fearless and commanding in expression, with sometimes a trace of haughtiness. Leo natives are keenly observant when in action, but often seem to sink into themselves as if they were preoccupied with their own thoughts. They are frank and challenging, seeming to regard every new person upon whom they fall as a possible {55} enemy, but for all of that, they are immensely good-humored. The natural color is florid. The forehead is high and broad. Premature baldness, especially frontal, is very common. The nose is well formed, neither too large nor too small; as a rule it is straight, though there is sometimes a slight tendency to aquilinity. The mouth is small and well shaped, firmly held, but not pursed. The chin is more square than pointed, and the planes of the face have the characteristic flatness of the cherubic signs. The only deviation from the Greek ideal is the general shape of the face, which is square rather than oval. The body, which in youth is rather elegant, settles down towards the end of its period of growth into a robust type; activity hardens into strength. The limbs are well proportioned.

There is usually what is very generally recognized as a leonine expression in the physiognomy, and also a similar suggestion in the breadth of shoulder and slenderness in hips and flank. The passive aspect of Leo is not distinguished from the active in any such way as we have noticed with Cancer. It is merely a degeneration of the noble type. Indeed, this extreme diversity of type, which characterizes certain signs, appears to be due to some conflict in the nature of the planetary influences that affect them. Leo is a perfectly straightforward sign, with a harmonious ruler. There is no incompatibility between the Sun and the elements of fire, and there is no planet exalted in the sign to create a second type. The exaltation of Jupiter in Cancer may logically be considered as the cause of the markedly superior characteristics of the active type in that sign, since the ruler of the sign is herself passive.

A degenerated Leo is very easy to recognize. The expression is more of the bulldog than the lion. The complexion, which in the noble type is clear and rosy, is usually dark and flushed, with a heavy grain; the whole face is pinched and pursed and wizened; all the salient strength of it seems to have been removed. The body is much smaller and weaker, but may sometimes tend to grossness and heaviness. The fighting spirit of Leo is present, even in these bad types, but it degenerates into quarrelsomeness.

The constitution of Leo is exceedingly robust in all respects; not only nerves and muscle, but the vital organs of the body are highly developed and exceedingly well balanced in function.

The recuperative power is immense. The native is perhaps susceptible to malady, but no sooner is he sick than his whole vitality seems to come to his aid and he throws illness off with great rapidity. Many apparently serious disorders will prove to be merely functional derangement. The Leo native is sometimes rather easy to alarm with regard to the condition of his health, but he rapidly regains his courage and fights even the most serious disease with confidence. Leo rules the heart and back, and sympathetically the circulation, the throat, and organs of generation. Disorders affecting these parts will be easily aggravated when the system becomes depleted.

He should try to rise above any sorrow he may have, for if he nurses it, it will have a very disorganizing effect on his health. His heart is both his strong spot and his weak spot, for his vitality is so enormous that he sometimes exaggerates it, and puts too great a strain upon his powers. His heart is particularly liable to dilation {57} and hypertrophy. The later condition is indeed rather characteristic of the Leo native and may be considered normal unless extraordinarily marked. Diagnosis of it should not alarm the physician unduly.

The moral character of the native of Leo can best be understood by those who have made an intimate study of the rites of the Sun God. He is the royal and tragic figure, intensely conscious alike of his glory and of his fate, and possessing infinite confidence in his resurrection. He thus represents humanity in its royal and sacramental sense. He bears constantly within himself this subconscious knowledge. The typical organ of Leo is the heart. The Leo native has not perhaps the analytical understanding of the Universe which we shall find associated with Aquarius. His understanding is subconscious, but in one respect he excels even the native of Aquarius, for not only does he regard all life as one, from century to century, but he perceives it as a sacred ceremony of a wholly divine character. Of course, in the ordinary type, this amounts to little more than the exercise of the three cardinal virtues, Faith, Hope and Love, but in the greatest types there is a perception of the entire Universe as an eternal feast, an endless pageant of joy, in which suffering is but an incident necessary to emphasize the reality of happiness. Adversity is needed to bring out true sweetness of character, and it is only in the climate which has a touch of frost that the fullest flavor is found in fruit.

The character of the Leo native is bold and confident, his carriage assured and his mien lordly. Most other types spontaneously respect or fear him, and he makes a great {58} many enemies through their instinctive envy. Here we come back once more to the symbolic figure of the Sun God, who is slain through the envy of his brethren. Leo produces fighters rather than workers. As a general rule, they have not nearly so much capacity for continued effort as natives of Taurus. They do not fight the uphill battle so well. They are more easily wounded. This applies also to the fighting qualities – the buffalo once roused to battle is a much more terrible opponent than the lion. The pride of Leo rather hampers him, even in fighting; he wants to fight with knightly weapons. He dislikes details. He has not the capacity of thorough preparation for war, such as has been shown by the Germans. He cannot prepare industrially, or develop an elaborate system of spies. He likes to go into battle with his flags flying and his bands playing. His nature is extraordinarily noble; he detests the mean, the base, the underhand, and in a conflict where these qualities are essentials of success, he is sometimes rather a failure. For another thing, he values glory more than material benefits. He does not wage commercial war; he desires universal empire. France, which is ruled by Leo, illustrates this spirit. It is interesting to note that the first Napoleon had the Sun in this sign.

The appeal of Leo is always to the ideal. He is singularly slow to comprehend baseness, and imagines that if he founds his arguments upon great principles, justice and humanity and righteousness, he must necessarily succeed. He does not at all realize that most people decide questions by considerations of material advantage. For another thing, he expects the question to be considered from all angles, with reference to the past and the future, {59} and to general propriety, whereas people in reality calculate the petty expedients of the moment. Leo also errs through his generosity and faith in others. It is partly the pride of the Leo native that makes him think deception impossible. He himself not only tells the truth but acts directly and frankly without subterfuge or concealment. He is the easiest of all men to deceive, and even when he discovers his betrayal, he is too noble to take revenge. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” is a typical attitude of this type.

Leo himself suffers acutely and is, perhaps in consequence, extremely sympathetic with the sufferings of others. The idea of revenge or even of punishment is entirely foreign to his nature. He understands so well the heroic and tragic destiny of humanity, with its inherent quota of misfortune, that the idea of inflicting additional pain is revolting to him. He loves mercy rather than justice. He understands clearly that error, in whatever sphere, must certainly produce a corresponding result, but he would regret the fact, and he would certainly refuse to aggravate the situation by the deliberate infliction of a penalty.

One might draw an illustration from the character and quality of Bismarck, who had Leo rising. It was his aim to consolidate the German-speaking people, and he did so in a comprehensive and royal manner, brooking no opposition; but he would probably have let France alone had it not been for the recrudescence of the Napoleonic position in its worst form.

Napoleon III had nothing of the Napoleonic qualities. He was weak, fussy, petty, ambitious without the real stuff of ambition, and he aroused {60} the just alarm of Europe by his apish emulation of the exploits of the great Corsican. But when France lay in ruins, entirely at the mercy of her conqueror, Bismarck opposed the policy of annexation. Having beaten France fairly, he had no wish to humiliate her. He would have preferred to leave her territory intact, and by the exercise of generosity, lay the foundation of a permanent friendship. That he was overruled has been Germany's misfortune and danger from that day to this.

It will indeed be a bright moment for humanity when it comes to understand that two blacks do not make white, or two wrongs a right; that “forgive and forget” is a better rule than “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Europe lies in ruins to-day because Bismarck's generosity in 1871 was above the level of thought of his contemporaries. Material consideration and sympathy both belong to all time.

Leo is somewhat prone to anger and to excess of pride. He is excitable and, however good his qualities may be, when they are in the slightest degree overdeveloped or let loose, they become fatal. Restraint is always necessary for Leo. His tendency to expansion is his greatest danger. He should learn above all things “to walk humbly and with his God.” In extreme cases, megalomania is not at all infrequent. An unrestrained Leo means arrogance, but, despite the superb self-confidence, when opposed effectively, he is apt to find himself suddenly without resource. At this moment, he will remember his tragic destiny and turn at bay, determined to die fighting. These qualities are less useful than the patience and perseverance of Taurus. On the other hand, they are much {61} better than the similar qualities displayed by the two other fiery signs.

Leo is the airy part of fire; the fire in its full strength and well balanced; and further, Leo is a cherubic sign. There is, therefore, a robust and persevering quality, but it lacks the solidity which some earthy force might have conferred upon it.

Leo, feeling his royalty as he does, is much too inclined to expect everything from others as his natural right. He takes the attitude that everybody should pay him tribute and that he is a very fine fellow to return a fraction of it in the shape of gifts. The commercial idea is entirely absent from his mind. He constantly bemoans the ingratitude or disloyalty of others, who happen not to do immediately whatever he may require of them. Has he not conferred upon them the inestimable benefits of his smile? He is easily accessible to flattery, and is offended if warned that it is insincere. It is so obvious to him that the statements are true that he cannot believe that the person making them is otherwise than sincere. He will admit that that person may be praising with the idea of getting something out of him, but that is excusable; it is quite natural – is not he the dispenser of all favor? It is right that inferiors should expect his bounty. The lion is very easily managed by the jackal, as AEsop is at pains to point out. The lion despises that mean beast, and is often very angry with him, but in order to restore himself to favor, the cunning animal has only to remind the lion, in the height of his rage, that he is the king of beasts and must not expect too much from a poor little jackal.

In matters of money, Leo is generous and expects {62} generosity in return; he cannot understand any kind of pettiness. When he thinks of money, he thinks in large, round sums. He never thinks of money for its own sake and the thought of sordidly hoarding it disgusts him. He likes to possess it, recognizing that it is useful as a force, especially for the higher purposes of life.

The native of Leo is often eloquent, both in speech and writing. His appeal is invariably frank and direct, and it is addressed to the heart rather than to the brain. He rather despises dialectical skill. He tells the truth, but is inclined to exaggerate, to boast, and shows a tendency to dangerous optimism.

The Leo native gets on well with his family as a rule, owing to his goodness of heart. In a sense, he may be said to be domesticated, but he insists upon being the center of any circle. His family must revolve around him; however humble may be his station in life, he makes himself the king of a little court. Sometimes the effect is unpleasant; beggars on horseback rarely manage their steeds well. The desire for adulation is exaggerated when the outside world refuses it, and some of these people consequently become tyrants in the home circle. They expect everything to be done for them, not from laziness but from a desire to exercise their rights as they see them. They feel constantly obliged to prove their position. This only occurs when life goes rather hardly for them; when it goes well, they can hardly conceive that anyone might ever challenge them. It does not matter much to them whether they are at home or abroad, so long as they have a sphere in which to shine.

In the matter of love, Leo is noble and rather conventional, but he is usually somewhat unfortunate, on accepted {63} ideas. His one thought is to give himself to the uttermost, and his sense of his own value is so great that he cannot conceive of any person favored by the offer declining to accept it. When accepted, he is at the same time too lax and too exacting. He is likely to spoil the other party, and he feels ridiculously wounded when he finds neglect or ingratitude. These may not even exist, but he expects so much that he attaches quite absurd importance to the veriest trifles. He is not fickle, but he is at heart polygamous, feeling himself such a big personality that he could easily keep a dozen planets revolving around him and shining by his light.

The quality of the love of the Leo native is what literary people call normal; that is, it is the romantic, chivalrous idea that appeals to him. It is very likely to degenerate into sentimentality. The ideal has been expressed by Mallory in his “Morte d'Arthur.”

It is impossible for the Leo native to harbor a grudge. The clouds which hide the Sun are but temporary, and besides, they do not belong to him, but to the earth whence they are born. It is significant to observe that such clouds are generated by his own excess of heat.

The Leo native likes danger and adventure because they seem to him to ennoble the passion. He has a certain power of maintaining illusions, even after discovering them. His faith in his ideal leads him to overlook the faults of his inamorata. This also is vanity. Leo rules not only the physical heart, but also the love nature. It is most necessary that one born strongly under the influence of this sign should have a normal outlet for his emotions, as he is very dependent on affection. In fact, his desire for praise and approval may tend to become an {64} exaggerated ego, or “exhibition complex.” It would be well for this type to remember the old adage that “He who has the greatest authority seldom shows it.” The Leo native should avoid giving way to “fits” of temper and to over-exertion, because of the ill effects they may have on the heart.

People with Leo rising have no sense of moderation in their labors, and are rather in danger of killing themselves with overwork. When filled with enthusiasm, they allow themselves no rest. “It is better to wear out than to rust out” is their motto. They understand the joy of life to the full. “A short life and a merry one” is much nearer to their ideal than a long and sad one; they are miserable only when they feel that time is being wasted.

In dealing with servants, the tendency is to be generous and somewhat lax; but they are very severe if they fail to receive what they consider proper respect. They have the power of kindling loyalty and enthusiasm, and they are exceedingly sympathetic and considerate, but their good-heartedness puts them at the mercy of deliberate malice. They find it difficult to believe evil of anybody, and even on discovering disloyalty, though they may be swift to punish, they bear no malice. They are open-handed in giving presents, not only to servants, but to everyone with whom they come in contact. However, they bitterly resent any demands on them, any assumption that the other party has a right to favor. They are, in fact, very anxious to put everyone in his place and keep him there.

What has been said about love applies very much, paradoxical as it may seem, to marriage. The Leo native is inclined to take the sacramental view of marriage. He {65} is extraordinarily loyal to his own idea of an oath. His word, his honor, these are the most sacred of all things to him. If he swears to “love, cherish and protect” a woman until death part them, he holds himself to his vow. |However worthless the woman may prove, it often makes her seem the fitter subject for his protection. Where divorce become absolutely necessary for some reason or other, he will allow his character and his material interests to be sacrificed in order that he may feel that he kept his oath rigidly to the last.

Self-satisfaction is a very characteristic trait of Leo, and the pleasure which he takes in contemplating his own generosity lasts him throughout life. The Leo native is often misunderstood, for there is hardly any action that cannot be set down to two wholly opposite motives,and selfish people will often accuse this native of selfishness when, to himself, he appears to have been the very soul of magnanimity.

The capacity for business of the Leo native is apt to be weak owing to lack of interest. Only when his imagination has been strongly excited can he expect to make marked success in this department of life. In the conduct of public affairs, the same characteristics have play. This native never departs from the kingly attitude. His selfconfidence enables him to make up his mind very quickly, and no argument really shakes him, though with a lordly graciousness he may allow himself to appear to be convinced. It is necessary for him to smile on every one, to seem acquiescent even when most resolved upon resistance. Arguments fail to reach him, because he is sure of his own righteousness and truth and there is no more to be said on the subject. Arthur James Balfour, {66} who has the Sun in Leo, is an excellent example of this manner. When Chief Secretary for Ireland, night after night confronted by eighty angry men in the House of Commons – “Irish wolves howling against the Moon” – he would sit as if half asleep, rise when necessary and proffer exquisite nothings in reply to the most detailed charges. He never changed his policy in the slightest degree.

In matters of state, generally speaking, this native is bold and sagacious, always obviously ready to fight for his principle and thereby often avoiding the necessity of fighting. Bismarck, with Leo rising, and Napoleon with the Sun in Leo, are great examples of this temperament. In science, philosophy, and religion, the Leo native is, as a rule, sound and practical, but his comprehension is passionate rather than intellectual. The greatest men of science are not found with this constellation rising. Every progress implies a disturbance of balance, and Leo is always harmonious with the totality of things.

The sign is capable, however, of two methods of advance, both of the highest importance. The first is that it possesses the power to generalize, to bring up to date in perfect arrangement and beauty the sum of all knowledge, extracting the heart of it and making it manifest. Such a step is real progress in no mean sense of the word, for it is the constant tendency of the pioneer to advance in specialized direction but to lose touch with the general situation. Every business needs occasional auditing; to attempt to judge of its prosperity by details is to go hopelessly astray. A giant example of the faculty of summing up is found in Balzac, who had Leo rising. Leo revolts instinctively from the accumulation of petty detail, {67} realizing that it is often impossible “to see the wood for the trees.” The other point in which Leo excels is that of sheer creation. Such creation, however, is not that “genus de nova” kind which pertains more to Neptune and Uranus than to any other sign; it is rather a resurrection in glory of a dead body. The Renaissance was a characteristically Leo creation. It was Paganism come to life, renewed in beauty and immortality, and it is significant that it had its birth in Italy and France, both ruled by Leo. This quality is in strict keeping with the traditional mystical significance of the sign. Those shallow Athenians who are always clamoring for something “original” often look with contempt upon the creations of Leo, as if it were something wonderful that truth would continue to be truth. “There is nothing new under the Sun”; there are only unfamiliar combinations. It is the kaleidoscopic beauty of these that produces the effect of new creations by crating new impressions. There is nothing eccentric in the operations of Leo; the sense of beauty is intensely keen and the love for it overwhelming, but balance is always kept by the innate instincts for harmony. It is part of the general normality of the sign.

But as the Sun at high noon is on the edge of his decadence, so the native of Leo always finds danger in the moment of his glory. His reputation is likely to suffer sudden reverse. Leo children are warm-hearted, overgenerous and sympathetic. They are inclined to be rather boastful, concerning not only their family, their friends and their belongings, but also their achievements. The fact that anything belongs to them makes it, in their eyes, the best in {68} the world. They are vary unhappy if they cannot be first in a game, a contest, or in the esteem of their playmates. Unless this is tempered by good judgment, instead of helping the Leo child to happiness and success it often proves to be a stumbling block, as their associates resent their air of superiority and tendency to “show off.” Teach them to realize that if they have done anything worthy of praise or merit, others will recognize it and it is not necessary for them to “blow their own horn.”

One of the greatest weaknesses of the Leo-born children is their desire to dominate others; so they should be mad to realize, even as children, that others also desire freedom. They will be happiest when they feel responsibility, or are in a position of authority. A free expression of their emotional nature will be absolutely necessary in order that they may be at their best, either physically or mentally. Their natures will be very rhythmic, and if they show any particular talent it will be well to have it cultivated, as they would have executive ability, more especially along musical or artistic lines. Praise and appreciation are necessary for the younger Leo-born. If they are found fault with, they become very irritable and indifferent.

They are quick to detect inconsistencies, and these not only confuse them but are unpardonable in their eyes,. Because of their powers of observation, it is necessary to be very precise or literal in making promises or in stating facts. While this is more or less necessary with all children, it is especially marked in the case of the Leo-born, for children are often wiser than the average adult realizes.

Again, because of their keep observation, they are inclined {69} to imitate more quickly than do most children the examples of those around them, which makes it imperative that their parents or guardians set them a wise example by being polite, kindly and attentive. Because of their love of adventure and their tendency to idealize everything about them, it is necessary to give strict attention to their early training, to the books they read and the companions with whom they associate.

Children born under the influence of Leo are naturally robust and have great endurance. They are likely to suffer if held down or not given an opportunity to work off all their physical vitality. People born from the 22nd of March to the 21st of April, when the Sun is in the fiery, magnetic sign Aries, and from the 23rd of November to the 23rd of December, when the Sun is in the fiery, intuitive sign Sagittarius, are naturally sympathetic and helpful to those born under Leo.

Because their characteristics are complementary, they are good partners to the Leo-born, matrimonially or otherwise. If too intimately associated with those born from the 21st of January to the 20th of February (Aquarius), 21st of April to 22nd of May (Taurus), or 24th of October to the 23rd of November (Scorpio), Leo people will find it necessary to avoid being too dictatorial, stubborn or conceited. Such an intimacy might result in the native of |Leo becoming too irritable, impatient and dissatisfied. For this reason, people born under Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio, would not make the most sympathetic or helpful partners, either matrimonially or in a business way.

A period of about seven days – August 21 to August 28 – when the vibrations of Leo are merging in to those {70} of Virgo, and Virgo still retaining some of Leo, is known as the cusp. People born between these dates will partake of the dominant, splendid qualities of Leo, as well as the analytical and intellectual side of Virgo, or a combination of the two. As Mercury, ruling the mentality, and Venus, the love nature, are so close to the Sun, they, too, may partake of some of the qualities of the adjoining signs of Leo. This will account for some of the complex personalities so difficult of comprehension.

As will all the other signs, these deductions are drawn from the position of the Sun or Ascendant, and it is probable that some of the best friends of a Leo native may have been born under an apparently uncongenial sign. In such cases, the individual horoscopes must be consulted to discover what influences combine to produce the unexpected effect.

These indications cannot cover all the characteristics of an individual as he knows himself, as the influence of the planets must also be taken into consideration. A detailed statement or horoscope must be made to discover the whole truth. {71}

Previous | Astrology: Your Place in the Sun | Next


If you have found this material useful or enlightening, you may also be interested in


Ordo Templi Orientis, O.T.O., and the O.T.O. Lamen design are registered trademarks of Ordo Templi Orientis.


All copyrights on Aleister Crowley material are held by Ordo Templi Orientis. This site is not an official O.T.O. website, and is neither sponsored by nor controlled by Ordo Templi Orientis.

The text of this Aleister Crowley material is made available here only for personal and non-commercial use. This material is provided here in a convenient searchable form as a study resource for those seekers looking for it in their research. For any commercial use, please contact Ordo Templi Orientis.