Individuality / Impact / Generosity / Directness / Nobility / Optimism
I am who I am
Leo’s ruler, the sun, dominates our awareness. Not timid, discriminating, or hidden, it is what it is and enables other things to be what they are – giving the warmth of life to everything, without diminishing itself. Each of us could, and Leo does, access that quality – of absolute self-confidence, beaming self-proclamation and benign bestowal. Solar strength is a primary power that is healing, light-bringing, direct, exuberant and strong, and speaks to us of sovereignty, splendour, and joie de vivre. Restraints are foreign to this sign; it is dramatic, excessive and warm, yet can be very self-absorbed. As with all fire signs, there is spontaneity, quick intuitive responses, vivacity, passion, drama, an appetite for attention and infectious ways of relating.
Leo is the centre – the nucleus that guides, manages and composes. Command falls to captain, boss, leader or king as one to admire and respect – one who embodies legitimacy, dignity and vigour with a tolerant, animated and noble nature. The lion is the hero in myths, whose courage creates an invincible manner, and the gift of uncensored will to rise above the commonplace; wherever mind triumphs over matter, there is capacity to do the impossible – through connecting with the heart and giving full reign to the creative force.
We each have an effect upon whatever we touch, and so contribute to the unfolding story of humanity. It is not a right, nor even a duty – it is an inescapable aspect of being alive that we have impact. So it is appropriate that we should be able to exert this influence consciously, optimistically and joyfully. Nature wants it, so it is in our nature to do it – and Leo, more than most, feels how energising it is to exhibit power of influence.
The lion cannot engage half-heartedly with anything – because that is not engagement. Involvement is full-blooded, rich, committed and incontrovertible. When it contributes something – then that’s what it is doing – nothing else. Life’s mysteries can only be penetrated with this level of passionate commitment – because the essence-nature of life is passion. To be fully realized, dormant qualities need to be awakened, and recognized, through integration within a community and engaging full-on with the situations at hand. Enthusiasm impels Leo fully to express uniqueness to the final degree of its vitality.
Notwithstanding this ardent self-expression, self-control is the greater achievement, particularly when the noble lion holds back its desire-impulse to attend to the needs of someone with lesser ability and strength. Courtesy is raised to the level of chivalry, confidence to the level of courage. When the matter is one of honour, then a high degree of spiritual maturity and wisdom is made known through knightly behaviour. Any prideful demonstrations of self-love can be interpreted as imperfect attempts to call up hidden resources – in order to sense and express the highest version of self – for the benefit of all.
Social stewardship is well conducted by these types, whose self-esteem is wholesome, and who are also responsive to community feedback. They not only display wisdom and integrity – they also have an irrefutable trust in the foundation principle of success and happiness – which is optimism. Through optimism we optimize – all benefit from it, it is self-sustaining and sustains others; no other life strategy brings such joyful happiness.
The Expressions of Leo
Leo 1 – 5
It is a joy to reveal what we feel, what we think and what we have learned. By doing so we encourage others to do the same for themselves, so a mutually supportive atmosphere of communal improvement occurs. There is buoyancy associated with this, and all the forces of nature conspire to validate the enterprises of those who trust in themselves. As we thrive, so we look to find others to share with, and seek recognition for our attainments and character. A healthy individual, who has been raised and nurtured within a supportive family, will find no need to compromise in order to find their place, and fulfil their dreams – and it is central and essential to the human psyche to be entirely free of inhibitions, and to brim with individuality.
There are some dangers of over-reaching, yet this speaks of our enthusiastic, imaginative willingness to be involved in anything the desire-nature conjures up. The evolutionary expansion of self takes place at the edge of reason, a dangerous arena of uncertainty that calls us to risk comfort in order to win adventure. The risk cannot be managed well by using either intellect or feelings alone; both are needed in mutual empathy – our feelings need to be understood, our thoughts embodied, so that conscious spontaneity can direct our lives.
Leo 6 – 10
The ‘push of the past’ and the ‘pull of the future’ are equal and opposite forces that need to be creatively handled in order to optimize our happiness. If we feel content with the way things are, then we may need to exert influence to maintain the status quo; if things need to change then we need to expend energy in the direction we choose. Either way, we have impact upon what transpires. Indeed, we cannot fail to have impact simply by being alive, so we need to honour that gift of living by creating outcomes that reveal who we are.
Wisdom guides us, and we are cautious not to surrender the known for the unknown too readily. Yet life has no meaning without involvement, and full participation in life is clear evidence of a confident soul thirsting for further experience. Any temporary loss of energy can be quickly restored – vitality is of itself a healing force, so that all opportunities to engage may be passionately grasped without fear of exhaustion. There are rewards for making the most of past experience; we learn a lot by observing the cyclical course of events, and can manage to avoid the pitfalls a second time. The knowledge and skills that come from such careful concern provide the necessary equipment to use our influence to deal competently with whatever comes up.
Leo 11 – 15
Some of us are lucky enough to come to understand that success itself is a personal quality, one which grows the more it is trusted. This is true of all qualities, and is the mystery of how to live well. Our open-handedness and open-heartedness are naturally expressed aspects of who we are, and they lead to a pleasing reciprocity. As we show our easy generosity of spirit, so we attract abundance, kindness and gentleness of disposition in the people we meet; we are treated well because we treat others well.
Leo 16 – 20
When the appropriate cause, and its time, is upon us, then we act with fullness, and we inspire others to rally round. We love to participate in shared events, and this exuberance has a profoundly warming effect upon others – so that it lifts the mood, and sponsors greater collective accomplishment. All around us we find others with whom we engage, and these co-participants in our adventures form the community to which we offer loyal allegiance and enthusiastic sponsorship. We readily acknowledge the mutual benefits between self and community. One rewarding outcome – of such an energetic directness and broad interaction with life – is that hidden knowledge is somehow revealed. What are seen as mysteries to some become working principles to us and we can piece together the secret mechanisms, which govern us all, into a comprehensible map of the nature of reality. Then it falls to us to help others understand; we take up the influential position of teacher and guide, thus inspiring others to deepen their own involvements with life and all its mysteries.
Leo 21 – 25
Sufism teaches us of two attitudes of activity and it takes a deep and impressive sensitivity of intuition to recognize which of these two attitudes to employ. The one, Rasul, is easy and flowing, where it is entirely appropriate to do exactly what we feel we want to do, so that the truly creative message of who we are is expressed and developed. The other, Abdullah, is a challenge – when the right thing is not at all comfortable; we are fundamentally tested, and by working with limitation we grow in stature and add depth of character.
In other words, there are times when the task in hand must be confronted and overcome, and times when it is better for all concerned for us to relax and let it all flow – when involvement is tantamount to interference. This is no small matter. It is an enlightened being who always knows when to act, and when to refrain from action. If we choose to act, then we act with full intention and the expectation of good outcomes. No lack of courage is shown, no absence of clarity – heart and mind are in alignment and completely committed to see the matter to its conclusion. Through this is developed nobility of being, a quality that earns and commands respect. People are inherently drawn to one who has dignified their life through the constancy of their appropriateness both to act and to exercise restraint.
Leo 26 – 30
It is a fundamental aspect of being human that we can make things out of thoughts. When these are divinely-inspired ideas, then the fruits of our enthusiasm are easily and abundantly made real in the physical realm. Thus does spirit become matter – through the agency of inspiration operating with dexterity and creativity.
We are guided by optimism to see the bigger picture – that when we trust in life, and trust in ourselves, we can look for, and expect, outcomes that sparkle and shine. There is no need for us to accept less than enough, to put up with a compromised version of our lives – this is the application and result of pessimism. From an expanded perception of life, all things have their place and time, and nothing is inappropriate – although a more blinkered outlook cannot see this. Pessimism is blinkered; it creates difficulties, and interprets challenges as problems rather than opportunities for growth. It is always helpful to look for the best in any person or situation – such an approach is a creative force for the good and transforms darkness into light, lesser into greater. We know we are good and deserving and we feel capable of rendering that into our life circumstances. The radiance of such confidence inspires others to do the same so that an energy vortex of spiralling trust in life is presented to the world.