Leo the Fiery Lion

leosymbolThe Oracle’s Library takes on the next zodiac sign—Leo. The astrological sign Leo symbolizes the heat of the mid-summer’s Sun with the entrance of the hottest days of the year—Dog Days. In ancient times, Dog Days were initiated by the appearance of the brightest star in the sky on the horizon, Sirius—the ‘Dog Star’. Leo is the ‘Lion’ in Latin—the fifth sign of the Tropical Zodiac. Leo spans from 120° to 150° on the Zodiac Belt, as it concludes the summer season with the fierce heat of the lion.

Leo Zodiac Sign Profile

In Sidereal Astrology, if you were born between August 16th and September 15th your Sun sign is Leo. This means the Sun transited through the constellation Leo at the given time of birth. In Tropical Astrology, the sign Leo is given to anyone born from the dates July 22nd to August 22nd.

Leo is the second Fire Sign that signifies the hottest days of summer—when animals take on the role of the lion and bask beneath the heat of the Sun. Other creatures are motivated by the appearance of Leo, and the warmth of the night seems as restless as the day. The tropical zodiac Leo is ruled by the Sun. Those born under the sign Leo are said to be lion-hearted—showing plenty of courage, loyalty and faith in the cause. The Lion is the most loving zodiac sign and will fight in the face of opposition to secure all that they desire.

For a more in depth look at the zodiac personalities, planetary archetypes, astrological aspects and twelve houses download a free copy of the first two chapters of Cosmic Astrology The Book of Answers Chapter 1 and 2 (I. Introduction to Astrology & II. Natal Chart Basics).

Myths and Legends of the Lion

Leo is among the oldest zodiac constellations to be named. In Greek myth, this great lion was featured as the first task in the Twelve Labors of Heracles. Leo the Nemean Lion was a fearsome beast with an impenetrable hide that could not be punctured by any weapon. Thus, Heracles was made to face the lion with his bare hands. Heracles wrestled with the ferocious lion until he managed to strangle the beast. Afterwards Heracles saw the use of such a thick pelt and used its own claw to skin it and wore the animal’s hide as a cloak of protection.

In the ancient world, the constellation for Leo had several names depending on who was asked. The Turks called him Artan, the Syrians Aryo, the Jews Arye, the Indians Simha and the Persians Ser or Shir, and all translated to ‘lion’. Babylonian astronomy named him “the Great Lion” with his brightest star Regulus the King Star also known as “the star that stands at the Lion’s breast.”

Stargazing the Constellation Leo

Leo is distinguished by many brilliant stars, although the brightest star Regulus the ‘Red Flame’ was often thought to rein in the heat of the summer’s Sun. Regulus is a blue and white star just over 77 light years from Earth. Leo is located between the constellations Cancer and Virgo. Leo also holds one of the nearest stars to Earth, Wolf 359 or CN Leonis—a red dwarf at just 7.8 light years away! Caffau’s Star found in Leo is another treasure. It has the lowest metallicity of any known star which makes it quite an enigma and remains one of the oldest stars in the galaxy still shining since its birth approximately 13 billion years ago. Leo also contains several galaxies with the Messier 66 Group to mark the Leo Triplet.

During November, the Leonid meteor showers can be seen born out of the constellation Leo. This particular shower is caused by the Comet Tempel-Tuttle and peaks at 10 meteors per hour on average between November 14th and 15th. Another minor shower occurs from January 1st to 7th. The head of Leo is shaped like the profile of the pharaoh’s head-dress and the tail-end draws a triangle in the sky. The constellation itself resembles the Sphinx looking westward. To spot Leo use the pointer stars of the Big Dipper and draw a line southward to meet the lion and Regulus at the lion’s chest. Leo is best viewed during early spring, and especially the month of April in the Northern Hemisphere.

Thank you for reading at the Oracle’s Library! Are you a Leo? Please comment and share your experience with the Lion.

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