Has anyone said to you lately, “Don’t do me any favors,” but dazzled you with an utterly gorgeous smile as he said it? You’ve been exposed to the big cat. Don’t worry, you’ll recover. What’s a little scorched spot here and there? It’s not at all unusual for Leo to display his arrogant pride and his sunny playfulness at the same time, which is why he gets away with murder.
Leo, the lion, rules all the other animals. Leo, the person, rules you and everybody else. (Yes, yes, I know he really doesn’t. But please don’t tell him. It would break his big, warm, egotistical heart.) It’s best to humor him. Then he’ll purr, instead of roaring and scaring you half to death. The lion alternates between being energetically gregarious and beautifully indolent, as he stifles a luxurious yawn. If you want to study the beast, hit all the bright, sparkling places around town. At least half the people you see living it up in style will be Leos. The shyer pussycats will be at home living it up. Leo hates the dark and boredom equally.
Leos have a strange effect on people that’s downright funny to watch. It’s hard to stand in front of the lion without drawing yourself up to full stature, stomach in- shoulders back. I really don’t know whether we peasants do this in imitation of the royal manner of the Leo we’re facing or to gather courage for a possible lecture, for they do love to give free advice. They have a knack for telling you with a slightly superior, condescending manner exactly how you should manage your life.
This love of teaching is why so many Leos end up as educators, politicians and psychiatrists. The exasperating thing is that they’re quite good at rationalizing things and smoothing out the wrinkles in your life. Too bad they can’t manage their own affairs with as much ease and finesse. Still, this is what makes the lion so downright lovable; his honest superiority and excellent abilities, incongruously mixed up with a terrible, transparent vulnerability of ego. The proud, dignified cat vulnerable? Yes indeed. He’s deeply wounded when you don’t respect his wisdom and generosity. To subdue him, simply flatter him. Nine times out of ten, he’ll turn from a roaring beast into a bashful, docile kitten, almost visibly rolling and basking in the warmth of compliments. It’s this weakness which is the Waterloo for many a stem, autocratic Leo. His vanity is his Achilles’ heel. Fattery acts like catnip to him, lack of respect blinds him with rage and both extremes make him incapable of balanced judgment. There are some Leos who control these tendencies successfully, but they’re always latent in the Sun sign and present to some degree.
Leo just can’t help feeling superior and behaving dramatically now and then. In most cases, appreciating the intellect works as well as complimenting the appearance. Surprising himself, when a real emergency falls on Leo’s strong shoulders, he’ll carry it lightly and never shirk his duty, helping the defenseless, protecting the frightened (though he may be twice as frightened himself inside), cheering the melancholy and tackling his true responsibilities with courage. This is the inbred Leo nature, which will shine forth after the playboy phase has been tucked away with his gaudy hand-painted ties and that guitar he used to play.
There’s no inbetween with the Sun-ruled. They are either dreadfully careless and sloppy or meticulously neat and orderly. They rather enjoy gossip, and they feel hurt or left out if something is going on around them they don’t understand. Leos are fixed in nature. It’s hard to sway them from a set path, though they can sway others with convincing oratory. They accumulate only so that they can distribute to others, once they’ve provided themselves with a glittering throne complete with a soft, feather pillow. They can show as much ferocious energy as a steam roller, and then be as sleepily lazy as the cat, stretching out and snoozing in the sun. When they work, they work. When they play, they play. When they rest, they rest. Most lions have an impressive genius for cheerfully delegating messy and unpleasant jobs to others, while they attend to important matters, like deciding who should be elected President and how the war should be won.
Leo is a fiercely loyal friend, a just but powerful enemy, creative and original, strong and vital-whether he’s a quiet or a flamboyant lion, for there are both kinds. He dresses in glorious raiment, appropriate to his colorful personality. We overlook his arrogance, his sometimes insufferable ego, his rather ridiculous spells of vanity and laziness, because his heart, like his metal, is pure gold.