Loud and proud, brash and playful, with broad smiles and refined tastes, the Leo spirit and energy is one that adores taking centre stage – and has no qualms in doing so.
Even those big cats of the zodiac who tread a little more softly still showcase the same limelight-loving ways of their more outlandish cousins.
Yet beneath the bravado beats a sensitive heart and some surprisingly deep reasons for how these lions roar.
To help get you into their good books, here’s the Leo symbol and signs: a complete review, and 4 essential facts to help you cosy up to the king or queen of the plains.
What is the Leo symbol?
Ask this of a person born under this star sign, and they’ll beam with glee and tell you proudly. A mighty lion!
This majestic animal with its golden fur, regal mane, fearsome fangs and tremendous strength has been an inspiration to myth and folklore for centuries.
Lions inspire awe, fear and admiration in equal measure, and similarly, they make the defining Leo symbol because such people have similar personalities themselves.
Leo people are those who tend to draw everyone’s gaze at parties, who capture admiring looks in the street for their allure and dress sense, and who take great pains to ensure their hair, makeup or facial hair are beyond perfection.
However, the lion is also known as protective, mating for life and training the little ones in the ways of the hunt.
Leo people similarly place great reverence on their family and closest friends, and their partners become idolised and idealised – providing they extend the same devotion in return.
The Leo sign is one of complete loyalty, although pride comes before the fall at times.
In the wild, lions are animals that patiently pursue their targets in silence, but can show off amazing feats of agility, speed, and power once the chase is on.
Similarly, a Leo person is a force to be reckoned with when they feel motivated or inspired, and like their symbolic animal, they can summon up tremendous confidence and brilliance to get their way.
Likewise, the Leo zodiac symbol of the lion ensures that people born under this sun sign are tremendously ferocious when protecting those they love, and warding people away from what’s theirs.
Leo people work hard to do well in life, and won’t sit idly by while anyone else tries to freeload their way into the pride.
The sun is the larger than life ruler of Leo
Every star sign has its own ruling planet, and in some cases they share those planets with other star signs – only to be expected, when you consider that there are twelve zodiac signs but only eight or nine planets.
Nonetheless, the symbol for Leo shows both how these people want everything to revolve around them under their control, and how they love to have the lion’s share of what’s on offer.
That’s because the Leo zodiac sign is ruled by none other than the sun!
Leo is the only star sign with the distinction of having the very heart of our solar system as its ruling celestial body.
Some nitpickers and naysayers will argue that the sun is not a planet – and Leo won’t care. Like the sun, they burn bright and hot, and seem to have an endless supply of energy and motivation.
And whether we like to admit it or not, the sun is a superb symbol for Leo because more often than not, people simply do orbit around the Leo people in their lives like planets around an almighty star.
Leo has the charisma and natural leadership that draws admirers, followers and loyal friends, and keeps them caught happily in this gravitational pull.
The sun illuminates, inspires, brings justice and blesses the landscape with growth and abundance.
Likewise, the Leo lifestyle is one of style and extravagance, but also one in which he or she will happily give to friends and family, protecting and providing for them.
The glyph of the Leo zodiac symbol
Style and grace are as much a part of the Leo zodiac symbol as they are the people themselves.
From left to right, the Leo glyph curls around from a little circle up into an arch, before sweeping down and away into a flick.
Each star sign of the zodiac has a distinctive glyph in this way, meant to help astrologers when creating and reading birth charts, but also to be used in artwork, astrology souvenirs and zodiac tattoos.
In identifying the Leo symbol though, the obvious answer is that it is a stylised depiction of a lion.
Some say the rising arch in the centre is the mane, while other people say that the arch is the body and spine of the lion, with the circle being the head. Either way, the little flicking tail is as feline as it gets.
However, dig a little deeper and you will find that some common themes run through both the Leo symbol and other glyphs representing signs of the zodiac.
More distinctly, the representation of the closed circle, which represents contentment, fulfillment and completion.
These are very characteristic of what the Leo individual wants, with the community surrounding them also a figurative circle of great influence and interest to them as well.
Satisfaction and a life well led, preferably leaving a legacy behind, is very much how a Leo soul rolls.
The elemental symbol for Leo is fire
With the sun as their ruling celestial body in astrology, and with their warm spirits and burning passions, it makes perfect sense that the elemental symbol for Leo in astrology is fire.
Every star sign in the zodiac is ruled not only by a planet, as well as a symbolic glyph and a namesake constellation.
They’re also each attributed to a certain element – the twelve signs are divided in contemporary astrology among four elements, meaning that three each share a given element together.
Leo people are ruled by the fire element alongside headstrong Aries and adventurous Sagittarius.
Each of these star signs takes the attributes associated in astrology with fire, such as spontaneous ideas, endless energy, impatience for obstacles and a bright, confident personality.
But of course, each individual fire elemental star sign has their own aspect of the flame to bring forth too.
As far as Leo’s fire is concerned, it’s as much about warming hearth and home as it is sparking creativity and inspiration in others.
Furthermore, much as on a cold winter’s night, friends and family might gather around the fire to swap stories and jokes, Leo people have a playful streak that defines them beautifully.
These are born entertainers, keen to bring smiles to people’s faces.
Naturally, the vitality, energy and passion that fire represents is another Leo quirk that’s hard to ignore.
These people go after what they want with unstoppable and burning desire, and in the realms of romance, that’s doubly true.
A demonstrative, dramatic and feisty lover, the Leo individual is confident enough to make the first move and certainly not meek enough to back down if jealousy comes into play.
Once the fires of love settle, of course, Leo people seldom lose any lustre. Their soaring flames temper into a gentle warmth that can last a lifetime.
Find the Leo fortune in gold
Each and every star sign has a signature colour that brings good fortune and soothes their spirits.
While the likenesses to fire might make one imagine rich oranges and fierce reds for Leo, the royal nature of this star sign ought not be forgotten.
As such, it’s gorgeous gold that forms the Leo colour, and if you know anyone born under this star sign, it might not come as such a surprise.
These people often decorate themselves with finery and wear intricate or flashy jewellery.
However, it would be remiss to not discuss the ruby, the gemstone of the Leo star sign, as a big contender for a Leo symbol too.
Representing faith, confidence, solidarity and compassion, this gemstone beautifully captures all that makes Leos shine.
4 essential Leo facts to better understand the Leo symbol
1) Leo folks have a lazy side
For all their drive and motivation, and for all their seemingly endless energy, one of the big secrets of the Leo personality is that they have a very lazy and indulgent side.
Much like the lion that represents the Leo animal, who can loll in the sun for most of the day without complaint, a Leo individual can contentedly laze about with not a lick of shame.
During these intervals, Leo people will overeat, be disinclined to do anything too strenuous, and certainly grumble and bare their teeth at anyone suggesting they need to buck their ideas up.
Leo downtime is very important to them.
2) Deep down, Leo people are sensitive
With all their confidence, pride and bluster, Leo people come across as individuals who have everything completely under control.
Every trouble in life is met with a confident smirk, and even the most dreadful insults are swatted aside by a disinterested paw.
Yet the big secret to getting to know a Leo is understanding that these people are highly sensitive to being criticised and spoken ill of.
While they do say pride before fall, deep down Leo people are terrified that they don’t matter to anyone, or that their actions don’t benefit themselves or others.
Reassure them that all is well, and you’ll soon hear the big cat of the zodiac purr like a kitten.
3) Leo people are dramatic, but don’t get drawn in!
Shakespeare once said that all the world is a stage, and as soon as the people of the Leo star sign learned this, they saw the chance to be the star attraction.
You’ll find in dealing with Leo people that they tend to puff up their chests when talking about their triumphs, and emphasise their wounded pride when they slink out of life’s challenges in failure.
Every love affair is a seething hot whirlwind of passion and every challenge to their throne is a disastrous conspiracy in need of uprooting.
Caught up in the moment, these folks sometimes need reminding that their lives don’t have to be a constant barrage of drama and high strung emotions. Sometimes life is quiet – and that’s okay.
4) Leo people don’t mean to be self-absorbed
The deeper spiritual Leo meaning is of mastery of the self, coming to know the self, and ultimately using the self to become a force for good in the world, helping those around you.
It’s a noble goal, and noble certainly befits regal Leo people. Yet to other star signs, and even other Leo people, this characteristic can look remarkably self-absorbed.
Conversations with a Leo tend to revolve around their problems, their opportunities and their current thoughts and feelings, even if you’ve expressly sought them out for advice for your own life.
They don’t mean to do this – it’s just that they get so caught in their own heads, and so invested in leading their best lives, that they completely forget to check in with others the way other people find so naturally.
A gentle reminder, without trampling delicate Leo pride, is all that’s needed to course correct here.
The Leo symbol teaches us self-esteem
More than anything else, the Leo symbol of the lion, and the burning hot passions of this star sign, shows that the balance between oneself and the outside world is one of the great challenges of astrology.
If you’re trying to get close to a Leo individual, don’t be shy in letting them take the lead from time to time.
These born rulers love to call the shots, but sometimes need a loving hand to stop their pride taking them too far.
Be that person, and understand the Leo zodiac symbol of the lion deeply, and their loyalty will be everlasting.