Leo energy is associated with the lion, which is very apropos. Leos are loyal, royal, and confident. This energy is proud and bright, just like the sun that rules the sign. Leo energy can be happy, whimsical, and childlike (the sign traditionally rules children), like a marmalade- colored kitten, or noble and majestic, like the lion.
Leo is the sign of the Performer, of those who shine out from the crowd with personalities larger than life. This energy instills a self-esteem that makes the bearer feel like a typical house cat, preening and luxurious. After all, the sun is the center of the solar system, and that is where Leo feels most comfortable. The sun is the spring board of creation, of life on this planet. Leos are the lives of the party, the stars of the show, flamboyant and exuberant. If out of balance, they are demanding and pouty, and throw colossal temper tantrums, just like Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war. Ishtar was so angry that the hero Gilgamesh turned down her sexual favors that she had a wild bull sent to kill him. When Gilgamesh's companion, Enkidu, slays the bull and tosses the bloody hide into Ishtar's temple, she kills Enkidu (MythAstrology 152-153). The pride of this placement, and of those who have this energy, is not to be trifled with.
As the Performer, Leo brings joy to people by changing himself to fit his audience. His creativity is expressed by making people laugh, and by creating characters and scenarios. He is born for the stage, for the arts, for the microphone. If Leo energy does not call its owner to act, it will push him to express his exuberance in some other way that enables him to interact with people. This can be as simple as being known for his friendliness and openness.
Balanced Leo energy loves an audience, but unbalanced Leo energy cannot live without one. The unbalanced Leo energy causes its bearer to keep a mask on continuously, a mask that attempts to portray its wearer as perfect. Underneath the cultured regality, and/or the perpetually sunny exterior, there may lurk a deep insecurity (MythAstrology 22). The person may actually adopt Leo energy as a defense against these feelings of inferiority. This insecurity, instead of being handled in a healthy way, is a catalyst for an intense need to be the center of attention and narcissism.
When out of balance, the warmth of the Leo energy can be too encompassing. It can engulf and burn. It can turn into rage--not the berserker rage of an Aries, but the sly, "catty" anger that can sneak up on its victim and slice him to ribbons. It becomes a sense of entitlement, born from that hidden sense of insecurity.
On the other hand, when out of balance, the Leo energy can become cold. Laughter fades, and creativity becomes fallow. Curiosity vanishes. The flip side of the Sun is, as we all know, the Shadow. Leo sadness is as cold and dark as Leo happiness is warm and bright.
Leo energy, when it comes to love, is pure and childlike. Since Leo is aligned with fire, the energy is passionate and active. Arien energy, also aligned with fire, is physical, competitive, courageous, and adventurous. Sagittarius, also a fire energy, is philosophical, itinerant, blunt, and independent. Leo is glamourous, cultured, urbane, and charming.
A person with balanced Leo energy is friendly and inclusive, like the sun itself. Its energy puts a spring or a slink in a step. It seems to radiate from the person. Leos are full of curiosity and amusement. The Leo, in allowing herself to be vulnerable, finds that her insecurity goes down. In being open about her love for others, she will find that this wonderful Leo energy will grow and shine effortlessly, and she will find herself in her natural habitat--the spotlight.
Archetypes, People, and Animals associated with Leo:
Cats (especially Lions)
Actors, Comedians, Dramatists, and other Performers
Sun gods and goddesses, especially Apollo, god of the Sun and Performance
Cybele--an Anatolian Mother Goddess who became the Greek "Mistress of Animals", a Goddess whose worship included wild music, dancing, and performance
Colette--the 1920s French author and actress. Though she is an Aquarius (and has that archetype and energy) she is also very strongly a Leo.
How to bring in Leo energy:
1) Visualize yourself surrounded by the light of the sun. Imagine this sunlight pooling into your body, pouring into the top of your head (your crown chakra) and traveling down your spine into your heart. Feel your heart pump that warm brightness through your body. Let it relax your muscles. Feel your face muscles relax as you smile. Stretch like a cat.
2) Take a step toward being in the spotlight--tell a joke to a group of trusted friends. Tell a story about an adventure you had. If you ever had a craving to act, write, or make art, take a class.
3) If you are used to being in the spotlight, the next time you are with a group, encourage someone else to speak, and really listen.
4) Think about your favorite things to do as a child--fly a kite, run through the sprinkler, water color, put on shows. Do one of those things soon. Note how you feel afterward. Leo is the energy of children, and it will bring sunny joy into your life if you return to your roots.
5) Put on sunscreen and walk outside on a sunny day.
6) Meditate on your favorite animal. What qualities of the animal would you like to assimilate into your own personality? Carry a small charm or picture of the animal as your totem. Leo is a strong animal energy--very pure and noble, like the energy of children. Think of the lion's strength, the cat's contentment, the grace of the deer. How can you adopt these qualities?
By the way, MythAstrology is pretty much amazing and you should buy it.