The Leo Child
Astrology & the Child
Astrology is a very practical tool in raising children. It provides information that eliminates judgment and criticism of a child (and parent) and can inspire communication between the generations. The knowledge of astrology enables us to enhance a child’s potential and to understand their specific behaviors. We can allow them to be who they are and not what we, society, or schools expect them to be.
Leo is the sign of the child and rules children in general. While most children are naturally exuberant, playful, creative, and loving, these traits are magnified in Leo children. Their creativity often manifests in an interest in the arts. They find beauty in self-expression and should be encouraged to follow through on their creative interests. They are also very playful and may well teach their parents how to play again.
The Leo child moves like a cat — deliberate, graceful, powerful. They may have the lion’s prominent, high forehead and beautiful mane of hair. Also, like a lion hunting, the Leo child is very intense when striving to reach a goal. In order to achieve a seemingly impossible task, Leo children will display natural courage and willpower. And if the goal isn’t reachable, they can roar like lions in anger and frustration. This is a good time to hold them or appeal to their big, lion-like hearts (which break rather easily and need careful tending). Leo is always trying to tame the beast within. When Leo children feel their efforts have been thwarted, they can become self-centered and even cruel to those around them. But these same children have a great capacity to love others and are moved by a sense of goodwill. Parents can help by appealing to Leo children’s humanitarian impulses and praising them when they do the right thing.
Leo is ruled by the Sun, so Leo children are truly children of the Sun. They shine when they’re happy and burn like the Sun when they’re angry. They tend to have brilliant hair, shining complexions, and radiant smiles, and may need to spend many hours in the sun to remain happy and healthy. Dress them in bright glittery clothes and let their dramatic personalities show off in public. Leo’s willfulness is legendary, and Leo children may be fiercely competitive. Allow this since it is through competition and will that they discover who they are and where they fit into the world. As they grow older, that willfulness can change into goodwill toward others. In the story of the Labors of Hercules, the slaying of the Nemean lion symbolizes the transformation of will to goodwill.
Leo children can have an air of royalty. They may treat friends and family as loyal subjects on whom they lavish love, nurturing, and affection one moment, and become a dictator the next. In terms of nurturing, it can be a very positive experience for the Leo child to have someone to care for. A pet or younger sibling will help to develop the large Leo heart. In return, the Leo child expects to be lavished with praise. Leos learn who they are through praise. Often plagued with low self-esteem, they may not feel heard, appreciated, smart, or talented. The remedy for this is constant appreciation for what they do, and praise and recognition of their beingness. The Leo child internally asks these questions, “Am I doing the right thing? Did I do a good job? What am I good at?” It is through external praise and recognition in all areas of their lives that Leo children eventually find their way.
Leos are natural-born, charismatic leaders who may “fake it ’till they make it.” They often get what they want due to their magnetic personality, which convinces others of their abilities. With appropriate training and recognition, even the shy Leo child will take the responsibility of leadership and move into the public eye.
Leo children often feel an affinity to archetypal images and may learn in this way. They may be drawn to fairy tales, myths, legends, or folk tales, ancient storytelling techniques that teach important life passages. Leo children especially like loving and chivalrous characters who use bravery to help others. Read them stories such as Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave or East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon (the latter made into a film called The Polar Bear King ). Older Leo children will enjoy The Lord of the Rings, The Three Musketeers, El Cid, The Labors of Hercules, and Zena, Warrior Princess. Hercules and Zena demonstrate the archetypal Leo images.
Claude Debussy’s music brings to life the energy of Leo. Debussy strove to harmonize humanity’s relationship with nature. Afternoon of a Fawn is a piece children are drawn to.
The following are activities to do with a Leo child or with children while the Sun is in Leo: attend a play, the symphony, art museum, or dance performance; go to the beach or the park to play in the sunshine; see the movie Hercules ; volunteer with your children to do humanitarian work; sign them up for an art, dance, or drama class; read aloud from books on queens and kings, knights and princesses; have a weekly friends and family night when the children perform; play dress up with your children. Remember, they’ll remind you how it was long ago to play.