Leo is a zodiacal sign, which the Sun transits from approximately July 23 to August 22. Its name is derived from the astronomical constellation of Leo, which is Latin for ‘lion’. The myth of Heracles and the slaying of the Nemean lion is associated to the sign Leo. Driven mad by Zeus’ wife Hera, Heracles - a hero who was born from an illegitimate affair between the king of gods and the mortal Alcmene - kills his wife and children. In order to atone for his horrible sin, Heracles must perform twelve arduous labours. The first one is to slay the vicious lion that devours the inhabitants and the livestock in the city of Nemea. Once he arrives in Nemea, Heracles realises that the lion cannot be killed with his bow and arrows and he must therefore face it with his bare hands. The hero abandons his weapons and reaches the beast in its cave: here he strangles it to death with his arms and knees pressed against the solar plexus. People who are born under this sign are often driven by domineering instincts, but they can control them and they mend their ways when they realise they are wrong.
The city of Nemea is eventually free from the vicious beast: Hera, to remember the labour, puts the lion in the sky in the shape of a constellation. Many characteristics of people born under Leo emerge from the myth: bravery, the ability to face up to one’s responsibilities and the generosity in doing all they can for others. Heracles, once he kills the beast, wears its fur: in the same way, Leo born people can control their instinctive nature and curtail their primitive and egoistic urges in favour of more noble goals. They are born in the central Summer period, when the sun is warm and nature glows, therefore they are warm-hearted, sunny, imaginative and creative people, even if sometimes they seem egocentric and self-centred: as a matter of fact, the brightest star in the constellation Leo is called Regulus, Latin for ‘little king’. Among people who were born under the sign of Leo are French bold emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, creative Chilean writer Isabel Allende and American pioneering artist and director Andy Warhol.