Everything You Need to Know About the Leo Personality

“Your acoustic melody moved me to tears.”; "Did you bake these churros? They’re heavenly!”; “I’m bringing a photo of you to my hairstylist.” Leo soaks up words of validation like a parched houseplant. They’re nourished by affirming laughter and require a frequent sprinkling of applause. When they’re given the attention they need (ahem, deserve), Leo lights up a room. Just be careful not to neglect the fragile creatures (think: ignoring their texts), or they’ll wilt dramatically onto the floor. Learn more about your Leo loves and how to keep them thriving here.  

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You sun sign: Leo

Your element: Fire. Whether we’re lighting a pumpkin-scented candle or sitting in front of a raging bonfire, we can’t help but stare into the flames. Fire demands our attention, and the strong-willed signs born under this element—Aries, Leo and Sagittarius—are equally captivating. They’re quick to inspire and quick to act. They don’t just daydream about their next mural or spend weeks planning out color palettes. They grab a brush and start painting.

Your quality: Fixed. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are planted firmly in the middle of each season. They’re steadfast in their to-do list approach to life and resist any sudden tweaks or write-ins. Fixed signs have the same best friend they did in 4th grade. They listen to albums in consecutive song order. And they can’t stand when you switch up the restaurant ten minutes before your reservation (they already memorized that menu, damnit).

Your ruling planet: The sun. The celestial light-bearer represents the energy we radiate out into the world. This is why we look to our “sun sign” to understand our outward ego and personality. No matter how much we load up on SPF, the sun makes its presence known, casting down it’s bright beams and wrapping us in its warmth. And like its cosmic ruler, Leo doesn’t go unnoticed. You can’t miss their booming laugh, purposeful gait and bold sense of style. 

Your symbol: The lion. Slinking around their vast kingdom, the lion’s duty is to lead and protect their pride (yup, that’s the real word for a group of lions). Leo shares the stoic cat’s loyalty, bravery and if you’re not careful, their grand displays of aggression.

Key phrase: “I will.”

Your one-word mantra: “You.” (Read every zodiac sign’s mantra here.)

Best traits: Spend five minutes thumbing through an astrology meme page and you’ll cast Leos as the raging egomaniacs of the zodiac. But in life outside of Instagram (remember it?), Leo’s purpose goes beyond staring into a mirror. Instead, they’re fueled by generosity. The solar-ruled signs want to make others light up, and they’re equipped with creative gifts to make it happen. They’ll write a folk song that speaks to your soul, make you feel at home with a warm stack of pancakes, or deliver a speech that reshapes your political views. A fulfilled Leo is one who’s able to see their positive impact on people. No “thank you” necessary.

Worst traits: Strong and self-reliant, Leos prefer to pave their own way. They’re spearheading the charity bake sale, training for a 5K or starting their own dog-walking business. But the fire sign’s independence isn’t always a good thing. Leo finds asking for help shameful, as though their achievements won’t count if others have chipped in. And they’re not crazy about being told what to do either: A shard of constructive criticism is enough to puncture their thin skin and send them spiraling like a deflated balloon. But Leo can learn something from their opposite sign: the kooky, community-centric Aquarius. Their motto: Forget personal recognition, if we can’t come together to serve the common good, what’s the point?

Best careers: Actors, artists, athletes, politicians, podcast hosts—Leos are the masters of self-expression. If they’re talented at something, you’ll know about it (think: volunteering first at karaoke or starting a blog to showcase their travel photography). If they can infuse these gifts into their careers, they’re thrilled. (If not, they’ll probably start a YouTube channel). Leos are idealists determined to leave their tangible mark on the world. No matter the field, they’ll find a way to lead and inspire. 

As a friend: If you value honesty, bring a Leo friend into your circle. They’ll alert you to the piece of kale wedged between your teeth and, just as easily, tell you it’s time to cut ties with your insufferable girlfriend. And they’re looking for pals they can trust return. Leo is the life of your house party, delighting the crowd with their stand-up comedy-level storytelling and effortless dance moves. But the loyal sign is also by your side cleaning up cocktail glasses and confetti after the guests have said their goodbyes. Supportive Leo is gifted in the art of motivating their friends. Expect TED talks on the reasons you deserve a raise, inspirational quotes flooding your inbox and plenty of heartfelt compliments. 

As a partner: Leo likes their romance over-the-top and dripping with diamonds. And not just because they enjoy basking in lavish surroundings. Leos need to know they have your undivided attention. Their partner must swear their fealty (in the form of love letters and longing stares) before the fire signs can drop their emotional armor. Once Leos are sure they’re not wasting their time, they make playful, affectionate mates. Leo relationships are filled with inside jokes and red-hot passion. 

As a parent: Leo’s cubs are the center of their universe. The alphas have a strong instinct to spoil their kids, whether that’s with their world-famous hugs or a collection of the latest stuffed animals. Leo’s child-like enthusiasm drives them to join in on their kid’s playtime. They’ll help mix up a slime concoction or jump into a backyard volleyball game (though they might spend 45 minutes teaching everyone how to serve). Leo will boast about their children’s many achievements to anyone who will listen: neighbors, dentists, the cashier at Target. Family is Leo’s ultimate source of pride, and they’ll do anything to gain their kid’s admiration. 

A trait no one realizes: Leos put their famous acting skills to work when they pretend to be unaffected by life’s disappointments. They mask their embarrassment when they’re outvoted in student government. They laugh when a friend insults their new tattoo. Behind the mask, Leos are sensitive souls who care too much. But clueing you into their vulnerability would give you way too much power. 

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