zodiac seasons

Your Guide to Leo Season

Notable Leos, clockwise from left: Whitney Houston, Kate Bush, Hedda Sterne, Lorna Simpson, Isabel Allende. Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty

After the intense emotionality of Cancer season — which can sometimes get to be too heavy, too vulnerable, too much — Leo season offers some relief. Where Cancer season asks you to reflect, to feel, to delve into your inner world, Leo season opens the door outward again, inviting you to embrace creativity, action and drama. Where Cancer season is all about the dreamy silver moon, Leo season is about the energy of the sun: golden, bright, impossible to ignore.

From about July 22 to August 22 every year, the sun is in its natural home of Leo. While there, it offers us an energy that’s bold, authoritative, and confident. Leo is a fire sign, and fire is the element of action, motion, and creation. Leo’s energy tends to run hot and bright — happy to shine and perform and receive attention, unafraid of drama and unafraid to be extraordinary. Leo’s energy is unafraid, too, of fun. Lucille Ball’s clowning in the candy factory: classic Leo energy. So is Lisa Kudrow’s show-stealing silliness on Friends. So is Jessica Williams’s shining, high-energy enthusiasm on 2 Dope Queens.

Even if you’re someone who’s typically happiest doing the kind of behind-the-scenes work that’s unlikely to lead to fame, you might start to hunger for acknowledgement or attention — even praise — in Leo season. It might feel frustrating or unfamiliar, but it’s not a bad thing to want to shout your own name from the rooftops once in a while! It’s worth demanding the recognition you deserve.

While Leo’s confidence sometimes tends toward the performative, it can be regal and authoritative, too. With the combined power of the sun and the fire element, Leo is a sign that’s happy to take charge. This doesn’t necessarily mean commanding or ruling over other people. It can mean that, of course, but it’s as likely to mean taking charge of the energy in a room, or taking control of a false narrative and bending it toward the truth, or taking command of your own life.

At its best, Leo season can offer the freedom you need to express yourself fully, to be yourself truly, to move through the world the way you’ve always wanted to. This could look like signing up for singing lessons, or changing your name, or painting a big sign and marching in the streets. It might look like wearing all the colors you’ve been told were too bright, or making all the art you’ve been told was too much. Leo season can also give you the confidence to say no, to loudly, energetically, whole-heartedly resist anyone who thinks they have the right to tell you what to do. This is a time for refusing, with all your strength, to be pushed around.

For people who feel more naturally contained, emotive, or intuitive, all this Leo energy can be tough! Leo season can feel like a time when everyone in the entire world, including yourself, is vying for the same few scraps of attention or admiration or respect. If you’re accustomed to putting other people’s desires ahead of your own, it can be weirdly difficult to value your own identity, your own creativity, your own need to be seen. Seen from a certain angle, self-assuredness can look very similar to selfishness.

But Leo’s brash confidence exists alongside a beautiful warmth and generosity. The whole point of taking charge isn’t just to make sure your own needs are met, but to lead everyone else to the good life along with you. In Leo season, standing up for yourself and your needs won’t make you selfish. You can resist being bossed around without becoming hardened or isolated or cold.

When Greta Gerwig, a Leo, directed the prom scene in Lady Bird, she wore a prom dress too. She didn’t appear on camera — she didn’t have to wear that dress. It wasn’t a costume, but something else — a way to create a mood, a feeling, an environment of generosity and camaraderie. It was about refusing to be told what a director needed to be. During Leo season, your courage and confidence can you back to yourself. There’s space here for courage, and for generosity, and for sweet fun, too.

Your Guide to Leo Season