He’s got a smile so bright, it’s disarming—so very charming, you’ve hardly noticed the ruthless tactics he’s used to talk you out of the shirt off your back. Not that you wouldn’t give it. You’re happy to give him anything; not only has he convinced you that it’s in your best interest, but you’re just a little bit intimidated by him. Who knows what he might do if he doesn’t get his way…
Sound like I’m describing a psychopath? I am. I’m also describing a Leo. Fidel Castro, Bill Clinton, and Martha Stewart are all Leos. Interesting, right?
Consider these traits:
- Socially influential
- Immune to common stressors
These are not only common traits of Leos, but also a list of characteristics identified with psychopathic behavior! Allow me to mitigate your outrage, these are just a few of the many characteristics that successful leaders share and possessing a few of the same traits does not make you a psychopath; in fact, it has probably aided in your success. For instance, psychopaths are noted for their lack of empathy, yet surgeons are able to turn off emotions long enough to get their job done, and still connect to others on a human level.
There are many more positive traits possessed by Leos. Like their majestic symbol, the lion, Leos are straightforward. They feel no need to skirt around an issue or hide their true feelings—you can always count on a Leo to give you an honest opinion in the dressing room! Also, the loyalty they show to their friends and loved ones does not waiver. They will stand up to defend the beliefs, principles, and people they believe in. A Leo is someone you want to take with you into the trenches.
But if you’re a Leo or you know one, then you’re no stranger to how fiery things can get. It’s not just the summer sun that’s heating things up; the New Moon of Leo brings us into a very powerful time, the month of Av. Historically, the ninth day of this month has seen devastation and catastrophe—both temples in Israel were destroyed on the ninth of Av. The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492, a huge tragedy in medieval Jewish history. On August 2, 1941 (the ninth of Av, 5701), SS commander Heinrich Himmler received approval from the Nazi Party to act upon “The Final Solution,” an edict that resulted in the imprisonment or death of almost 50% of the Jews on earth.
Leo energy is strong. Yet, it can generate creation as well as destruction. It pulls on each of us this month, despite our astrological signs.
Despite their unique tendencies, we can learn a great deal from Leos—after all, who doesn’t want to get their way? Whether you’re a Leo or not, each of us can manifest Leo’s strengths while avoiding falling into psychopath status. Here are a few key points to help everyone wield their power in a more effective manner.
Pick your battles
Psychopaths love to fight but Leos love to spar. It gets their blood pumping and makes them feel alive. We all have this tendency at times and more so this month. But not every outcome is worth fighting for. When a situation has you all fired up, pause and see if you can pinpoint your desire. What are you fighting for and what’s it worth to you? Is it more important to be right or to be happy?
If you decide that a principle is worth fighting for, consider taking a softer approach to getting what you want. Guy Winch, Ph.D., author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships, and Enhance Self-Esteem, suggests using a “complaint sandwich.” Enter a conversation with a compliment or validation. This opener (the top piece of bread) grabs the attention of the person you wish to complain to and butters them up, creating a less confrontational energy. Once they are all ears, deliver the meat of the sandwich—your complaint, desire, or demand. Conclude by delivering a positive statement or thanks (the bottom slice of bread) so you end the interaction on an amicable note.
Stand Tall, But Humble
Leos believe in themselves, so much so that it can come off as arrogance, alienating the very people who can help them the most. But a lack of inhibition can work to our benefit, allowing us to set aside insecurities that might otherwise prevent us from voicing our opinions or going after what we want. The teachings of Kabbalah remind us to stay humble. Remember, no matter how much we know about a subject, there is always someone who knows more. We stand to learn a great deal from others. So, go ahead, ask for what you want. But stay open to the possibility that each exchange can offer so much more.
Flip Your Agenda
Leos are ruled by the sun and like the sun, they are very comfortable with others revolving around them and their needs. Being the center of the universe is great until all the planets start to fall out of line. Leos are terribly sensitive and feel hurt when those around them have given up playing the part of servant in the king’s court. To keep friends from feeling used and abused, try to place their agenda at the top of your list. This doesn’t mean giving up your own goals in a situation. Rather, consider how you can foster a symbiotic relationship where both of your interests will be met. Appeal to one’s what’s-in-it-for-me attitude and you might find a more willing participant.
Leader of the Pack
Leos love to take charge. The quality that gives Leos the potential to be great leaders: heart. They are all heart. It drives their passion to change the world. However, without keeping the lion’s roar in check, Leos stand to lose a few allies along the way. The key to successful leadership is to guide and mentor others, helping them grow and facilitate change—very different than the tendency to rule over and dominate others. Enthusiasm has the power to ignite action in others. Leaders who share their own passion while nurturing and validating passion in others stand to affect great change in the world for the better.
There’s no need to allow the negative energy of Av to take over, turning this month into a hot mess. Set an intention to push intolerance aside and let love thy neighbor be your motto. The priority is maintaining human dignity in every action. Share and dedicate yourself to others. You have the potential to reveal great blessings for yourself and others this month. Harness the strong energy of Leo and use it to create positive transformation in the world.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION:
This month, when a situation gets your blood boiling, take a break. Leave the room, turn off the computer, or tell them you’ll have to call them back. Giving ourselves time to cool down enables us to make more rational choices and avoid fanning the flames. Coming back to the situation with perspective and an action plan give us the opportunity to maintain human dignity for all parties involved.