This is How to Love a Leo.

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(Many moons ago, my dearest friend Sara Crolick wrote a piece called What it Means to Love a Libra (if you haven’t read it, you should!); the words below are inspired by hers.)

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

~ Khalil Gibran

To love a Leo—madly, truly, deeply—takes one hell of a determined heart, for she is as wild as they come.

In her commitment to ever-evolving and ever-transforming her self and this world we live in, she will push and pull—she understands that any life worth living well must be built on a solid foundation of truth and so to love a Leo, the beating in your chest must be strong and you must know how to root down and stand your ground.

Her ways, which she learns as she goes, will shake the dust until everything that does not belong falls away—and at times, this might mean she pushes you away, too.

As fierce as she is, hidden in her heart of hearts is a too-big doubt that she can be loved completely and so be prepared for her to bare her teeth if you get too close to the place where she hides her fear; this is both a test of your intention and a way to keep her sacred heart safe, for to love Leo, you must love all of her and the most-vulnerable parts you must love most of all.

There will be moments when the need to race through the jungle (or around the world) takes over and she will bolt, with no explanation (she will try to her best to tell you why, but how a Leo lives is through feeling and even though words are a part of her craft, in these instances, her wildness can find none); and so she will go, her mane flowing behind her, soaking life in through all of her senses for she must do in order to understand how life works—and when you find yourself feeling forgotten, her heart will beg you to be patient, for she will return to you as soon as she can, panting and heart pounding, full of all she has learned.

(A Leo is loyal and understands that before she can show up for the one she loves, she must first learn how to show up for herself and it is through this strengthen of will and compassion that she asks you to invest your trust in her; for while her heart holds love for all beings, the kind she has for you will move mountains and light all the stars in the sky.)

She needs this freedom to feed her creativity and she will look at you with her knowing eyes to see if you see it all, too, for because she is who is she is, she will want you to be who you are, too—nothing more, nothing less.

She knows the unsaid things—the ones we hold onto as our mouths move and the opposite words fall from our lips, instead; she will often get alarmingly still and this is because she needs to in order to hear it all. In the hush, she will gather information and file it away, for if a Leo is anything she is organized and everything has a place (and there is even a place for things-that-don’t-have-a-place).

To love a Leo, understand that her lair must be in order before she can do anything; her mind is the largest of libraries, for she is of this world and many others, and there is always work and learning to be done. (In fact, it’s likely that if find yourself in love with such a creature, your brain might roar at an incredible volume, too, for this is one of the locks your key must slip into in order for you to be an imperfect-perfect match.)

Before she can settle her attention on you fully, everything must be in place and then she will curl up, serene and surrounded by her furry beasts, for she speaks all tongues—and maybe, if the day is slow and the moon just right, she will purr as she waits for you to crack your chest open and show her your raw, beating heart.

(The idea of this might make you recoil, but please know that she has made it her practice to spill open—and so while she doesn’t expect you to make it yours too, there is a certain kind of give and take that offers balance to every union. So, from time-to-time, honor her—and more importantly, you. Show her that thing about you that you’ve taught yourself to hide away, for I can promise you that a Leo will not shy away and she knows in every stitch of her bones how to love like the ocean.)

She will transform what she has learned in these moments of deep listening into wisdom, and as she gets older, she will learn how to rule herself accordingly. It is likely that on her path, this one that has no footsteps to follow; the one she designed for herself back before the start of time, that she will fail many, many times. She will be uncomfortable in her impatience and when you stop by for a visit one night, you may well find her in pieces on the kitchen floor, her body not able to lie or to hold it all in, tears and snot running down her face—and here is where you will witness the strength that vulnerability brings.

(A Leo has shown you everything in this moment, for that is what she is here to do. She will stay there, and ask you to stay with her, until it is time to pick herself up, again. Your presence will fill her heart with gratitude, and she may even slide her hand into yours, or lay her head on your shoulder, and let out a mighty sigh—she is shy when it comes to this sort of thing—accepting the support she so desperately craves and fears, so let it unfold, slowly and carefully.)

You will hear rumors about the lioness you have your eye on; they will say that she likes to be the center of attention and that she demands riches and gold. They will say a Leo is happiest with the weight of ten thousand jewels around her neck and that her ego rules her heart—and they will tell you that this feline is proud and does not like to be reckoned with.

In everything, there is a grain of truth; trust that the one you love is as rare as they come; her heart rules all and so that this can’t be argued with, she will wear it, without apology, on her sleeve.

She will yearn not for a castle on a hilltop, but for a cabin in the woods, so that she can sit by the river that runs through the land and listen to the lessons the four directions has to share. She will bow down and touch her forehead to the ground often, in an act of reverence, gratitude and prayer—and she will understand that the breeze that whistles through treetops carries with it messages meant just for her.

She will need just-enough to sustain a simple life, for a Leo knows that richness lies in the slow, humble moments of laughter and figuring it out, together. She will feel like royalty if you return from a walk in the woods with a handful of wild flowers and if you take her on a date to gaze at the stars, she will devote her heart to you, and you alone.

She plays battle with her ego and with the years marking themselves on her body as time often does, she has learned how to tango with the righteous voice that can sometimes fight to be heard.

A Leo is prideful—yes—let not that pride be mistaken for anything other than the highest form of integrity; she will prefer quiet nights in to loud nights out and she will be happiest curled up with a book, for within the pages lies where her life began.

A Leo will make things with every blink of her eye and every pound of her heart, for she thrives on seeing the harmony of elements meeting and falling in love—and she will want you to find new ways to keep her falling in love with you, too.

She is stubborn—but she is kind and her compassion reaches to the far corners of the earth. In her heart, she holds it all; the joy and the sorrow, the laughter and the tears. As much as she wants you to wrap your arms around her and be held, she also needs long moments to hold herself, for a Leo feels so deeply at times she wonders if it is a blessing or a curse.

So to love a Leo, you must first love yourself; let the space in your togetherness be like the sea and in her rhythm, you will learn the meaning of a heart roar.

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

Elizabeth Gilbert



What it Means to Love a Libra.

A Leo’s Love Manifesto.

More relephant! Maybe labeling ourselves isn’t the best idea:


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Editor: Renée Picard

Photos: courtesy of the author (close up of The Wild Unknown Tarot strength card, created by Kim Krans)


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Bryonie Wise

Bryonie’s life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga or writing her heart to the bone, she can be found frolicking in the sunshine with her camera & her dog, Winston, living her yoga. Stay in the loop of all her magical happenings, connect with her on Facebook, TwitterInstagram—& maybe even add her first book, HEART ROAR: A Book of Tiny Prayers to your collection.

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anonymous Apr 8, 2016 8:02am

You're article was so spot on…..I'm a leo woman and I know this. Thank you, I am in such appreciation of how you articulated it perfectly. I look forward to what you will write in the future and I will check out what you've given in the past. You have an amazing gift , let it shine.

anonymous Jan 28, 2016 7:16am

Dead on.

anonymous Jan 28, 2016 6:50am

I am dating a Leo, and for the most part he is spot on to this. But i was wondering, is it the same for male Leo’s as it is for female Leo’s. Its definitely sometimes not easy to love a Leo, for he is very set in his ways and not up for change. I guess knowing more about Leo’s and how and why they are/act the way they do will help me understand him more.

anonymous Jan 28, 2016 1:01am


Love the heart.

anonymous Dec 12, 2015 1:45pm

Thank you to the writer! My spouse is a female Leo and she is on a spiritual journey and as a Virgo I mostly work with tangible and logical. This article has allowed me to take a peek into her world and help grasp some understanding of where she is at and what to expect in the future. She shared this with me and said that is resonated with her.I’m sure she feels somewhat discombobulated and im trying to be understanding. This has shed light on her actions and inaction and it gives me hope. It helps me not to have knee jerk reactions but to meet her where she is at on her journey bc I love her and myself and us as a couple and i want to see us move forward….

anonymous Oct 29, 2015 5:31am

This piece was amazing and the most accurate representation of how I feel as a Leo when often you read about the pride and the good things in life being of utmost importance and I have had Leo friends who truly resonate with the regal and rich side of that but for me, it has always been about the simple things in life that take my breath away and being in integrity. Thank you for this rich piece!

anonymous Jul 26, 2015 11:22am

This is unbelievably spot on! I would like to see this turn into a series for both genders in mind and each of the signs. I was born April 10th and as a quintessential Aries male I have often flirty with the idea creating a manual for my perfect mate on how to love me and keep me coming back for more without any cat and mouse games though.

anonymous Jul 24, 2015 12:22pm

Can I post this to my page and give you full credit, of course. This is beyond moving

anonymous Jul 23, 2015 11:28am

I am a Leo who struggles everyday with weather it is a curse or a blessing to love and feel everything so deeply… I love being compassionate and wearing my heart on my sleeve but sometimes it get my heart hurt… I do not like the pain I feel when I let it get the best of me… You’re article has really hit the nail on the head… It completely describes me, my heart, and my soul… It is a wonderful article that says things I think and do not know how to put into words… Im going to let my significant other read this article and hopefully he can better understand me… Thank u so much for writing it…

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 12:48pm

OMG! So perfectly written! So perfectly relevant! I cried my heart out, I feel so perfectly understood and not alone anymore! 🙂 You also make me realize that words speaks so loudly to me and it nourishes so much compassion for my heart that this is exactly what I feel drawn to do with my own writtings… It brings so much harmony through my doubts and I feel more in peace with myself… And this is what I want to bring to the world too. I do it in French though, I wish I could write so well in English so I could be part of Elephant Journal (or this could have a French version too, this would be totally fantastic!). Thank you, thank you, thank you! <3

    anonymous Jul 21, 2015 2:41pm

    Oh, I wish I could write this in French!!! xo

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 6:31am

OMG….I LOVED this! This article sang so loudly to my soul! This is so me! I will read this continuously and steer folk right to it! #ROOAAARRRRR

anonymous Jul 18, 2015 8:42pm

This is truly incredible! I found myself smiling more and more as I read on through your article. It was so astoundingly accurate that I feel as though you’ve looked into my soul and transported my very essence in print! Many, many thanks! X

anonymous Mar 26, 2015 3:55pm

Thank you thank you!! For writing this! Super helpful- Marrying a leo!

anonymous Mar 26, 2015 12:28pm

Love it. I was speechless. Any chance there is a "how to love a Scorpio" in the works?

anonymous Mar 26, 2015 12:26pm

Love it. This left me speechless. Any chance we see a “how to love a scorpio”?

    anonymous Jul 19, 2015 6:28pm

    Ohhh … if I only was a Scorpio!

anonymous Mar 26, 2015 10:02am

thank you for this magical piece! I am a Leo and truly recognised myself in your words!You captured faithfully the Leo’s essence!

anonymous Mar 25, 2015 11:08pm

My daughter is born a Leo, and this is everything I’ve ever imagined her to be. And at only nine months, she already is a lioness, which fills my heart with gratitude and happiness.

anonymous Mar 25, 2015 11:00pm

Thankyou for this! Love every part of it and yes, Leo’s don’t seek to be the centre of attention. They seek loyalty and deep friendships with a few. When that’s not reciprocated we feel vulnerable and sad. I see the world as my oyster and forever have a deep yearning to see it and learn as much as I can about all that is has to offer. I cannot stand a mundane life, a boring job, a life without change. To love a Leo you must be strong but in return you will be loved with a beautiful fierceness.

    anonymous Mar 26, 2015 6:45am

    You are most welcome—yes, yes & yes. xo

anonymous Jan 31, 2015 7:39pm

Well written! Thank you for showing he underlined softness thats hidden in our hearts from the world; rarely shown to select lovers. We give every day to the world and common individuals. I’ve found myself on a floor crying and seeking the arms of my lover at that time, I’ve found though that over the years that kind of reaction seems to just exacerbate the feelings we have. Personally ; I always feel no one ever understands the loyalty we give to lovers/family/friends. I wonder if most feel the same? Beautiful piece! Thank you 🙂

anonymous Dec 9, 2014 1:08pm

Is there an article on how to love a sagittarius woman?

anonymous Nov 6, 2014 7:16pm

I have been reading some wonderfully written articles of late and this ranks right up at the top. It really is spot on. Thank you for writing it and thank you for sharing it with all of us! It is just fantastic.

anonymous Sep 26, 2014 3:29pm

This moved me deep down to my bones – I have never written something that so accurately describes my Leo self. This makes me feel proud and so understood…thank you, thank you for writing this.

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 6:33am

    Oh, thank you for feeling this and for sharing. xo

anonymous Sep 26, 2014 2:20pm

I cannot possibly be the only male Leo who also identifies with this. This is miraculous, Bryonie. And it was posted the day after my birthday. 🙂

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 6:33am

    Thank you so much, Lincoln. Happy belated! xo #roar

anonymous Sep 1, 2014 8:30pm

speechless! I relate so much. Thank you for this amazing piece. You made my day 🙂

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 6:32am

    YAY! I'm so happy to hear that! xo

anonymous Aug 28, 2014 6:36pm

As a Leo male I can say I loved this. My buddy (not a Leo) is married to a Leo. She is everything you said. A wonderful person. I can't imagine being anything but the lion. We abhor poor leadership. We love with everything we have. We can walk away from a fight. Corner us and we will rip your throat out and enjoy the process.

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 6:32am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. xo

anonymous Aug 23, 2014 8:14pm

Wow! Wonderfully written. If someone has written one similar to this for all the zodiac signs, I'd love to read them. They give us so much insight into ourselves and our loved ones. Please post links if you know of any.

    anonymous Sep 30, 2014 6:32am

    Thanks! I know that Sara Crolick wrote one about loving a Libra! Google "Sara Crolick" and "elephant journal." xo

anonymous Aug 14, 2014 11:27am

My sentiments exactly! I echo the statements of those who've come before me. I've reached for love many times in my life, but it eludes me, save for a few years with each relationship. I attempted to describe my "needs" but apparently fail miserably, unfortunately. Or, perhaps it's the persons I've chosen cannot comprehend the fullness of who I am and meet me where I need to be met. Either way, it's been a journey! I read this article this morning, 8 days before I am to celebrate my 53rd birthday! It was absolutely no coincidence that I read it today because I truly NEEDED to see these words and feel the energy and love that they were penned with. Thank you for your heart and soul-pouring across this page, Bryonie! I'm saving this so that I may print it and allow it to resonate within my soul, especially when I am in my darkest hour…. Love and peace to you~!!!

    anonymous Aug 22, 2014 6:09pm

    Oh, thank you so much for reading and for commenting Shelly! And happy birthday!!! Much love xo

anonymous Aug 14, 2014 11:06am

Brilliant, thank you!!

anonymous Aug 14, 2014 6:12am

This is me for sure.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 8:41pm

Beautifully expressed and spot on. Thank you. I read this to my love and he agreed. And found some confirmations wothon your words.

Thank you leonian sister <3

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 5:16am

I am also a Leo and you have quoted my favourite verse from The Prophet Khalil Gibran. You then went on to astound me with your amazing writing. I have never come across anything that has been so close to describing who I am, I offer gratitude and kindness to you.

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:13pm

    Thank you so much for your kind words—for reading and sharing. Deep gratitude. xo B.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:49am

That Kahlil Gilbran segment is what was said at my wedding 20 years ago. Still love it.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:44am

I'm a Leo woman, too and this was so beautifully written. Count me in as a crybaby, too. Especially the part about the blessing/curse of feeling everything so intensely. Sometimes I feel as if I'm just too sensitive (especially to animal suffering) that I don't belong on this earth. In my heart, I DO hold it all….

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 4:12pm

    Yes, yes and yes….you do belong here—you feel it all and it is a gift (as much as it can hurt sometimes). xo B

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 6:31pm

This is gorgeous!! Feeling proud as a lioness:)

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:23pm

    Thank you! As well you should!!!

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 3:35pm

I'm a Leo, hear me roar! I'm so glad that I wasn't the only one in tears reading this. So beautifully written. I have read it three times now and each time it is more beautiful, touching. Thank you for your article . Thank you. Thank you. Thank you ★

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 6:58am

    thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts and for reading again and again. xo

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 2:09pm

what is up with all these "how to love ___" articles?! it all seems a bit narcissistic after a while. the authors write about how people should love people like them… how to love a woman who has been hurt. how to love a tiger woman. how to love… how about just "love". period. be grateful for love. period.

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 6:57am

    hmmm…i'm not sure what in my piece above would make anyone think i'm not grateful for love.

    it is simple, and it is not—just as we as humans are simple (and we are not).

    we're all just trying to figure it out, aren't we?

    (you should write your own piece about being grateful for love if you feel so strongly about it—send to [email protected].)


anonymous Aug 6, 2014 1:23pm

I DID cry tears of joy reading this article. Thank you so much for this.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 1:12pm

wow. i have never read anything that described me as perfectly as this. i was in tears. beautiful. thank you. i needed this, to know that i am not alone with this blessingcurse of a leo heart.

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 6:54am

    thank you for reading and no, you are not alone xo

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 12:15pm

I almost cried tears of joy reading this article. I truly have found someone who knows how to love a leo. It has taken time for him to open up to me, but it was well worth the wait. I have others who also know how to love me and it is all I need to make it in this world.

Also, I'm reading this on the morning of my birth and it's been a lovely start to it. Thank you for writing this. It's absolutely beautiful <3

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:23pm

    Happy birthday, Leo heart xo

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 11:53am

So spot on. I am sure my husband will agree on many points. Thank you!

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 10:09am

I love this. I feel like you are describing every woman– the lioness in all of us. Big Hug

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:22pm

    Thank you love…big hugs to you xo

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 9:59am

Yes, yes, and yes. Praises from a fellow lioness.

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 11:18pm

Oh my god! I was crying like baby before I got half way through it. I’m like the epitome of a female Leo, and that was and is so me! Totally moved my soul… thank you for that! #namasté

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:22pm

    thank you for reading and for commenting! xo

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 9:53pm

This article is very close to home. Much of which, so beautifully written, is true. As a feline she is proud. That could be her biggest sin. But ignore the rumors. She delights in simple pleasures and dislikes being the center of attention. Down to earth is her modus operandi. She considers valuable possessions a liability and a ball-and-chain. She is sometimes misunderstood by a particular type of person. She knows the ones who really see her, know her true nature. She does not worry and loves everyone anyway. Also true, she doesn't appreciate being messed with. LOVE this article!

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:22pm

    Thank you, thank you. Deep heart roars to you.

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 9:41pm

Thanks for sharing your Leo roar Bryonie! xo

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:21pm

    Thank you for reading and spreading the roar! xo

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 7:12pm

Thank you. As a double Leo, this is spot on….

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:21pm

    Thank you for reading and commenting! xo

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 4:14pm

Reading this just brought me to tears. This is so spot on for me, as a leo, it is unnerving. Thank you!

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:21pm

    Thank you for reading! (We should collect our tears and pour them into the ocean!)

    anonymous Aug 8, 2014 12:08pm

    Ditto! Tears in truth.

    anonymous Feb 11, 2016 8:28am

    As a fellow Leo, I'm in tears too! This is completely real and whole true for me! Beautifully done! Thank you!

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 4:11pm

Bryonieeeeeeeee. i love you and that lion heart. thank you for sharing it with the world. #heartcompass

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:21pm

    Sarrrrrraaaaaaaaaa. i love you and your libra heart. i am honored by the beat you echo through the universe. #heartcompass

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 1:47pm

From one Leo to another, I love this so much. You captured it perfectly. Thank you! <3

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 7:20pm

    Thank you thank you beauty heart. xo

    anonymous Feb 1, 2015 12:10pm

    I am a triple Leo and this resonated profoundly through my being. Even to the passage from the a Prophet, Kahil Gibran, those were our wedding vows. We are very loyal and feel things like injustice to our soul. And to be who we are and have chosen to be in this life – we must be part of the solution, not the problem. When we are wounded we retreat to our cave (the bed under the covers with our pets and regroup.) I am very lucky to be loved by an Aries man with a Leo rising and Cancer moon.

      anonymous Oct 28, 2015 9:48pm

      I am so amazed I am also a triple Leon and my husband is an Aries with the cancer moon and a Leo rising and he is absolutely perfect for me . I Love life and yet some of the journey is and some of the lessons have been a challenge but ultimately if we don’t meet the challenges we are doomed to repeat them. janet

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 11:03am

Just beautiful, and it rings true for all the signs of the zodiac… Or perhaps the Leo in us all. Meow!