“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 a Leo is as wild as they come.
In the commitment to ever-evolving and ever-transforming themselves and this world we live in, they will push and pull—for they understand 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.
The ways of a Leo (which this magnificent feline learns as they go) will shake the dust until everything that does not belong falls away—and at times, this might mean that they push you away, too.
As fierce as s(he) is, hidden in the heart of hearts of a Leo is a too-big doubt that s(he) can be loved completely and so be prepared for the baring of teeth if you get too close to the place where s(he) hides fear; this is both a test of your intention and a way to keep a sacred heart safe, for to love Leo, you must love all of them and the most-vulnerable parts you must love most of all.
There will be moments when the need to race around the world takes over and s(he) will bolt, with no explanation (they will try to their best to tell you why, but how a Leo lives is through feeling and even though words are a part of their craft, in these instances, these wild ones can find none); and so s(he) will go, mane dancing behind them, soaking life in through all of the senses for s(he) must do in order to understand how life works—and when you find yourself feeling forgotten, this gentle heart will beg you to be patient, for s(he) will return to you as soon as they can, panting and heart pounding, full of all that’s been learned.
(A Leo is loyal and understands that before they can show up for the one they love, s(he) must first learn how to show up for themselves and it is through this strengthen of will and compassion that they ask you to invest your trust in them; for while a Leo-heart holds love for all beings, the kind they have for you will move mountains and light all the stars in the sky.)
Freedom is needed to feed creativity and they will look at you with knowing eyes to see if you see it all, too, for because s(he) is who is s(he) is, a Leo will want you to be who you are, too—nothing more, nothing less.
S(he) knows the unsaid things—the ones we hold onto as our mouths move and the opposite words fall from our lips, instead; they will often get alarmingly still and they must in order to hear it all. In the hush, s(he) will gather information and file it away, for if a Leo is anything s(he) 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 their lair must be in order before they can do anything, for s(he) is of this world and many others, and there is always work and learning to be done. (In fact, it’s likely that if you 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 a Leo can settle attention on you fully, everything must be in place and then s(he) will curl up, serene and surrounded by an array of furry beasts, for s(he) speaks all tongues—and maybe, if the day is slow and the moon just right, s(he) will purr as s(he) waits for you to crack your chest open and show the world your raw, beating heart.
(The idea of this might make you recoil, but please know that a Leo has made it a practice to spill open—and so while they don’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 this—and more importantly, you. Show this Leo you love that thing about you that you’ve taught yourself to hide away, for I can promise you that they will not shy away and s(he) knows in every stitch of their mighty bones how to love like the ocean.)
A Leo will transform what they have learned during these moments of deep listening into wisdom, and as they get older, s(he) will learn how to rule themselves accordingly. It is likely that on this path, the one that has no footsteps to follow; the one they designed from scratch back before the start of time, that s(he) will fail many, many times. They will be uncomfortable in their impatience and when you stop by for a visit one night, you may well find your beloved collapsed in pieces on the kitchen floor, their body not able to lie or to hold it all in, tears running like a river—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 s(he) is here to do. They will stay there, and ask you to stay with them, until it is time to stand up and face the world, again. Your presence will fill this fierce heart with gratitude, and s(he) may even slide a hand into yours, or lay a weary head on your shoulder, and let out a mighty sigh—s(he) is shy when it comes to this sort of thing—accepting the support s(he) so desperately craves and fears, so let it unfold, slowly and carefully.)
You will hear rumors about the lion-ness you have your eye on; they will say that s(he) likes to be the center of attention and that s(he) demands riches and gold. They will say a Leo is happiest with the weight of ten thousand jewels around their neck and that the ego rules their heart—and they will tell you that this jungle cat 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; their heart rules all and so that this can’t be argued with, s(he) will wear it, without apology, upon their sleeve.
S(he) will yearn not for a castle on a hilltop, but for a cabin in the woods, so that they can sit by the river that runs through the land and listen to the lessons the four directions has to share. A Leo will bow down and touch forehead to the ground often, in an act of reverence, gratitude and prayer—and they will understand that the breeze that whistles through treetops carries with it messages meant just for them.
A Leo will need just-enough to sustain a simple life, for this wise one knows that richness lies in the slow, humble moments of laughter and figuring it out, together. S(he) will feel like royalty if you return from a walk in the woods with a handful of wild flowers and if you take them on a date to gaze at the stars, s(he) will devote their heart to you, and you alone.
S(he) plays battle with their ego and with the years marking themselves on the body as time often does, s(he) 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; s(he) will prefer quiet nights in to loud nights out and s(he) will be happiest curled up with a book, for within the pages lies where life began.
With every blink of their eyes and every pound of their hearts, a Leo will make things, for she thrives on seeing the harmony of elements meeting and falling in love—and s(he) will want you to find new ways to keep them falling in love with you, too.
S(he) is stubborn—but, they are kind and their compassion reaches to the far corners of the earth. In their gigantic hearts, a Leo holds it all; the joy and the sorrow, the laughter and the tears. As much as they want you to wrap your arms around them and be held, they also need long moments to hold themselves, for a Leo feels so deeply at times they wonder 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 their 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.”
This piece has been adapted from the original, which was first published on elephant journal.