Week 39  -  9.23.12 - 9.29.12  -  Leo

Materials:   Copper, Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel Steel Screws

Ring Dimensions:   1.18” H x 1.00” W x 1.27” D  ・ Size 10/11

The constellation Leo, which is latin for ‘lion’, lies between Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east. It is one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. Leo was one of the earliest recognized constellations, with archaeological evidence that the Mesopotamians had a similar constellation as early as 4000 BCE. The Persians called Leo 'Ser' or 'Shir'; the Turks, 'Artan'; the Syrians, 'Aryo'; the Jewish, 'Arye'; the Indians, 'Simha'… all meaning ‘Lion’. In Babylonian astronomy, the constellation was called UR.GU.LA - the 'Great Lion'. Of special note in the constellation is the bright star Regulus, designated Alpha Leonis, a blue-white main-sequence star of magnitude 1.4, 77.5 light-years from Earth. Regulas, known as ‘the star that stands at the Lion's breast’ also had distinctly regal associations, as it was known as the King Star.

Those personalities born between July 23rd and August 22nd are in the fifth sign of the zodiac. This fixed, fire sign is endowed with a purposeful and powerful enthusiasm. Leo's exuberance is magnetic, but they also expect to be treated well and can be quick to make displeasure known if disrespected. Although this combination gives Leo strong self-esteem, they should guard against the possibility of vanity. Typically, the trait of positive thinking comes naturally. They are often fond of ‘people watching’ and rarely miss a twitch of grass on their plain. Traditionally, the Leo personality is very appearance conscious and fine personal grooming is likely to be a necessity. Status symbols can assume great importance and the more enlightened Leo may use them as a confirmation that they have succeeded in their worldly pursuits. The Leo personality gravitates towards those who share abundance mentality and possess a positive outlook on life. For the Leo, just the possibility of being overlooked or ignored is enough to get the proverbial mane bristling. This can be an Achilles heel, leaving them vulnerable to manipulation. Additionally, Leo should beware that the trait of an outspoken manner and a comfort in the spotlight are not seen as an egotism that needs to be blindly resisted.

Eratosthenes and Hyginus both affirm that the lion was placed in the sky because it is the king of beasts. Mythologically speaking, this is reputed to be the lion of Nemea, slain by Hercules as the first of his 12 labors. The lion lived in a cave with two mouths, emerging to carry off the local inhabitants. The lion was an invulnerable beast of uncertain parentage and it was variously said to have been sired by the dog Orthrus and the monster Typhon or even to be the offspring of Selene, the Moon Goddess. Its skin was proof against all weapons, as Hercules found when he shot an arrow at the lion and saw it bounce off. Undeterred, Hercules chased after the animal, which retreated into its cave. Hercules blocked up one of the entrances and went in through the other. He grappled with the lion, locking his huge arm around its throat and choking the beast to death. Hercules triumphantly carried the lion’s corpse away on his shoulders. Later he used the creature’s own razor-sharp claws to cut off its pelt, which he wore as a cloak.