If you look up at the southern sky tonight in the early evening, the most prominent constellation that can be seen from anywhere in North America is Leo the lion.
You can find it on the ecliptic with Cancer to your right and Virgo to your left. Leo will appear directly beneath Ursa Major. Therefore, the easiest way to find it is to first find the Big Dipper and look for the next bright group of stars below the pan of the Dipper. Leo is composed of a group of stars that form a question mark with a bright star, Regulus, at its base. This represents the head and neck of the lion, and Regulus is its heart. Behind this group are three stars forming a triangle. This is the hind section of the lion's body. The Christian veneration of the saints derives from the pre-Christian veneration of heroes in the classical world. Classical Pagans would pray to and ask favors of the heroes in the same way that Christians pray to saints. Chief among the venerated heroes was Hercules, and the constellation Leo commemorates the first of his twelve labors, the slaying of the Nemean lion. Hera had sent the lion to terrorize Nemea, and Hercules was assigned the task of protecting the people of the region. The lion's skin was impenetrable, and Hercules could not use any weapon against it. He resorted to strangling it to death. Afterward, he skinned it and used its hide as an impenetrable armor. Besides commemorating the battle with the lion, the constellation Leo is Hercules' armor. We can make use of it for our protection as well. If you are in need of protection, hold your hands up to Leo and repeat these words:
Hercules, who loved and protected your people,
I call on you for protection now.
Clothe me in you armor, which repels all danger. Shield me from harm, and lead me to victory.
Now visualize the light from the stars in Leo coming down and encircling your body.