July, the second month in summer, is the warmest month of the year in the northern hemisphere. The hot days of summer invoke memories of childhood fun and games. If your baby is born in this month, his or her birthday will be among those wonderful childhood memories. Life flourishes in full force in mid-summer. Flowers are in bloom and trees are green. July takes its name from Julius Caesar, who was born in this month and ushered Rome into a new era.

July features Independence Day and revolutionary celebrations in over a dozen countries, making it a global month of commemoration steeped in history. July brings together the old and the new, marking change and growth. It is also National Ice Cream Month in the United States.

If your child is born in July, his or her birthstone will be the ruby. The July birth flowers are the larkspur and the water lily, and the horoscope signs for this month are Cancer and Leo. The water lily is the national flower of several countries, echoing again the themes of independence and growth. The larkspur symbolizes openness of the heart and attachment and love.

The ruby is a warm, deep red stone which symbolizes wealth, love, passion, joy and power. It is wonderful for strengthening the heart chakra and for revitalizing emotional energies. This is a stone of leadership which intensifies the emotions. It also can be used to heal the root chakra from associated illnesses.

If your birthday falls after June 21, then you are a Cancer. Cancer is a water sign with a deep emotional current. If you are a Cancer, your life probably revolves around your home and family. You may be sensitive to insults, perhaps even remarks or actions not intended as such. You have a home within your own soul that you can always curl up in when you feel threatened, and the home you create around yourself will feature stability and emotional connectedness. A couple of famous Cancers include Princess Di (July 1) and Nelson Mandela (July 18).

If you were born after June 21, then you are a Leo, which is a fire sign ruled by the sun. Leos are usually ambitious but generous, and make excellent leaders. As a Leo, the happiness of others is always a prime concern, and you will probably put yourself in a position to be a provider. Watch out for your ego though; sometimes if Leos feel underappreciated, they can throw quite a tantrum! Leos tend to take charge in the workplace and in their personal relationships, and do well in positions where they can care for others. Famous Leos have included Jacqueline Kennedy (July 28) and Bill Clinton (August 19).

As you can see, a child born in the month of July could follow a path toward leadership, much like Julius Caesar, the warrior and ruler for whom this month was named. If you were born in July, and particularly if you were born a Leo, take care to keep your ambition in check and you will be sure to thrive and lead and inspire others.