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Keynote: Assertion of the Feminine and the Power of the Female
Cycle of Power: Year-round
The lion is the second largest member of the cat family. The
traits of cats should be studied in
general, for the lion embodies many of them. It makes its home
on the savannas of Africa, and
those with this totem would do well to study the significance
of the savannas. The lion's main
prey is the antelope and this should be studied as well.
The lion has been symbolic of a variety of energies throughout
the years. It is a symbol of the
sun and of gold. It was a symbol for the sun-god Mithra. The
Egyptians believed that the lion
presided over the annual floods of the Nile. Early Christians
believed it to be the earthly
opponent of the eagle. The medieval alchemists associated it
with the fixed element of sulphur,
and a young lion was often the symbol of the rising sun and
all that is implied by it.
The lion is unusual among members of the cat family in that
it will live in groups called prides. If
a lion has shown up as a totem, you can expect lessons and issues
dealing with community and
groups to surface. There may be a need to examine your own role
in the group.
Within the pride, the females are the best hunters. although
most lions are clumsy hunters by
themselves, they have developed an excellent cooperative hunting
technique. The females,
though, do most of the hunting and the rearing of the cubs.
The lion cubs lead a relatively carefree
existence. Their parents are patient and affectionate with the
cubs, and most individuals with
lions as totems will find those same qualities developing within
The males are most noticeable with their large manes. They do
very little work. They can be
passionate and excessively jealous of the lionesses. They protect
the pride against predators.
When hunting they use their roar to scare prey toward the waiting
lioness. If a male lion has
shown up as your totem, you may need to examine your usefulness
within some group or
community in your life. do you need to do more than you are?
Do you need to be more
protective? Do you need to cooperate more?
The lion does not fight for the sake of fighting. It avoids
confrontations, and will leave the scen
of danger if possible. This is a tactic to keep in and if the
lion is your totem. Lions also hunt
primarily by stealth, and the most common method of killing
is by strangulation. This technique
is something for those with this totem to practice developing
when pursuing new endeavors and
objectives in any area of life. Be stealthy for the greatest
The idea of the young lion being associated with the rising
sun is most significant. Since females
of the pride do most of the work, it actually reflects the idea
of the rising of the feminine
energies. The sun has not always been a masculine symbol. It
does give birth to new days, and it
nurtures and warms life. Thus it is not stretching the correlation
to see the lion as the assertion of
feminine energies to bring forth birth and new power.
When a lion has shown up, there will be opportunity to awaken
to a new sun. Trust your
feminine energies--creativity, intuition and imagination. These
will add new sunshine to your
life. Don't be afraid to roar if you feel threatened or intruded
*Patricia Telesco/The Lanugage of Dreams:
Your own aggression or anger, especially if the lion is hunting
for prey. The roar and clamor of a
bragging individual, who announces her/his presence to all who
will listen. Rulership or
authority. The lion is known as the "king of the beasts"
and is a potent solar symbol. Hindu: The
destroyer of demons, which can include bad memories, past experiences,
and even addictions. A
lion was the 4th incarnation of Vishnu. Buddhist: Defending
the law, but doing so with a soft
paw of compassion. Attentiveness. In folk beliefs it is said
that the lion sleeps with its eyes
The "King of the Beasts", universally linked with
royalty, strength, and courage, the lion is
usually associated with masculine representations of the sun
god in Greece and Rome. However,
in the Middle East and Egypt the lion is more frequently represented
as a woman. Sphinxlike,
both nurturer and destroyer, the goddesses Sekhmet, Ishtar,
Astarte, and Cybele rode lions, drove
lions, or bore leonine features.
As might be supposed, the lion is a totem animal for many African
tribes, and there are
numerous well-established rituals for coexisting with the big
cat. Its flesh is considered a potent
food and medicinal cure. To eat its heart is to endow the feasting
warrior with the strength and
courage of the mighty beast itself.
The lion is the symbol of the tribe of Judah and of the Davidic
line. It was a Hebrew belief that
lions would not attack humans unless they were starving, thus
providing further indication of
their nobility and general goodwill. The milk of a lioness was
thought to have potent healing
properties. In earlier times, the angel Uriel would manifest
as a lion and descend from heaven to
eat the sacrificial offerings left in the Temple.
In alchemical traditions, white gold is called the "lion
of metals." In Medieval esoteric literature,
the lion, "king of beasts," symbolized the earthly
opponent of the eagle, "lord of the skies." Both
represented the masculine principle.
In the Christian tradition, both St. Mark and St. Jerome are
symbolized by their animal totem the lion.
If you have had the lion as your totem animal for many years,
you have quite likely been told
since your childhood that you are a natural leader and organizer.
If you have only recently
accepted the lion as your spirit helper during a dream or a
vision quest, you may expect that you
are about to be promoted to a position requiring a bit more
of an assertive personality than you
have previously exhibited.
With Lion as your ally you will continually be placed in situations
that will stretch your talents
and broaden your horizon. You need never fear, however, that
your spirit helper will put you in a
problem area that will be over your head or beyond the grasp
of your abilities. And you may
always draw upon your totem animal's generous reserve of wisdom
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Lion relates to a braggart. May imply strength of character.
*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
Tradition holds that the lion fears only the rooster, whose
mane is as great as its own. According
to the Romans, only a rooster's crow or the grinding sound of
empty chariots could frighten a
lion. It is said that a lion will erase its tracks by sweeping
them with its tail and that it sleeps with
its eyes open. Eating the heart of a lion was believed to bring
one courage, according to African
tribes. Wearing the eye of a lion under one's armpit was said
to keep away other savage beasts;
wearing its skin was held to make one invincible.
*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
The lion symbolizes majesty, power, bravery, and leadership,
for the lion is the "king of the
jungle." this is the time in your life to take control
with absolute confidence and strength. Jung
felt that the lion in the wild represented our latent passions.
Is this the time to unbridle and
explore your passions and to live life fully and courageously?
This can also be a sign of a test of
courage. For some African tribes, part of the rite of manhood
concerned pitting one's strength
against the lion's. You may be tested in an ara of your life.
Garner your inner strength and you
will be victorious.
*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Wise, broadminded, honest
Magical Influences: Evokes power of the Sun, helps men in channeling
the Sun God, generosity,
enthusiasm, wisdom, honesty.
Personality: Lions are magnanimous and creative individuals.
They tend to put themselves into
situations that broaden their horizons. They can be broadminded
and open to variations in the
culture and lifestyle of others. They are natural leaders and
organizers. Sometimes they need to
keep a pompous attitude under control.
*Barbara G. Walker/The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets:
Usually a symbol of the sun god in Greece and Rome, the lion
was more commonly associated
with the Goddess in the Middle East and Egypt. Ishtar, Astarte,
and Cybele rode or drove lions.
Bast-Hathor was the Sphinx-lioness, symbolizing the Destroyer.
Sometimes she appeared with
two lion heads looking forward and backward, like her Roman
counterpart Janus-Jana. This was
a symbol of Time, with the hieroglyph xerefu and akeru, the
Lions of Yesterday and Today.
The Dark Age kingdom of the Britons was named after the "Lyonesse,"
one of its early queens
appearing in Arthurian romance as the Lady Lyonors. Merlin's
city was Caerleon, the Lion's
Place. Lions were not native to the British isles, therefore
the British lion was an imported totem.
Lion and serpent stood for ascending and declining spirits of
the sacred year, the former
following the later in the pagan zodiac.
The British "Lady who ruled lions" may have arrived
on Roman coins, which since the Augustan
period showed the Great Mother of the Gods (Cybele) enthroned
between two lions, wearing the
mural crown that became a Saxon emblem of divinity. she was
thus described in a poem: "The
Virgin in her heavenly place rides upon the Lion; bearer of
corn, inventor of law, founder of
cities, by whose gift it is man's good lot to know the gods;
therefore she is the Mother of the
gods, Peace, Virtue, Ceres, the Syrian Goddess, weighing life
and laws in her balance."
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
A lion featured in your dream is a symbol of social distinction
and/or business leadership. If you
heard the lion roar, you are likely to have to cope with jealousy
from someone close to you. A
friendly lion cub is a forecast of a new and valuable friendship
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