The TOTEM Place
POWER / STRENGTH ~ MAGNIFICENCE ~ COURAGE / PROTECTION ~ PATIENCE
"The greatness of a nation can be judged
by the way its animals
The lion is most notably known as the undisputable King of the Jungle; the King of Beasts. In any storybook or motion picture where the lion is mentioned as a character, the name is often followed by one or both of these descriptive titles.
To us humans, the lion can be thought of as representing our latent passions, our wild side. In the book, Dictionary of Symbols, author Tom Chetwynd describes the lion as being "a primitive or bestial side of the Ego of personality: Its Shadow." Chetwynd further states: "The lion reflects the sun but on the earthly instinctual and more bestial plain." Quoted from Dictionary of Symbols, Tom Chetwynd, Aquarian Press, Hammersmith, London, p244
The lion's mane helps to show the head area as larger than it actually is in construction. The touseled hair can be seen as helping the lion to present a more powerful, looming figure to those who would think of challenging this great cat.
The lion's body is a vision in power and strength, and, coupled with the lion's mane, it is easy to see the similarities of these descriptive attributes with those found in many stories that reference the particular advantages of these physical characteristics.
Author Barbara G. Walker writes about this same subject in her book The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects
- "Long, thick hair on male gods and heroes, like Shiva or Apollo-Heracles, indicated virility and vital power. One foundation of the myth of the sun hero lay in his sacrifice to the Moon Goddess who cut off his hair, a castration of his vital force." The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects, Barbara G. Walker, Harper & Row Publishers, 1988, p313
It has been said that the mane of the lion resembles the Sun, especially in drawings by children who tend to draw the shaggy, tousled hair in similar design as the golden sunbeam. One of the reasons for the majestic / magnificence characteristic of the lion is, in particular, due to the relationship of the lion with the Sun as this solar fire orb is the ruling planet for this sign.
Author Walker also comments about the relationship of the lion with the sun. She writes:
- "The lion's tawny color suggested sunlight. The male lion's mane was identified with the long hair-rays of such solar figures as Apollo Chrysocomes ("He of the Golden Locks"), Heracles, and Samson -- who was really the Arabic sun god, Shams-On." The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects, Barbara G. Walker, Harper & Row Publishers, 1988, p381
Part of being able to bring protection to oneself or group can stem from a well-deserved reputation or from an action that serves to forewarn a would be attacker. Since courage is basically confronting an opponent with the confidence that one will ultimately succeed, the roar of the lion serves to frighten both prey and those who would bring a challenge to the status quo. Thus, the lion teaches us that a loud sound can be a form of protection and tasks us with the act of finding "our voice" when we feel threatened. In the capacity of a protector the male lion will defend when challenged and, if necessary, will fight to the death to provide that protection to the whole family group. In their book, Animals of the World, authors Walters and Johnson comment on the habits of the male lion.
- "Lions are the only cats that live and hunt in groups, called prides. The large, shaggy-maned chief male patrols the pride's area of territory, roaring and leaving scent marks to warn off other prides." Quote from Animals of the World, Miles Kelly Publishing, Essex, 1999, p220
As their actual survival may depend on the simplest attention to detail, patience has to be a part of the everyday surveillance curriculum necessary to sustain a food source and to be alert to any hostility. The lion shows us that patience is waiting for the proper moment to act in order to take advantage of a particular situation.
- July 23 - August 22
- the sign of the Lion - playful, dignified, proud, king of the beasts, effortlessly masterful
- a Masculine Polarity - assertive, aggressive energy
- a Fixed Quality - stays the course
- a Fire Element - action, spontaneity
- 5th Zodiacal House - Children, Romance/Fun, Creativity, Gambling/Entertainment
- ruled by the Sun
- heart, back, spine - physically
- faith - inherent impulse
- descriptive keyword - I WILL
About the Sign of LEO the LION
Dramatic ... Prideful ... Magnanimous ... Creative
The following is associated with the sign Leo: