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Lion Dreams

Bronze Reclining Lion Vessel Greek Applique
Greek, 525 B.C.E

Along with Owl and Coyote, Lion seems to be one of the most sought after symbols on my website, dreamed upon by both men and women alike, with ferocity.  (If you are looking for Jaguar, send me an email and we will discuss that particular totem separately.)  Why Lion comes to so many, it's hard to say.  But I do believe deeply inbedded within the lion is the idea of freedom  and independence.  Freedom from fears and our own inner traps that keep us from healing or moving forward, making decisions, stepping up to the plate, being couragous and up front.  Lions are fierce, but they cannot be grouped together; depending upon the type each holds different qualities.  Even the gender makes a huge difference in meaning; males have certain tasks as do females.  Highly social African lions can hold a different meaning than the solitary loner of the North/South American Cougar/Panther/Jaguar.  In parts of North America the Cougar/mountain lion should be extinct, yet there are many sightings and locals swear they have not been completely eradicated.  Dreaming of cougars in your area, an area that should harbor no such animal, could have even deeper layers of meaning.  


I've been gifted with countless lion/cougar dreams; they began during my own healing journey many years ago.  I can understand the importance of these dreams.  Like the guardians of ancient divinities, they welcome a new journey of healing. Whether they are seeking to devour, lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce, or wanting love and attention, lion as a dream symbol is powerful and should be recognized and given attention.  

Here is a list of some symbols, metaphors, and historical facts about the Mountain lion/cougar/panther/jaguar:
Power or Stealth
Tenacity or Perserverance
Holders of secret knowledge
Guardians or Protectors
Power in Leadership
Balancing Power
Self-confidence when facing crowds
Walking without Fear
Bast and Pasht (cat family) Egyptian gods
Freyja the Norse goddess's chariot pullers
Sickness or misfortune in Chinese lore
Peace and transformation in Japanese
Warriors in Aztec mythology: Tezcatlipoca
     was often seen as a Jaguar.
Toltecs: Rain and Thunder; the Sun god
Feminine energy
Releasing fear

If you are interested in undestanding a lion dream, send me an email or look at my page. I offer help to those who need it regardless of payment, so please do not hesitate if the need warrants.

Mother Goddess image from Catal Huyuk, Turkey

Here is an excerpt from Animal Magick:
" Male lions were associated with solar gods, especially in Greece, Rome and Persia, while lionesses were companions of Great Mother goddesses, often drawing their chariots.  Representations of these goddesses with their companion lionesses have been found in Crete, Mycenae, Phrygia, Thrace, Syria, Lycia, Sparta, Sumeria, Indian, and Tibet.  In connection with the Great Mother, the lioness symbolized both maternity and the capacity for vengeance."
"The cougar was a respected animal among Native Americans.  To them it represented leadership, physical grace, and strength.  The Algonquins and Ojibways knew the cougar as a form of the "underground panthers," evil beings who lived in an Underworld.  To the Cherokees, the cougar along with the owl, was sacred beacuse of its power to see in the dark."
(Llewellyn Publications: St. Paul, Minn. 2003. p.81, 76)

"The lion is a well-known symbol of the solstice of the sun, when the sun is at its highest... it is also a symbol of resurrection... passionate devouring, the power drive...the desire to posses.  The outstretched paws and wide open jaw illustrate the lion, the powerful, passionate hot nature.  It stands for resurrection, but also can be weakened by the flesh."
     Alchemy, Mary Louise Von Franz. Inner City Books: Toronto, Canada. 1980. P.170-1.

Here is an excerpt from Sams and Carsons' Medicine Cards:
"Mountian Lion can be a very difficult power totem for you to have, because it places you in a position to be a target for the problems of others.  You could be blamed for things going wrong, or for always taking charge when others cannot.  You could become the perfect justification for the insecurities of others.
     "Mountain Lion Medicine involves lessons on the use of power in leadership.  It is the ability to lead without insisting that others follow.  It is the understanding that all beings are potential leaders in their own ways.  The use and abuse of power in a position of influence are part of this great cat's medicine.
     "By observing the graceful pounce of Mountian Lion, you will learn how to balance power, intention, physical stength, and grace.  This relates, in human terms, to the balance of body, mind, and spirit.  The giant feline never wastes anything.  It only kills what it needs for survival.  The female lion is the hunter who graces her table in a style akin to mother energy."
     "If Mountain Lion has come to you in dreams, it is a time to stand on your convictions and lead yourself where your heart takes you.  Others may choose to follow, and the lessons will multiply...   You may be asked to review the purpose behind your personal beliefs...   If you are aligned with cat medicine, you are considered to be "king of the mountain," and never allowed to be human or vulnerable.  The pitfalls are many, but the rewards are great."

Hebrew representations of the Lion or Lioness: 
If we look to ancient times for representations of Lions or great cats we encounter the different aspects of the Hebrew Lillith or Babylonian Lamashtu (daughter of Anu, the god of Heaven).  In her dark aspect she is invoked and banished to protect newborn babies ....
"Dreadful is she, headstrong is she, she is s goddess, terrible is she.  She is like a leopard (?), the daughter of Anu.  Her feet are those of (the bird) Zu, her hands are dirty, her face is that of a powerful lion.  She rises out of her reedbed.  Her hair is loose, her breasts are bare.  Her hands are caked with flesh and blood.  She forces an entry through the window, she slides in like a snake.  She enters the house, she leaves the house again."
Excerpt taken from Siegmund Hurwitz's
Lilith: The First Eve. Historical and Psychological Aspects of the Dark Feminine. Daimon Verlang: Einsiedeln, Switzerland. 1992. P. 43.  Qutoed from F. Thureau-Dangin: "Rituel et amulettes contre labartu.