Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

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The Teachings of the Lion (for Cecil)

Known as the King of the Jungle, Lion actually lives on the open African grasslands. Originally, He ranged from the Mediterranean Sea to Asia and south to Africa. Hunted by Romans for their Games, Lion first disappeared from Europe and Asia Minor. As Lion hunting increased, his range shrank to where now Lion lives only in Africa.

Unlike most members of the Cat Family, Lion is social. He lives in a Pride and forms coalitions with his Male Friends. In his Pride, Lionesses work together to hunt and chase off predators. Meanwhile with his Male Partners, Lion defends their territory against intruders. With his Coalition, Lion rules the Pride for a few years until a new Coalition arises. Then He and his Male Partners leave.

When Lions hunt, They form a cooperative group. Whether They are killing Seals on a beach or Cape Buffalos on the savannah, the Pride forms a plan of action. Some Lionesses wait downwind while their Sisters herd the animals towards Them. Other Lionesses travel around the prey to close off avenues of escape. Suddenly, a Lioness shows Herself, causing panic among the prey. The animals rush headlong into the Pride’s ambush.

Because Lion is yellow, and loves sleeping in the sun, He has been the symbol of the Sun for many cultures. People so admired Lion, that they thought He possessed spiritual powers equal to his physical attitudes. As King of the Beasts, Lion was wise and just.

Killing a Lion was a symbol of manhood. In Africa, young men were initiated through lion combat. The Zulu and Masai were expected to defeat a lion to become a man among their peoples. In Ethiopia, the Emperor awarded the bravest warriors with a lion mane headdress.

In China, Lion is a mythic creature, a symbol of nobility and dignity. Guardian Lion statues protect Chinese buildings. Lion Dancing, which has a very long tradition, is an essential part of Chinese festivals. The Lion Dance brings good luck, prosperity, and happiness to the people at the festival.

Lion teaches constructive group dynamics. When hunting, Everyone contributes to bringing down the prey. Working together patiently makes for a successful hunt. Even though Lions have strong personalities, They cooperate successfully. Learn from Lion how to accomplish much in your group.

Lion’s Wisdom Includes:
Proper Use of Power and Strength
Group Energy
Roles in A Group
Balanced Leadership
Male Friendship

Conservation Note: Lions are endangered and are protected by international treaties.

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Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  


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