Lion symbolism

Lion symbolism

The lion is the head of the animal kingdom and thus a non-fearing animal. It dominates other wildlife in nature. Hence, the most consistent depiction is “king of the jungle.” Since time immemorial, people have drawn inferences regarding the characteristics, behavior, and features of lions and used them in lion symbolism. The symbolic meaning of the king of the jungle is very diverse. A male lion is a symbol of power and might, and the lioness is the Great Mother and Protector. In psychology, the lion stands for the latent passions in the unconscious and the risk of getting drowned in it. Lion parts carry different symbolism as well. Its carcass associates with honey, its head with care and vigilance and its tooth with eternity and indestructible.

Symbolic meaning of lions

Through all cultures, the symbols and meanings of the common traits of a lion are the following:

Authority Awareness Confidence Conquest Control Courage
Destruction Determination Dignity Dominion Family Fearlessness
Ferocity Fiery Focus Generosity Intensity Intuition
Justice Loyalty Majestic Nobility Passion Patience
Playfulness Power Pride Protection Prudence Royalty
Silence Stealth Strength Territorial Virtue Wisdom

Dual nature

Many interpretations emphasize lion’s dual nature. Despite the incidents of attacks on humans, it enjoys positive depiction as creatures that appear tough and gentle both at the same time. We describe with leonine features such as powerful in protecting his own and stealth in attacking his prey. It is the embodiment of the Son of God as well as the force of evil. It has represented cruelty and savagery but also power and strength. Similarly, the lion can be both lunar and solar.

Lunar and solar animal

Lions are primarily nocturnal creatures and conduct its hunting activity mostly during night time. In this, lion energy cloaks our spirit in the power of the nightfall. Hence, a lioness is a lunar animal since she is the one who does all the hunting.

Throughout the ancient world, the yellow color of the mane of the lion symbolized it as a solar symbol. Therefore, the lion comes roaring into the spiritual journey with all the raw power of the solar deities such as aggressiveness and courage. Hence, a male lion is considered a solar animal.

Being both a lunar and a solar animal, the lion shares the world of both night and day. So, it bears a dual-natured symbolic message of prudence and balance as well as command and authority over subconscious thought. In other words, it asks us not to overdo in certain areas but to keep an overall balance and an even mind in our life activities.

Soft nature

The lion spirit animal has a human-like soft side too. The ancient and modern stories – Androcles and Elsa – gives the king of the jungle an additional meaning as kind and devoted to those who treat it justly.


We find in the story of Androcles that kindness to a lion is not soon forgotten. After helping it rid itself of a thorn, the lion pays back by openly showing his affection towards Androcles and refused to eat the slave at the Circus Maximus.


In modern times, we witness the human nature of the lion in Elsa the Lioness. She is the most famous lion ever, written about in three bestselling books, and featured in a motion picture titled Born Free winning two Academy Awards. It is the incredible story of Elsa having a personal relationship with Joy and George Adamson.

Lion totem animal

You have the power to reach and tap inside yourself the instincts, abilities, and characteristics of the lion and utilize them when you want to achieve goals.

Choosing to invoke a lion spirit as your totem animal symbolizes your readiness to tackle challenges head on, or even assert or defend yourself. Walking with the lion means being ready for trouble, and not seeking it out. Channeling its energy assists you in understanding and recognizing your regal attitudes. It urges you to do what is right and noble with conviction.

The transmutation can be either extremely positive or negative and a bit wild too. Use the lessons of lion wisely and with self-control. Don’t hesitate to use the lion spirit’s energy from the grasses of your aura. Listen to the actions of the lion for he will tell you if it is time to de-stress and relax your spirit, mind, and body.

Lion spirit animal

When lion spirit animal presents itself, it comes with extraordinary vitality and strength. Lion is often attracted to people who are outspoken and brave with leadership potential. Subsequently, it appears in your life when you need to reclaim a space and take a leadership role. With a lion spirit at your side, you will learn about self-expression by banishing fear. The feline can also teach you how to handle your personal power efficiently, and you will attract the spotlight with magnetism.

When lion accompanies you, perhaps it is time to get involved in community responsibilities. Do not worry about the uncooperativeness of the team. A lion is the best for leaders dealing with such a group as it gives you the courage to make the necessary changes to organize cooperation among your peers. Spiritual leaders who have this spirit animal violently protect their faith and religious freedom. Remain humble with the lion because the demeanor matters to the lion.

Earliest depictions

The lion’s earliest recorded depiction is in the Paleolithic human cave art in the Chauvet Cave in southern France. In the carvings, lionesses are depicted hunting in much the same strategy as modern lions. Another better-known cave paintings are that of Lascaux, where two lions were depicted mating. The carving from Vogelherd cave in southwestern Germany is from the Aurignacian culture.

Modern symbolism

The lion is a sporting mascot or symbol for sports, businesses and other entities. It is the symbol of the income tax in Brazil. The 1966 and 2007 FIFA World Cup contained lions as their mascot. In the U.S., Fortitude and Patience are the stone lions outside the New York Public Library. The Ford Torino, Mercury Marquis, Ford LTD, and Ford XL featured a lion as the car emblem. In Australia, a heraldic lion is the logo of the car company Holden.

Lions International

On the 7th of June 1917, the delegates who congregated in Chicago that day chose the name Lions International for the new organization over several others for what it stands for – courage, strength, fidelity and activity. Its interpretation is Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Strength. At the top is the word “Lions” and at the bottom “International.” The emblem of the organization has a gold letter “L” bordered by two lions facing away from the center symbolizing both future and past – showing confidence in the future and pride in the heritage.

The diverse lion symbolism manifests itself in different forms in various cultures and present-day entities. Although lion belongs to the earth, its symbolism pertains to the spiritual world. Understand it in that context. Any attempt to apply it in the physical world without the spiritual stirrings would be foolhardy.

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