Leo – The Lioness – July 23 to August 22

“Leo – Guardian of the Mysteries –
is a sign of strength and generosity.
With a warm and open heart
she’s radiant and attractive
her leadership skills quite set her apart.
She knows she’s fab and loves being centre stage.
With eloquence, charisma, honour and grace
her life force burns bright and vital
bringing sunshine to every space.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The lion, a strong, proud and powerful animal, has long been associated with the Goddess. What is little known, though, by most people is that it was in fact the lioness who was the orginal Protectress of the Mysteries.

Lions are very much a matrifocal animal. The females – mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, aunts and grandmothers – live together in prides all of their lives. They look out for one another, hunt together or individually and protect each others cubs from newcoming lions.

Lionesses are independent, fierce, loyal, brave, strong, graceful and agile. They are the primary hunters of their pride and are highly protective over their young.

Male lions are large and heavy with a lazy disposition. Within a pride they are quite placid unless they’re fighting with incoming males.

Once grown up young males leave the pride of their birth and wander about either alone or in a so-called coalition of fellow males – both related and unrelated – in order to find a new pride and thus females. To be able to mate with the females of a new pride the invading males have to fight the resident males. On average adult male lions stay with the same pride for about 3 to 4 years only before they are evicted or killed. If the usurpers succeed they try to kill all cubs under the age of about 18 months, as that’s the only way the females will enter estrus immediately. That is when the protectiveness of the lionesses comes in – all the females unite to protect the cubs from the intruding males.

So, as you can see, the Goddess is much more linked to the lioness, while the patriarchal invaders of the ancient world were perfectly represented by the male lion.

The lioness is a very ancient symbol, as old as the bovine head and horns (i.e. bucrania).

The earliest representation of a lioness can be found in the cave “Les Trois Frères” in Ariège, France, where a drawing from some time between 27,000 and 14,000 years ago was discovered leading into the inner sanctuary. The image is situated in a prominent position looking directly at all persons who wish to enter this most sacred location.

As the Queen of Animals the lioness at “Les Trois Frères” is the Fierce Protectress and Guardian of the Mysteries of the Goddess. Throughout the ancient world from the Paleolithic era onwards the lioness can be found on the sides of gates and thrones, protecting either what is beyond the gates or whoever sits on the throne.

In Çatal Hüyük a statue was found from about 6,000 BCE of the Mother Goddess giving birth while sitting on a thones flanked by two lionesses. They are guarding and protecting the Goddess as She’s bringing forth new life. She trusts them inherently, as they are a part of Her as She is a part of them. The Goddess as the Mother of All Animals feels perfectly safe giving birth, a time of great vulnerability, with one of the world’s most dangerous predators!

This image is the forerunner for later historical Goddesses such as Inanna, Ishtar, Isis, Sekhmet, the Minoan Goddess of Animals, Cybele as well as Durga, the Mother Goddess of the Hindus.

The Great Goddess Inanna Herself was often called “Labbatu” which translates as “Lioness”.

The statue of the Minoan Snake Goddess from about 1,600 BCE wears a miniature lioness on Her hat.

From as late as the 7th century BCE several images of lionesses were found in the temple of the Goddess at Prinias on Crete.

Just as the lioness in the Paleolithic cave painting in France represented the Guardian of the Mysteries, the Protectress of the Sacred, so did all the other lionesses of the Goddess throughout the ancient world sybolise the same.

Once society became patriarchal and solar-based the male lion replaced the fiercely protective lioness. The lion with his spectacular mane became a symbol for the sun, for stregth, power, bravery and warrior’s valour. He became the emblem of kings and would be attributed all of the lioness’s qualities plus of course his own superior physical strength and fighting power.

As said before, male lion behaviour and their life styles within an all-male loyal coalition was perfectly suited to the new patriachal leaders of the ancient world. Fact is, most of the traits and characteristics of the sign of Leo such as generosity and warm-heartedness are qualities of the lioness and not the male lion.

Leo’s Characteristics and Traits

Leos have a passion for life that makes them such radiant and bright characters that people feel attracted to them and would quite literally follow them to the end of the Earth. Leos are natural born leaders whose enthusiasm and vitality shines through no matter what field they’ve decided to focus on. However, they themselves are far from being domineering or hierarchical. They’re in fact independent characters who are non-competitive and non-agressive and believe very much in equality.

Leos have a huge heart, are loving and caring and famous for their generosity. They love being the focus of attention, enjoy drama and dressing up. They’re beautiful people who are graceful and charming.

Leos are noble and honourable with a strong will and great sense of self-worth. They are intuitive with a deep and rich inner experience that helps them express themselves creatively. The arts and theatre are amongst Leo’s passions.

Leos are individuals whose intense life force makes them untamable – something that only adds to their magnetism.

In summary Leo women (and men) are:

– noble
– honourable
– honest
– admirable
– stable
– with great integrity

– warm-hearted
– large-hearted
– generous
– caring
– loving
– non-competitive
– non-aggressive
– egalitarian
– personal
– down-to-earth

– sunny
– optimistic
– cheerful
– enthusiastic
– joyful

– natural leaders
– influential
– attractive
– unconventional
– individual

– vital
– intense
– passionate
– radiant

– outgoing
– open
– with a love for being centre stage

– strong-willed
– self-confident
– aspiring
– with high stamina
– energetic
– powerful
– untamable

– beautiful
– graceful
– charismatic
– eloquent

– romantic
– sensitive
– with a love for theatre, dressing up, the arts and children
– with a love for creative expression
– intuitive
– deep
– with a rich inner experience

Leo is a fixed Fire sign that is ruled by Hathor-Sekhmet in Her aspect as the golden and fiery Sun.

It is associated with gold, glitzy and bold colours.

Within the body Leo is linked to the heart as well as the spine and upper back.

Leo qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Lioness.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon Dievendorf
    Jul 22, 2017 @ 14:22:15

    Love this! Thank you!

    Reply

  2. Maya
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 13:59:09

    I enjoyed reading this!!!!! I’m a Leo

    Reply

  3. Mari
    Sep 24, 2017 @ 02:55:17

    Mostly a fairly good article! I liked and agreed with most of Leo’s description. But Leo is a masculine sign and most people forget that it represents the nearly invincible Nemean Lion which was a European lion (they used to exist in Greece before the Romans hunted them to extinction for their arenas) and unlike their African counterparts, European lions seemed to be solitary hunters and fighters and didn’t have prides. So the males were every bit as much hunters and fighters as the females.

    But getting kind of tired of seeing the male LION constantly portrayed as “lazy,” when other animals like the scorpion continue to be grossly overrated in its ability to sting (only 20 species out of 1760 known species are deadly to humans and yet Scorpio is constantly portrayed as “deadly ” when it isn’t). If the negatives of one animal gets described, then so should the negatives of all the other animals.

    Other than this, still a fairly good and mostly balanced article.

    Reply

  4. Mari
    Sep 24, 2017 @ 02:58:21

    Also, one other thing. I disagree that Leos aren’t aggressive or competitive. In fact, they can be VERY aggressive and competitive just like the LIONS they are and as fierce fire signs. But they are indeed untameable and powerful.

    Reply

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