As we come into the season of Lughnasadh, we have moved into the astrological sign of Leo. Since my birthday actually falls on Lughnasadh, I have always felt this time of year brought more strength and more power into my life and to my path in the Craft. I have spent this past week journeying into the soul of the Lion and looking at his attributes. One book that I have been reading is Steven D. Farmer’s “Animal Spirit Guides.” Here is what he says about the mighty Lion:
If Lion shows up, it means:
Hold your head up high and keep your dignity, no matter what you’re faced with.
You’re much stronger than you think you are and need to use your emotional strength in this situation.
Call upon the well of courage that’s available to you to confront this uncomfortable situation.
Listen closely and discern carefully before acting, rather than moving ahead impulsively and recklessly.
When faced with a tough decision, follow your heart rather than what you think you should do.
Call on Lion when:
You feel particularly stressed or beaten down by any situation and want to boost your sense of power and self-confidence to deal with these circumstances.
Your dignity and integrity have been called into question and you want to recapture your self-respect.
You’ve been called upon to assume a position of authority and leadership.
You’ve taken on a project that at first seems overwhelming, even though you know you have the necessary skills and intelligence to complete it.
If Lion is your power animal:
You have a strong presence and a dignified manner, such that people always notice when you walk into a room.
Although your anger can sometimes be triggered rather easily, you generally have a great deal of compassion for others.
You’re a natural leader and have great organization skills.
You’re at your best when you function as part of a group or community rather than being alone.
You like to stretch your capabilities and are always seeking to learn more.
As I read through this passage in the book, I realized that different energies encompass us at different times based on our need. While the thoughts behind having Lion as your power animal definitely seems to ring true to those who are born under the sign of Leo, there are other animals that walk beside me on a more consistent basis…however, I do feel that lion power ever presently watching over my shoulder, always instilling in me my sense of self.
As we walk through day to day life, we encounter those things that constantly tear at our spirits. We are bombarded with words and images that tell us that we are less than we should be. Those who we thought were friends or lovers rip our hearts out and stomp them, either unaware of what they are doing or vindictively trying to hurt us. It is in these trying times that we should pull on the strength of Lion. He stands dutifully guarding us, poised to attack anything that comes against us. He stands in quiet strength until we decide to access that part of our spirit…and then he readies himself for the kill.
This year has been a year that this Leo has had to learn to roar, and roar loudly. Over the past two years there has been a series of new beginnings in my life. Each time one of these new opportunities surfaced, there was a part of me that wanted to shrink back and settle into the background of life. Each time, an advocate, human and spirit would intervene…pushing me to the forefront, encouraging me to fight, to meet each beginning head on with strength and courage. Whenever I rose to the challenge, success became imminent and a new challenge would follow.
I watched over the past couple of years as my life started to build on itself like a magickal staircase….each opportunity building on the one before it. The more I rose to the challenges, the more I felt something begin to build inside of me. I found that the little annoyances of life seemed not to be such annoyances anymore and they started to work themselves out. I found that the way I carried myself was evolving, and as a result, the way people responded to me changed. I observed those who used to challenge me, no longer challenged me. These people, figuratively speaking, started moving out of my way to let me pass.
With each success, though, there were different challenges. These challenges seemed to be more internal. I have been a part of the business world for as long as I have been working. I have come to realize that the success of the business is not necessarily attributed to the customers. It comes from those who work internally. If they don’t work together and take care of that business, the customers just won’t come. It was the same with me. When stresses would appear in my life, my body would attempt to break down. I would become sick or end up hurt in some way…or have some past emotional garbage try to surface. It was in these times that I had to stop and realize (or have it pointed out to me) what was going on and to deal with the issue and press forward. In my own weakness, I found more strength than I actually thought I possessed.
As I said earlier, this has been my year to learn to roar. In my study of the lion, I have realized that a roar is not a yell…it is not strained. It is simply a different part of the lion’s voice…and is a part of who they are. According to Nature Center Magazine, “A male lion may roar to let the other members of the pride know that all is well. The female lion’s roar is usually different than the male’s roar. They are much quieter than the large male lions. A female can call out for roaming or lost cubs, and she can give a roar to bring the other adult pride memebers back to help in case of danger. So a lion’s roar can be explained rather simplistically. It is used to communicate with the rest of the pride. It’s like a quick status update or a call to come home.” Solitary lions tend to stay quiet. Only those who belong to a pack tend to roar.
I had no idea until I began my studies that female lions roared. We are always shown the male lion roaring on documentaries. I found it fascinating that the male roar was more for status updates…the females roar, however, was to call for those roaming or lost or as an alert for danger. Most see the female as the more docile in the pride, but it their responsibility to guard the pride and to teach the cubs to hunt. The females of the pride do almost all of the hunting.
As I walked to the woods this morning with Friz in tow, I could feel the heat of the summer breeze hard on the back of my neck. It is funny, my grandma used to refer to that type of breeze this time of year as the lion’s breath or the dragon’s breath. My mind ran in circles as I got closer to the canape of trees. As each month of this year has passed, I have become more aware of myself…not just who I am, but what lies deep within me. I have been getting more and more acquainted with my authentic self. I have to admit….I like this part of myself tremendously. I have found that part of myself to be strong, compassionate and unfaltering. I have found that part of myself to be more open to others, but uncompromising as far as who I am. I love harder, deeper and with more abandon…but I am not willing to be bypassed or stomped on.
As I settled down into the bed of leaves beneath me, I could feel something welling up inside of me this morning. I was feeling the rumblings of my own roar. It wasn’t surging forward to threaten anyone. It was leaping forth to say, “Here I am. Like me or not, this is me and I am more than happy with where I am and what lies ahead. My spirit is strong and my teeth are sharp. I stand strong and will not let my heart falter. I stand strong in my own freedom.”