Lion August 8, 2015

Why are we all so upset about that African lion (Cecil) being killed?

Here’s a hint.  It’s not just that the sun and Mars are in Leo (the lion sign). 

It’s actually about revolution, about the evolution of leadership, and about the re-entry of the balanced masculine authority.

By now, you’ve likely heard the story about Cecil a 13 year old male lion who was a sort of mascot and favorite in Zimbabwe.  Cecil was recently lured out of his national park, shot with an arrow, tracked injured for 40 hours, then shot with a rifle, skinned, and beheaded by a dentist from Minnesota and the guides he paid $50K to for the thrill of the experience.

This was a heinous act, but clearly we are living a world full of heinous acts – committed against people and animals.

So why did this story capture the whole world’s attention, spark incredible outrage, and cause a shift in international policy?

Let’s take a shaman’s look at this.

The alpha male Lion has long been a symbol of courageous authority and leadership.

The lion is the top of the food chain in his domain.  He doesn’t even have to work hard.  He is mostly at rest.  But he is rarely challenged.  He only gets uppity in defending himself, his pride, or his seat at the top of the hierarchy.

He doesn’t work hard to look busy.  He doesn’t run around to prove himself.  He relaxes.  He surveys.  His presence is enough.  Now there’s an example of authentic leadership.

In a world where we are surrounded by profit-driven wimpy leadership that uses fear to manipulate, we all long for the quiet authentic authority of a leader who is:

  • courageous (not motivated by fear)
  • confident (not wielding fear)
  • naturally gifted (owning power without purchasing it)
  • out to protect the family, the tribe, the pride (protector of the whole, not just of the self)

If we look out at all the horrible things happening in the world, it’s easy to feel hopeless.  What can I do to protect a lion in Africa?  But as in all things, the outer frustrations are our calling to go inward.

This is a great time to take a look at our own leadership.

As leaders, teachers, and parents… where are we acting like the dentist – trying to purchase power, manipulating the rules for our own gain, sacrificing the whole for selfish progress, and basically hoping, in our arrogance, to use fear, money, and force to look like big powerful leaders?

And where can we, as leaders, teachers, and parents learn to lead like the noble Lion archetype – trusting that our pride/clan will chose the right leader, will respect our authority without threat of force?  How can we relax more, trust more, and be a part of the whole instead of asserting or forcing power over those around us?  How can we be honest, and roar when its time to roar?

As we witness the presidential primary debates, the police brutality tapes, and the destructive power of a political system that is bought and sold, it is easy to understand why we need to rage and fume over our Lion being killed by a wimpy white dentist dude hiding behind a jeep, a gun, and a $50K investment.

It’s not really about the dentist.  It’s about what he represents.  And we are sick of it.

From a shamanic perspective, we can call on the energy of the Lion to support us in learning his form of authentic power and leadership.  We can forgive the part of us that is that dentist, and keep choosing a different way.  We can turn away from the old vision of “success” that a respectable dentist used to represent.  And we can look towards authenticity, respect, and true power instead.


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