Lion Spirit, Totem, & Power Animal Symbolism and Meaning 1200x1200

Lion Symbolism & Meaning

Do you need the courage to pounce on an opportunity or defeat a foe?

Are you having trouble speaking your truth?

Is it time for you to walk in integrity and honor?

Lion energy can help!

Lion Table of Contents

Lion Symbolism & Meaning

Throughout the ancient world, the vibrant yellow mane of the Lion made it a natural solar symbol.

As such this King of the Beasts comes roaring into our spiritual journey with raw power, courage, and aggressiveness.

But cats are nocturnal. In this, Lion energy also cloaks our spirit in the lunar power of night – when much of the world is sleeping and the Big Cats are everywhere yet unseen, communicating yet unheard and hunting yet immobile.

Depictions of Lions are literally a millennium old throughout the world. Some revered the Lioness as the provider for her pride, and the meaning of providence and hunting skill remains intact.

In Egypt the sphinx has the body of a Lion, which was a sacred symbol of the Goddess who safeguarded the pharaohs in the afterlife.

Historians tell us that the playful goddess of dance and protection appeared in early illustrations as having a Lioness’ head instead of a domesticated cat. Other beings in the Egyptian pantheon had Lion likenesses including the fierce friend to women and children, Sekhmet and Bast’s son, Maahes a war god.

Middle Eastern stories and art show the Lion as representing great kings. The gods and goddesses in this region also had Lion companions. Examples include Ishtar with a Lion-drawn chariot and Inanna who stands on the backs of two female Lions. This alludes to the Lion as an emblem of great strength and authority. The connection strengthens further when we see the entrance to great cities and temples with Lion gates and flanking statues as protectors.

Chinese Buddhist portray the Lion as a creature of great majesty. It’s believed that Lions safeguard humans from ghosts and demons. As a result the architecture throughout China includes Lions at entryways, standing vigilant guard. The Tibetans mirror this protective nature using the Snow Lion. The key differences is that Snow Lions represent the Earth element instead of fire, but continue having stalwart fearlessness.

It would seem that Lion Spirit has a soft, pussy-cat side too. In the story of Androcles and the Lion we find that kindness to this noble cat is not soon forgotten. After helping the Lion rid itself of a thorn and infection, the Lion returns the favor by refusing to devour the young slave at the Circus Maximus, and openly showing his affection toward Androcles to the Emperor. Because of this ancient story, Lion symbolism includes devotion and kindness toward those who show him mercy and compassion.

Lion Spirit Animal

When Lion as a Spirit Animal roars its presence in your life, this majestic cat comes with uncommon strength and vitality.

Lion often appears to a person who needs to reclaim their space and take back a leadership role in life. Alternatively the Lion Spirit Animal finds itself attracted to people who are brave and outspoken with leadership potential.

If you meet up with a Lioness the focus is a little different. She will teach you how to care for your pride and get your family working more cooperatively. The Lioness teaches her young all they need to know to fend for themselves without ever leaving them vulnerable. Lioness spirit likes people who nurture and protect the weak.

With a Lion Animal Spirit at your side you’re bound to attract the spotlight with pure magnetism. Spiritual leaders who have a Lion guide aggressively protect their faith against false images. They will also defend to the death the concept of religious freedom and finding God in your own way.

When Lion accompanies you in life you will learn much about banishing fear and self-expression. Remain humble with Lion, knowing that demeanor matters. This feline can teach you much about handling your personal power effectively.

Lion Totem Animal

If Lion is your Totem Animal, you face challenges head on, without fear. You are cunning and have the strength to outlast the competition, no matter what.

Though a bit of a wild child, if you’ve got the heart of a Lion you have the uncanny ability to stay completely motionless and silent for long periods of time. These are excellent natural abilities to have when you want to meditate or journey!

Lion people make for some of the best leaders. They are very adept at dealing with less-than-cooperative groups and have the courage to make whatever changes are necessary so the Pride is protected.

Lion Power Animal

Be prepared when you invoke Lion as a Power Animal. This mighty animal ally will charge into your life with all the power of the noon-day sun.

There is no hesitancy here – rather simple knowingness. Lion people know their place in the proverbial food chain and in the world – at the apex. Lions are a proud lot with commanding communication skills and a natural knack for leadership.

Walking with the Lion as a Power Animal means being ready for trouble, but not seeking it out.

Channeling Lion energy encourages you to do what is noble and right with conviction. Don’t be afraid to use the Lion’s energy waiting in the grasses of your Aura. Letting even just a little out puts predators on notice, particularly when it comes to your intimate pride. Disrespect is not in Lion’s vocabulary, let alone the word “quit”.

The sacred triad of character traits: honor, respect and gratitude sum up the Lion’s metaphysical associations nicely. Honor means appreciation, respect is earned and gratitude goes hand in hand with walking in this world as a spirit-being.

Native American Lion Symbolic Meanings

Mountain Lions appear in the stories of various tribes as the symbol of a wise leader who knows his intention and leads with confidence. Lions are cunning, noble and courageous.

In certain regions Lion Spirit causes fear because of the dangerous power they wield and the fact that the Lion walks in silent moccasins.

The Hopi revere Lion as a sacred guardian for the tribe to whom they look for on-going advice during ritual. They depict him as a great hunter who is strong and fearless in the face of any challenge. This symbolism for Lion translates into Navajo tribes where they likewise consider the Lion Spirit a guardian and protector.

Lion Dreams

Seeing a sitting Lion in a dream may portend an upcoming change in your role to that of a leader or teacher. When that happens the Lion reminds you to follow its lesson of leading with dignity.

Lion in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

The Zodiac Sign of Leo is symbolically represented by The Lion.

Leo’s dates are July 21 – August 21.

Everything about the Leo personality is notoriously B.I.G.

When using their powers for good, Leos are almost saint like but The Lion’s negative personality traits are every bit as big as everything else about them.

However, like all good leaders, those born under the Leo Sign are the truest of humanitarians who view all people as theirs to protect and serve.

Shamanic Spirit Animal Reading 935x500

***Special Note About Comments*** is SO blessed to receive TONS of readers and commenters from all over the globe. We have thousands of participants and I would love to personally respond to each comment and question. Though I'm trying to figure out how to be more like the Octopus and have eight arms to work with, for now I only have two. This means I can only respond as time allows. If your Spirit, Totem, or Power Animal question is deeply important to you, perhaps you'll consider booking a Shamanic Spirit Animal Reading with me.


  1. Tara Chamblin October 4, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Pretty spot on, I am a triple fire sign Leo meaning the stars were all aligned at my birth. There is no cusp to my sign & a scar I received from my cat during childhood gave me my totem. Very interesting indeed, & the traits are uncanny.

    • Bernadette King October 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Hi, Tara;

      Please accept my apology. I normally respond much faster. I was on a mini vacation and, then, Hurricane Matthew decided to visit me in Florida. 😉

      OMGosh! A TRIPLE Leo? Whew! Is it hot in here or is it me! LOL Ms. Tara, you are fierce! 😉 On my sister-site, you can read all about Leo Sign Traits, Personality, & Characteristics.

      Stay wild,

  2. Janice October 24, 2016 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Hello, I have native Americans ancestors. Did not now much about the tribes from South Carolina. Where I am from. I had a dream a few months back. Old Indian man in my dreams was talking to me. And said. Your spirit animal is a black panther. Beware of the lion it was trying to kill me. I did have a small black dog. That I am very close to trying to protect me from the lion. What does this mean. It’s troubles me. Trying to understand.

  3. Angelina November 19, 2016 at 1:37 am - Reply

    So i took the quiz and it said Lion, and when I look at the native Americana and Astrology it says woodpecker. I am born on June 23. After i start thinking about it i find myself very close to dogs. i always grew up with dogs and my family has them. My grandmas dog had puppies and was very protective, she would bite people or go after them (but it want any major injuries) and whenever i would go to her or her puppies she would lick me and never try to hurt me. One day when I went to my grandmas, the dog was stuck in the shed window, my uncle couldn’t get her out so he told me too. i went to the widow and she came out perfectly fine. My neighbors have 2 pit-bulls. The dogs never tried to harm or hurt me, on day I went over to talk to the pit-bulls owners (the kids) and he said the dogs got mean. I went to the dog and he did nothing to me he stayed nice. Now sorry for rambling but one of the dogs i have now will protect me from anything even after he got into a fight and almost died he would still bark and growl if he thought someone tried to harm me. Or anytime i have a cut, my dog would lick it or try to ‘help’ with it.
    But back to the Lion, i always wanted one as a pet and i think they are beautiful, yes they can be fierce but so can I, if anyone mess with the people i care about i will go into a ‘protective’ mode and do anything, I would be there for them then talk/ confront the person. Also the more i think about it, i believe a Lion is like me.
    Could a lion and a Dog be my spirit animal or power animal?
    What does all this mean exactly? Thank you for taking your time to read!

    • Bernadette King November 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      Hello, Angelina;

      Wow! What a wonderful connection you have to the animal kingdom!

      OK, so Woodpecker is your birth Totem Animal. It sounds like Dog is your Spirit Animal and Lion is your Power Animal. Click to learn more about the difference between Spirit, Totem, and Power Animals.

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

  4. Lauren December 5, 2016 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Hi Bernadette,

    I just stumbled upon your website and I took the quiz. The Lion came out of it for me. It does resemble a lot to me, like protecting family and friends. But since almost a year now I have this weird connection to ravens. I have read a bookseries about them and they intrigue me so much. They also keep appearing in movies I watch or pictures that are posted on social media.
    Does this mean something or am I just too observant?

    Awaiting your reply.


    • Bernadette King December 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Hello, Lauren;

      First thing – one can never be ‘too’ observant! So, keep observing! Also, we can have more than one Spirit Animal. If Raven in particular is speaking to you now, perhaps consider tapping further into Raven energy as a Power Animal.

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

  5. Candy December 15, 2016 at 2:50 am - Reply

    I got on thus website and I got a lion I am reading like ” wow… I have every one of these traits even though I don’t use them often. so I will start to try to use them any way sorry I am rambling

    • Bernadette King December 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hello, Candy;

      Welcome! So happy you’re inspired by visiting! You’re gonna do great by being all the Lion you can be! 🙂

      Stay wild,

  6. Leo schledorn January 4, 2017 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    These traits have always been with me. and my favorite animal has been a lion since i was little.

  7. Logan April 12, 2017 at 3:54 am - Reply

    I took the test on the and a lion came up and every single trait of the lion i have. But i not a leo i am a Sagittarius. And i an not sure if this has anything to do with my totem,spirit,power animal but a Black Panther always talks to me in my dream’s. sorry for rampling but i am confused on all the spirt, totem, and power animals and why i have a lion instead of the Sagittarius animal

    • spiritanimals April 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Hi, Logan;

      No worries! Lots of folks have this confusion. Our “Spirit Animal” can be our Zodiac Sign (Sagittarius, Leo, etc.) or it can be a completely different animal. If Black Panther talks to you in your dreams it might be your Spirit, Totem, or Power Animal – only you will know that. Because you took the quiz and came up with Lion – and it’s traits resonate with you – that means at least part of your soul is a Lion.

      Scroll to the bottom of the Spirit Animal Meanings page and read about the difference between a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal. This might help clear up the confusion.

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

  8. Lucy May 2, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I am amazed at the accuracy, as it relates to my current situation. I am a Leo, but the hawk has been my totem for the last several years. Recently, I’ve encountered the Lion everywhere I look. Once I read this, I gained so much clarity into what I am facing with current challenges in my life. I have been struggling, mightily, to find my voice in recent weeks, a voice which I have lost. This, in addition to being on the crux of a major life transition, has been a bit overwhelming, to say the least. My deepest gratitude for your site and the information & insight that it provides. Much love.

  9. Cordelia Leite May 12, 2018 at 7:21 am - Reply

    “Respect is earned…” No, respect is a basic human right…every single person is deserving of respect. Let’s stop trying to justify gratuitous aggression.

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