A little more rested now. While I worked on this last night I was thinking about the obvious link between this and Hercules or Heracles who is often shown wearing a lion skin, probably the Nemean Lion which he choked to death. Orion is also depicted with a lion skin. Lions, a very potent symbol of masculine power.
So, what is it doing on a child? Is it saying the child is very powerful? I notice the child’s eyes are wide open, and I felt the eyes were very, very, important, but the lions eyes are closed. Does this mean the lion is sublimated? Potential only? Forgotten but powerful part of the self? I think, being an 8, that you are both the child and the lion though I don’t know what determines which dominates at any given time. I think it will depend on context, really. But, we all have the potential to be both.
This is so cool, at this very moment on the news is a story about a 9 year old kid who used Jujitsu to choke a pitbull who was attacking a little girl! There is a child acting like Hercules! I love the universe! Little Samurai! He held that dog in a neck lock for 25 minutes before someone came to help, wow.
Another random set of thoughts about this….yesterday morning I looked out the window just in time to see a big hawk swoop down into the tree right near the house. All of the squirrels and little birds went diving and then the whole neighborhood went completely still. I ran for the binoculars and watched the hawk, who didn’t catch anything but stayed in the tree for awhile preening him/herself. I thought, here we are as people always worried about offending each other but that hawk never worries about that, when he shows up in a neighborhood everyone is terrified and one of them gets eaten. It’s the way it is when you are a carnivore. But not so with us people, it seems to me we are often ashamed of who and what we are. I find it a beautiful thing to see a person in full power, I don’t mean someone murdering someone or hunting, I mean a person in their full potential, musicians, athletes, singers – any million of things, even little kids endangering themselves to save their little friends from an attacking pitbull. The lion is that full-hearted action. The lion skin can be both becoming the lion, claiming its character in a primordial kind of way but conversely it could be about neutering someone. Killing the animal instincts in favor of, perhaps, civilized action and behavior, reasonable behavior, moderate and safe behavior.
It did cross my mind that killing a lion is symbolically like circumcision. OR I should say circumcision is like symbolically killing a lion, restraining a force that might be scary in its full form. Or, sacrificing a bit of your animal nature in deference to a higher God, submitting. Lion + Lion’s mane = Penis + foreskin. Not to mention all of the poor foreskins sacrificed toward the coming of age rituals all over the world, similar to a lion hunt.