Home > dreams, Kemetic, paganism, shamanism, The Natural World > Feline Symbolism and Solar Dreams

Feline Symbolism and Solar Dreams

Lately I’ve been going through some deep struggles of an inner sort. This has mainly come about as a result of a combination of medical ordeals, and the latest news with regards to hate and bullying, which has served to bring up quite a cocktail of repressed memories and thoughts with regards to my own unpleasant and severe experiences with bullying and abuse in childhood and adulthood. Migraines have been running rampant due to this sort of emotional stress, as well as physical stress from work, and financial concern.

It is during these periods that I tend to experience a profound degree of heightened Awareness. Everything tends to take on a surreal sort of air to it. The reality of the physical and the otherworldly bleeds over into itself. Part of it could easily be explained by the time of year, as October approaches into November, and the nonphysical folk of the otherworlds begin making their rounds. This is something else as well. Something that plays upon the chords of my sanity and my sense of reality and, by contagion, that of those closest to me, to an extent.

One morning I sit downstairs to watch television, early in the morning. I have a terrible migraine, and the auras I’m experiencing are already giving the landscape around me a surreal quality. I am deeply aware of presences that aren’t the other dwellers of the household, or the cats. Something else, bigger, breathing down my neck, engulfing me. I turn on the TV to watch a nature program, and see something that pierces into my mind. Lions killing a giraffe–immediately an image floods my mind of me, as a small child of the age of 7, drawing a picture of a pride of lions eating a giraffe, and presenting it to the teacher who is horrified. I remember this clearly due to the horror expressed by the teacher. But there it is, this time in flesh and blood, real life, on the screen. The large male giraffe kicks and fights, but it is inevitable. They take him down, they strangle him, tear him open, feast. Childhood memories flash through my mind. The scrawled lions on plain cardboard paper hover in my memory.

Then the show shifts to another segment. A coalition of male cheetahs (females are solitary, males are social), probably brothers. They come to rest under a tree. One standing, the other laying down. From the cover of a bush, a female lion bursts forth. The cheetah brother standing lunges back and screams in terror as his brother, frozen in fear under the tree, is seized, brutalized, strangled to death. I’ve never seen one so brutalized and killed before. My heart breaks at this–cheetahs hold a very sentimental as well as sacred position in my heart. I see myself as the cheetah sometimes (or, the leopard–although I realize they aren’t related, their symbolism overlaps in many ancient mythologies), but I also see the lioness as Sekhmet. The lioness killing the cheetah opens up floodgates in my mind. The little male dying at the hands of the large female. My gender struggles. My body warring against me. More childhood memories come pouring in.

The scene shifts again. A lioness is then eaten, overwhelmed by a pack of hyenas and devoured alive. It is a very brutal scene, you can see the agony plain on her face. Hyenas are in-between creatures, sacred to many who are transgendered, as hyenas are creatures of in-between gender. More symbolism floats into my head. The defined lioness taken down by the undefined hyena. Visions and dreams of solar eclipses and suns burning and plunging into the earth fill my mind.

I am still awaiting the dawn.

  1. October 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I’ve tried to separate the lions around Egypt that Hadrian and Antinous hunted and the lion or lion-headed deities of Egypt and Graeco-Egyptian culture–Maahes, Sekhmet, Chnoubis, Aion, etc. Sure, there is a relationship, but I don’t think each and every lion, or their actions, directly represents the god (in the same way that a lot of devotees of particular gods or religions may not represent those gods or religions particularly well, pagans included).

    I’ve written some poetry about this, though, which may end up in the Sekhmet devotional that Galina Krasskova is putting together, so I hope it does end up going through.

    The hyena symbolism is very interesting, though…And, with this juxtaposition of several vignettes involving leonine inter-species violence, it’s interesting that the hyena is the one that eventually prevails. As an Antinoan, and someone involved in that symbol-set, I’m almost seeing transfolk on Antinous’ side, taking down that lion (with some difficulty), with all that lion represents in terms of death and so forth…

  2. mythicanine
    October 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    (I can’t seem to find a link to reply to this with, gah WordPress confuses me sometimes..)

    I’m generally of similar opinion re sacred animals representing their deities, though in this case Sekhmet is very influential in my life, prominent in my personal pantheon, and certain patterns with regards to my recent struggles point in her direction. So the finding of that show on television at just the right time seemed to “sit right”, or something, if I’m making sense. I don’t always draw said associations every time I, for example, see a lion, but the time was rather ripe for such a thing to take place.

    I really hope your poem gets into the anthology! I’m really excited about it–I submitted two essays myself, which actually will elaborate a bit on what I hinted at above.

    I do find the hyena symbolism interesting from your take, it seems to overlap a bit with the connections I was making in my mind at the time I was watching that show.

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