Lion Symbolism and Meaning: Majestic Animal Or Death Harbinger

Lion Symbolism and Meaning

What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of lions? It’s definitely the fact that these animals are considered the kings of the forest.

We are so well familiar with exactly how many tales and fables are there that revolve around the symbolism of Lion as the king with strength and majestic aura. But definitely, like all other animals, this is not the limit of its symbolism.

And hence In this article, I’ll explain lion symbolism and meaning in detail. I’ll cover every positive and negative aspect of this animal. 

Understanding Lion Symbolism and Meaning 

In a general context, a lion is a symbol of protection, majesty, courage, and strength. In western culture, the lion is considered a quiet, fearsome, and mysterious animal. While in eastern culture, the lion symbolizes a god-like figure with majestic powers.


Lions are largely synonymous with majesty, be it in kid’s fables or mythological references. Being regarded as the king has a lot to do with the majestic moves and gestures of a lion wherein he definitely walks like a king.

Their aura emits powerful and elegant vibes justifying why they indeed are the kings of the jungle.


Lions are brave souls. Put them in any endangered situation and they will fight with all their might to walk victoriously out of it. They are open to any challenge and are not the species that tend to walk back or give up.


Lions are epitomes of strength. They have a strong framework and immense bone strength that makes them strong together.

Their body is like that of a beast which also helps it facilitate activities like hunting and chasing that need body strength.


Lions are protectors, of themselves, their families, and even other members of the forest.

This animal being referred to as the king is mainly because of its protective nature and how it has the potential to be a shield for someone who is in danger.


What does a lion symbolize if not pride? The pride in lions seems to ooze out, especially when they casually walk around the forest with such aura or roar with such grace and self-proclamation.


Lions are extremely committed and oriented to their family. These animals tend to pay a lot of attention to their partners and help their cubs grow along with their mothers.

Even though they tend to go hunting, they bring food back for their family so that the lioness does not have to do needful.


Lions are undoubtedly wise, another reason why Lions are considered the king. Their combination of strength and wisdom is indeed exemplary and resembles an ideal leader for the forest. 

Lions Symbolism And Meaning In Different Civilizations 

What Does Lion Symbolize In Native American Culture?

The Mountain lions have several names in the Native American tribes, like puma, cougar, panther, etc, also called the largest existing species of cat.

They do have a huge reverence for this animal and yet there are instances when they have fought it for certain mandatory rituals in their culture.

The Tewa traditions believe that supernatural beings living in Spokane transfer and change their bodies into Mountain Lions as in shapeshifting.

The Zuni tribes however believe that Mountain Lions were the beast God that has a link with the North.

Even though these animals are fatal and deadly, the natives of the land do not seem to fear for their life when around them.

They always respect the presence of the animal rather than being scared of them, especially for their silence like a proud and less spoken efficient ruler.

Their silence and less frequent roars are symbolic and appreciative of their mysterious and introverted nature. These predators on their land were not only worshiped but also protected.

What Does Lion Symbolize In Eastern Culture?

Indian Mythology exclusively mentions this creature multiple times for the deep religious facts related to this animal in Hinduism’s ancient history.

Deities like Narsimha, Maa Durga, and also Vishnu and Parvati are mostly associated with Lions as an avatar or companion animals.

To the Japanese, the ultimate guardian of the tribe, Koma-inu of the Shinto shrine is a figure of a personified lion.

Kara-shishi in their culture is a lion dance whose roots date back to the Edo Art period. These animals hence exhibit pride and devotion in their culture.

Similarly, the Chinese Culture considers these animals as idol protectors of the land. They too indulge in a lion dance which is created to pay deserving homage to the protector image of lions with strength and nobility, as per the Han Dynasty.

In Buddhism, it is believed that Lord Buddha’s character traits were comparable to that of a lion. Sri Lanka too adopted Lions as their National symbol for the emblem, surprisingly on the land where lions are not found indigenously. 

What Does Lion Symbolize In Christianity?

The Bible symbolizes Lions as a symbol of indomitable courage and immense strength.

However, Christianity in the Middle Ages expanded their mindset regarding the Animal which made a good impact on human lives, like watchfulness for sleeping with eyes wide open, resurrection because of a wide-ranging belief that lion cubs were born dead until the paternal lion breathed on them.

Which however is up to scientific discussion, along with a few evil symbolisms too. The Christians have also found references in their Culture that have associated Lions with the Sun God and also the gold.

A lion in their culture mainly means awakening and it’s a symbol of spiritual awakening in humans, persistence, moderation, strength, cruelty, and the glory of youth too, along with cruelty of hunting and preying.

What Does Lion Symbolize In Celtic Culture?

Celtic Mythology tends to link lions with ancient dragons, in their early Mythologies, representing mainly occasions and virtues like warrior gatherings in Irish literature as a guardian.

Welsh however depicts the Lions as forms of cats, fairy tales of which cite these animals as the kings of the forest.

It has also been an animal to whom St. Mark was compared to in the Bible for his power, influence, confidence, boldness, uprightness, authority, and dignity.

What Does Lion Symbolize In Africa?

Africans perceive lions as a symbol of ultimate power and chivalry. In States like Ghana, Lion Symbolism is of huge importance to voodoo healers.

These creatures largely symbolize curing and healing in their culture. They also believe that the actual body parts of lions can be a gateway to the spirit world.

The East African Nuer People believe in an association between the seer and shamanic ceremonies, however, also symbolizes laziness in some other parts.

The most ancient lion images in their culture are from Egypt that is in relation to the Sun. The tales and mythology however are quite diverse in the region that relates to Lions and their interpretations.

Are You Dreaming Lions? Here’s The Meaning

  • A usual Lion dream is a signal of power and pride in either favor of you, or against you. It might be a scenario that you are supposed to develop these supreme characteristics in yourself or someone else is going to use such traits on you to dominate you against your will.
  • If a female dream of a lion, it is a symbolism of the aspects of her psyche that deal with males and their traits.
  • When you dream of a tamed lion, it’s a good omen and is obviously a symbol of advantage for the brave ones and the ones who serve from their master. This dream might mean that soon you are going to be in the power of your own existence.
  • However, if you spot a threatened or angry lion in your dreams, it symbolizes a negative impact of chronic fear or sickness knocking at your door.
  • If you dream of being chased by lions, it symbolizes that you are chased by your own spirit and conscience. Your spirits might also be offended by your action or abstinence and hence are trying to point out your fault to you.

Lion Totems and Omens Explained

  • Africans firmly believe that Lions are not harmful unless someone decides to trigger them and get on their nerves. Considered as the king or the God, they are considered epitomes of patience.
  • Seeing a lion quite frequently, both in dreams or in reality (by coincidence) might mean that your Spirits are trying to get in touch with you and have a message for you to learn. Hence, you must keep strict notice of your surroundings to identify the hints dropped by the Universe for you.
  • A Lion can create a powerful impression on your brain and you might automatically start to feel the pride and strength of a lion in your personality after an encounter.
  • When you see or hear a Lion’s loud roar it means that either you are going to indulge in some violent activity or you are going to fall prey to someone else’s wrath for your actions.
  • A friendly lion encounter however might mean that you are sensitive and kidding inside but you try to cover it up with what you think is the safest for you. It’s thus a notion for you to explore your inner child and nurture it.

Is Lion Your Spirit Animal? 

If a Lion is your Spirit Animal, you are manifesting its immense powers in yourself, be it in any field of your life. You are a balanced person and extremely capable of overcoming stress and exhaustion.

You every now and then are capable of bringing your mental state in alignment with that of a lion through your strength, high spirits, pride, and high sense of self-worth.

You are the one who always takes initiative and makes the move towards securing your own life and future. You are familiar and immune to challenges and love to take them up for the sake of growth.


Hence, Lions have a great impact, be it generally or symbolically in our lives, i.e. the lives of humans.

These animals have not only profoundly enriched our literature from that of kids to that of adults, but also through its effective symbolisms that impart valuable knowledge and ethics among us.

Its chivalry and self-worth are indeed something we should consider learning from, whereas its violence and dominance should be something we should be aware of.

Hence, you are the one who takes charge of what you decide to take away from a series of Lion Symbolisms.

Related Articles You May Like

Scroll to Top