Emblem 028: Lion with his paws cut off

In this image taken from alchemy there’s no blood spilled, nor does the lion suffer. He’s certainly puzzled at first, though.

We call the lion king of the beasts because of his masterful way in the world. He scans the environment for what he wants. When it appears he takes off after it, seizes it with his claws and brings it down, devouring it and making it his own. Making it himself. This is a good image for experience getting assimilated to the ego, which grows stronger and more integrated in response. This is mine; this is me. Behavior like this is highly effective and serves us well when we’re in school, looking for a partner, establishing ourselves in a career, engaging in activism or volunteer work.

There are times though when the work that needs doing is interior. In such times the world can be a distraction, and the extraverted functions not so helpful. With no paws the lion can’t grasp things and take ownership of them, but has to sit with them instead. Perhaps he goes hungry for a while. He doesn’t get around out in the world the way he used to. All that energy previously used in the hunt now begins to pour inward. Other kinds of change become possible.

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