Why Cecil the Lion?
I have been listening to the anger, outrage, grief, pain and confusion over the death of Cecil the lion from Zimbabwe.
I have been reading the articles from the New York Times, countless articles on-line and television news coverage trying to understand what it is about this lion’s death, Cecil’s death, that has so moved people from across the globe.
I have listened to anger of others who feel the attention that Cecil’s death has been given by the media is a distraction. That the government is covering up something. Others, who feel that the attention to Cecil minimizes the deaths of black men and women who have been killed unjustly. Others, who say it is a tragedy that we are so concerned with a lion’s death but not the deaths due to unending conflict between brothers and sisters around the globe.
Why have we felt such compassion for Cecil? Why has Cecil cracked our hearts open? Does this make any sense in the scheme things in this crazy world we live in where every day there is horrific devastation? There is no way to compare a quarter million people killed in Syria or the unimaginable number of people displaced world wide due to conflict or the death of 9 black Americans in a church in Charleston, SC to a lion’s death. But, could this lion’s death symbolically represent all injustices?
Cecil, the lion with the dark mane that was an icon for Zimbabwe, a country that has been under great strain politically, economically and spiritually for many years. Zimbabwe, where conditions are dire and repressive, where poaching is often the only way that one can feed their family. It was not the case with Cecil but it is in many other situations.
Why did Cecil, a lion, crack our hearts open?
When looking at an event, there are many ways to assess its significance.
We look at the facts.
We have a lion, protected by Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe in which he lived who ends up hunted for his head. Lions are predicted to be extinct in our lifetime. In 2013, it was estimated that there were only 15,000 lions left in Africa. Fifty years ago, there were over 200,000. Today, they are extinct in 25 African nations with only 5 continental African nations possibly having more than 1,000 lions. Between 1999 -2008, 7,000 wild lions were traded internationally for recreational hunting purposes with the numbers increasing in recent years.
Do you know that if you kill a male lion in a pride, that you essentially kill the other male that he shares the pride with as well as all of the cubs that were conceived by them as other male lions take over the weakened pride. So in actuality, 20 to 30 lions may die as a result of killing a single male lion.
Most lions are in game reserves or in the canned camp industry, which is an industry that raises lions for trophy hunting.. The “King of Beasts” is being raised as a commodity for profit in lion farms called “canned camps”. This industry has grown astronomically in the last 50 years, from 4 to thousands. A new movie coming out called “Blood Lions” exposes this industry’s horrific practices. They entice well-meaning people to come feed the baby lions and/or walk them for a fee. The cubs are inhumanely taken from their mothers at birth. Taking them from birth, they become socialized to humans and therefore extremely easy to kill once they have matured. They are then held in small cages until they are mature enough to kill for sport at close range often drugged by Trophy hunters.
Trophy hunters primarily from the Western countries pay exorbitant fees to kill these lions at close range. Interesting that this industry has grown so large because some folks want so badly to kill a lion that they will spend $50,000 to $100,000. What is it they are trying to experience by killing a lion?
Many lions like Cecil are killed through poaching: the illegal killing of a lion or other protected animal (often endangered). This practice has grown astronomically in recent years for sport, lion body parts, elephant tusks, rhino horns, bear bladders and many others for perceived medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
We look at the astrological significance
The Earth’s axis moves into different astrological ages every 2167 years. We have just moved into the Age of Aquarius, which the Earth’s North Axis points to and the Age of Leo, which the South Axis points to. This particular configuration won’t happen again for 26,000 years. In this age the focus is on Humanity’s relationship with Lion. Essentially, it is about humanity’s relationship with their “inner lion” or inner power that expresses itself in love and respect for all of the natural world: humans of different religions, sexual orientations, colors of skin, animals, plants, rocks, minerals, water, air, fire.
It is significant that Cecil’s death on July 1st, 2015 was an astrologically significant time when the full moon was in Capricorn, a message that in crisis we can embrace our responsibilities and empower our inner authority to build the kind of life/world we want.In addition, the planets Venus and Jupiter were conjunct in their closest proximity to each other in 2000 years. This is about cracking our hearts open even wider! Venus rules love and the heart…and Jupiter is the planet of expansion…this is about collectively expanding the heart. The degree of this configuration was 21 degrees. In tarot, this is the Universe Card, which represent completion, a new beginning to a higher level of being or a return to the original cosmic union of Oneness. Could it be that Cecil’s killing by the dentist from Minnesota was part of the cosmic plan of awakening to wholeness?
In addition, July 26th -August 8th is considered the Lions Gate. It is considered a gateway to consciousness and lion-heartedness. It is interesting that the story of Cecil came into heightened media awareness and heightened heart activation of humanity during this gateway. In terms of numerology “21” breaks down into a “3” and this represents Union. The three is the Empress card, which represents “LOVE” and the connection between spirit and matter.
We look at spiritual significance
Lions are associated with spirituality in all of the major religions. There are many references made to having a “lion-heart”. What better time on our planet is a lion-heart needed, one that is expressing the “power of love” as we move mountains of racial inequality, separation, greed, hatred, fear and prejudice. Lions are here to help us remember balance in the order of the Universe. If lions are protected and in balance, then the Universe is in balance.
One wonders if Cecil didn’t indeed have a larger purpose on Earth at this time. Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that the dentist killed Cecil. Maybe Cecil’s death was part of his Sacred Purpose, his sacred contract to “crack open the hearts” of humans to activate their own “lion-hearts” and tap into their own “inner lion” or “inner authority”.
Maybe the dentist, Walter Palmer, also had a ‘Sacred Purpose’ to kill Cecil to awaken his own closed heart, maybe he sacrificed himself at a soul level for us to awaken our closed hearts?
It is no coincidence that this man cut off Cecil’s head. This is the act that has been used to express the most destructive forces for evil on our planet. Would it not be a symbolic representation of disconnect from body and spirit, from brain and heart, from our lion-heartedness?
In my psycho-spiritual work, I have been integrating the teachings of the White Lions whose return to Earth was predicted by the indigenous people during a time of great environmental change on the planet. The White Lions are considered higher consciousness beings that are energetically holding the earth as it moves into a more highly evolved state. The White Lions are symbolically assisting us in the activation of our lion-heartedness as we come into the new Age and embrace the power of love.
In my own work, I recently was in Minnesota sharing about the White Lions as I supported others in awakening to their own “inner authority”. What does this mean? As we do the work of healing our trauma, our separation or disconnect from our body, mind and spirit we can access a power greater then we ever knew to step forward in love and respect to change our world. To heal all the ways we have been in separation from each other and the natural world. Was it part of my sacred purpose to share this energy with Minnesota as the story of Cecil came forth to crack our hearts open? We all play a part in the awakening of humanity’s consciousness. Every action we take carries an energetic vibration to support the whole.
We are a microcosm of the macrocosm, meaning that we as humans contain within us all that is-we are the dark and light, we are the male and female, we are the earth and stars, we are the teacher and student, we are the black and white, the animal and human. We are all inter-connected in a way that is vast and unlimited.
Yes, for some of us our hearts have been cracked open and we are feeling a deeper connection and compassion for Cecil and maybe all animals, maybe all of humanity. Yes, maybe even some compassion for Walter Palmer, the dentist from Minnesota who is so wounded that he has to kill something beautiful and powerful to feel good about himself. May this compassion and the sacrifices of each of them take us closer to waking up and living our lives in love, respect and reverence for all of life.