Lauren David

By Lauren David

mbg Contributor

Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. She writes about gardening, food, health and wellness, and sustainability. She has been published in Allrecipes, Greatist, The Healthy, The Kitchn and more.

Lion Spirit Animal

March 18, 2023

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Feisty and strong, lions have been important symbols in many cultures for centuries. Here’s what lion symbolism may mean, whether you consider the lion your spirit animal—or lion imagery seems to be everywhere you turn.


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What do lions symbolize?

Known to be fierce and protective, lions are the kings and queens of the jungle. In many cultures, they’re an important figure representing strength, bravery, and family. According to Johanna Aúgusta, a numerologist and owner of the Ministry of Numerology, the lion’s body is “used to represent deathless courage,” from a mythological perspective. 

Lions are also associated with the sun—vibrant and full of energy—in astrology, representing the sign of Leo in the zodiac. “In astrology, Lion represents the regal King or Queen energy,” says Kathy Harmon-Luber, a certified reiki and sound healing practitioner and author of Suffering to Thriving.

And according to cultural symbolism expert and founder of Typically Topical, Charlotte Kirsten, “Lions are true symbols of courage, power, strength, inner wisdom, leadership and self-actualization,” who adds, “They venture into our lives when we’re on the verge of making all-important leaps of faith, imploring us to trust not only in ourselves and our direction but our capabilities too.”

Keywords associated with lions:


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4 spiritual meanings behind lions.

These powerful cats represent power, but they are also a reminder to connect with yourself. “Though symbolic of external power, they inspire us to tap into our ‘quiet self,’ the self that makes sound decisions based on our internal guidance system, rather than that of someone else’s,” Kirsten explains.

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Live life on your own terms

Strong and confident, lions show us how to take charge of our lives. According to Kirsten, they’re “powerhouses of strength and determination, [encouraging] us to take center stage and step into our role as the divine creator of our lives.”

“Spiritually, lions are the protectors,” according to professional psychic, Deborah Graham, and as Harmon-Luber notes, a lion that appears in your life could be a symbol of protection—or even a source of wisdom. 


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Strength to overcome obstacles

“The spiritual meaning of the lion is one of strength and courage, reminding us that no matter what life throws at us, we have the power within ourselves to overcome it,” Aúgusta tells mindbodygreen. Lions can also represent spiritual strength, Graham adds. 

What to do if you keep seeing them.

According to Harmon-Luber, when lions appear to you repeatedly, pay attention—because they want to communicate a message with you. “Psychologist Carl Jung wrote that this kind of synchronicity is when the external world aligns with your experience in a manner that might be mirroring your inner concerns or thoughts,” she explains.  

And as Aúgusta tells mindbodygreen, the message may be that you need to stand up for yourself or take control of your life. Another possibility is that it’s serving as a sign to trust your instincts or make a decision with confidence. 

If you keep seeing lions, Harmon-Luber reflecting on the following questions::

  • Do I need to be stronger in a certain situation or aspect of my life? Where can I be more empowered? 
  • Am I giving away my personal power?
  • Is there a more “noble” reaction or solution to my circumstances or challenges? 
  • Where in my life do I need to be more courageous or fiercely passionate?


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If a lion appears in your dream.

The dream realm is also a place to connect and receive insight and information, just as signs and messages appear during waking life. “There is great wisdom to be learned when Lion appears in our dreams, especially when we get curious and engage our intuition to discern what message Lion is revealing,” says Harmon-Luber. 

Emotions play an important role when deciphering what the dream may signify, as well. “Negative dreams featuring lions can connect you to your fears, repressed instincts, and anxieties,” according to Aúgusta, who notes “If the lion is peaceful in your dream, it can be taken as a sign of luck and good fortune.”

Harmon-Luber also tells us about a powerful dream she had with a lion a couple years ago—and how it helped her gain perspective on what she needed to change in her life. “A lethargic, weary, unhappy lion was lying in a corner while lots of joyful activity was going on all around it,” she tells mindbodygreen. “I dreamt this at a time when I was overwhelmed working a demanding full-time job, writing my book, and basically burning the candle at both ends.”

The message was clear that she needed to make changes in her life. “The exhausted, sad dream lion—devoid of its typical strength, courage, and fierce vital energy—was a message that I needed to practice better self-care so I could reclaim my personal power and strength, and participate more fully in the joy of life,” Harmon-Luber shares.


What is the symbolic meaning of lion?

Lion symbolism represents courage, power, strength and leadership. Lions are fierce, feisty and dominate animals, who take charge. They are also territorial and protect their family and kin.

What is the lion personality?

Someone who is characterized as having a lion personality is considered brave, goes after what they want, and has a “take charge” attitude. This person is likely to be fierce and strong, protecting themselves and their family, and not letting much get in their way.

Is the lion a symbol of God?

The lion is symbolic in many religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. “In Christian faith, the lion is often associated with Jesus Christ, who is called the ‘Lion of Judah’ in the Bible, [and] the lion is said to represent God in human form, fulfilling the promise and prophecy of God’s word whilst on Earth,” Kirsten notes.

What does celtic lion mean?

Lions are an important figure in Celtic mythology, signifying protection as well as protectors of their family, kin and clan. In Celtic traditions, many leaders had lions depicted on their shields. Aúgusta notes they symbolize courage, honor, and leadership in Celtic art and mythology, as well.


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The takeaway.

Every creature in the animal kingdom has a spiritual meaning—so if lions keep appearing in your life, the king of the jungle may have a message to guide you in your life. The lion may be communicating with you that it’s time to be more courageous, have more strength, or connect with your inner guidance.