Lion is the incarnation of power, wisdom and justice. He is the king of all animals, strong, sovereign, solar symbol. Sometimes, in contrary, his extreme pride leads him to a tyranny. His symbolism balances between admiration and intolerance. Krishna, Buddha (lion of Shakya) and Christ (lion of Judah) are called lions. As symbol of justice, he is a guarantor of the material and spiritual power. Statues of lions decorated the thrones of king Solomon, kings of France and medieval Bishops. Lion serves as the throne to Buddha.
In Apocalypse, the Roman Empire is compared to Eagle and the promised Messiah to the Lion. The four living creatures of Apocalypse are lion, bull, eagle and Man. Those four animals are the symbols of four evangelists and pictured in Tetramorph. Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion. In medieval iconography the head and upper part of lion’s body symbolized Christ’s divine nature, and the posterior part – human nature. Pride and blindness lead the lion to the symbol of Antichrist. His tendency of domination, despotism, brutal authority and force represent the symbol of a depraved society. In Egypt lions were represented in couples. One of them looked to the East and another – to the West. They symbolized the two sides of horizon and the course of the Sun, as well as Yesterday and Tomorrow. The Sphinx has the body of lion and the head of man. In Greek mythology the slay of the Nemean lion was the first labor of Heracles. Samson was attacked by an Asiatic lion and killed the beast easily as God himself empowered him. Lion is the fifth sign of Zodiac, occupying the midsummer. That’s why he is characterized as the blossoming of nature under the warm rays of the Sun. The Sun is his planetary master. He expresses the happiness of life, ambition, pride and elevation. It’s an element of Fire.