~ Discerning the Double Lion ~
Leo is the zodiacal force most associated with the question of identity and the search for the self. It tends to condition human consciousness with a yearning to discover who we individually are. The desire for self-realization has relevance to all zodiacal signs, but none more so than the Sign of the Lion. The lion is the symbol of the self, and the importance of living from the place of personal power and self-confidence. Yet it is not often recognized that there are two lions related to the sign of Leo, not one. And, it is in the rightful discernment of the one from the other that true progress upon the Path is made possible.
It must be remembered that the self is essentially dual, and this is what is meant by the double lion. There is the self as personality, as well as the Self as soul. The great challenge of the Leo individual is to discern the difference within, and strive to identify with the higher lion (soul) while taming the unbridled and selfish tendencies of the lower lion (personality). This is not an easy task for any of us (whether born in Leo or not), in that ahamkara is a subtle power within each of us. Ahamkara (also called the egoic principle) represents the tendency to self-reference. Either overt or subtle, it is the attitude of I-ness and it has a shaping effect on our perceptions and actions. Though relevant within every human being, it is particularly accented in the Leo personality.
Herein is found a clue to the distinction between the lower and higher lions. The lower lion stands in his or her personal power, is usually egotistical (though sometimes well disguised), and often yearns to be the center of attention. The higher lion also stands in power and integrity, but without the need for accolades or recognition from the outside world. When one can meditatively find his or her inner center and spiritual identity, the higher lion then comes into view. When this occurs, the inclination toward ego inflation or self-aggrandizement begins to vanish. The lower lion becomes placid and tamed, while the higher lion stands firmly centered and altruistically oriented. In short, the lower lion is self-centered, which the higher lion is centered in the Self.