© Lori Lappin, the Witch of WITCHCRAFTS ARTISAN ALCHEMY®
Cave Lions (and other animals) from Chauvet Cave, France - Panel of the Lions - "The wall to the right of the central recess has a large number of animals drawn on to it. The overall scene depicts a hunt. On the right of the composition there is a rhinoceros and a mammoth. On the left, there are four bison heads, and two more rhinos. Then there are seven bison, pursued by a pride of sixteen lions, mainly depicted by their heads alone. Above all of this drama, at a different scale, there is a large feline figure shown standing face to face with a lion cub. Almost all of the animals on this panel face left." (Click the link to see more of the panel of the lions or to learn more about the amazing Chauvet Cave paintings from The Bradshaw Foundation.)
A daughter of the Lion Lady, the Clan of the Cave Lioness, the Old European cave lioness (Panthera leo spelaea) of prehistoric Europe is my ancestral clan totem (as evidenced by the 40,000 year old Löwenfrau lioness-woman figurine of Germany's Hohlenstein Stadel) and my own shamanic journey guide. The largest of the wild cats ever known to walk the earth, revered by prehistoric Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal humankinds, images of the great wild huntress, the European cave lioness, adorn the walls of the renowned Chauvet Cave in France.
During the Pleistocene, cave lions were among the most abundant and feared predators of prehistoric Europe. The great lioness hunts expertly for her pride, making her the epitome of "the wild huntress" archetype (as is my shamanic patroness, ancient ancestral goddess Abnoba of Europe's enchanted Black Forest). Felines are the most proficient and successful hunters of the animal kingdom, boldly embodying fearlessness, the power of silence and patience, warrior stealth, courage, ferocity, focus, crafty intelligence, excellent memory, nobility, integrity, leadership, skill and dominion.
With an excellent memory, like me, cats never forget.
And while train-ability and workhorse servitude may not be the incredibly strong-willed wild-child feline's forte, cleverness and adaptability certainly are. Cats have a crafty, strong-willed, regal and versatile nature.
As am I, solar symbol cats are themselves nocturnal, cloaked in and moving with the lunar energy of the night moon - unifying within ourselves both the masculine and feminine mysteries into a complete wholeness of spirit.
Within a shamanic mystical context as clearly is the art of Chauvet Cave, the number 16 itself in the lore of numerology associates with the traits of an exceptional analytical mind, a strong-willed disposition, extraordinary stamina, individual eccentricity, a natural gift for healing, expertise in human nature, and a powerful devotion to the welfare of the family and clan. A karmic number, people of the totemic number 16 pursue higher learning tenaciously, loving research, study and discovery.
The Lion(ess) (Wo)Man of Hohlenstein Stadel - a shamanic totem of my Old World European Cro-Magnon ancestors
"The Löwenmensch figurine or Lion(ess) (wo)man of the Hohlenstein Stadel is a very early prehistoric sculpture that was discovered in the Hohlenstein-Stadel, a German cave in 1939. The lion-headed figurine, alternately called (by its German names) Löwenmensch (lion-human) and Löwenfrau (lion-woman), is a mammoth ivory sculpture that is both the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped) sculpture in the world, and the oldest known uncontested example of figurative art. The figurine was determined to be about 40,000 years old. Initially, the figurine was classified as male by Joachim Hahn. From examination of some additional parts of the sculpture found later, Elisabeth Schmid determined that the figurine was that of a woman with the head of a "Höhlenlöwin" (female European cave lion)."
More evidence from the folk traditions of my Northern-Northwestern European Celtic-Germanic ancestors supporting my own ancestral "Clan of the Cave Lioness" connection.
While the Arthurian tales are legendary, there is some belief that Lyonesse was once a very real place attached to the Scilly Isles in Cornwall, England. In Arthurian legend, Lyonesse is the home country of Tristan, from the legendary story of Tristan and Iseult. The mythical land of Lyonesse is now referred to as the “Lost Land of Lyonesse,” as it is ultimately said to have sunk into the sea. While Lyonesse is mostly referred to in stories of legend and myth, there is some belief that it represents a very real city that sunk into the sea many years ago. With such a legendary location, it can be difficult to ascertain where the legend ends and reality begins. [Source - Ancient Origins]
In addition to describing Lyonesse as the site of the final battle between Arthur and Mordred, Tennyson's Idylls of the King also claim the lost land is the final resting place of King Arthur himself. Perhaps this is why the grave of the King cannot be found – it lies beneath the sea. [Source - Clas Merdin]
Cro-Magnons Could Identify Individual Cave Lions in the Wild
In this presentation, the scientist (Professor Tom Higham, University of Oxford) talks briefly about the cave lion panel in Chauvet Cave art starting at 21:32, noting regarding the Chauvet cave lions "these big cats are amazing. They've got little marks where their whiskers go at the front of the snout (you see here) ... this is an identification (method) that modern conservationists (conservators) use (today) in Africa to identify individual lions ... it's possible that these cave lions could be individually identified by the modern humans who painted these images because they each have their own specific whisker patterns that you can then use to identify them in the wild."
"The Black Forest, on the (Germany's) southwestern border with France, separates the Rhine from the headwaters of the Danube on its eastern slopes."
"The ancient Mesolithic "pre-Celtic" people may be the common source for the Celto-Germanic people (both the Celtic and Germanic people before they separated into distinct yet definately related groups) ... "Pre-Celtic peoples first appeared in the Danube Valley around 7,000 years ago (in timely congruence with being part of the Great Danube River Valley Civilization). Flooded out of the area which is now the Black Sea, they followed the Danube river and it's tributaries, all the way to its source (in the Black Forest of Germany). Over the next 5,000 years, they gradually evolved the culture which we recognize as Celtic (and Germanic)."
"Whereas Stonehenge was oriented towards the sun, the more than 100 meter width burial mound of Magdalenenberg was focused towards the moon."
"In the Bronze Age, bronze was as valuable a raw material as oil is today so Denmark became one of the richest areas of Northern Europe.
In Bronze Age Western Europe, Southern Germany and Denmark were the two dominant centres of power, very similar to kingdoms. We find many direct connections between the two in the archaeological evidence, and my guess is that the Egtved Girl was a Southern German girl who was given in marriage to a man in Jutland so as to forge an alliance between two powerful families," Kristian Kristiansen says."
"Abnoba is the Celtic Goddess of the Hunt. As a Gaulish/Brythonic Goddess, she was worshipped in the Black Forest area."
Germanic Goddesses of the Hunt (Frau Holle and Freyja also being my spiritual patronesses)
"Children are being dressed up as Hulken, the word being related to Holle, Holde, Holda, Hulda. Hulken are the ghost-like beings following the Wild Hunt once led by Frija (often associated with Frau Holle)."
My own triple goddess archetype of consciousness - Frau Holle, Freyja, Abnoba