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Symbols - What does heaven look like

Leopard

The leopard, Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion and jaguar.  It takes on the symbolism of all animals and is thus a means of transport.

 Symbolically therefore, the leopard  is similar to these other symbols and is variously a symbol of ferocity, strength, aggression, and to a certain extent solitary predatory behaviour.  It is a symbol in people of the subconscious animal instincts especially those of hunting and predation.  But it can also be a symbol of the Intellect when the Intellect is channeled into survival activity. [Darkness and light together shown by its coat].

The ‘leopard person’ is thus not a ‘creator’ like the lion.  Whereas the lion person may tame the ferocity and channel both it and the Intellect in the direction of constructive acts, the leopard is principally a destroyer.

The leopard was an attribute of Dionysus, but Dionysus was also ‘the Liberator’ (Eleutherios), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance freed his followers from self-conscious fear and care.  The ‘leopard’ in effect subverts and opposes the oppressive restraints of the conventionally powerful. Those who partake in his ‘mysteries’ are possessed and empowered by the god himself.  And this is where the destructive energies tend to be channelled  - towards the destruction of the conventional.

Leopards in the wild are aggressively territorial.  Two of five males studied over a period of a year at a game reserve in South Africa died, both violently. One was initially wounded in a male–male territorial battle over a carcass; taken in by researchers, it was released after a successful convalescence only to be killed by a different male a few months later.

Symbolically the leopard has these same characteristics.  A ‘leopard person’ is at his or her most dangerous when their freedom to do what they like is threatened or their ‘territory’ is threatened.  For a leopard person life is a jungle.

The leopards' success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph) and its notorious ability for stealth.  A leopard person is also opportunistic, fast thinking , adaptable to new surroundings and stealthy.

Finally the appearance of the leopard also adds to the symbolism.  Sleek and beautiful, these attributes also becomes symbols.  There is also by extension the symbolic association with luxury.  The ‘leopard person’ will be found in places where there is luxury and money, where there are fast cars and comfort, large expensive hotels and  very expensive restaurants. 

Observations

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