Lion Dream and Moon Cycle
While comparing my cards with the Tarot and trying to find a common archetypal basis, I came across the site of Jean-Claude Flornoy where he organizes the cards in phases, each with a "gateway" so as to form a double-tier mandala. This really spoke to me. In particular, the "Compagnonnage" phase seems to be connected to the cycle of death and rebirth in moon mythology, similar to the Christian myth.
I just heard a dream analysis on This Jungian Life that seems to fit this cycle pretty well and was compelled to create this quick page and graphic to do some musing on the theme of the dream and this idea of death and rebirth in the context of trauma.
In the dream there is the cooking of lion meat, cut and prepared in all sorts of ways, in the parent's kitchen, and the dreamer is to wear a lion mask after eating it (but he doesn't do those things in the dream). One association talked about in the podcast is the eating of the lion as a form of the ritual of communion– the eating of the god to get the ego and the Self connected in some way. It's an interesting idea because in one of my lion cards– the Sufferer, the ego is the house, the bird flying away is the Self, and the eating of the lion would be an equivalent to facing the repressed lion hiding in the tree– anger or aggressiveness, which then become the redeemed lion in the second card, the Warrior.
Another association that was made was the death of the old king, which inspired this idea of the cycle of death and rebirth, starting with the Judge. Kind of appropriate with the profession of the dreamer, who is a lawyer. It's a profession that likes to have things in black and white, and perhaps the disgust he feels for the lion meat could be an expression of his reluctance to cross that fence and face the shadow, the wolf inside? Whether that's true for the dreamer or not, there could be a link between eating and the guilt of killing an animal for it.
Then the cooks cutting the meat is a good image for the next card, the Denier, which is an image of dissociation, where the timelapse of the stars represents the fragmentation of experience, with also the cutting off the ego-crown from the body. And the act of eating the meat, which the dreamer doesn't want to do, in a way is what would reconnect the ego to the body in the card of the Caretaker, by ingesting it into the body. And this does not relate to the dream, but in the cycle of child development, the card symbolizes the humanizing and healing that comes from relatedness and the mother bond.
A mother-father complex was also mentioned in connection with the dreamer being unsure of himself and the direction to go, which to me sounds like the Judge card where the goat and wolf form a light-and-dark duplex, which I see as being transformed through death and rebirth into the crow and owl of the next card, a sort of mediator/Politician, where the shadow has been integrated. The fox wearing clothes is a similar thing to the putting on of the mask to become the lion (and the bird on the lion's head has the color of the fox/crow/owl/donkey). He's a mix of human and animal, domestic and wild, which we might relate to the mix of cooked and raw meat in the dream.
In the context of the Christian myth it's easy to see the crucifixion, death, resurrection and eternal life as the bottom four cards, and then I wondered what would be the lion in that myth? Mark the evangelist is the winged lion, and he happens to be connected to the last supper, isn't that appropriate for the theme of this lion feast in the dream? There was even a quote earlier in the podcast of something Jung said about this descent in the underworld being like "having a last supper with yourself, eating your own flesh and drinking your own blood, and recognizing that the dark one is within you."
In a larger context, apart from the dream, these cards all express the conflict between the wild and domestic or human animal: the necessity of life, eating, and procreation against morality and compassion, and the expression or repression of aggressiveness. Perhaps it was all these things that our ancestors were grappling with in the moon myths and religions.