The Nemean Lion is based completely on the Astrological symbol Leo and was inspired by someone I loved very deeply as his sun sign was Leo. Both of my brothers also happen to be Leo’s as well, so I am grateful for that.
The Story and Symbolism:
I like to title my astrological paintings after the Grecian lore behind them; for example, the Nemean Lion was killed by Hercules as the First of his Twelve Labors. This lion was known to have an impenetrable pelt and claws stronger than steel, yet because Hercules managed to conquer him, the lion’s likeness was placed in the sky.
You’ll notice a few symbols on the work. At the crest above The Nemean Lion’s head sits the Leo Symbol (♌) which is just a simplified glyph of the lion’s head and mane.
On the lower left hand side of the work, you’ll see a small group of symbols that were all obtained as correspondences for Leo in Aleister Crowley’s book Liber 777.
- The Sun is the ruling planet for Leo. This symbol is also used to represent Ra, the Egyptian Sun God, which is also very relevant in Thelema. Having the Sun as a ruling planet gives the Leo a very strong, passionate edge…full of pride and ego.
- The element of Fire rules Leo. Fire is the Divine Spark of the Universe, so to speak, so those ruled by Fire tend to be more intuitive than other signs. Unfortunately, Fire signs can also be stubborn and impulsive.
- The last symbol is The Goetic Sigil of Beleth. Quoted from the Ars Goetia:
The Thirteenth Spirit is called Beleth (or Bileth, or Bilet). He is a mighty King and terrible. He rideth on a pale horse with trumpets and other kinds of musical instruments playing before him. He is very furious at his first appearance, that is, while the Exorcist layeth his courage…
The Queen Scale of color is deep purple and the Empress scale is reddish amber. I tried incorporating that into the crest and the background pattern.