Durga on a Lion: anima and the tiger

The goddess durga on her lion kills the demon mahishasura, 1880, kalighat school. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
The goddess durga on her lion kills the demon mahishasura, 1880, kalighat school. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

There is a relation between the feminine and big cats. Carl Jung notes the link when he says that the anima “can appear as a … tiger” (CW 9i, para. 358).  In dreams, imagination, and art we find powerful female figures appearing as or with big cats such as pumas, panthers, leopards, and jaguars. The big cats represent feminine power. To confirm this understanding, we turn to the above image of the Hindu Goddess Durga. She appears here with her lion.

In the image, we see a lion killing the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is part asura (demon) and part Mahisha (buffalo). Mahishasura attempts to kill off the deities, but Durga and the lion fight the demons and win.

Reference:

  1. Carl G.Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – Collected Works volume 9i (originally published 1934–1954)

 

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