The Green Lion

In alchemy the lion, the “royal” beast, is a synonym for Mercurius, or, to be more accurate, for a stage in his transformation. He is the warm-blooded form of the devouring, predatory monster who first appears as the dragon. Usually the lion-form succeeds the dragon’s death and eventual dismemberment. …

The lion has among other things an unmistakable erotic aspect. Thus the “Introitus apertus” says: “Learn what the doves of Diana are, who conquer the lion with caresses; the green lion, I say, who in truth is the Babylonish dragon who kills all with his venom.

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