earthweal weekly challenge: WHITE LIONS

Marah, the founding lion who inspired the Global White Lion Protection Trust, with her cubs


by Sherry Marr

The Mystery of the White Lions, by Linda Tucker, is one of the most riveting books I’ve read in my life. In it, Linda, who lives in South Africa, documented her journey into the mysteries of the legendary White Lions of Africa.

In 1991, Linda had a profound encounter with lions that caused her to delve into the legends and mysteries surrounding these white, sometimes blue-eyed lions, who live only in Timbavati.

In contrast to the conventional view, which maintains that the aberrant white gene is a random mutation of no consequence, shamanic wisdom views the White Lions as “the highest form of enlightenment bearer or teacher, symbolic custodians of a message specifically intended for humankind at this particular time.”

Aboriginal people believe the white lions are “Star lions”, having spiritual powers. Linda studied with shaman Credo Mutwa, who told her the legend of blue-eyed beings who came from the stars, according to the Great Knowledge. The white lions are believed to be connected to those long-ago visitors.

The lions are endangered and unprotected, hunted in the wild, as well as in “canned hunting” compounds where, for a hefty price and a piece of their souls, great white hunters can shoot lions who have no means of escape.

By contrast, shamans believe that killing a “lion sun god” is sacrilege.  I agree with them.

Here are a few excerpts from the book:

Stories of the white lions’ existence lie deep in the ancestral memories of African shamans. Legend tells of “a star that fell to earth”, and how “many years later all animals that stayed in the area where the strange object  had settled on the ground  were giving birth to white offspring. … The people saw herds of antelope, impala and eland which were snow white with blue eyes. … And a pride of lions had moved into the area where the strange star  had come down from the sky and it was observed that they too started giving birth to white offspring with blue eyes.


[This reminds me of the First Nations’ prophecies and legends about the White Buffalo Calf Woman, who taught that white animals appear as a message to humankind. A white buffalo calf called Miracle was born in the Canadian Prairies in 1994. Recently, white ravens and moose and other animals have been spotted.]

Credo Mutwa, told Linda, “We live in prophetic times, ma’am – the White Lions have returned recently as prophets of this new age……they are very old beings, as old as life itself.”

After Linda had studied with him for some time, he revealed, “The White Lions guard a secret, ma’am…A secret which can save humankind.”

“Are we in need of saving, Credo?” Linda asked.

“Desperately, ma’am, and time is short.”

The shaman shared his knowledge with Linda, taxing her to warn the rest of us about the significance of the white lions.

“Behind me are the holiest animals in Africa: the White Lions of Timbavati. Our people believe that if these beasts vanish from the land, the whole of Africa will cease to exist.

“These animals are said to herald coming changes on the earth. These creatures ought to be preserved and protected, and the reason they are born of this color should be investigated. Africa has lost much of what is important and beautiful, through indifference, racism, and religious fanaticism. It is said that at the end of the world, a White Lion will roar for the last time – heralding the disappearance of the sun from the sky for all time.

“The White Lions of Timbavati . must not be allowed to vanish from the pages of our country’s history. I cannot say more.”

Midway through the book, as the author studies more deeply with the shaman, we get into astronomy, ancient wisdom, cave drawings, our relation to the stars. For example.: “The Great Knowledge maintains that the souls of kings assume lion identities and become astral bodies after death.”

I know. It is a leap. But I trust indigenous peoples’ knowing more than any other. There is a lot more going on than our minds can grasp, and I’m open to a Bigger Picture, even when (especially when!) someone starts scribbling outside the lines.

Linda writes, “Whether or not there is a future for human life on this planet, I believe, is dependent at this evolutionary moment upon humankind’s consciousness-raising powers as a species. As guardians of the soul essence of humankind, the White Lions offer us entrance into other dimensions. In particular into what is known in spirit sources as the fifth dimension of the spiritual evolution of the soul. I believe that what seems paranormal to us now will, in time, become perfectly normal – if we are brave enough to take the path of spiritual evolution of the human soul.”

I am all for the evolution of human consciousness. It can’t happen soon enough!

After Linda’s lion encounter in 1991, she quit her successful career in international marketing, dedicating her life to the protection of the critically endangered white lions.

She established Global White Lion Protection Trust in 2002, raising millions to secure a large tract of wilderness in the lions’ home territory in Timbavati. You can find out about it at

Linda and Marah, in captivity


Marah is the founding lion who inspired the Protection Trust and the refuge. Ma-Ra means Mother of the Sungod, a sacred lioness prophesied by African elders. She was born in a death camp in Bethlehem, South Africa; Linda fought to rescue her. Freed into the heart of her ancestral lands, at the refuge Linda created for her and the other star lions, Marah taught her cubs how to live in the wild. The refuge is one of the last viable lion ranges on the planet.

My mind has a hard time writing and reading those words. We live in a world where the great beasts are vanishing, despite heroic peoples’ efforts to save them. I reflect on Credo Mutwa’s words with an aching heart: “At the end of the world, a White Lion will roar for the last time – heralding the disappearance of the sun from the sky for all time.”

Your challenge: write about the big cats. Or write in the voice of a big cat, a lion, a tiger, a leopard. You might  explore the legend written about the white lions; go back in time to the first Star lions, who evolved from those blue-eyed beings who came to earth from the sky. Or you might wish to address the transformation of consciousness so needed on planet earth.  Have fun! The sky’s the limit!

earthweal open link weekend #55


Hello all, and welcome to earthweal open link weekend #55! Share a favorite poem and visit your fellow linkers and comment.

Thanks to Sarah for such a rich and engaging Imbolc challenge this past week. Can you all feel the world’s pulse quickening, thanks in part to our songs?

This open link forum lasts until midnight Sunday EST, when Sherry takes the reins for the next weekly challenge she has titled, “The White Lions of Timbavati.” Time to summon our inner kitty and have a roar!

See ya in the fray,



Seasonal Changes 1: IMBOLC


earthweal weekly challenge

By Sarah Connor

Welcome to earthweal. This is the first of a series of seasonal posts that will be coming out through 2021, inviting you to respond to the changes in the seasons.

I believe that much of humanity has become disconnected from the earth. In a world of central heating and air conditioners we don’t need to experience the weather. With electric lighting we can ignore the short days of winter. Living in cities, we don’t see hedgerows coming into leaf, lambs appearing in the fields, starlings gathering in the winter. Seasonal changes are integral to how our planet works.

Over lockdown, we walked. We set off from our house and walked up the lane, reached the top, turned round. At first it was quite interesting. Then it became, frankly, a bit boring. And then it became interesting again. We noticed the primroses going over. We found the florets of leaves that would sprout wild orchids — and started to check them every day. We noticed leaves darkening as summer strengthened. We saw fledglings taking their first tentative flights.

We’ve carried on doing the same walk — not daily now, but still regularly — and have enjoyed watching autumn splash red and orange everywhere, flocks of fieldfare passing overhead, the honking of geese on the move, grass and leaves sparkling with frost. The changes in weather; plant, animal and birdlife; day length; cloud formations — we’ve become much more attuned to them, and much more aware of the abundance of life on this beautiful planet. We feel more connected.

If we can all re-connect with the planet, I believe we will become more powerfully aware of the damage the Anthropocene Age is doing. We will realise that damage done to the planet is damage done to all of us — plants, birds, insects, mammals — and we will become more passionate advocates for change.

The Wheel of the Year offers a traditional framework for acknowledging and celebrating seasonal change. It’s based on the traditional Celtic calendar. The Wheel has eight points of celebration — the four solar events (winter and summer solstice, spring and autumn equinox) — and the four Cross Quarter festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain). These festivals were so powerful that the church adopted and adapted them. We still keep some of them: Yule/Christmas, Ostara/Easter, Samhain/Halloween; but others have slipped out of our collective consciousness.

Today, I want to think about Imbolc. Traditionally celebrated at the start of February, Imbolc is a festival of new life and new beginnings. The name derives from “in the belly” — the first stirrings of life, seeds starting to sprout. In Northern Europe the days are starting to lengthen. Lambs and calves are starting to be born. Snowdrops are appearing, and buds are swelling in the hedgerows. It’s a time when my stride starts to lengthen and my shoulders go back a little. The darkness of winter is starting to lift. Everything is trembling on the brink of  the explosion of life that is spring

In Celtic mythology, Imbolc was sacred to Brigid. Brigid is a maiden aspect of the traditional triple goddess, patron of midwives, blacksmiths and poets. Her name is said to derive from Breo Saighead or “fiery arrow”, and she brings fire literally (lighting candles) and metaphorically as inspiration.

The energy of Imbolc, then, is about new life and renewed life. It’s about creating light and the return of light. It’s about inspiration appearing and implanting. It’s about the start of new ideas, new projects, new creativity.

The Wheel of the Year reflects a Northern European experience of seasonal change, but I would argue that you can see Imbolc energy anywhere and everywhere. The first green shoots pushing through scorched soil — they are candles lighting for Imbolc. Fish appearing in Venice’s canals have Imbolc energy. Anywhere re—greened, renewed, rejuvenated — that’s Imbolc.

So this week, I invite you to celebrate Imbolc through your poems. After all, this is our festival as poets. Think about new life, and renewed life. Be inspired by Brigid’s fiery arrow, and write about birth and re—birth.

— Sarah