“There is this one green lion, which closes and opens the seven indissoluble seals of the seven metallic spirits which torments the bodies, until it has perfected them, by means of the artist’s long and resolute patience.” — “The Cosmopolite,” (16th century)
This is a popular alchemical image that represents psychological and spiritual transformation.
I believe the inscription says something like, “Of Our Mercury which is the Green Lion Devouring the Sun” and “I am the true green and Golden Lion without cares. – In me, all the secrets of the Philosophers are hidden.”
The green lion is mercury, also the role of psychopomp, guide of souls and the sun is gold, the twice-born virgin birth of the true self. Someone undergoing deep transformative processes is allowing the green lion to devour them in order to be purified — to die to their old selves and be reborn anew with the golden glow of purification. This is Jungian individuation, the process of discovering your higher Self.
On our journey of transformation,
We are invited to surrender our present self to the alchemical fires of change
That our impurities may evaporate into the ether
Leaving behind what has always been from the beginning –
Our divine self:
The innocent child giggling at the absurdity of the material world,
Wailing at the ever-returning distance
Between expectation and reality