Serena and Her Lion
by Emily McPhie
“When I began this series of children with large, ferocious animals,” says Emily McPhie, “I had intended it to be about the purity of imagination, about how children have such freedom in their dreams while adults are tied to reality and familiar things. Of course, I couldn’t attain that simple perfection—the paintings ended up as a metaphor for the troubles and realities of life, which can turn and bite your head off at any moment. But even with knowledge of this fact, we can find peace like these little girls. We’re not afraid of the lion.”
In the symbology of the Wizard Academy campus,
lions are external, the tiger is within.
Lions are powers outside yourself. The lion is enemy and friend, circumstance and serendipity, fate and phenomenon, good luck and bad. Lions can oppose or assist you. There are currently 7 lions on campus, because lions are social creatures. A group of lions is called a pride.
The tiger is your own, inner ferocity. Determination. Commitment. Focus. Hence the phrase, “The eye of the tiger.” The tiger will not be denied.
Unlike lions, tigers are solitary. A photo showing two tigers is almost always of a mother with her adolescent cub. The only tiger on the campus stands on a stone ridge in the valley of Engelbrecht. His name is Borges (Bor’ hess).
“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river that carries me away, but I am the river; it is a tiger that mangles me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, alas, is real; I, alas, am Borges.”
– Jorge Luis Borges