Stepping on the sacred land of Timbavati, the ancestral land of White Lions, is an experience that cannot but leave a mark on you. These are not albino lions but a genetic rarity unique to this one region on earth, In the middle of the South African wilderness you begin to take in nature in a different way. Led by its founder, Linda Tucker (the author of Mystery of the White Lions and Saving the White Lions), the Global White Lion Protection Trust extends over an area of 2,200 acres with programs for various groups of people who hear the call to meet these majestic animals.
Our first encounter was with Matsieng, which means the Great Star Hunter in an ancient local South African language. He walked past our open-topped vehicle, and gave us a look that hardly showed any interest at all. He was busy looking for his mate, Tswalu, the lioness that managed to open all our hearts.
Timbavati originally means “the place where star lions descended on the Earth.” The feelings of love and respect that are nearly tangible permeate every single cell of this place. It is impossible not to feel that energy even if you are not a highly sensitive being. People and nature living in harmony.
The Guardian of the White Lions.
“A representative of the lions is sitting here with us.” These were Linda’s first words introducing our circle that evening, and she pointed at one of the chairs in the circle, which was made exclusively for the lions. “We are equal, therefore it is only right that they speak for themselves,” she explained. It doesn’t happen every day that one feels so much respect that it can be felt in the air at a precise moment. The spirit of the lions was there in all its might. Linda is a charismatic woman radiating the energy of a lioness and a “Guardian of the White Lions,” who has the important role of bringing the white lions back to their free homeland.
Linda’s story is being considered for a Hollywood movie. She was pursuing a successful career in marketing and the fashion industry in London but one night when she was back home in her homeland of Timbavati she met her destiny. That night she was at a birthday party with friends when all of a sudden they heard a lioness roar in the wild. They knew a lioness was to give birth soon and it had also been predicted that the cub might be a white lion, therefore they climbed into an open-topped vehicle and headed for the wild all excited in that dark night. They did track down the roaring lioness. “We were reckless. We didn’t realize we were invading her space, showing no respect whatsoever. We managed to enrage all the lions, of course,” Linda continued. In the middle of the night, they found themselves at the mercy of their destiny, encircled by 24 lions. When they tried to retreat, the vehicle hit a tree trunk and the axle broke, and they couldn’t restart the car. Linda says it is hard to describe the fear you feel in such a moment. When they accepted the fact they were at the very end of their lives, a female figure with a baby in her arms and two youngsters following her appeared like shadows out of the bush. Together they just walked through the circle formed by the lions, which calmed down completely and even laid down upon their arrival. The woman climbed into their car without saying a word. Hand in hand with one of the youngsters, Linda’s friend walked through the lion circle to the first village, and came back in another car, which took them to safety. The woman disappeared again into the darkness.
Linda returned to London but couldn’t find peace after this experience. And indeed, a white cub was born that night. Three years later she returned to Timbavati to look for that mysterious woman, and she found her. In the nearby village she was known as the Lion Queen of Timbavati, a representative of the shamans who knew how to communicate with lions. Maria Khosa had already been expecting Linda. That’s how Linda’s training and path began – the path she is still walking today. The Global White Lion Protection Trust is her mission and her life. There are seven white lions (of ten lions altogether) roaring freely on their homeland now. The first white lion Linda rescued from captivity and reintroduced to its free homeland was Marah, a lioness (the name means “the mother of the Sun God”). “The birth of Marah had been predicted by prophecies of African shamans,” Linda kept adding pieces to the story. Marah, who was regarded by the African Elders as the most sacred animal on African continent was born on Christmas Day in the South African province of Bethlehem. Symbolic? Indeed. And so very real. Marah and her 3 cubs were successfully returned from captivity into free roaming nature by Linda Tucker and Jason Turner, Linda’s partner and a lion ecologist. Since, Marah’s lineage has been born free and wild in their natural endemic environment. At the same time, Linda and Jason are striving to protect all lions from the African industry of breeding lions in captivity to meet the demands of pleasure hunting, which is still legal in Africa and serves as entertainment for the rich, but, since it is a big money industry, it also provides a source of income for the locals.
Our opening circle made us realize that we had landed in a very special place. That immense vastness, those peculiar sounds, the fact that we were in the very centre of the animal kingdom right under the vault of the Milky Way, and so much more. “The white lions have a particular mystique about them,” says Linda. “Timbavati is their endemic and only homeland on Earth, and all the legends describe them as star creatures. The native ancestors were convinced that they are children of the Sun God, and legends say that they came down to Earth to help save humanity at a time of crisis.” There is no doubt that this time is right now. “Scientifically, the lions are at the tip of the tip of the ecosystem, at the top of the life pyramid of our planet,” explained Linda. The problem is that by eliminating the top of the pyramid, the entire ecosystem collapses. “If the white lions disappear, the Earth will lose its balance completely, and this is something that we, humans, cannot survive,” is her very straightforward message. “Our task is to help restore the natural balance, which also means to restore the natural balance within us, human beings, within ourselves,” continued Linda. And she said, “Let’s just take a look at the lion as a symbol. It represents power, dignity, leadership, courage, and heart. When we, people, are our best, we are exactly like that: lion-hearted.”
Love and Respect.
“There are really only two rules in nature, love and respect,” Linda taught us. “If you follow these two rules, nature will show you love and respect in return.” And nature showed us immediately how very true all this is. There is no time to be absent here. Nature teaches you to be wide awake. Meeting with the royal pride of white lions: the lion Mandla, the lioness Zihra, and their daughter Nebu, was a powerful experience. When you enter their space, you have to show respect. You have to know the boundaries. You have to be patient. You have to open your heart. And these are exactly the values lacking in day-to-day communication in our society. “Communicating with animals teaches us unconditional love,” says Wynter Worsthorne, a renowned animal communicator and one of Linda’s close colleagues at the WLT and in communicating with the lions. “There are no filters in this communication as it can only flow directly from heart to heart. If there is fear, insincerity, or a hidden purpose that differs from the one we try to express, the animals sense this immediately. Therefore, no one can hide here,” we learnt from Wynter during the drive. Nevertheless it was pretty clear that such communication first makes you face all your fears.
Zihra and Nebu were lying in the bushes in the late afternoon. To have a better view of them, we moved a little closer. We may have got a little too close, which was soon confirmed by Nebu, who arose, came up to our vehicle, and marked her territory right in front of us. After that she walked in a circle around us, and her crystal blue eyes made us freeze on the spot. All of a sudden I felt a strange feeling down my spine, as if it had been brushed by a wave of light and straightened out. And suddenly the energy in the car rose. We sat there in silence, each of us on her own and … together with them, with the two white lionesses. Zihra joined Nebu when she was circling around us. After that, they both lay down behind our car. While feeling this particular energy I found myself in a peculiar, enraptured state that made me hear Nebu’s voice very clearly. It was her message to me. At first I thought I was just imagining it, of course, but the voice spoke again and the message was the same. I accepted the fact that one cannot question nature, and that the invisible is as much a part of nature as are the trees, the grass, or the stones. This new insight opened a new dimension in my perception of life. The feeling of connectedness with these beings is beyond description. It makes you feel at home, and there is no fear even though we had also experienced fear at a certain point while living this experience. There was just enormous respect and a fully open heart; the comprehension that we are brothers and sisters; that we are all created from the stars and the soil; that it is time to restore the missing connection to nature; the insight that the way we treat nature is actually the way we treat ourselves. Whatever we do to nature, we do to ourselves. Nature does not have to prove anything to us, as we are used to relating to ourselves and to others nowadays. Nature teaches us to listen to it because it gives us all the answers if we just show enough patience and respect. “In order to save humanity, we have to restore our connection to nature because nature is the source of life, together with its plants, water, soil, and animals. And we can achieve this by reawakening love and respect,” confirmed Linda, as well.
That evening we were greeted not only by Zihra and Nebu, but also by the king himself, by Mandla. And in the days that followed we met the rest of the lions as well. Every single experience was a special one, and as far as I am concerned there is no longer any doubt: white lions are special creatures. The mystery surrounding them is real. They are leaders, bright examples of brave-heartedness, which entails courage, heart-centeredness, ethics, spiritual maturity, harmony with nature, and balance, the harmony of coexistence on this planet where all things are connected and every single piece has a meaning and a purpose. They are the leaders of a new era, and the values they teach us can save our world.
The Message of the White Lions for Humanity
“The white lions, born in captivity all around the world, have the role of ambassadors since they, simply by their presence, expand our consciousness and call people to finally wake up and re-establish their contact with the nature,” explained Linda. “I believe that this is the turning point year, that humanity will start giving back to nature, and not only take from it.” When we manage to make this shift (and the shift always begins within ourselves), natural order can be restored again, and our lives will acquire a completely different quality. Each one of us can make a difference. “If you doubt that you can make a difference that is just not good enough. This means you are failing yourself and failing nature. This is ego,” said Linda, and I can only agree with her. “Let go of your doubts and look deep into your heart. You’ll realise you are here for a purpose, and that’s what the white lions are activating in all of us,” she added. “Just watch what’s going to happen when we start living our purpose.” The white lions are pure starlight, pure sunlight that activates courage to stand up and follow our heart. Linda says they are ready to give unconditionally in the belief that we will stand up and activate our purpose and live a meaningful life. I believe that we are on the right path and that we can do it.
Written by Andreja Cepuš (All photos by WhiteLions.org)
For more information, visit the Global White Lion Protection Trust at whitelions.org.