Written by Algoth’s Grove
“It is the art of taming the red lion that ט (Teth) teaches through the understanding of the rising of the serpent.”
Strength – 8 – The Enchantress – Leo – Courage – Daughter of the Flaming Sword – Leader of the Lion
Archetype: The Animal Tamer, The Crone Aspect
Task / Goal: Complete joy of life, Commitment, Acceptance, Inner Wildness
Risk / Danger: Brutality, Megalomania
When we look at the Magician, we notice that in the Rider Waite Deck, he is crowned with a lemniscate or symbol of infinity. In the Strength card we see the female depicted in white attire (showing purity and innocence before spirit) is crowned with the same symbol. Where the Magician is the personification of the connection between divinity and mankind, Strength is the connection between our conscious mind and the unconscious mind.
Strength can either be placed in position 8 as we have followed, or in position 11, as is done with some tarot decks. However, the original Rider Waite places it in position 8 and so we are following suit for the sake of the blog. The positioning of the characters within tarot decks depends on the story set behind the cards. Tarot has within it, the myth from creation to transformation and beyond, and if we believe in the phrase by Hermes Trismegistus, “As above, so below…” and we seek to define the universe as an ongoing spiral, the Major Arcana path of the individual continues over and over again.
Strength is the courage and the perseverance. She is the tamer of the inner animal, and it is imperative that we understand that it is feminine energy that is required to tame the inner animal. When the Christian alteration took over the old symbols, we see how Mother Mary is depicted as standing upon the head of the Lion. This Lion is the Red Lion of Alchemy, the inner beast or best friend. The impulsive, raw rage, violence, joy and extreme emotional survivor of the path of man. The Red Lion is seen in Christianity to be something that must be snuffed out. It must be killed off and not controlled or tamed. You cannot kill something that has existed beyond this time and this place. You can fight it, or you can allow it to be your strength.
Allowing the feminine energy within you to tame the Red Lion is imperative on your path forward. Your shadow self is the animal. Yet this animal who casts this dark shadow according to the modern social aspect is not without wisdom of the light and of the eons before mankind. By attempting to squash the shadow, hide it or destroy it, the animal only rises stronger and fiercer. This Red Lion will creep into your sleep, disturb the dreams and paint them black with mares riding the winds of change, until you give in, understand and tame.
When the Strength card shows up in a reading it is the affirmation that you have the power to tame and work with your subconscious animal. It is an affirmation that the serpent power of feminine insight is within your grasp and that you are able to manifest what you choose. However, if this card is shown in a negative polarity, placing or reversed (and you read reversed cards), then you must look within and awaken the Red Lion, face it, and do this not by fighting and going to war, but by taking a break, resting, introspection will lead you to the door where this Red Lion sleeps. This is where you will find the inner strength to continue on the path forward.
Categories: Tarot Tuesday