• “Strength” (8) is ruled by the Sun (masculine), the element of fire and the fixed sign of Leo. Body parts governed are the heart, spine, and solar plexus. Color influences are gold, yellows, and oranges. Bright warm colors that enhance the aspects of fire and the sun’s energies.
• “8” (Numerology) represents infinity, balance, abundance, discipline. Those who have “8” as their birth number are highly driven toward their goals. “8’s” harness their inner power and cast this out in everything they do. They are individuals of mastering their talents and skills. If challenges or difficulties arise, “8’s” use this as a means of self-empowerment to grow stronger from.
• The Sun (11) is ruled by the expansive influence of the Sun. The planet which governs optimism, enthusiasm, and vitality. This card is filled with positive energy and with excitement towards life. You have gone through many challenges, grew from those experiences, and now you are ready to show the world your “true Self”.
“Strength and The Sun” complement each other through the balance of inner strength and personal empowerment. The “Strength” archetype manifests through courage and relinquishing of control, you will experience peace and contentment of the “true Self”. While “The Sun” is of achievement and success through self-realization; this comes by means of self-empowerment which is attained through the guidance of the Strength card.
• Crowley’s Thoth Tarot:
The Thoth Tarot defines the major and minor Arcana through esoteric representation.
As the Thoth tarot is rich in detail and meaning, I will give a brief overview of Lust (11) with a primary focus on the symbology of this card. Lust is identified as the “Intelligence of the Secret of all Spiritual Activities or of the Occult Intelligence”.
Here we see the “Scarlet Woman of Babalon“ unclothed and riding atop the lion of empowerment and strength. There is a sense of exhilaration and vitality in this card. The reason being that “Lust” is personified within the Thoth is more of tapping into one’s primordial energy. The “Scarlet Woman” is the life force of receptivity harnessing the masculine life force of expansive energy. One interpretation of this is the “Scarlet Woman” raising the Holy Grail, with her spiritual right hand, filled with the blood of martyred saints toward the dawn of the new Aeon. The dawn’s radiating Sun is above the horizon, where the transition of consciousness to a subconscious awakening is emerging. Hence the statement “as above, so below”.
Beneath the lion, we see saints being trampled by the overwhelming force of the Lion, while the “Scarlet Woman” is experiencing the “Lust” of spiritual ecstasy. She holds a red staff in her left hand of carnal knowledge, while in her spiritual right hand is the raised Holy Grail. The “Scarlet Woman” has experienced passion in every possible manner but is now awakened to the higher knowledge that surpasses the physical Self.
SIDE NOTE: The seven-headed lion is said to personify aspects of Crowley himself. “The Angel”, “The Saint”, “The Poet”, “Adulterous Woman”, “Man of Valour”, the “Satyr”, and the “Lion Serpent”. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. This simply implies the various personas that this metaphoric Lion creature is depicting. The serpentine tail is associated with Leo rising and could represent Kundalini energy.
The “Lust” card pushes the boundaries of the spiritual and physical realms of one’s passions in life. Past attachments are no longer in existence. It is a time of living in the moment and freely expressing one’s true desires.
• The Gilded Tarot:
Here we see an interrelationship between a confident woman and the lion representing her baser instincts. The celestial background shows that she is spiritually connected and trusting of the Universe while maintaining a relationship with her conscious Self. The woman loosely holds the chains to her “animal instincts” indicating they are readily available. Her control is open-hearted with the freedom to explore life’s experiences.
The Gilded Tarot’s “Strength” card brings a sense of awareness and exploration through our instincts; therefore creating a balance between the physical and celestial realms.
• Rider-Waite Smith Tarot:
The RWS traditional archetype of Strength shows a “woman of purity” calmly restraining the jaws of the “fiery lion of inner desires”. She is wearing a white robe with a garland of flowers wrapped around their waist indicating “purity and naivety”. The “lemniscate symbol” (representing infinity) floats above her indicating a limitless devotion to the higher spiritual realm, while the lion represents worldly desires of which is being contained. The woman remains rooted to the ground which shows a physical connection to the earth and the stability of the environment, while the “infinity of spirituality” is above her to create the balance; “as above, so below”.
Unlike the Thoth Tarot’s “Lust” card where the interpretation is of frivolous worldly desires, the RWS “Strength” reveals a more serene atmosphere. We see a harmonious connection through willingness and compassion between the physical and spiritual aspects of the human soul.
• Lumina Tarot:
The “Strength” card from the Lumina Tarot is representative of being “heart-centric”. For inner strength can only come from the heart and the way to achieve this is through self -acceptance, compassion, and courage of the “true Self”. Personal intuition and spiritual awareness are of importance when connecting to the heart. It is with this insight that one can face their inner weaknesses, overcome them, and shine inside out for others to inspire from. The affirmation, “I can overcome adversity through sheer willpower and fortitude” holds true for the card of Strength.
There is minimal symbology within the Lumina Tarot’s rendition of the Strength card. A woman in white is seen walking alongside a lion depicting her connection to the physical realm. The ethereal pink and purple background is of the cosmos from which enlightenment has been attained. The astrological sign of Leo is above her head crowning the relationship she has within this sign.