Print this page

Symbols - What does heaven look like

Strength - tarot card

Strength is a Major Arcana Tarot card, and is numbered either XI or VIII, depending on the deck. Historically it was called Fortitude, and in the Thoth Tarot deck it is called Lust [which it would do given this was devised by Alisteir Crowley].

The card usually shows a woman taming a lion.

The Lion is a symbol of the Intellect and the Conscious self.  The lion also symbolises the Will,  and the power of Reason over Emotion.  It is thus a symbol of the Intellect.  The Intellect is often described as 'the king of the functions', being part of the Conscious self and generally rules us.

But, the Intellect is the block to spiritual experience and as such symbolically speaking what we are attempting to do when we are seeking spiritual experience is to ‘tame the lion’.

Thus the card is portraying the need to curb the Intellectual and masculine side of us so that we get more spiritual input.  The lion, notice, is shown as a male animal because the Intellect is 'masculine' symbolically.  In effect, the feminine Subconscious side of our nature tames but does not destroy the male principle of the Conscious side.

Where the Lion is not an animal that is widely known, the replacement animal used is the Tiger.  In Indian symbolism, for example, the Tiger is almost exclusively used and has exactly the same symbolism

 

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.