View Full Version : Strength
First off, a white tiger might have been more appropriate ;-)
I was surprised by the use of the tiger rather than the traditional lion for the Strength card but I really liked it. Now, in tarot symbolism I believe the tiger usually represents fear and in the Thoth and Rhorig versions of the Princess of Wands it represents conquering fears that hold us back from our desires. So I like the symbolism here of taking control of our fears and having them jump through flaming hoops for us. It's a little bit of reclaiming our shadow.
What were people's thoughts about the Strength card?
I do have a slightly different understanding of the traditional lion in the Strength card. To me, the lion represents man's animal instincts and passions, which must be tamed and trained (rather than simply denied and suppressed). But then, that's not really THAT much different from your interpretation, is it?
I DO like the fact that the figure in this card is more active, unlike the traditional RWS Strength, in which the woman is simply petting or soothing the lion or riding on its back. I usually tell clients that the message of this card is to be in control of your passions rather than letting your passions control you. The Gay Tarot Strength card is better at getting across the idea that one's passions should be at the command of one's will, not just submissive and inactive.
This just may be my favorite card in the deck. It's so dynamic and full of energy; I think it better illustrates the meaning(s) of the card so much better than traditional depictions. RWS versions of this card always have such a calm, "soft" glow around them; this card makes a striking impression.
I love how this man grips the flaming hoop (without even wearing protective gear!); he has got a grip on his burning passions. As for the tiger, it's a nice change from the traditional lion. I hadn't thought of its connection with fear before, but from that angle, it adds another layer of meaning.
Other than on the Thoth Fool and the Princess of Wands what other Tiger tarot symbolism is out there? I'm sure there has to be more.
Interestingly, Ciro's forthcoming Tarot of Dreams, for which I'm writing the text, also has a tiger on its Strength card. Not because of any input from me, I think it was just a coincidence.
I think a white tiger would have made the deck much too topical, and 'super topical' references date a deck faster than women's hair styles! In 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to tarot and Fortune Telling' the authors included a reading about Clinton's impending impeachment ~ five years later, does anyone still give a damn?
Lions and tigers and bears - oh, my! Of course, Strength in the RWS deck deals in inner strength, the woman closing the mouth of the lion. In some old decks, Hercules is ripping the lions jaws apart. Here, the lion tamer is going to make the tiger jump through a burning hoop - pretty good feat for one so young! LWB: "finding healthy outlets for powerful energies."