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Sun & Moon Tarot - Strength XI

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Topsy  Topsy is offline
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Sun & Moon Tarot - Strength XI


Hi everyone,

I just got this deck and my gosh, I think I'm in love! I'm surprised there aren't many forum threads about the individual cards yet, since the artwork is so beautiful. I'd love to study this deck in more depth, so I'll start with my favourite card from it, Strength.

Now, here's the funny thing... I'm not normally a fan of Strength. The "woman taming the lion" imagery never really resonated with me. But replacing the lion with a wolf is very symbolic of "taming the beast within" - wolves have long been associated with the darker side of human nature, eg in the legend of the werewolf or as the cunning bad guys in fairy tales. But the evil, bloodthirsty portrayals of wolves in literature are very unfair. They are actually highly intelligent, sociable and curious animals; they develop strong family attachments and are very loyal.

And the woman sitting so coolly on the back of a wolf in the Sun & Moon Strength card embodies someone who has faced their fears and discovered that in fact, those fears were unfounded and can be overcome, even turned into a positive thing. The woman is completely at ease with what others shy away from. What I really like about the vibe between these two is that neither seems to be controlling the other. The lady isn't trying to turn a wild animal into a tame, harmless pet; nor is the wolf attacking her or viewing her with caution. The trust between them symbolises the woman's courage and trust in her own abilities, as well as her willingness to embrace even the wild, unknown waters of her mind which others might block out or fight against.

The butterfly seems to be a recurring image in this deck. In this card, it's flitting about at night-time when butterflies should be fast asleep. Just like the woman, the butterfly has dared to venture out of its comfort zone and explore the darkness rather than hide away from it.

I'm still deciding what to make of the snake... I thought that since it is coiled tightly around the lady's leg, it could represent temptations that will always be present in our lives, and that we must learn to resist and live with. Any thoughts? How about the flower she's holding in her hand? (It looks like some kind of chrysanthemum-like blossom to me.) I'd love to read other people's opinions and insights into this card. Any input, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.

I'll upload the card image so people without the deck can see the picture I'm talking about.

Topsy x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topsy View Post
Hi everyone,
I just got this deck and my gosh, I think I'm in love! I'm surprised there aren't many forum threads about the individual cards yet, since the artwork is so beautiful. ...
The butterfly seems to be a recurring image in this deck. In this card, it's flitting about at night-time when butterflies should be fast asleep. Just like the woman, the butterfly has dared to venture out of its comfort zone and explore the darkness rather than hide away from it.
Topsy x
So glad you are here with input. This deck is truly amazing. I'm determined to learn the Thoth, and this deck is a combination of both the symbolism of the Thoth and of the RWS. It is such an incredible deck! I rarely leave home without these cards, and it's only $12 on Amazon.com!

Out of curiosity, I asked my husband what he saw in this card. He said it reminded him of the Hermit with the grey cliff and the bright moon. Very interesting. I found the Hermit in this deck, and it does not have the cliff (or the mountain top) that is usually in the RWS Hermit cards. He also said that she looks lonely and that it can take a lot of strength to deal with loneliness. The wolf is doing his thing howling at the moon, and she is just sitting there on the wolf's back, pondering whatever it is that she is pondering. The big, full moon is a reflection of the sun's light, so maybe it is symbolizing that she is sitting there "reflecting" and thinking. The butterfly is often a symbol of air (words), so it could be her thinking and reflecting and pondering?

The notation above about the butterfly is interesting. I looked for butterflies in the cards. I thought there were more, but I only found 3 other cards with butterflies: The Fool (also a purple butterfly), The Princess of Swords (an orange butterfly), and the Queen of Swords (3 butterflies: one purple, one orange and one green). The first thing I noticed about the butterfly in this Strength card is that it is the same purple as the flower she is holding sideways in her hands. Now what could that symbolize? To me, purple is a color representing intuition and our 7th chakra.

Other ideas? More interpretations?
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Thanks for sharing your ideas, Pam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam O
Out of curiosity, I asked my husband what he saw in this card. He said it reminded him of the Hermit with the grey cliff and the bright moon. Very interesting. I found the Hermit in this deck, and it does not have the cliff (or the mountain top) that is usually in the RWS Hermit cards. He also said that she looks lonely and that it can take a lot of strength to deal with loneliness. The wolf is doing his thing howling at the moon, and she is just sitting there on the wolf's back, pondering whatever it is that she is pondering. The big, full moon is a reflection of the sun's light, so maybe it is symbolizing that she is sitting there "reflecting" and thinking. The butterfly is often a symbol of air (words), so it could be her thinking and reflecting and pondering?
That's really interesting - I hadn't thought about the similarity of this image to the traditional depiction of the Hermit. Strength is normally an active card, showing the woman physically staying the lion with her hand, whereas this image has a much more contemplative, passive feel. The Hermit is normally one of my favourite cards, so maybe that's why I'm so drawn to this image. The lady does indeed look a bit lonely. Perhaps the card is showing the different ways of dealing with loneliness - the wolf is pining away and howling at the moon, showing no restraint in his reaction - whereas the woman is drawing on her inner strength and quietly coming to terms with the isolation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam O
The notation above about the butterfly is interesting. I looked for butterflies in the cards. I thought there were more, but I only found 3 other cards with butterflies: The Fool (also a purple butterfly), The Princess of Swords (an orange butterfly), and the Queen of Swords (3 butterflies: one purple, one orange and one green).
I too thought there were more than that, but maybe I was just noticing the butterfly cards more! I think the only one you missed is the Empress, where the rabbits are chasing butterflies at her feet. I suppose they're not technically counted, but there are characters with butterfly wings in Justice and the Sun too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam O
The first thing I noticed about the butterfly in this Strength card is that it is the same purple as the flower she is holding sideways in her hands. Now what could that symbolize? To me, purple is a color representing intuition and our 7th chakra.
I too see purple as a mystical colour and associate it with intuition and the soul. Perhaps this is because it is so rarely seen in nature (the only exceptions I can think of are flowers, sunsets and a few colourful creatures such as birds and butterflies - these are all very beautiful examples of the natural world). The purple representing intuitive qualities could also tie in with the full moon being so predominant in this image, since the moon traditionally represents the same feminine, passive, intuitive aspects of ourselves. I'm sure the moon in the background must be intended to be symbolic because it is so abnormally big (in fact, my mum even assumed this image must be the Moon card before she noticed it was entitled Strength!)
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Interesting observations Topsy!
Other purple things in nature are popular crystals like amethyst and flourite. There are also more obscure rocks like lepidilite, suguilite, purpurite,etc. The purple could be the power of intuition? Then there is also "royal" purple. What would that acknowledge or symbolize I wonder?

Also 3 of us were driving home from skiing in the 90's back in Colorado during the fall and we saw a HUGE moon come up over the Tarryall mountain range. We pulled over to get a photo, and it shrunk before our eyes and faster than we could gett our camera. It was absolutely wild seeing it so enormous, then watching it drop down to a "normal" size so rapidly. We had never seen anything like it.

Maybe this card is also subtly showing the "strength" of the moon itself. The moon does have the power to move the tides, and it can affect us quite dramatically since we humans & mammals are such a high percentage of water.

Just a bit more to ponder...
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