Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Live Tarot Readings Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive

The Lion, The Pagan And The Eighth Card.

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Tarot History & Development


 
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 
Citizen

Rosanne's Avatar
The Lion, The Pagan And The Eighth Card.


I have been puzzling over the Cary Yale so called 'Strength' card.
It seems to me that this card is the earliest depiction of a female sitting on a lion holding it's mouth open or shut. The next time we have this depiction in common usage is in the Tdm styled decks and it has become the most common depiction right down to today of what is been called 'Strength' or 'Force'.

I am beginning to think the original intent (remember originally unnamed) may not be strength in the usual sense at all.

Mater Turrita- great Nature Goddess
Magna Mater- The great Mother
Alma Mater- The nourishing Mother
all conflated into Cybele whose totems or symbols were especially wild Lions and wild Bees.
Roman devotion to Cybele ran deep. Not coincidentally, when a Christian basilica was built over the site of a temple to Cybele to occupy the site, the sanctuary was rededicated to the Mother of God, as the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
At the time of the cards birth (Cary Yale) there was this strong desire to overcome the Pagan ideas, covering them with Christianity.
I wonder if this card is depicting Mary the Mother of God taming the Pagan Cybele?

~Rosanne
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #1
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 
Citizen

kwaw's Avatar

I think the iconography of the lady with lion is modeled on depictions of Samson (as are others with a broken column, occasionally both column and lion) modified in accordance with the tradition to depict virtues allegorically as woman.

Some examples of Samson and the Lion from the 14th and 15th centuries here:

http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/35964

The medieval tradition of depicting fortitude as woman with lion precedes its appearance in a tarot/triumph deck by centuries. Here is an image from the tomb of Pope Clement II, dated c.1240 :

 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #2
Bernice's Avatar
Bernice  Bernice is offline
Denizen of the Coalsack Nebula
 
Join Date: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Central England
Posts: 3,901
Bernice 
Denizen of the Coalsack Nebula

Bernice's Avatar

Fascinating (as per usual!).

Quote:
Rosanne: It seems to me that this card is the earliest depiction of a female sitting on a lion holding it's mouth open or shut. The next time we have this depiction in common usage is in the Tdm styled decks and it has become the most common depiction right down to today of what is been called 'Strength' or 'Force'.
If this could be verified (probably circumstancial - but perhaps crucially indicative), then the mis-nomer "strength" might be aptly applied to the Great Mother, Nature in all it's aspects.
Quote:
...all conflated into Cybele whose totems or symbols were especially wild Lions and wild Bees.
Now you have me looking at splodgy re-production cards, just in case there's a bee at the heart of a splodge


If anyone knows of an earlier version of the 'Lady with Lion' card, please do post.


Bee


eta: posted at the same time as Kwaw. A female Samson....... must have a think.
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #3
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 
Citizen

Rosanne's Avatar

Like the new Avatar Kwaw!

Yes I understand the connection between Virtues and the depiction of women as such.

I still have a problem with it been Samson in The Cary Yale Deck.
Why should it be assumed because there is not an obvious Virtue Strength- as we have in that deck supposedly Faith-Hope-Caritas(which looks like Prudence with a mirror) all above or appearing to overcome a king- it makes some sort of sense to have this Christian supremacy over Pagan ideas.

It is so definitely in the Griggoneur Strength as a Virtue- and in the Visconti Sforza it is a different depiction of Force- but it is this one in the Cary-Yale that has become for Tarot the iconic depiction of Strength.

So I guess for me the idea of Samson morphing into a female is somewhat strange. Especially as the woman wears a crown very similar to usual depictions of Cybele and sitting on the Lion not fighting it, but taming it or dominating it.

~Rosanne

ps Just saw your post Bee!
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #4
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 
Citizen

Rosanne's Avatar

Ok can see Justice(does not seem to be female)-Temperance- (not sure about sex) Man with Dragon or Serpent (what's that?) Youth with Jar (what's that?)
...and it well could be Samson fighting the Lion- very evidently fighting Lion- are you certain it is female?

~Rosanne
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #5
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 
Citizen

kwaw's Avatar

In the Notger bible c. 10th century it is an angel with the Lion (so technically 'sexless', I suppose):



the other two 'tarot' virtues are also on the cover - an early example of the three as a group in and of themselves (without prudence).

ps: there is a picture of the card in a post by MikeH here:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...=126031&page=2
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #6
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 
Citizen

Rosanne's Avatar

Thanks Kwaw I will think on it some more.
No body commented on that I called it the 8th Card?
Well I think of it as the 11th card really.
I was alluding to it becoming the usual card since occult Tarot.

~Rosanne
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #7
Bernice's Avatar
Bernice  Bernice is offline
Denizen of the Coalsack Nebula
 
Join Date: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Central England
Posts: 3,901
Bernice 
Denizen of the Coalsack Nebula

Bernice's Avatar

Quote:
Rosanne Youth with Jar (what's that?)
He seems to be sitting on some twigs ().

Quote:
Kwaw: Here is an image from the tomb of Pope Clement II, dated c.1240 :
And the 10th century angel. Is there something odd about the Pope Clement ladys' legs - she also seems to have a club foot. A very animated image, definately Fighting!.


Bee
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #8
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 
Citizen

kwaw's Avatar

Quote:
as we have in that deck supposedly Faith-Hope-Caritas(which looks like Prudence with a mirror) all above or appearing to overcome a king- it makes some sort of sense to have this Christian supremacy over Pagan ideas.
The Kings representing vices overcome by the virtues had an established tradition:

quote:
The idea of making certain famous men incarnations of Vices seems to have come from Italy. J. von Schlosser has cited two fourteenth-century manuscripts, both Italian, in which the Virtues trample heretics, philosophers and tyrants. Justice has Nero underfoot; Fortitude has Holofernes; Temperance has Epicurus; Prudence, Saranapalus; Charity, Herod; Hope, Judas; Faith, Arius...

The Hours of Simon Vostre [c1507] contains the first French examples of the Virtues crushing their most famous enemies underfoot. Faith has Mahomet under hers, Hope has Judas, Charity has Herod, Prudence has Sardanapalus, Temperance has Tarquinius, Justice has Nero, Fortitude has Holofernes. We see that only two names, Machomet and Tarquinius, differ from those found in the Italian manuscripts. The relation thus seems clear and presupposes numerous intermediaries. end quote from:
Religious Art in France: the Late Middle Ages by Emile MÔle, translated by Marthiel Matthews. Princeton University Press, 1986
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #9
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 
Citizen

Rosanne's Avatar

Oh thank you Kwaw- that is very interesting about the Kings or famous Pagans underfoot the Virtues- then why not Cybele as Lion? Or should I say who would likely be under strength?

~Rosanne
 Need help? Get your live Tarot Reading now      Top   #10


 


 


Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive
Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

The Aeclectic Tarot Forum closed permanently on July 14th, 2017. The public threads remain online as a read-only archive and resource. More information on our decision can be found here. Thank you for being a part of our active community over the past seventeen years.

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.