Ludy Lescot - Strength VIII

Elendil

This card turned up in my daily draw when I used the deck exclusively a couple of weeks ago. I am pasting my (adapted) findings and thoughts here:

Card VIII (Strength)

Whilst the card retains the maned lion and the woman from other deck traditions the image on this card is quite startling. Beneath a thicket of purple roses a naked and fiery red-headed woman crawls across the ground like a feral beast. The ground is littered with partially buried human skulls and bones. Behind her in what appears to be a prairie, a lion placidly crouches. The sky in the image is hazed with pink suggesting sunrise.

For me this card goes beyond the traditional meaning of inner strength and courage. The image suggests the capability of humankind to become beastlike and the earth sown with skulls and bones reminds me of the Killing Fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Testament to inhumanity approaching genocide the regime of Pol Pot (just one of the far too many maniacs with which our world has been cursed) highlights in stark reality the true potential for evil that lies within us all. Thankfully most of us are capable of taming the beast that resides within to lead perfectly normal lives.

I think that this card challenges us to reflect upon and contemplate the 'shadow' self and the extent to which we might use our strength to overcome those negative urges and impulses that we have and without which we would not be human. The card is about self-control and where and when (and how) to exercise it. We need strength to acknowledge and accept (and own/take responsibility for) our worst sides and behaviours.
 

Hemera

I agree that this is a startling picture but I see it in a much more positive light. I welcome the reminder of the beast within us all -and I love her claws:)

I see the skulls more as a reminder of the eternal Biological cycles of Energy and Matter. We are all dust..Dust to dust etc.

I can´t help thinking us humans would be much happier if we´d remember that we are animals -just envious and selfish primates-and very much in the same boat with all the other animals. I think the true courage that this woman is displaying is in embracing her animal nature and shedding her "civilized" human ways for a brief moment.
 

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Aerin

I like this card too. The "beast" and the "human" seem to be swapped around from the usual depiction, so the Lion is calm and the woman is roaring. Red roses again, and she has a cross around her neck protecting her from what???

I saw the skulls as indicating a dangerous journey, probably because of the Bohemian Gothic "World".
 

kaushalyaandfrank

I like this card too. The "beast" and the "human" seem to be swapped around from the usual depiction, so the Lion is calm and the woman is roaring.

Indeed, the beast is us and we are the beast, we are animals, with both peaceful and ferocious aspects. As per the LWB we need to harness the beast within us just as much as we need to cultivate peace.
 

Pam O

Indeed, the beast is us and we are the beast, we are animals, with both peaceful and ferocious aspects. As per the LWB we need to harness the beast within us just as much as we need to cultivate peace.

The notion of the reptilian brain crosses my mind.

The raw power animal instincts buried deep within are unleashed and expressed here. It feels a bit like a cat and mouse scenario, and the feral lioness looks intently right at us... the viewer.
Are we her prey?

Does this remind anyone of the feral women in the Magician card!?

The lion in the background reminds me of the lion in the King of Wands, as well as the stone pillars in the Empress. There is also the Queen of Wands. I will scan these cards and attach so they can be seen side-by-side.

I am wondering how this card might be read as a benefit?
 

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Hemera

The Ace of Wands also has the cane (wand) decorated with something that might be a lion.
MaineGirl117 said:
Could we also assume that the head of the cane is made out of gold? I think it is, and with the wands suit representing Alchemy, is this not the ultimate 'prize' we desire while working through the suit?? We see at the end of the suit the king with the lion, who can represent the Sun or Gold in living form. Perhaps the most valuable gold is not that which is tangible, but what is created when we can blend all elements of life (all other suits) to create gold 'within us' by manifesting it into intuition, integrity, courage. You see Daffy Duck in the wand head (I do too, but I think it's more artistic expression in regards to creating a walking stick) but look at the head of the wand from the other direction. I see a lion face, with his mane flowing back towards the right tip!! Here is a little more information on the Lion . This is a solar symbol, and when we look at the Salamander, it is considered a lunar symbol. So here we see the combining of light/dark symbolism in this card.
This can be found in The Four Aces
 

Pam O

The Ace of Wands also has the cane (wand) decorated with something that might be a lion.
This can be found in The Four Aces

I only saw that as Daffy Duck which never really made sense in the LL scheme to me. Now I see the Lion facing the other way!

Great insight!
 

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