The Wild Unknown Tarot - Strength XI


The sun shines brightly at the top of this card and a lion seems to emerge from the brightness. In his mouth he holds a white rose and on his head shines a golden lemniscate....

Such a simple yet such a powerful image.

This is an inward looking card to me and numerically it relates to The High Priestess and Judgement (all 2s) so that fits with the inward aspect of it for me too...
A lion is strong and scary but here he seems to be offering a white rose and some of the main themes of this archetype to me are kindness, perseverance and the inner strength that goes along with those 2 things... You cannot train a lion with cruelty or with being harsh and equally, you cannot train a lion so that it will not hurt you, quickly. It takes a long time for a beast such as this one to gain your trust.
The lemniscate (an 8 on it's side) is the symbol of Universal balance and shows movement around a fixed, central point... It signifies infinity and to me this shows infinite possibilities if you go about things the right way.

The whiteness of the rose shows purity and gentleness... It's interesting to me that Kim Krans has chosen to include a rose when the original image of Fortitude in older decks with the lady and the lion remind me of the parable where the mouse removes the thorn from the lion's paw. The rose is delicate and has thorns but the lion carries it in his mouth, carefully and gently so that it does not hurt him and does not break.

So for me this is a card of perseverance through difficult times. It reminds you to be kind to yourself, to give yourself time and to remember that great or worthwhile things cannot be rushed.
This card also says that you will come out of whatever you are going through a stronger person for the experiences you have lived through... Be strong, be kind to yourself and to others, be compassionate and do not rush things....


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I agree, so simple, yet potent! I love how you worded it, Sulis; how the lion so gently holds the rose in his mouth! I didn't know the infinity sign was called lemniscate! (I LOVE learning new words!:))

My thought of the lemniscate was that being over the 3rd eye chakra meant trusting in the infinite wisdom that is within you.

When I see the sun and the lion together here, I think of the astrological sign of Leo (which is ruled by the Sun). There's definitely more to this lion than courage and strength with that rose in his mouth! There's a delicate way to use your power. Leos are loyal and I see this lion holding the rose in a trusting, caring and devoted way. Leos are courageous, trustworthy and generous! You can see why this card screams the Sun-ruled Leo to me. :)


I'll summarize/bullet point what Kim Krans says in the book. I hope this is OK? I thought some of you might like to know a rundown.

"the "strength" this card suggests is a much deeper force that's found within." ~K.K.

Keyword: Mastery of Emotions
~patient/calm self
~harnessing power
~courage you need is found in the heart


Great posts, both of you. thank you. the strength card is one of my favorite cards in this deck. I think it is probably my favorite strength card from any deck ever. It is such a gentle looking card, and yet holds such power in it too. I see strength and courage in this card. Also patience comes to mind, in addition to perseverance and kindness, as Sulis points out. And, yes, with the lemniscate, wisdom. Such a strong card with such simple symbols. Even the sun shining down on the lion seems to indicate strength.

I also can't look at this card w/o thinking of Leo--due to both the Lion and the sun, of course. Just as lady bird mentioned. This lion also just exhibits such self control, as again you mentioned LB in your 2nd post. A beautiful card.


Again, I just want to echo your thoughts on this card, and how absolutely perfect this card is. A balance of strong imagery that says a lot but isn't 'busy' - as though the artist herself has had the strength to think less is more.

What I find with Strength is that it is such a delicate balance - and one of the many reasons why I find a lot to contemplate in tarot terms with the switching of Justice and Strength because they are 2 sides of the same coin.

Strength is also saying here that we have to have the strength to do what is right, the Strength to go with our intuition and have the balls to go for it, even when we dont have a real idea of the 'reward' we will get for it. Sometimes you just have to have the Strength to do what is right, from the depth of your soul.

I find a lot of connection between this card and the Sun card - which isnt a connection I normally make with these cards in other decks.

pickled pixie

This Lion reminds me so much of Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia :D A powerful beast yet so gentle, wise and compassionate, who fights for the greater good and is the protector. I have always had an affinity with him since childhood, If I was scared I would imagine Aslan was with me giving me the courage I needed to get through the tough times. This is one of my favourite cards of any Tarot deck :D


as this deck was animal based when i saw this card i got impression that it was about the lion taming himself and mastering his own mind as there was no woman from the rw deck to o so and the lion had to rely upon himself (inwards as previously mentiond) was the real strength. he has realised the error of his destructive nature and this is shown as he is now straight chillen with a rose that he has brought as a gift(white=whiteflag=peace) he is enlightened (infinity from magician on crown) and is rising from the darkness to the sun with a look of determination.
gold lion by the yeah yeah yeahs came on two while i was writing if anyone wants to check that out