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Strength from the Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
Power, energy, action, courage, generosity; also complete success and honors.
A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings
Fortitude. This is one of the cardinal virtues, of which I shall speak later. The female figure is usually represented as closing the mouth of a lion. In the earlier form which is printed by Court de Gebelin, she is obviously opening it. The first alternative is better symbolically, but either is an instance of strength in its conventional understanding, and conveys the idea of mastery. It has been said that the figure represents organic force, moral force and the principle of all force.
A woman, over whose head is the same symbol of life seen in the Magician card, closes the jaws of a
lion. Her benevolent strength has already subdued the lion, which is being led by a leash of flowers. Fortitude, in
one of its most exalted aspects, is connected with the Divine Mystery of Union. It connects also with untouched
innocence, and with the strength that resides in contemplation.
These higher meanings are hinted at in a
concealed manner by the leash of flowers, which signifies the sweet yoke and the light burden of Divine Law, when it
has been taken into the heart of hearts. The card has nothing to do with ordinary self-confidence—it concerns
the confidence of those whose strength is God and have found their refuge in Him. In one sense, the lion signifies
the animal passions, and the lady called Strength signifies the higher nature of Man in his liberation. The higher
nature of Man has walked upon the asp and the basilisk and has trodden down the lion and the dragon (see Psalm