How do you interpret The Strength Card of the Rider Waite Tarot, or the Lust Card, ATU XI of the Thoth Tarot?
Following are my thoughts on this card. I’ve also included different ways that it might be interpreted in a reading, to help you understand it when it comes up in your own readings.
- The human and the lion – make friends with your enemy or that which opposes, overpowers, threatens or preys upon you. Befriend your fears.
- Are things really what they seem to be? Do you follow what has been taught to you in the past, or do you live by experience?
- Is this card advising the querent to put mind over matter. Determination will pay off?
- Is it truly a lion being tamed? Or is it the beast within? The card can refer equally to the inner struggle as it can to the struggles that the outside world throws at us.
- Does this card tell us that change is coming? That yes we can stave it off, but only whilst we are applying sheer force. What will happen when force is removed? Will circumstances have changed? Will the lion be tamed?
- Aleister Crowley renamed this card “Lust” in the Thoth Tarot. The reasoning behind it makes perfect sense… think of the imagery on the card, a woman taming a beast – or the masculine. Crowley reminds us that in the eyes of some, a woman’s greatest power over a man, is her sexual power – the stirring of desire in another.
- When interpreting this card who do you, or your querent identify with? the beast or the woman? Within a relationship reading this gives powerful insight into the power balances existing between the couple in question.
- Is this card urging you to have the heart of a lion, to be brave and lion-hearted?
- Are decisions being delayed? Are you being urged to stop delaying and choose from the heart? Go with your instinct as would the beast? In which case this is an instance where ignoring convention and follow your instinct may be necessary – but what is stopping you needs to be considered also. This could be social values, the feelings of others, and so forth. The Beast would not take into account any of these values, choice is quick and instinctive within the animal kingdom.
- Strength – control versus impulse.
- When I see this card I also wonder whether someone is trying to put words in another’s mouth. Is someone trying to word you up….? or manipulate you? Why would you allow that to happen? You are more than strong enough to turn away, so what hold does this person have upon you?
- Are you foolhardy? Are you trying to prove something to others. Taking an unnecessary risk to impress… for in truth no one will ultimately conquer the beast – it is its own master. If the beast was to be seen as controllable, the card would depict a dog, or a horse or another animal that it is possible to domesticate.
- If this card is your Outcome card – then things are at a stalemate right now. The person that you are waiting on is holding out… regardless of which path they are going to take, right now they are refusing to budge. It is not easy for them though – every ounce of their will power is required to be still and stand their ground.