Strength | Summer Solstice | Blog Hop
Blog hop! If you’ve happened here by chance, then you are in for a
treat if you follow the links below to all the other blog hoppers who
are providing a chain that runs from 0 The Fool through to XXI The
Strength as Major Arcana VIII, however this wasn’t always the case.
In older Marseille-style decks Justice is found at position
E Waite (the creator of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot) was keen to add
astrological references to the Major Arcana. But if Strength (Leo),
kept her position at Major XI, then pesky Justice (Libra) would disrupt
their plan to show all the Astrological trumps in their correct
numbering for his Thoth deck. But changed the names of the cards – Strength became Lust. Contrary ol’ coot!
not really, because back in the day, the old decks didn’t have numbered
Major Arcana cards.
next – ended up with different cards in different orders. It’s easy to imagine courtly gents in tights arguing heatedly about whether Temperance scored more points than Justice in their card game. That’s the sort of argument that can get you run through with a rapier….
of the image:
|Visconti Sforza – 1451
Hercules giving the Ebil Nemean lion a jolly good thrashing.
Pretty danged violent to our contemporary eyes, isn’t it?
|The Rider Waite Smith – 1909
The combination of lion, woman and physicality that we strongly associate with this card makes an appearance.
|Tarot Sophistique – 2014
A contemporary version of a Marseille Tarot image
Woman and Lion
we can see the nascent leminscate of the RWS in the circle of her hat.
Strength earned her place in the Tarot deck by dint of being one of the four Cardinal Virtues: Fortitude.
The other virtues are Prudence (The High Priestess), Temperance and Justice (represented by, erm, Temperance and Justice).
I like the virtue of Fortitude being part of the Tarot deck. But Fortitude and Strength have slightly differing meanings:
pain or adversary.
quality or state of being physically strong
object or substance to withstand great force or pressure