Strength Art and Meaning Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck Deck
About the Deck
These cards are featured in my book, "A Concise Guide to the Tarot" by Loren Lundgren. I took the information for the meanings on these tarot cards from "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination", by A. E. Waite, 1911, now in the public domain. I edited the tarot card descriptions and meanings for clarity and brevity, modernizing the text. I scanned in the original black and white illustrations of the cards drawn by Pamela Colman Smith, from the 1911 book. I digitally retouched and painted those illustrations in detailed color.
Loren Lundgren, © 2021
DescriptionA 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 91:13).
Meaning of Strength from the Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
Power, energy, action, courage, generosity; also complete success and honors.
Tyranny, abuse of power, weakness, discord, sometimes even disgrace.
According to Many Schools of Thought
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.
Equilibrium, Balance, Justice
Bigotry, Want of Balance, Abuse of Justice, Over-severity, Inequality, Bias.