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Pearls of Wisdom - Strength

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Pearls of Wisdom - Strength


A woman and a lion are the central figures in this card.

The woman is naked, with the exception of a headress, a necklace and two arm bands. Her headress has 7 roses and some greenery which end with 3 hanging pearls and a ribbon blowing in the breeze on each side. Her necklace forms an infinity symbol, with a pearl at the centre and 3 more hanging pearls. Her arm bands bear a runes symbol on each side, on the left - the symbol for Sowelu and on the right - the symbol for Uruz.

Her forhead has unusual markings, similar to the shape of the sun, behind her head as well as her hair behind the headress. Her bossoms are uncovered for all to see and she seems to be pregnant. Her hands are oversized compared to her body, she has a pear in her left hand and a pearl ring on her right ring finger, which she rests lovingly on the lions head, it appears as though she's stroking his head.

The beautiful golden coloured lion (same colour as the lady's hair) is lying down comfortably and protectively in front of her, with the same colour blue eyes as her and also the same markings on its cheek that the lady has on hers.. maybe suggesting somekind of deep connection between herself and the lion. He also wears a Heart necklace around his neck, that bears a strong resemblance to an apple, with a pearl at the top centre of the heart. There is a bee buzzing around near the lion's tail, which neither the lion nor the lady seem to take notice of.

Immediately behind the lady's head is the sun with a clear blue sky apart from some clouds. The hills are gently rolling behind her with a tree in bloom and she is surrounded by Gladiolas and very green grass.

The upper left and right corners of the cards only have vines and rune symbols in each, on the right, a repeat of the ones on her arm bands, the symbol for:
Uruz: personal power and strength, moving from darkness to light and
Sowelu: Wholeness, movement towards self-discovery
On the left, the symbol for;
Mannaz: a positive relationship to self that influences other relationships and
Teiwaz: Acknowledging the spiritual warrior.

There are also 2 roses on the left side of the card, and the Gladiolas that surrounded the lady seem to be extending from the side to her left (our right). In the bottom left, there is the pear and to the right there is garlic, and 3 pearls again repeat on each side of the bottom.

The repeat of the 3's in this card is a definite reference to the 3 fates: Love, Wisdom and Power. The Uruz symbol makes me think that this card may be linked to The Hierophant as the diyas in that card originate from a Hindu celebration called Divali which also symbolises the lifting of spiritual darkness.

But what a lovely image overall!
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Here's an image of the card.
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I love the way that in lots of ways the lion and the woman resemble each other as I really think that in Strength cards, the beast is in fact part of the woman.
The hair and the spiral that appears on the woman's abdomen and on the flank of the lion, their eyes, the way the woman has a lemniscate around her neck and the lion has a heart around his; all these things make me think that they are one and the same.

Real, inner strength comes when we can look inside, confront the beast within and grow not only to accept it as part of us but love it as well.

Real strength for me comes with the ability to love ourselves, warts (or inner beast) and all.

I've changed the numbering on my card so that Strength is where it should be (in my opinion), at number 11.
Strength is numerically related to The High Priestess in that this sort of strength comes from within, it's a quiet strength to do with self knowledge and acceptance and at number 11 it is part of the turning inward phase of the Major Arcana..
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Lady and the Lion


I love the Lion's expression. Maybe it's my wyrd imagination, but he seems to be saying...'Yeah, she naked. Do you have a problem with that? Come closer, we'll talk.' The Lion is her companion. Why a Lion and not a Lioness? If the beast represents the Lady's animal nature, why would it not be a female, too? I like to read this pair as the King of Beasts and Mother Nature. There is no conflict between the two.

Check out the eyes - the Lion has a blue right eye and green left; the Lady has a blue left eye and a green right. I rede this as complementary opposites.

Thanks, Marli, for naming the species of flower. Gladiolas, the flower, were named for gladius, the Latin word for sword. Instead of turning these 'swords' to plowshares, they were turned into flowers. They form an arch around the Lady and the Lion like soldiers hailing their Lord and Lady.

It's hard to see the stone arch that forms the border on these cards because the greenery is so vibrant with life. It's not overgrown, the pattern is aesthetically pleasing - this isn't Nature running amok.

The Lady's large hands remind me of the Magician. His hands are large, too. The Lady has one hand open and offering a pear; the other is in 'receiving position' touching the Lion's head (I get a sense of petting, too). The Magician has one hand open and offering blue flames; the other in 'receiving position' holding a large pearl/crystal sphere. Before the Lady lays the Lion. Before the Magician is a table holding the tools of his trade.
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Oh Wow!!! Thanks Sulis and RS!!

Both 2 completly different interpretations, but both viewpoints I had not thought of before, both making sense to me!!

RS - I had not noticed the different colours of their eyes last night, perhaps because it was late at night and the lighting was poor, but I totally see it now!!!!

Sulis, I love the idea of the Lion and the Lady being one and the same, but I also love the idea from RS of them being a linked male and female pair. Will definitely keep both in mind, when doing future readings...

What wonderful ideas can be shared when minds converge!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rede Seeker
If the beast represents the Lady's animal nature, why would it not be a female, too? I like to read this pair as the King of Beasts and Mother Nature. There is no conflict between the two.
I like the idea of reading the pairing as the King of Beasts and Mother Nature - they do make a good pair but in this deck and in most others I see the lion, the unicorn, the snake, whatever the beast happens to be as part of the woman... Her 'inner beast' or even her 'inner demon' in some cases.
I don't see any conflict in their sexes being different.. We all do have the essence of the opposite sex within us after all.
I think that the opposite colours of their eyes can also point to this (I don't have a magnifying glass so didn't notice that myself ).
I think that they can be a 'linked male and female pair' and still be one and the same.

I'm not contradicting you Rede Seeker , just going with something different .
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Differences make good sparks


Not a problem, Sulis.

I see this Strength card to be very honest - neither Lady nor Lion hides behind or within the other, but shows itself unashamedly. In a reading, I might rede it as a call to be more forthright, don't hide your true nature behind some socially acceptable facade.

I prefer Strength as #11, too, between the Wheel of Fortune and The Hanged Man.
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