Sunday, May 12, 2013

Carpe Diem #194, Strength (VIII) Tarot

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day has almost started and we are going further on our journey through the Tarot, the divine Tarot. With the card of today Strength (VIII), we enter a new dimension. Why? Well this is the eighth card and eightstands for a higher dimension ruled by Christ Consciousness. The number eight stands for Christ Consciousness and therefore for Christ, the Son of God. What does this mean? We will see. Let us take a closer look to this RW-Tarot-deck card.

Strength is a Major Arcana Tarot card, and is numbered either XI or VIII, depending on the deck. Historically it was called Fortitude, and in theThoth Tarot deck it is called Lust. This card is used in game playing as well as in divination.

Mother's Day reprise
going back along time
Cybelle and her lions

The design of this card is fairly constant across tarot decks. The key characters are that of a woman and a lion, with the woman looking calm and gentle, yet dominant over the lion. Many cards, including that of the RW deck, have the woman clasping the lion's jaws. Another feature of the RW deck is a lemniscate (a kind of geometric form) hovering over the woman's head. Other decks have the woman sitting upon the lion, or merely with one hand upon it. Some decks feature just one of the characters; flowers are often presented on this card. This lemniscate stands for 'eternity' and we saw that already on the card of The Fool (0).
By the way the woman is Cybele, mother of the Gods, which also was mentioned in our Mother's Day episode of yesterday.

Cybele, Mother of the Gods

In Christianity we know nothing about a Mother of God, the only woman which is called divine is Mother Mary, Mother of Jesus. And maybe Mary Magdalene, who was (as some sources say) the wife of Jesus.

What is the meaning of this all? According to several sources Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus, and is seen as The Holy Grail. The Catholic Church has somewhere in the 4th century told that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute and therefore she could not have a big role in the teachings of the Church. So her Gospel wasn't true and of the devil. Nowadays there are several organisations who say that Mary Magdalene was the Mother of the Church. Maybe she is very similar with Cybele who's depicted in the card of Strength. As we say that Cybele is similar with Mary Magdalene than maybe she is depicted on this card. Who will say?

Mary Magdalene
spouse of the Messiah
mother of faith

Source: Mary Magdalene with the Holy Grail

Let us look on the metafysical side of the card Strength (VIII) and watch where this card is placed on the Tree of Life, the glyph of the Kabbalah.
We find Strength (VIII) as the path between Geburah (Severity) and Chesed (Mercy). These terms we have heard already at The Hierophant's card ... it has to do with praying. And so Strength (VIII) too has to do with praying. We e.g. find 'strength' in The Lord's Prayer, by the way that sentence in which 'strength' is mentioned has been added later, in the original Lord's Prayer that line isn't present.

[...] For the kingdom, the strength, and the glory are yours
now and forever. [...]

It was, by the way, the first thing I thought of when I started preparing this episode. And so Strength (VIII) as to do with praying and in that way this card is connected with The Hierophant (or The Pope).
And what to say if we look to this card with the eye of a Christian? Well ... than we see the power of God, who leaded his people out of Egypt to the land of milk and honey. An exodus of almost 40 years, but He was always there with His people, because He would like to be with them as their Father..

forty years in exile
to learn, meditate and contemplate
made God's people free

Well ... I think this has become a wonderful episode and again I think we come a bit closer to the divine Tarot. Hope you enjoyed the read and that it will inspire you to write new haiku.

This prompt will stay on 'til May 14th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will draw our next Tarot-card, The Hermit (IX), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET) (I hope to be on time (smiles)).


  1. I have been so behind. Soon I have read all the backlog. I think you are right in the soft strength or if I read right resilience... Thank you for sharing your tarot thoughts every day.

  2. Thank you for including the view that Mary Magdalene may have been the wife of Jesus. Your writing of that and your beautiful image of her brought tears to my eyes. I don't know why I have such strong feelings. I was raised in a Jewish family. Regardless, I wrote of what you shared here.

  3. Another excellent post with accompanying haiku Kristjaan. Your passion for the topic shines through every day thank you for sharing it with us all :)

  4. I believe the form hovering over the head is the infinity symbol. It appears in all the images I've seen of this card in various decks.

  5. Your posts are so filled with wonderful knowledge and creative haiku ~ Have a great week ^_^

  6. Wow, there was quite a bit of research behind this posts. Great images, too.

  7. This was an interesting lesson...thanks for all your hard work.
    Today, my first ... well, now yesterday, died and his mother's
    name was Marguerite and my mother's name was Mary. It has always
    been in the back of my mind that Marguerite was a for of Mary,
    and googling I found it to be true and a lot of interesting
    information on St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, V.H.M.
    (French: Marguerite-Marie Alacoque),
    was a French Roman Catholic nun and mystic,
    who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.

    I don't know without the impetus of your lesson if I would have ever
    gone further than a baby name book. Thank you for the lesson.'