Happy Summer Solstice!
Card number 11 comes in to bring us the lesson of true strength – the inner power of kindness and compassion. This image of strength has masculine power in the sun and the male lion, as well as the feminine power of the rose.
May we have the strength to love ourselves through our struggles – may we use our most aggressive aspects to defend our most tenderest parts. May we see that our true strength lies in patience and taming our ego in order to proceed towards our goals with a peaceful and open heart.
The sideways 8 on the forehead of the lion is called the lemniscate. It is a symbol of the eternal nature of energy – “what comes around goes around”.
It is so easy to project our anger or judgement outward. It is very interesting how easily we can become righteous or to attempt to stand in what we imagine is a place of strength. Our minds tell us that we have to be “right” or superior in some way to show strength. This is a tricky trap we can easily fall into. False strength is being “right” or louder or scarier or more intense and demanding and relentless. True strength is to show compassion to self and others, no matter what our judgements or fears may be.
When I imagine what true strength is, I immediately think of people who are able to forgive. The deepest form of forgiveness I can imagine is for the parent to forgive the murderer of their child. Whenever I hear one of these stories, I am amazed at the compassion, wisdom and pure strength of spirit it would take to move into that level of love. Here is a quote from one of those amazing people, June Van Smaalen, whose daughter was murdered by her husband.
“ I have to forgive (so) that he doesn’t control me, because if I lived with any ill feeling, any negative emotions involving him, he would still be ruining my life and I’m determined that’s not going to happen.”
Strength is full on compassion for the self – understanding that any negative thought or emotion, big or small, only hurts ourselves. It sounds trite, but if we take the time to observe ourselves, we will see that our thought forms can be obsessed with judging and one-upping and desperation to feel ok based on our comparisons with others. Blaming is a great escape from responsibility. Forgiveness requires the release of blame.
This card says, “don’t go there”. Forgive yourself, forgive others. Continuously. Daily. Until it becomes habit.
The white rose in the lions teeth symbolizes the offering of peace. I’m not sure if Kim Krans, the creator of the Wild Unknown Tarot is aware that “The White Rose” was the name of the non-violent Anti- Nazi group in Germany, most of whom were executed for distributing leaflets denouncing the Third Reich. What a show of strength! – humans who risk their lives to defend what they know is true and good, even in the face of death.
How could we show more strength in everyday life? Stand for kindness to self and others. Resist the inner and outer tyrants…lovingly and courageously.
“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred” Dalai Lama XIV