STRENGTH, number 11
The basic elements consist of a woman and a lion. She is wearing a hat with a lemniscate brim.
The situation: she is holding his jaws open or is perhaps enchanting him so that he opens his mouth willingly? In either case she is controlling the lion. She represents the world of spirit, the lion the world of instinct.
The card indicates the task of having the spiritual side of a person control and incorporate into life, in a harmonious way, the instinctual side. Isn’t that an ongoing part of life? Persons often undergo a great struggle to control their instincts and emotional reactions such as anger, sex, greed, and envy, This is then a classic struggle in life and one that has to be resolved with the spiritual side winning out if a person is to develop spiritually.
That is why the woman is attempting to dominate and tame the lion. The lemniscate hat indicates she is connected to the spiritual domain. Connecting in meditation to these figures will strengthen persons in their struggle to overcome their instinctual side and make that part of their lives follow reason and spirit.
Jung discovered in his exploration of the unconscious that there are not only physical instincts but also spiritual ones, such as a strong desire and orientation to the Divine. That’s why Augustine stated, “Thou hast created us for yourself, oh God, and restless will we be until we rest in thee” (Confessions). These spiritual instincts can also get out of hand, as when a person becomes consumed by being, acting, and judging others in an “over religious manner.” Again the archetype of Strength can help such a person restrain an overzealous tendency.
There is also another occasion when the Strength Archetype can come to the aid of a person in great straits. Such is the example of the mother, a thin woman, who on seeing a car roll down the driveway and pin her young child under the back wheel, called out for help and then went to the back of the car, backed up into the car, grabbed the bumper and lifted the car enough so that her neighbors extricated the child from being pinned down by the car wheel. She fractured several of her vertebrates in the process, but where did she get that uncommon strength? From the depths of her soul!
How to connect to the Archetype of Strength? In today’s meditation you will enter the Meadow of the Archetypes and from there I will guide you to the path that leads to the Archetypes where you can then call her, Strength from the depths of your soul. But first be aware of an area where you need strengthening. When she appears I will guide you to connect to her strength and then have you meditate on changing in the area you want to work on by using the Three Screen Technique.