XI – Passion / Lust / Strength Tarot
energy, vibrancy, charisma
symbol: power, vitality, sexual transformation
astrology: venus in leo
path of theth: chesed – geburah
In older tarot decks the woman is taming the lion, which is different from riding him. Instead of restraining the beasts strength she is rather benefiting from it, resisting the destructive force of it’s flames and using the energy for her own purposes. While the beast has power it can only use in a destructive way the rider is channelling the energy through her body to her mind where she is able to use it in a creative and constructive manner. The uni-corned beast represents the fertilizing sword. It is refered to the celestial son, the liberator or the alchemical „spiritus mercurius“ in context to the woman who eventually catches and bridles the beast. Depending on the myth this woman can be a virgin or a harlot. In christianity she is represented by both – the mother mary and mary magdalena – let’s just say there is a reason they have the same name.
The rider has a mask in front of her mouth, because she doesn’t reach her goals through conversion but through action. She is naked and is showing her sexual attributes self-confident, without being a victim but rather enjoying her role and the moment without thinking about consequences or restrictions. This moment or phase can be marked by great works sparkling from inspiration, creativity and passion.The great cup symbolises the receiving principle, despite her rather male characteristics like control, activity and the narrative of „riding“ or taming. This ambivalent characteristics lead to the conclusion that this ride doesn’t last for long and often leads into chaos or cascadic reactions of disintegration. Sure, creation without reason, adventures and ecstasy can be positive characteristics of this card, but one must know when it’s time to dismount the beast again, otherwise the symbols quickly develop into a negative way leading to addictions, confusion and hysteria.
In a hermetic context the 7 serpents also refer to the 7 daughters, days of the week, chakras or planets and the formula of „Ararita“. This symbolism does correlate to the scarlet „woman riding the beast“ (compare the apocalypse of Johannes Offb 17,3) and to a new fitting archetype – Crowley’s Babalon, the new invented great harlot and modern form of Inanna.