A woman, over whose head there broods the same symbol of
life which we have seen in the card of the Hierophant, is
closing the jaws of a lion. The only point in which this
design differs from the conventional presentations is that
her beneficent fortitude has already subdued the lion, which
is being led by a chain of flowers.
For reasons which satisfy myself, this card has been
interchanged with that of Justice, which is usually numbered
eight. As the variation carries nothing with it which will
signify to the reader, there is no cause for explanation.
Fortitude, in one of its most exalted aspects, is connected
with the Divine Mystery of Union; the virtue, of course,
operates in all planes, and hence draws on all in its
It connects also with innocentia inviolata, and with the
strength which resides in contemplation.
These higher meanings are, however, matters of inference,
and I do not suggest that they are transparent on the
surface of the card. They are intimated in a concealed
manner by the chain of flowers, which signifies, among many
other things, the sweet yoke and the light burden of Divine
Law, when it has been taken into the heart of hearts.
The card has nothing to do with self-confidence in the
ordinary sense, though this has been- suggested -but it
concerns the confidence of those whose strength is God
(Nature), who have found their refuge in Him. There is one
aspect in which the lion signifies the passions, and she who
is called Strength is the higher nature in its liberation.
It has walked upon the asp and the basilisk and has trodden
down the lion and the dragon.