World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Strength (Tarot card)

Article Id: WHEBN0001758791
Reproduction Date:

Title: Strength (Tarot card)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tarot, Major Arcana, Minchiate, Rider-Waite tarot deck, Tarot of Marseilles
Collection: Major Arcana, Tarot Cards
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Strength (Tarot card)

Strength (VIII)

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


  • Description 1
  • History 2
  • Numbering 3
  • Alternative decks 4
  • In popular culture 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7



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 Rider-Waite-Smith deck, have the woman clasping the lion's jaws. Another feature of the RWS 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.


The Strength card was originally named Fortitude, and accompanies two of the other cardinal virtues in the Major Arcana: Temperance and Justice (the Darkana tarot deck also includes Prudence in place of Judgement). The meaning of Fortitude was different from the interpretation of the card: it meant moderation in attitudes toward pain and danger, with neither being avoided at all costs, nor actively wanted.

The older decks had two competing symbolisms: one featured a woman holding or breaking a stone pillar, and the other featured a person, either male or female, subduing a lion. This Tarocchi del Mantegna card (image, above), made in Ferrara around 1470, illustrates both. The modern woman-and-lion symbolism most likely evolved from a merging of the two earlier ones.


Strength is traditionally the eleventh card and Justice the eighth, but the influential Rider-Waite-Smith deck switched the position of these two cards in order to make them a better fit with the astrological correspondences worked out by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, under which the eighth card is associated with Leo and the eleventh with Libra. Today many decks use this numbering, particularly in the English-speaking world. Both placements are considered valid.

Alternative decks

  • The Darkana tarot deck refers to Strength as "Fortitude", and depicts a woman getting the words 'Nil desperandum' (never despair) tattooed on her side.
  • The "Flemish Deck" by Vandendorre (c.1750 – 1760) renumbers La Force ("Strength") as XI and La Justice ("Justice") as VIII.
  • In the Vikings Tarot this card shows Thor trying to lift the Midgard Serpent, which he had been deceived into thinking was just a giant cat.
  • In the X/1999 Tarot version made by CLAMP, The Strength is Yuzuriha Nekoi and her Inugami, Inuki.
  • In the Mythic Tarot deck, Strength is depicted by Hercules.
  • In the Thoth Tarot, Strength is renamed "Lust".

In popular culture

  • In Saint Seiya Episode.G, Aiolia of Leo is depicted as The Strength in the tarot cards released with the manga.
  • In the anime Yu-Gi-Oh GX, the tarot-using villain Sartorious used Strength to represent Jaden Yuki's friend Tyranno Hasselberry.
  • In the SNES game Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, the Strength tarot card is labeled as VIII, and depicts a woman wearing a wreath on her head and a white robe, with a ribbon sash around her waist, and taming a big lion by stroking its head and face. On drawing the Tarot card after liberation of one of the towns, it increases the characters' strength by 1 (though much weaker than the Chariot), and, when used in battle, increases their defense by a little bit.[1]


  1. ^ Ogre Battle - Tarot Cards

External links

  • "Strength" cards from many decks and articles to "Strength" iconography
  • The History of the Strength (Fortitude) Card from The Hermitage.
  • Strength cards from (Hebrew)
  • Strength from Aeclectic Tarot.
  • Fortitudo - Andreia - Fortitude The Pythagorean Tarot

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.