XI – Strengt / Lust (♌︎)
Strength by G A Rosenberg
Surrender the struggle
to her passionate embrace
Strength found through release.
Give forth to every yearning
real and imagined
Let yourself go into ecstasy
Ride the Lion with Seven heads
with Bare abandon
Know me through pleasure
Yearn for satiation
yet care less to find it
Abandon yourself to all forms of debauch
and know me there
Drink deep from my grail
and loose yourself
beyond all reasoning.
Let me be whore and mistress
and giver of delight
for in passion’s heights I am found by all
in surrender to every desire
you will drink of my cup
and know madness
and union with my mysteries
True Strength comes not from repression
but through knowledge of the beast within
free yourself in my cup of pleasure .
— G A Rosenberg
What does it mean to master the inner self? Does it mean that we clamp down on our every wayward thought, habit and desire? I have met many people like that and they tend to resemble time bombs or pressure valves that will one day lead to a disastrous explosion. We cannot find that kind of inner control by repression. For one thing, it becomes way too easy to lose sight of that which we are suppressing in the first place and where our hungers lie.
True Strength comes from letting our feelings and hungers out and examining them in a loving and compassionate way. It means finding places and situations where we may do this safely. By giving reign to these passions, we learn to name them and work with them and use them. Our wants, desires and wounds that need to be healed are seldom the problem. It is the way we treat them that tends to make them into uncontrollable demons that terrify us. It takes strength and courage to face our demons and find that they may become our greatest allies.
In his Thoth deck Aleister Crowley calls this card Lust. Many people are afraid of the strengths of their lusts. They want or need things that they feel they have to keep secret and lose sight of why and how they lust. The satisfaction of our desires can lead to union with an ecstatic union with our inner selves if we allow them to. There are always ways to do this that do not involve harming others or ourself. In this way we come to wisdom and a greater self-confidence and mastery than any we have known before.
Astrological Correspondence-Leo(♌︎)-The Leo energy has immense self of itself and its power. It is as enthusiastic and courageous as its symbol the Lion. It is ruled by the sun and takes its pride of place in leadership and holds it through its sense of dignity and honour. The Leo energy is great for friendship but needs to know it has control. It likes to have the spotlight and can be very dramatic. Leo has an immense capacity for enjoyment of life in all of its forms but wants to both make it fun for everyone and wants everyone to know that it comes from its largesse. Leo is amazing at group dynamics especially when it is at the head of the pack. Leo is an innovative energy and dislikes few things as much as routine.
Runic Correspondence-Uruz(“Aurochs”)–Uruz is the rune of sexuality and health. It is associated with the wild boar or aurochs. Uruz is unrestrained health, strength and energy and there is very little repressed about it. While the force of the rune may seem threatening, it offers an opportunity if one flows with it and learns to master the force through learning its ways. This is the rune of the warrior and also of the wanton. Other runes attributed to Strength are Wunjo and Sowilho
Path on the Tree of Life 19-Teth-The meaning of Teth is Serpent. It is known as the intelligence of the secrets of spiritual activity. It represents both control of wild animals and discourse with spiritual beings. Since the serpent is the serpent of wisdom, it does not represent a control of the control but rather control of the heart. It connects the sephiroth of Chesed (grace or mercy) and Geburah (Strength or Severity). It takes the devotion of Chesed to harness the strength of Geburah, a willingness to understand the wildness within rather than to try to surpress or repress it. Teth’s number is 9 and represents the feminine energy of the triple goddess.
When the Strength card turns up in a reading, it may indicate that it is in a time when we feel that the querent has things under control. Things that have been stressful have been mastered and the querent has confidence in their ability to deal with anything that may come up. The card may also indicate that there have been inner struggles that have been resolved not through brute force or through repression but with compassion towards themselves and others. Perhaps the querent is undergoing some form of inner test where they are attempting to master either an addiction or some perceived weakness. The Strength card could be leading them towards the hunger that the weakness is feeding and show that they have it within themselves to satiate the hunger without the addictive behaviour. This leads to true mastery of the situation rather than repression. If this is a present struggle than the querent can be assured that this mastery will come in time and that they will find the inner strength they need.The Strength card can also indicate that the querent needs to present a stronger more self assured face to the world.
Inversed the Strength card may show that the querent feels week and that they can no longer continue the struggle. They may feel like they are the victims of their inner demons and lack confidence. It may indicate addictive behaviour that has been triggered in some way or it may represent a long term struggle. The Strength card reversed may indicate that they are in a relationship that is destructive and where the passion is out of control in a negative sense. The querent may need to be reminded of struggles they have overcome in the past and mastered and need to be more compassionate towards themselves.
(Yet I am learning)”
Today we were in Tuscany. We went to Fiorenze (Florence), Italy and at breakneck speed, saw Michelangelo’s David at the Academia and then at a forced march pace went to the jewellery district and then to the Uffizi gallery where we saw so many famous and favourite works of art such as the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and too many others way too fast. Our tour guide zoomed along with us following in her 4’8” wake as she held up her sign just high enough to get a glimpse with her voice receding into crackles on our head phones. She marched us to the bus where we went to an amazing meal at a resort on the Tuscany countryside and from there to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Pisa is fascinating. The tower and church that it is adjacent to is in the middle of a rather rough area that is filled with refugees from a few different countries trying desperately to eek out a living selling souvenirs manufactured elsewhere, sunglasses or umbrellas to tourists passing by. The tower, church and ground has thousands of people walking in and around, taking pictures where they are either propping up the tower or having it jut between their legs. We had twenty minutes free time there and then walked back to the bus and returned to the ship
Tomorrow we hit Rome at a similar breakneck pace. I have a new appreciation for the meaning of cruising speed and need to figure out pacing better. It is an amazing gift to be able to see so much of Western Civilization and getting to meet people from all over the world on this trip.
The Statue of David is amazing to see and walk around. I don’t know that I have ever seen the statue shot from behind.
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