Key 8: Strength
Daughter of the Flaming Sword; Leader of the Lion
“The Nineteenth Path is the Intelligence of all the activities of the spiritual beings, and is so called because of the affluence diffused by it from the most high blessing and most exalted sublime glory.” (Sepher Yetzirah)
The Nineteenth Path between Chesed and Geburah has a tremendous force flowing through it, as do all the Paths in line with the Flaming Sword.
This card has a lower and a higher frequency to it. The lower is emphasized by the letter Teth, meaning ‘serpent’. In this card of Strength the serpent is revealed and is coloured blue, the blue of water (the creative magnetism). The serpent is moving on red earth, as Adam was made from red clay, but: “Only the Spirit, breathing upon the clay, can create Man.”
The woman dressed in white is an aspect of the Empress and symbolizes purity of Spirit over the individual. Her connection with the Empress is emphasized by the open green veil revealing her beauty. She can be seen as the open door of the Vault in which are placed the Kerubim upon the altar: so she too holds four roses in her hand symbolizing the Kerubim and, further, pointing to the four lower chakras which are under her control.
Below her moves a serpent, representing illusions. Above her is the Sun, symbolizing spiritual elevation. In alchemy the red lion is the strongest force, but in this card the woman (green lion) begins to overwhelm the strong force, as can be seen by the green grass which symbolizes life penetrating the harsh desert sands. The Sun radiates five rays, reminding us of the strong Geburic influence of this Path.
This is not an easy path to tread, but unlike the 27th Path (The Tower), where Divine intervention redirects the conscious point to its true purpose, here on the 19th Path the individual is in union with Spirit and is guided into a refinement of the Divine Law. There is a need on this path for both acceptance and release: the acceptance of all that has been, yet abiding within the truth of who you are unfolding into, and rejecting all that may hinder the Great Work.
It is Spirit, the unseen, invisible force behind our visible universe, which holds true strength in our lives. When the woman and the lion become one, she becomes the Egyptian goddess Bast. With the head of a cat and beautifully feminine, she acts both as protector and nurturer, drawing us deeper into ourselves, igniting the kundalini fire – the sexual energy that transforms the flesh and passes us through the door of death and rebirth.
The sign of Leo rules over this card, the main star of which (Regulus) has the meaning, ‘Star of the Prince,’ and also, ‘Heart of the Lion,’ revealing the mystery of this card: Spirit overpowers the strength of a lion through Love. But Love has many faces, suggested by the figure 8 – forever in tension between two opposing forces.
Strength of character. Righteousness. Transformation. Mercy. Love. Union. Perfect balance. Faith. Physical health. Spiritual potential. Sexual passions. Lust for life. Kundalini rising. This card is generally considered positive, even if reversed.
Copyright © Harry Wendrich, 2011
 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: ‘Wind, Sand and Stars.’