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On 30/04/2010 Strength has had 1108 views, 314 comments , 97 favourites and 4 features*



(Find the hero within yourself)

Now, victorious over your enemies, you are feeling feeling arrogant, powerful, even vengeful. There is a hot passion in you that you can barely control.

It is in this state that you come across a woman struggling with a lion. Running to help, you arrive in time to see her gently but firmly shut the lion’s mouth! In fact, the beast, which seemed so wild and fierce a moment ago, is now completely at her command.

Amazed, you ask her, “How did you do that?” One hand on the lion’s mane, she answers, “Will power. Any beast, no matter how wild, will back down before a superior will.”

At that moment, the woman meets your eyes; her look is knowing and filled with great power. “Likewise,” she says to him, “there are many unworthy impulses inside us. It is not wrong to have them. But it is wrong to let them control us. We are human, not beast, and we can command such energy, use them for higher purposes.”

Your rage quieted, the you nod, enlightened, and walk away knowing that it wasn’t only the lion that was tamed this day by a woman’s inner strength.

Basic Tarot Meaning

This card is a symbol of inner courage and energy. It represents both the Lion’s hot, roaring energy, and the woman’s steadfast will. The lion symbolises the beast within you – those emotions of anger, rage, envy, lust and indeed all the base emotions which get in the way of your quest for self-actualisation.

The qualities of Strength are already in you, waiting to appear once you have mastered all your base emotions and when you are ready to move on to the spiritual tasks that lie ahead. Its main lesson is that base emotions must be transcended if spiritual wisdom and intuition are to be awakened.

Whispers from the intuition are often drowned out by the constant roar of emotion and preoccupation and fear. Only once you have eliminated these can the silence you need be created.

Eventually you will see the wisdom of letting go of your lower self. This cannot be done with physical force or with undue haste; it is a slow and difficult process.

It is a card about anger and impulse management, about creative answers, will-power and maintaining one’s personal honour.

Adapted from
Created totally in CS4. I gave the background a greenish/yellow tinge, to symbolise our baser instincts – here the colours represents those nasty feelings of envy, greed and fear – all of which can be overcome by your own strength.

I chose the model, both for the amazing feeling of strength and compassion that she exudes,and because I loved the fact her hair was itself, very lion-like.

I am grateful to the following artists who generously made their stock available…
Mizzd Stock Model
Background by elenadudina

The song was just right there in my consciousness all the time I was creating this image.

It is Maria Carey singing -‘Heroes’…

There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive

So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you
It’s a long road
When you face your world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And the emptiness you felt
Will disappear

Other cards in this series are….

The Fool

The Magician

The High Priestess

The Empress

The Emperor

The Hierophant

The Lovers

The Chariot

Anna and Robert have only recently moved to Kent, having spent six years living France where they first embarked on wedding photography. They are passionate about photography, and have a real love for shooting weddings, gaining so much pleasure and fun from these special days.

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  • David's Photoshop
    David's Photoshopalmost 5 years ago

    Wow another absolute winner Anna, love the colours and textures, in fact everything about it is fantastic.

    You are so artistic and have this ability to pul together images that go so well together, well done.

    David xx

  • Thanks so much David. I think I spend far longer looking for the stock images than I do creating the image itself. That is such a lovely comment – I do appreciate it.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Rachel Williams
    Rachel Williamsalmost 5 years ago

    Great composition.Very mythical. Very realistic. I always look forward to your work.

  • Thanks so much dear Rachel yo are just so kind.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Elaine Teague
    Elaine Teaguealmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful image Anna and words so true. Reckon I could tame a lion any day. Well I did it with two aggressive dogs the other day. Haven’t tried it on anything bigger. LOL. I love this image and have to fave it.

  • LOL Elaine — Two aggressive dogs sound as if you have cracked it! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and fave.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Stuart Chapman
    Stuart Chapmanalmost 5 years ago

    Once again I haven’t got a scoobies about how you would go about creating such a piece of detailed artwork, staying true to the light and shadow rules of the light source whilst conveying an image with depth and meaning (I just point and shoot – much quicker and easier :))

  • LOL Stuart, – I think I might have had a bit of bother shooting a woman and a lion lying down together! Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Sybille Sterk
    Sybille Sterkalmost 5 years ago

    Wow, this is lovely.Gorgeous colours and I like the way you depicted strength as something noble and gentle. Very beautiful.

  • Thank you so much my dear friend. What a great comment.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Rhonda Strickland
    Rhonda Stricklandalmost 5 years ago

    I am first laughing at Stuart Chapman’s comment… he hasn’t got a scoobies!! LOL.
    Then, after that. . . I am in awe again. . . so beautifully crafted, it has an old world feel to it. Wonderful…

  • LOL Rhonda, – I have just explained to Stuart that shooting a lion and a woman lying down together was a tad difficult to arrange!!
    Thank you for your wonderful comment.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Helen Martikainen
    Helen Martikainenalmost 5 years ago

    Anna, another excellent art. It looks so realistic and the colours are gorgeous. Just love it.

  • How lovely of you Helen. Thank you so much.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...almost 5 years ago

    Anna, Supremo, another masterpiece my dear friend. Bravo. and a fave without a doubt.x

  • You are fabulous. Thank you dear friend for the wonderful comment and the fave.

    – Anna Shaw

  • nishagandhi
    nishagandhialmost 5 years ago

    very beautiful work

  • Thank you so much dear friend.

    – Anna Shaw

  • annamora
    annamoraalmost 5 years ago

    beautiful image …

  • Thank you so much – that is lovely of you.

    – Anna Shaw

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