This past weekend - right at the height of new moon in Leo - my family was in Vermont, celebrating the completion of my son's camping experience. A brave group of teens and (maybe braver) pair of counselors set out on a 37 day, 273 mile hike through Vermont to the Canada border. That, like Leo the lion - is one manifestation of strength! And like the Tarot card for Strength, (another iconic lion) - their epic hike was all about stubborn perseverance.
The classic Rider-Waite deck depicts a wild lion being 'tamed' by a woman - a delicate balance of the feminine/soul vs masculine/body paradigm. The infinity symbol above her gentle head implies that spiritual strength can overpower brute force, if applied correctly. This is epitome of the hero/heroine journey. But what skills are required of us on other, less linear voyages?
This card has had many interpretations - it was once called Fortitude - Fortezza, or La Force. Fortitude and strength are altogether different beasts, useful in different situations. Strength involves overpowering something, fortitude involves enduring something.
Some trials are outward and dramatic, fighting something or someone under the powerful full moon light. But what about the inward battle to just show up each day? Not visible from the outside, that is new moon territory.
How does a dark moon reveal herself? There's nothing to see by looking up, so look inward.
It is powerful and occasionally terrifying to watch a child entering adulthood. Sometimes there is nothing we can do but get out of the way, so that those we love can face their own proverbial lions. That is strength. And yet, to have faith is to take action. Even if we do not journey, it is heroic to trust that each child has their own moon, their own sun, and their own steps to take. That is fortitude.