I've always been inspired by card renderings which emphasize that this "battle" is really courage in the face of adversity. It is a card of valor
and emphasizes the traits of tenacity and perseverance. I've seen this idea
portrayed in several ways. In Michele's Evolving Tarot, she showed images of people who persevered against the tyranny/threat of bigotry and wrongful thinking, a battle against negative paradigms. In the Navigator's Tarot, we see valor against the elements. In the Waite-Smith (where this idea is almost lacking, except in the key symbolism of the one boot and one shoe), the battle is against others. Of the three, I think the Waite-Smith is the least successful in portraying the multi-levels of ideas.
I chose to combine the battle against the elements (using fire, of course!) with the human element. One firefighter battles a formidable blaze which threatens to overwhelm everything in its path. He stands firm, unwilling to give up, for behind him, there are human lives and property at stake. In the foreground, another firefighter carries a young, frightened child to safely.
Protection of the innocent, protection of what we hold most dear, is what true valor is all about. Against all odds, even against the mighty powers of nature, the human spirit stands ready.