- Waite probably associated this card with alchemy. In his Hermetic Museum
(Volume 1, The Golden Tract, p 42), we find “they conducted me to the Lion...they
said that when I had bound him without being harmed by his sharp claws and terrible teeth, I
should know all the rest.” The same work (Vol 1, p 348) shows women riding lions
with a distant mountain similar in shape to the one on the card.
- Sash of Roses - the sash is wound around the waist with the end left
hanging. This resembles the “tow-chain” that is placed around the waist of the initiate
for the Masonic degree of Master Mason. The use of roses may, once again, be a
suggestion of the Rosicrucians. The flowers in the hair and waistband may
also be an alchemical reference (Waite Hermetic Museum, Vol 1, p 44):
“I found white and red roses and stuck them in my cap.”
- This card is assigned to the zodiacal sign Leo in the GD system.
This may explain why it is numbered 8 in the Waite deck. The numbers 8 and 11
(Justice and Strength) were switched in order to make the zodiacal signs come out right. The
switch is indicated in the Cipher Document.
Based on original research by Robert V. O'Neill. To add to this collection of information, please email
Robert V. O'Neill.