Force XI: The Tarot of Marseilles and many of the older European tarot decks is an archetype that represents a need for great courage and self-control - usually required in the face of internal and external conflict and sometimes, both. She is one of the Four Virtues of the Major Arcana. When Force XI: Marseilles appears in a tarot reading she signifies a requirement for compassionate and ethical behavior; and that of critical challenges to our core beliefs about what we consider to be fair and just in the relationships with have ourselves and with significant others.
Force XI: Marseilles Is a call to us to develop inner-strength and to triumph over potentially self-destructive feelings; with a degree of self-reflection that can bring us greater wisdom.
We see her cloak as a vibrant swash of red, symbolising the first chakra; flowing over the back of her blue skirt. The relative size of each section of material indicates its relative impact and importance in her attitude and physical expression. Red signifies the positive, energetic passion that 'backs' a dominant state of groundedness. The colours of her clothing demonstrate that Force XI: Marseilles maintains a strong understanding of her own needs and purpose together with her relationships with family and community; in the matter she is currently grappling with however, she must primarily rely on her own wisdom and integrity.
Large swirling, spirals create the beast's cascading golden-yellow mane and coat of fur and complete our interpretation of the lion as a potent symbol of destiny. The spiral is an ancient sign of creation and growth and, in some cases, signifies cosmic forces. Swirls and spirals are symbolically linked to nature, the seasons, and the path of birth, growth, death and reincarnation that all life follows.
The combined lower imagery in Force XI: Marseilles suggests that she bases herself in the reality of her immediate circumstances and relationships; her stance is balanced and strong and her effort is unwavering. She ‘keeps-a-grip’ (as the saying goes). Force XI: Marseilles' gentle yet unyielding control demonstrates the importance of reigning over sometimes instinctual desires and powerful, destructive emotions.
Force XI: Marseilles is the archetype that demonstrates self-discipline as the means to stem any self-doubt or anger; she recognises these thoughts and emotions as being distractions from her meeting her objectives. With a steady mind and an even heart she is able to overcome life’s hurdles and achieve her soul‘s calling (the infinity sign at the ninth chakra in the shape of her hat).
All the best,
Martha Adams Copyright