This is another really important card when it comes to a feminist message within the Tarot, without twisting the original iconography too far. I’m not a huge fan of the virginal, perfect, gentle image of the woman in white, but the overall message is much deeper than that. Even as the traditional depiction taps into the “physically weak but strong of character” stereotype, what she is doing is transcending those limitations.
She tames the lion not to prove she can, but to make other things possible.
Ultimately, the card speaks to an integration of all parts of oneself. There is no part of a woman’s personality or psyche which is not meant to be there, no part which is unbecoming or unsuitable as has so often been preached to us over millennia. All parts of our selves can be harnessed and used for our benefit, but we have to be willing to not only face those parts of ourselves but also face those who tell us to keep those parts hidden.
Further, such mastery takes more than brute force of will. It takes persistence and a deep understanding of ourselves.