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I was honored to solemnize the wedding of good friends this past weekend. During the ceremony there was a reading from Madeline L’Engle from the Irrational Season about the risks associated with love and marriage.

 In part, this lovely quotation says that “To marry is the biggest risk in human relations.”

Even days after the ceremony, this thought has stuck with me. It reminds me of something a particular tarot student used to say about the Strength card.

This student would describe Strength as a situation where both characters, the woman and the lion, has to take a risk in order to form their union. They each have something to fear.

The lion fears being caged by the woman.

The woman fears being killed by the lion.

Yet, they come together to fill each other’s needs, in a space of trust and compassion.

So often in readings I encounter folks in new relationships who want guarantees that, if they invest in the relationship, they won’t be hurt. They want love without risk.

Sometimes the cards reveal the choice of partner to be unwise from the beginning. There are some relationships that are too risky.

Early on in a relationship it is often easy to see if the risk is too great. Some red flags are hard to ignore. When both partners are decent people with similar goals and an attraction for each other it is sometimes hard to know what the outcome will be.

Will each person be willing to heal, grow, compromise, trust and adjust in a way that would make a marriage work?

This is where the risk of love first makes itself known. This is where each person must be willing to be like the woman and the lion in the Strength card. The woman and the lion remind us of this one truth.

There can be no love without risk, but when we take that risk we find our Strength.