Note in the Gnostic Mass the phrase, “Oh Lion and O Serpent that Destroyeth the Destroyer, be mighty among us.” Teth, the Hebrew letter attributed to this card, translates to “Serpent,” and it’s astrological attribution is Leo, the Lion. The Lust of their Union creates Art (
In the Thoth Deck, the tail of the Lion is Chnoubis, a Lion/Serpent combo figure used by Gnostics:
This figure also appears on the card, The Tower:
See also “The Table of Magical Characters”.
Lon Duquette’s deck makes this theme the front and center idea of the card.
The oldest version of this that I’ve come across is from the Bamberg Cathedral, in the tomb of Pope Clement II (d. 1047).
The transformation in to the Lust card relates to the concept of “Babalon & the Beast” within Thelema. This is depicted in the Book of Revelations as the “Whore of Babylon.”