Strength: Controlling Wildness

Today’s card had a pretty simple message, but a particularly relevant one as we continue to wait for the results of the U.S. elections. Seeing the votes roll in is frustrating and everyone around me seems to be stricken with anxiety and anger. Watching the coverage, reading the news, all of it, makes you want to pluck out your eyeballs and fling it at a wall (sorry for the visual).

So, today we will take a deep breath, listen to soothing playlists and don’t let the animalistic instincts to act out on our emotions get the better of us. At least we will try…

8. STRENGTH

Strength from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

What you see: A woman is bent over, calmly either opening or shutting a lion’s mouth. She wears a white robe adorned with roses and more a crown of flowers in her hair. About her head is the infinity symbol, and behind her are green pastures with a mountain in the distance.

What it means: The woman shows great courage in having tamed the animal, and appears to be guided spiritually with the sign of eternal life above her. Her white robes signify innocence while the red roses are a symbol of passion and desire (usually carnal). Mountains generally represent obstacles.

The story: As a character, the card is pretty self explanatory — it is strength, but specifically spiritual strength over animalistic desires. As an event, it signifies the ability to overcome life’s obstacles through taping into the spiritual. As a relationship, it represents being there for people, in a way that goes beyond physical proximity but holding space for someone. As a sign, it’s a call to action to have courage and use spirituality to control animal instincts.

As part of the Fool’s Journey: Strength is acknowledging life’s passion; a coming out moment.

Reversed meaning: When pulled upside down it could signify weakness and cowardice, or giving in to animalistic tendencies.

In mythology: The scene in the Strength card could be compared to the first of Heracles’ twelve labours: the slaying of the Nemean lion. The greatest of the Greek heroes, Heracles is known for his physical strength and bravery. Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt was known to have power over wild animals and nature, and was also a goddess of chastity.

Potential insights: Sometimes, brute force or physical strength is not going to help us solve our problems or get past an obstacle. We need to pray or tap into our spiritual side to call up the strength we need.

On another note, I went to athletic therapy this morning to deal with some persistent injuries and rehabilitation. It required a lot of strength to not cry out while having my very tight quads massaged and cupped. For the record, I didn’t cry but that’s because I’m a woman and we are strong AF. Have you noticed it’s a woman on the Strength card?

My research sources:
A Complete Guide to the Tarot, Eden Gray, 1970
Tarot Card Meanings, Biddy Tarot

Deck: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®