Strength: Self-discipline, Instinctive Drive, Inner Strength, Survival
Key Words: Balance, Courage, Patience, Compassion, Understanding

This card means that you have to pull upon your deep inner strength.

 Strength is the card urging you to work with the wild, instinctive and survival side of yourself. Perhaps you have pushed your instincts aside for logic and spirituality. Strength is finding the balance between your inner drive and your inner spirit. It is the balance between basic drives and higher aspirations.

You may find that getting into your body, either through exercise, meditation, yoga, feasting, sex actually opens up new spiritual doorways. This also increases your personal power.

If there is conflict in your situation, it is YOU that can put to rest the ravenous “beast of need”.  When the Strength card finds us, it is certainly a message that strength is required for some challenges ahead. It’s also a sign that we absolutely have the strength that is required of us.

Key Symbols:

Lion: As mentioned above, the lion is a symbol for the primal urges – the physical needs and cravings we all, as humans want met. The lion is also a symbol of fire which burns within us – representing our wants and desires with a intense blaze. This is not to say that the lion all it represents is negative. On the contrary, many of us use our needs as motivators for achieving great things in our lives and reaching our goals. The key is to know thyself and temper our primal (ego) urges with our more divine, spiritual nature.

Infinity: this symbol represents the interaction between energy and indestructibility. It is the wholeness of existence and the inseparability of all the parts of life. Known as the “Leminiscate” this symbol has no beginning and no end.

Flowers: are the symbol of beauty, gratitude and happiness. They represent the culmination of the creative process and growth.

Mountain: Mountains symbolize aspiration, achievement, courage and accomplishment. In this case we can liken the mountain to challenges we face in our lives. As we look upon the Strength card and see the mountains in the distance we are aware that we will always be met with challenges in our lives. However, what makes climbing the mountain difficult or easy is the way we approach it.

Wreath: Wreaths symbolize completion and infinity (circle). A wreath or crown around the maiden’s head is a symbol of victory. In this case, the wreath indicates victory can be claimed in the battle against banal or primal urges that do not serve us. There is hope and understanding when we realize we can achieve harmony in our hearts, and balance can be won.

Key Questions:

When the Strength card comes up:

How do you define strength?
In what way do your physical urges motivate you?
How can you approach the “need to feed” syndrome?
How do you exhibit self-love and compassion towards yourself?
What are your internal battles and how can you reach a balance?
What area in your life requires you to have the most strength and what different kinds of strength can you apply here?

Major Arcana
Chakra: Root Chakra, Heart Chakra
I Ching: Do Chu
Runes: Uruz, Elhaz, Ingwaz
Number 8
Element: Fire
Planet: Sun
Rules: Leo
Colors: Yellow, Orange, Green, White
Crystal: Citrine, Topaz, Diamond, Herkimer Diamond, Garnet

Characteristics: Dramatic, brave, fun, expressive, egocentric, dominating, insensitive, creative.  Courage, energy, freshness, determined, heroism, vitality, strength. (Please note: the A.E. Waite deck REVERSES the Justice card that traditionally appears in the number 8 position and the Strength card). Strength is sometimes referred to as Necessity, which is the approach one must take to move forward. The woman in this card is gently holding open the mouth of a lion who does not resist. It is the symbol representing the power of moral and spiritual strength versus pure brute force or victory of the spirit over the flesh.

The woman’s hat is (like the Magician) a Lemniscate, or infinity sign. All her powers are internal, (unlike the Magician), who has a table full of power objects. Her strength is that of compassion, not physical strength. The Lion is a power symbol of Leo and the sun, indicating its untamed nature. It is Strength, with her subtle power, that tames the nature of the beast.

See also: Strength (the priority of life)


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