The Tarot Strength card is a card that hasn’t really changed that much since the days of the Marseille Tarot. It’s basically a woman holding the mouth of a lion and seemingly soothing it. One main difference (other than switching the number from XI to VIII) is that the woman in the Marseille Tarot almost seems to be forcing the mouth of the lion open, whereas in the RWS version she seems to try close it. As you can see below, some other rather thoughtful touches have been added in the Waite Smith deck to make the symbology more useful for in-depth readings.
1. The lion in the Tarot Strength card is a symbol of our animal instincts. When we reach Strength on the Fool’s Journey, we re ready to learn how to tame and rise above these instincts. This is where we learn that kindness and compassion is the key to taming our animal nature.
2. The woman dressed in white in the RWS Strength Tarot card is a symbol of both the purity of the Higher Self which is always in communion with the Divine and the Goddess. The red roses around her waist symbolise desire. The lemniscate above her head is the same eternity symbol we find in the Magician card. Whereas he is the eternal Messenger of the Gods, she is the eternal Force of Kindness that keeps the animal instincts at bay.
3. Nowhere in the Tarot is the astrological correspondence more obvious than in the Tarot Strength card. It is obviously Leo. Leo energy rules the fifth house and activities such as playing, performing and love-making. Leo is known both for its generosity and its pride. A Leo is only ever happy when it is centre stage. Good placements in the fifth house bode for healthy fertility levels.
Strength relates to the heart chakra. Although corresponding to the Fixed Fire Zodiac sign Leo, it also has a lot of yellow in the background. Yellow is the colour of the Air Element. The Element corresponding with the Heart Chakra is… you guessed it… Air! In health readings, problems around the heart, circulation and spine can be indicated when this card shows up (i.e. anything relating to Leo health issues).
4. The highest spiritual potential of the Strength card is to show everyone kindness, no matter what. However, that doesn’t mean that we should not have boundaries or that we must allow people who are rude or abrasive into our lives. Strength is also a card of most excellent self-love and self-care, accepting the darkness within. We all have an inner gremlin and it grows stronger if we feed it fear and intolerance. However, if we are able to be kind even to our inner gremlin, we will soon find that we can show kindness to every single living being.
5. When Strength shows up as the challenge, the sort of questions to ask yourself could be: ‘Where in my life do I need more kindness,’ ‘Which part of me/which personality trait am I struggling to accept?,’ ‘How can I take heart that this too shall pass and realise my inner strength?,’ ‘How can I find more childlike enjoyment in my life?’ and ‘What does my inner child need now?’
6. The Leo Strength card is ruled by The Sun and Archangel Michael. Michael is the angel to call on for courage and confidence. The colour candle to use for an angelic invocation is gold and the best day of the week to work with Archangel Michael is on a Sunday.
7. On a Strength sort of day, you might…
- Be brave
- Be confident
- Tame your inner beast
- Be kind to yourself
- Be kind to someone else
- Overcome a bad habit
- Comfort your inner child
- Soothe the rage of your inner demon
- Take the day off and play with your pets
- Work on your heart chakra
- Maintain composure
- Experience strong attraction
- Find yourself in the spotlight
- Forgive someone
- Receive honours
- Take heart
- Have your mettle tested
- Be in touch with your animal instincts
- Stay calm
- Fly off the handle (Rx)
- Gently guide or persuade someone
- Show compassion
- Lack compassion (Rx)
- Be generous
- Be proud/arrogant (Rx)
- Transmute negative, heavy energy into light and positive energy
- Be tolerant
- Be magnanimous
- Show acceptance/self-acceptance
- Use force to control and manipulate others (Rx)
The Frideborg Tarot Strength Card
Three things in human life are important.
The first is to be kind.
The second is to be kind.
The third is to be kind.
~ Henry James