When writing this blog post, the author has constantly been thinking of his guide, instructor and old friend; who has, in his eyes, become the personification of the actual strength portrayed here . To this respect; this blog post is dedicated to this extraordinary woman, whose name reveals the inspiration emenating from her.
The Strength is the first card of the ripening or maturing phase of Fool’s Journey and exhibits an unusual, yet not completely unlikely interpretation of the Strength as it shows not only courage and control but also compassion as a source of true pithiness.
This card illustrates a fair-haired lady patting a lion. From top to bottom, the lady dressed in a snowy white gown; her few ornaments being only a wreath made of fresh flowers and the waist-cloth of the same material. Over her head; there is an infinity symbol. She pats the lion fondly; caressing his head with her one hand and stroking his neck with the other and the lion has its tail between his legs and his tongue out and seems to be dotingly looking to the lady. They are on a fruitful land; even a few trees can be distinguished over the green meadows. In far behind, there is a blue mountain; and the color of the sky partakes the gold.
Although the tucked tail of the lion suggests that he is in submission; the doting look on his face and the conduct of sticking his tongue out impart that this is his way of telling that he is no danger to the lady and he trusts her; and his posture (bow) takes on a playful outlook. The taintless white gown of the lady indicates her purity and the peace spreading from her. The flowers on her waist-cloth, dawdling to earth imply that she manifests her vital energy through creativity, joy, and enthusiasm or on a more general level; through the feminine aspect of her existence. The infinity symbol over her head, similar to that in the Magician; correspond to her peaceful espousal of the trajectories formed by the exoteric and esoteric cycles.
The blue mountain at the background suggests that she did not come to this reconciliation with ease: The peace and tranquility -although desired by everyone- is not a presence to be taken in stride, it is a becoming; and a rather challenging one. Requiring the maximum levels of toleration and endurance with a high degree of compassion (both intrinsic and extrinsic), it is perhaps the indicator of the actual strength that can bring the brute force down without even lifting a finger. This overachievement is rewarded with prosperity, abundance, and vitality, symbolized by the golden sky and the evergreen grass.
The Strength is a card neither for fighting and nor for going at it hammer and tongs. Those action-oriented; rather masculine connotations of strength have been evoked at the previous stage of the Fool’s Journey, the Chariot. The Strength card lays emphasis on rather feminine evocations of the word; receiving and embracing with love. This card does not render this as an easy-peasy assignment; on direct opposite; it indicates that it can only be achieved through breaking the back of the hardest obstacle: overcoming oneself. Only after that one becomes truly strong; and all tasks become doable.
In this quest, one perceives that the seemingly contrarious aspects of her/his formation: receiving and giving, learning and teaching, waiting and acting – the qualities labeled and separated as feminine or masculine are in fact complementary to each other and embraces it all.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
In a reading; a person represented by the Strength card would be calm and patient; but when the time is right, she will not show any reluctance to assume hard work and take action. She would neither quail nor show aggression in the face of danger; she would rather win them with her gentility. In a relationship context, this card indicates that the bond between two people is strengthening, at the parties are becoming more and more in peace with both themselves and each other. Career-wise; this card signifies excellence in the fruits of one’s labor, and might prognosticate a raise, promotion or another payoff.
All in all; the Strength card is a scrumptious card, both defining and guiding on the features of actual strength; which is being in peace at home and in peace with the world.