Interpreting the Strength Tarot Card
An introduction to the meaning of the Strength tarot card
The Strength tarot card at first glance retains an obvious meaning: strength, courage, determination, and power, especially will-power. However, strength can be interpreted as both a physical and psychological state of being, an energy which can be exercised in a flurry of aggressive action or a subtle taming of exterior, as well as interior forces by will of the mind. The Strength tarot card predominantly symbolizes the latter, exerting self-control, resilience, and bravery while subduing the primitive desires embedded deep within the human condition. So often we engage in self-destructive behaviour, a slave to pleasures which only defeat us in the end, and it is the role of the Strength tarot card to master and overcome these inner needs and wants. It takes practice, confidence, and above all, trust in one's own character to act purposefully and effectively in obtaining higher goals than simply what desires nature has forced us to fulfill. The Strength tarot card represents this struggle of man with his personal demons.
The image of the Strength tarot card incorporates a common symbol of natural power, that of a lion, an animal both feared and revered as King of the Jungle. Above the lion stands a woman, close to expressionless, who is shown gently restraining the beast, appearing in complete control of what could be a possibly dangerous situation. The lion symbolizes the primitive, natural desires within us all, and of which man must learn to tame, while the woman represents the unbending and unbreakable will of man mastering his inner beast with a sense of ease and determination.
The Strength card is wilful and direct, working toward spiritual refinement by not eliminating, but re-shaping desire in its rawest sense into something constructive and well-focused. As many Eastern religions support self-mastery and enlightenment through the conquest of desire, the Strength tarot card too represents the power of the human will to overcome self-imposed limitations, and a predisposition towards hedonism as an unstoppable force that can be crafted and strengthened with time.
The meaning of the Strength tarot card is influenced by the position of the card
as it is drawn from the deck, the position it occupies in the card
layout, and by the cards that are positioned before and after it.
The Strength tarot card - upright meaning:
When the Strength card lands in the upright position it predicts the triumphant conclusion to a major life obstacle, situation or temptation through sheer strength of character.
The Strength tarot card - reversed meaning:
When the Strength card is in the upside-down/reversed position it indicates that inner strength is at a minimum. An obstacle, situation or temptation will not be overcome or will have an unsatisfactory conclusion. There may also be the need to seek professional assistance.
Keywords/phrases associated with the Strength tarot card:
Upright - courage, willpower, fortitude, honor, determination, optimism, self control, stamina, resilience, endurance
Reversed - giving up, failure, doubt, fear, renounce, pessimism, quit, self-indulgent, negativity, lacking self control
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