Strength

Alt names: Lust
Keywords: Discipline, boldness, self-discipline, power, vitality
Strength
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Range of meanings

Light: Imposing restrictions on yourself for your own benefit. Bringing your passions under the control of reason. Resisting impulses that work against your best interests. Taking bold action.

Shadow: Indulging weakness, even when you know it will damage your health and happiness. Languishing in addiction. Allowing your instincts to tame and conquer you. Failing to take a stand when necessary.

Questions to ask

  1. What role does self-discipline play in your situation?
  2. What instinctual responses have you been skillfully managing?
  3. How can I enhance my self-discipline?
  4. What behaviors tempt me? How can I resist?
  5. What instincts do I continue to struggle with today?

Advice

Personal Growth: Identify problematic habits and unhealthy tendencies, and weigh their overall impact on your life. Consider, too, the value of leaving these behind for healthier options. A good measure of maturity is the ability to forgo immediate gratification to reap benefits later.

Work: Emotions and distractions can hinder progress. Identify the cause of dissention and take steps to moderate it. Allow people (including yourself) to do what they do best. An objective perspective yields more effective action.

Relationships: You’re in control. You can’t tame others, but you can rein yourself in. Watch for old habits or weaknesses to surface, and use your wits to avoid upcoming pitfalls.

Spirituality: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Your own willpower may not be strong enough to resist the temptations that come your way. (That’s okay; you’re human.) Turn challenges over to a higher power, and allow yourself to be led.

Fortune-Telling: Your self-control will be tested. A woman will seek to change her partner or lover. You are a strong, capable person.

Associations

Astrological: Leo

Hebrew: Theth/Snake/9 or Lamed/Outstretched Arms/30

Archetype: The Id

Religions: Samson. Hercules. Daniel in the lion’s den. The sinless Christ.

Fool's Journey: An event hints at the main character’s hidden strength, which he or she will use (or choose not to use) to resolve the story. Alternatively, a physical or emotional weakness hinders the main character’s progress.

The Number 8: The Action: movement, outer work.

The Lemniscate: The ∞ sign. Symbolic of infinity and spiritual mastery, the lemniscate floats above the Magician’s head and the woman on the Strength card; some also see it reflected in the oddly shaped brim of the Marseilles’ Juggler’s hat. With the Magician it implies infinite potential, with Strength it implies infinite self-discipline.

Lion: Generally, the lion, king of beasts, suggests bestial and untamed instincts. Closing the mouth of the lion graphically illustrates the power the central figure has over instinctual forces.

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.