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UPRIGHT: Strength, courage, persuasion, influence, compassion
REVERSED: Inner strength, self-doubt, low energy, raw emotion
In the Strength Tarot card, a woman gently strokes a lion on its forehead and jaw. Even though it is known for its ferociousness, the woman has tamed this wild beast with her calming, loving energy. The lion is a symbol of raw passions and desires, and in taming him, the woman shows that animal instinct and raw passion can be expressed in positive ways when inner strength and resilience are applied. She doesn’t use force or coercion; she channels her inner strength to subdue and subtly control the lion.
The woman wears a white robe, showing her purity of spirit, and a belt and crown of flowers that represent the fullest, most beautiful expression of nature. Over her head is the symbol of infinity, representing her infinite potential and wisdom.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
The Strength card represents strength, determination, and power – like The Chariot. However, while The Chariot signifies outer strength and will, the Strength card speaks to the inner strength and the human spirit's ability to overcome any obstacle. Strength is about knowing you can endure life’s obstacles. You have great stamina and persistence, balanced with underlying patience and inner calm. You are committed to what you need to do, and you go about it in a way that shows your composure and maturity.
When the Strength Tarot card appears in a reading, you are fueled by your inner strength, personal power, strong will and determination. You do not rule by trying to control others; you quietly influence and persuade. Others may underestimate your power because it is so ‘invisible’ – but you should see that as an advantage. You can control a situation without excessive, outward force. No one knows it’s you calling the shots.
Your strength gives you the confidence to overcome any growing fears, challenges or doubts. Feel the fear and do it anyway! If you have been going through a rough time and are burnt out or stressed, the Strength card encourages you to find the power within yourself to persevere. You have got what it takes to see this situation through to its eventual end. You’re a loyal friend and a solid supporter, willing to step up and be present when others are in need, and you might also feel compelled to hold space for someone who needs your strength and support.
The Strength card urges you to ‘tame’ your animal instincts, gut reactions, and raw emotions, and channel these initial responses constructively. It’s normal for feelings such as anger, rage, sadness, guilt or shame to arise in certain situations. However, it’s what you do with these emotions that makes all the difference. Now is a time when you need to be conscious of your instinctual urges and bring them into balance with the greater good. This is no time to act out in rage or hatred. Approach your situation from a place of forgiveness, love and compassion. Working with a therapist may also help you create coping strategies for what comes up.
When Strength Reversed appears in a Tarot reading, tune in to your current levels of inner strength, confidence and self-belief. Are you overflowing with self-confidence, or are you depleted? And how can you bring these aspects back into balance?
If you have recently experienced a setback, you may be vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence. Know that your core strength will always be with you and now is as good a time as any to reconnect with this power. In fact, you may hold more strength and resilience than you give yourself credit for – so, be kind to yourself. You can also reinvigorate your self-assurance and self-esteem by collecting evidence from your past that proves you have what it takes to succeed and overcome these temporary challenges.
Check in on your energy levels right now. You may be sluggish, particularly if you have been dedicating yourself to serving others or have been pushing hard to achieve a goal. Strength Reversed is your invitation to take stock and restore your energy levels by resting and withdrawing for a temporary period. It’s vital that you take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
In its shadow form, Strength Reversed can signal that you are prone to explosive behavior, lashing out at others and becoming aggressive. You may act without thinking and end up doing something you regret later. The key is not to repress the raw emotion, but to learn how to channel it so it won’t harm others or yourself. Seek a professional to help you better deal with these emotions.