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Deck Creator’s Keywords: patience, mastery of emotions, courage
Carrie’s Keywords: fortitude, patience, gentle power
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Strength Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
The Strength card is quietly dominated by the presence of a lion. The lion faces straight forward. Like the Chariot, this lion is not one to shy away from life. Strength offers you a way to approaches even difficult situations with patience and conviction.
In the original version of this post, I referred to this lion using feminine pronouns (she, her). Several commentors pointed out that as this lion has a mane, it is actually a male lion. One commentor pointed out that this lion could be a “two-spirit, genderqueer or trans lioness.” For simplicity’s sake, I will use gender neutral pronouns in this updated version.
As I’ve stated a couple of times in these posts, I believe that all archetypes at their core are gender neutral. The Strength card is typically associated with “feminine energy” because it shows a strong and confident yet calm approach. But the term “yin energy” might be more appropriate as this phrasing does not have the distracting gender connotations.
The lion carries a rose in their mouth. Although their teeth are sharp enough that they could easily rip the flower in half, they do not. Instead, the flower is held carefully, showing a gentle fierceness. The lion’s mastery is achieved softly, not through brute force. Instead of exerting their will to solve a problem, they work WITH the problem.
Above the lion is a sun, emanating orange and yellow rays. This adds to the sense of pride we already associate with lions. On the lion’s forehead is a lemniscate, enhanced with orange and yellow. This shows a broad scope of infinite energy.
I tend to draw comparisons between Strength and The Chariot as they show variations on a similar theme. The Chariot shows more of a firm-hand control, Strength shows more of a patient mastery. The Wild Unknown does a magnificent job portraying the traits that we have come to associate with the Strength card.
Strength Tarot Card Meanings in General
Traditional depictions show a woman leaning down towards a lion. The woman cradles the lion’s jaw with her hands, gently pursuading the creature to coopoerate. Instead of exerting a copious amount of energy trying to force the lion to do something, she knows her energy will be better spend if she remains calm.
Strength reminds you that sometimes you must play the long game. Meaningful changes take time. You need to have the patience to hold space for others. You need to have the courage to face challenges. And you must have the fortitude to keep showing up no matter what setbacks you encounter.
Strength speaks to your ability to calmly coerce other people to agree with your approach. Tolerance and compassion go a long way when you want to show the validity of your vision. But Strength also speaks to your ability to walk side by side with your own inner demons. Instead of ignoring them or trying to beat them into submission, your best approach is to gain mastery over them by tapping into your courage, your gentle (but fierce) power.
In a reading
In a reading, this card is often a reminder of your inner courage. Just as the lion on the card radiates both patience and boldness, you hold both of these traits within yourself. It is time to step into your reserve of inner courage and do what needs to be done. Have patience with yourself, and have compassion for those you encounter.
Remember that you don’t need to force anything to happen. Instead, look at how you can conserve your energy by working WITH your challenges. When you are simultaneously calm and courageous, you are truly a force to be reckoned with.