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Strength Training...

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

The Strength card is one of my favorite major arcana cards, as it portraits the overcoming of obstacles, doing the miraculous, and the benefits of determination and belief. The card; which often shows a woman taming a lion, speaks of internal strength in opposed to the physical strength and might that is represented by the chariot. It is gentle and promising, filled with hope shining through in the form of light.

Traditionally the Strength card is associated with willpower, and the ability to overcome threats through dedication, belief, and 'strength' of character.

The gentleness of the Strength card speaks to me, making it one of my favorite major arcana cards. It often reminds me of the act of healing; particularly of soul-level sorrow and trauma. This is depicted in the way the woman gently handles the beast (often depicted as a lion) with gentleness, bravery, and determination. Often our own healing needs to be explored through the same nature, as generally all three are required to overcome such burdens! As an intuitive healer, with over twenty years of experience, I often find the Strength card shows up in people's readings when they require healing, and their active participation is needed to do so. Such healing is not done by popping a pill or following a particular diet; although those things may be part of the solution, instead it requires us to slow down, be gentle and truly examine the problem at hand.

True Strength requires compassion, gentleness, and patience! To overcome the wild beasts of our inner world we must slow down and look at our situation from a different lens!

While most of the time, the Strength card is speaking of personal trials and tribulations that we must navigate with determination and grace, it can also speak of larger-than-life problems we may be struggling with, problems that seem impossible to solve. When Strength comes into our readings speaking of such situations it is a reminder that while the problem may seem overwhelming, it is not impossible! Through gentle persistence and a true desire to understand the situation, we hold the power to overcome such trials. It is also a reminder to choose a soft approach to doing so.

My husband was a social-worker for many years, and one of the things he was particularly good at was making people sympathetic to the struggles of those he represented. He did so through a gentle voice, politeness, and persistence. While he didn't take 'no' for an answer, he was always kind and curious to the people he was seeking the aid of. His behavior made others want to help him, often giving him the best they had to offer; including helping him find the next step if they were unable to resolve the situation for him. His approach was a perfect example of how the Strength card plays out, as the overcoming of 'the great beast' (the problem he sought to resolve) was overcome through kindness, compassion, and the will to keep at the problem until it was solved.

Often in our society we confuse strength with bravado.


Bravado-a bold manner or a show of boldness meant to impress or intimidate.

Strength is persistent, resilient, and expansive. it does not need power over a situation, instead, it is the force that allows us to resist the pressure, to keep our mind balanced and our thoughts agile when we are facing adversity. It is the determination to succeed even when the odds are against us. Strength does not require us to be rigid, in fact, many of the strongest natural materials; such as spider silk, are flexible, gaining their power from their ability to move with the force instead of being destroyed by it.

When the Strength card shows up for you ask yourself how best such a force should be worked with. What beast needs overcoming? Study your situation, not from an analytical perspective but from a receptive, empathic perspective. Ask yourself what the burden you face is trying to teach you. If Strength is presenting itself to you as a reminder of old trauma do not run away from it, instead move slow, taking your time to examine the situation as it unfolds. Tune into your intuition and really feel it out, asking yourself what there is to gain from exploring the wounding and think about getting some Reiki or other form of hands on healing while you at it. Because as a Reiki Master in 6 schools of Reiki, I have no doubt that energetic. hands-on healing is a powerful tool of Strength, whose gentleness often allows us to face the beast of our mind with a feeling of safety and comfort. Not all battles need to be furious, as many of our biggest life battles take place in the dark, quiet space of our minds. Choosing to approach our wounding with love and compassion is often a far more effective way to face our obstacles than through anger and rage. Be kind to yourself, gather your strength, and go gently...

spreading love-salicrow

The Strength card is part of a 22 part series exploring the Major Arcana, you can find previous card posts here-


Salicrow's School of Magic

(check out the FREE Book of Shadows workshop, Heart Chakra Journey, and Connecting with the Beloved Dead Journey)

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