VIII. STRENGTH  

 

Primary principleó Personal power

Personal sign correspondenec-Leo

 

Description-A woman is gently but firmly closing the mouth of a lion. She has the symbol of Spirit (the infinity sign) above her head. This symbolism reveals that a person is using the infinite power of Spirit as a way to control the animal nature inherent in humanity. She wears a slight smile as she pets the lion. This would seem to reflect that she is not using the force of will to achieve her purpose, but the focused intent of love and compassion. This card is often interpreted as overcoming passion, but we can see by the lady's attitude that her personal passions are being tempered with love.

 

In the reading--Strength represents the correct use of personal power to overcome obstacles. The querent has incredible courage to face her opposition and any life barriers that confront her at the present time. She can harness her personal power and strength to get through any circumstance in life. Whatever the situation may be, it is there only to test the querent's ability to endure and, finally, resolve such circumstances. This test will result in the development of a greater sense of self-confidence.

 

Reversed--This card can represent failure and personal weaknesses when it appears in the reversed position. Other cards in the reading may point to the actual debilities in character and the circumstances that are bringing about the current test. These could be physical (as in sickness), emotional (depression), psychological (lack of inner cohesion), or spiritual (loss of conscious connection to Higher Self. This reversed position of the Strength card can indicate that the querent is abusing her personal power. If this is the case, she may be causing further problems for herself as a result of actions that will sooner or later have to be transformed.

 

Exoteric meaning-The power of the personal will. The correct (or incorrect) use of will power to deal with life's external circumstances.

 

Esoteric meaning-Sexual energy and the proper use of sexual energy as a vehicle for creative transformation.

from the Pocket Guide to Tarot by Alan Oken