Strength manifests in many forms. Embrace the gentle, but profoundly powerful, energy of the Strength tarot card with this guided meditation podcast by Psychic Hope.
“Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Harper Lee
This sentiment behind this much-beloved quote has a lot in common with the meaning of the Strength card. This card encompasses similar positive traits, such as being strong, resilient, brave, and staying calm during tough times. This card accompanies two of the other cardinal virtues in the Major Arcana: Temperance and Justice.
When the Strength card shows up in a reading, it also speaks of having stamina and patience. You need both to deal with certain types of challenges in your love life, career, or anything that requires your attention to work on. This patience extends to others as well as yourself. A strong person knows how to cooperate with others while forgiving their imperfections.
Symbolism of the Strength Card
In numerology, the Strength card represents the number 8. If you turn the number on its side, it looks like the infinity symbol. Infinity comes from the Latin word “infinitas” and means limitless and boundless. The number 8 signifies power and strength of will. Its main principle is mind over matter, and it can teach you how to efficiently use the Law of Attraction when manifesting your desires. Also, the number 8 stands for confidence. Once you tap into that confidence, you can cultivate an inner strength that transforms your skills, talents, and abilities to go out and live your best life ever.
In astrology, the Strength card is linked to the Leo Zodiac Sign and the element of fire. Why is Leo associated with the Strength card? Leo is fearless and powerful, both emotionally and physically. In the Strength card, this duality is represented by the bold lion being embraced by the gentle maiden. The heartfelt connection between them is especially important because in astrology, Leo rules the heart.
The History of The Strength Card
Now, let’s talk about the Strength card’s history. Though some decks did refer to it as Strength, it was originally named Fortitude. Back in the earliest days of traditional tarot, in 15th century northern Italy (Piedmont region), there was a rare instance of artistic disagreement with competing imagery of Fortitude. The older decks had two competing symbolisms: one featured a woman holding or breaking a stone pillar, and the other featured a person, either male or female, subduing a lion. Overall, the consistent elements were a compellingly strong female character, some visually powerful adversity, and a big cat. Centuries later, after cultural and artistic influences from other areas of the world, another key piece of this tarot card’s meaning was added—the infinity symbol above the figure’s head.
The card was a simple depiction of struggle and triumph that incorporated the unity of spiritual and earthly concerns. Fortitude is drawing on her all-important inner qualities like patience and love. The ferocity of the lion can represent life-altering problems: health concerns, financial hardships, breakups, and much more. Fortitude means the end of those things is in sight, but specifically because of intense efforts to overcome them, with the help of a friendly floating infinity symbol we all wish we could tap into more often. While other Major Arcana Cards indicate generalities like changes, endings and decisions, Fortitude is blessedly concrete.
As time went on, the final tarot’s form of the Strength Card has an acquiescent lion, a lion tamer forcing its mouth open in a dominant mode, a peaceful smile, and some flowers to show that this is not a battle so much as a practiced play of determination and skill. In addition, she also 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, and again over her head is the symbol of infinity, representing her infinite potential.
With Fortitude, the lady isn’t dominating the lion. She’s helping it, using her power to relieve its suffering. The lion doesn’t symbolize a problem to solve. He is coming to her for help, and she is overcoming her fear to do it. The classic image on the card has her stroking the lion on its forehead and jaw. Even though a lion 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. 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. At the end, she doesn’t use force or coercion; she channels her inner strength to subdue and subtly control the lion.
The Meaning of the Strength Card Upright
The Strength card (Upright) represents strength, determination, and power, like The Chariot. The Strength card also shows courage, persuasion, influence, and most importantly, compassion. While the Chariot card signifies outer strength and will, the Strength Card speaks to the inner strength and the human spirit's ability to overcome any obstacle. Keep in mind, the Strength card is about knowing you can endure life’s obstacles with great stamina and persistence, while finding balance with patience and inner calm. German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche said it perfectly, “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”
When the Strength Card (Upright) appears in a reading, it gives you hope about your inner strength, personal power, strong will, and determination. Its message is to try not to control others, but to choose to quietly influence and persuade instead. Sometimes, it is not about control either, but how you respond to life situations. Others may underestimate your power because it is so ‘invisible.’ People may perceive that kindness (just being a nice person) and being quiet at times is the same as being weak. But both can be hidden strengths that give you an advantage. You can control a situation without being loud or defensive. Being a real leader is more than just bluster.
Confidence is learned by challenging your fears and doubts. Practice makes perfect! The Strength card encourages you to access your higher self while being empowered with self-preservation. It urges you to ‘tame’ your animal instincts, especially to not overact with raw emotions, and be constructive with responding to life situations.
Being vulnerable while feeling anger, rage, sadness, guilt, or shame is normal and human. We are spiritual beings having a physical/human experience on Earth. It comes down to finding what I call your inner harmony, especially to tame any prejudice, rage, or hatred. The Strength card speaks of finding forgiveness, love, and compassion when dealing with others in life. When you have lemons, you make stronger lemonade to show how something sour can be turned into a sweet victory.
The Meaning of the Strength Card Reversed
Now, let’s shift gears. When the Strength card appears reversed in tarot, you need to pay attention to your life situations while turning towards your inner strength, confidence, and self-belief.
Are you feeling out of balance with no harmony? If you are having setbacks, you may be feeling vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence. You need to connect to your higher self to discover where you have more strength and resilience than you give yourself credit for. It’s a reminder to be extra kind towards yourself as well. Situations are temporary, so this card is also another reminder that you can outlast hard times because this too will pass, so keep that in mind.
Ever felt sluggish, drained, or had low energy? Sometimes, you must watch how much energy you put out, especially when you are of service to others and forget to put yourself (self-love) first. The Strength card (Reversed) reminds you to restore your energy levels by resting and knowing when to withdraw to solitude.
Most importantly, the Strength card (Reversed) can also signal that you are prone to explosive behavior, like lashing out and becoming aggressive. You need to think before you act and/ or speak, or you will regret something later. It is about learning how to work through repressed raw emotions, and channeling them in a more constructive, healthier manner to relate better to others.
Different Meanings of the Strength Card in Readings
Health and Spirituality
When it comes to health (physical, emotional, and mental) and spirituality, they can both be tied together in a reading. Are you going through a challenging time, especially if you are feeling physically sick, tired, or stressed? With that said, the Strength card, in a healthy and spiritual context reminds you to be conscious of your instincts and intuitive feelings. Don’t ignore your gut. It’s a time to go inward with an honest perspective to embrace your higher self with more compassion and love. Know that you have the qualities to overcome any challenge you have in your life.
Just remember to…
- Listen more to your intuition and don’t doubt yourself.
- Don’t be guided by negative emotions.
- Approach your situation with more love and compassion.
For inquiring minds, check out How A Psychic Addresses and Heals Her Limiting Beliefs, which is good reminder of how to love yourself and put your self-care more first.
Love and Relationships
The Strength Card can appear when having relationship trouble, either with family, a friend, or your lover/significant other; however, it is not a dreadful thing. When you see this card, it’s calling you to have more patience, acceptance, receptiveness, while also demonstrating compassion and love towards others in your life.
In addition, this card could represent you carrying past hurts that need more forgiveness to heal and let go, especially with…
- Having relationship troubles.
- Demonstrating the strength of love towards yourself more and learning better self-care with your own needs first.
- Finding ways to open your heart more to people, so you can learn to trust others in the process as they can help you in life.
Check out Moving Forward Towards A Commitment In A Relationship Podcast, and How To Hypnotize Yourself To Shift Your Outlook And Find Answers to help you along on your path towards manifesting healthier love while still putting yourself first.
Career, Business, And Finances
When the Strength Card appears for career, business, and finances, it’s telling you have the qualities, skills, talents, and most importantly, the potential, to be brave, while giving yourself credit to believe in yourself more. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Reach for the stars! If you want that promotion, go for it. If you feel overlooked, speak up and make yourself known. If you want your own business, believe in yourself, and make it happen.
Now, as to finances (wants and needs), avoid impulsive decisions. It is a time to be mindful of your spending. Be intuitive when making important purchases and investments. Take your time to reflect in a methodical manner, without being emotional. To be more creative with your choices, check out Unleash Your Creative, Imaginative Mind Podcast. It will inspire you to manifest your goals with a creative twist.
Strength Tarot Card - Conclusion
Seeing the Strength card is a great reminder to be strong when you face challenges, while being receptive to be more compassionate and loving towards yourself and others, depending on your life circumstances. Just don’t give up. Sometimes, we must go through the middle of a storm to see the daylight. As Steve Maraboli sums it, “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we got stronger and more resilient.”
I enjoyed writing this publication because we all need to be reminded of our own inner strengths as we coast through this journey called life. Remember everything in life is temporary, not permanent, which gives hope for greater change. I also have a little extra sparkle about this card to share with you. Please enjoy this guided meditation that I was inspired to create for the Strength card.
Think about it! Oprah Winfrey said, “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” We need challenges to grow more spiritually, especially where it guides us back to our higher selves to discover our true potential, OUR STRENGTH, which leads us to our true callings.
Blessings with love and light.