Archive for the ‘ Strength ’ Category

The Hermit – After having our world turned upside down we might find ourselves in need of a retreat; to regroup. Instead of considering what we need to do to conquer the world, we ponder what will allow us to fulfill ourselves. We are still searching the darkness and trying to forge our own path through the darkness but now it’s the darkness within ourselves. We’re working towards finding truths in our soul that will allow us to lead a more fulfilling life moving ahead.

Strength reminds us that enacting these types of changes in our lives requires fortitude and inner strength; the need to stick with it especially when the going gets rough. This card reminds me of people who, after some dramatic shift in their career or life, manage to pick themselves back up and move forward again. It symbolizes those who find the inner fortitude to add a second act to their lives. The divorced woman who finds her passion in life again. The middle-aged man who discovers that he still has a lot to offer. Instead of letting themselves become defeated and miserable, they pull themselves up and find new meaning in their lives. They fight to find fulfillment and satisfaction.

The Chariot is our mode of transportation to get to that new place of fulfillment and satisfaction. Once we’ve made the decision and set the intention to find new meaning in our lives in Strength, we need to find the way to make it happen. We need to pick up the reins, grab the steering wheel and drive ourselves towards our new destination. We need to determine what route will serve us best and what speed we intend to travel. Do we want to take our time and enjoy some rest stops or do we want to get there as fast as we can? Either way, the decision and the choices are all on us. Do we believe this part of our lives has been fated? Is it our destiny to make this journey? Only you can decide that for yourself.

The Lovers reflect all the choices that still remain in our journey through life. I often like to view fate or destiny as a series of points on a map that we must experience – how we get there and how long the journey takes is up to us. I like to think it’s the combination of destined experiences and personal preferences that are reflected by the two different horses in this card. How & where we choose to steer them is on us.

The Hierophant shows us as we step into our role as mentors, lore keepers, historians. We have now reached a point in our lives when we can teach and guide others. We can show them the options available to them; share our stories. We can help open their eyes to the traditions and history that preceded them and allow them to determine who they might wish to incorporate this knowledge and wisdom into their own lives.

The Emperor is our journey to self-sovereignty. We no longer need to build an external empire, instead, we need to feel as though we are finally in charge of our own lives. We are the masters of our fate; the lords of all we survey. We no longer see success as an external measure but rather an internal one of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. It’s not about money and possessions, it’s about feelings of accomplishment and pride.

The Empress is when we finally learn how to nurture and embrace our true selves. We finally allow ourselves to explore our internal creative energy. Instead of feeling the need to focus on external objects or people, we aim it at ourselves. We tend and care for our own secret gardens and learn to feed our inner needs and desires. It doesn’t make us selfish but rather self-centered in the best possible way. Tending to ourselves allows us to replenish our resources and be there for others when the need arises.

The High Priestess guards the veil behind her. It is not something she parts lightly because one what awaits behind it is revealed, it can never be unknown again. When she pulls it aside we realize that what it hides is our true selves. We are finally ready to learn, accept and embrace who we truly are and were meant to be. We realize that we need to do things for ourselves; to nurture our souls not because they meet someone else’s need. In my experience, when the veil parted I was faced with my feral thirteen year old self – the part of me I’d tried (and failed) to civilize over the years. I was able to reconnect with that energy and unleash her into my life today. It was quite an amazing experience.

The Magician allows us to realize that (much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz), the power to make things happen in our lives was in our hands the entire time. We are not dependent upon others to grant us power; we merely need to accept and grasp it. We often hear people talk about helping to empower others but the truth is we cannot do that. We can only help them understand that the power lies within them and only they can use it. That is what The Magician shows us at this point in our journey. Perhaps it’s near the end of the road but the message is no less valuable.

The Fool is our final stop. This is when we embrace all our foolish qualities and trust in the world again as we prepare to take that leap and move beyond this life into something new and unexpected. We are still leaping into the unknown but now all our knowledge and wisdom has combined to make us realize that we truly know nothing and the journey is always about the experiences and the learning. We have to believe that what awaits beyond is something new and exciting. Perhaps this is why so many of us believe in an afterlife – we want to believe we are leaping into something,  not just nothingness.

CotD – Strength (Zerner-Farber)

I gentle your soul

You guard and protect my back

Together balance

CotD – Strength (Tarot of the Crone)

Slithering unseen

Inner strength coursing within

Fills me, sustains me

Strength – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Strength

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: Yes, the woman has gentled the ferocity of the lion. Her understanding of and connection to this fierce animal has tamed and disarmed the beast. But there is more to it than that. For to ignore the effect of the lioness upon the woman is to ignore the reciprocity of the relationship. For true relationships are not one-sided. The strength of any relationship is in is reciprocity. For just as the woman has gentled the primal fierceness of the lioness, so has the lioness calmed and gentled the fears of the woman. Think on it. This lovely woman, faced with the most potent representation of her own inner fears, needs and instincts, feels no urge to run or to escape. It is obvious that she wants nothing more than to occupy the same space with her alter-ego. She realizes that her well-being relies upon the symbiosis of both aspects. This is a reminder for us to not be so quick to dismiss or forsake our primal instincts. They were not given to us to merely agitate and confuse us; rather, they perform a very important service. Our gut instincts protect us in situations where there is no time to think or reason carefully, for to do so could bring irreparable harm to us. Oh yes, there are times when the gut must rule the head.

Basic instinct is one of the miracles of nature and as physical beings, we should embrace this gift the Creator has given us. The important point to remember is that we need both, for to permanently forsake or repress one for the other is to not only render ourselves incomplete, but also to deny an essential aspect of our being. In other words, neither being has exerted dominance or control over the other. They are united in their mutual understanding and acceptance of the other. Strength of will and strength of mind working in concert with each other.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I have to admit that when I first saw this card I didn’t get it. I’m used to very fiery, solar type imagery on the Strength card – what was this blue stuff? Then while chatting with Diane Wilkes one day, she pointed out that the hottest part of the flame is blue. All of a sudden – BINGO, everything clicked. This Strength card is so hot she’s cool. There is definitely a strength and a courage evident in this card – only someone very brave would lean against a lioness as casually as this lady does. But more than that, I feel a distinct sensuality from this lady. She is not only comfortable with her wild side, she is quite at home with her sexuality and passionate side too. She sits there barefoot, with her skirt up passed her knees as though challenging anyone to comment.

She reminds me of a perfume commercial from the 70s with the line “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget your a man”. Well this lady might never let you forget your a man, but if you want bacon fried you can do it yourself. She is strong, independent and occasionally fierce. But she is also quite comfortable with her multi-faceted nature. She accepts the wild, animal side of human nature and has no desire to change it. But she asks for the same in return. As long as you don’t try to change her innate nature, she will be loyal, loving and strong. But rub her the wrong way and watch out!

Strength – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Tarot Strength

Transformational Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396

The Book says: A triumph of love over hate, compassion over cruelty, awareness over ignorance and fear. The seeker has great courage and inner strength adn will need this sense of control with an unpredictable situation. Gentle mastery. Mind over matter. The courage to take risks. Attainment at considerable peril.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: The Strength card (as I may have already mentioned) holds a special place in my heart. It is the card associated with my zodiac sign (Leo) and I usually love the imagery on the card. This card does have a fairy tale quality to it. The dragon doesn’t appear fearsome or fire-breathing and the way it is drawn on the card contrasts with the more realistic depiction of the maiden. She is calm and unworried, willing to get close to the dragon. She has no fear and trusts that her good intentions are clear to the dragon. There is a sense of purity and peace in this image – the maiden’s heart is pure and she holds only good intentions towards the dragon. Her trust and love convey themselves to the dragon and help keep is serene and harmless.  The butterfly reinforces the peacefulness and serenity of the energy in this card. It may seem to be an odd pairing but the maiden understands that her love and trust will always keep her safe from the dragon and the dragon knows that she presents no danger to him.

They are an unlikely team, partners in whatever faces them down the road ahead. The dragon can offer the maiden protection and safety, while in return the maiden offers love and caring. Any fears she may have had towards the dragon have been allayed. She sees beyond the frightening exterior to the heart of the beast. And in loving the beast, she learns to love that side of herself as well.

Having recently re-read The Hobbit, this card reminds me of one of the lessons Bilbo Baggins learns. By consorting with dwarves, wizards and elves, fighting Wargs, goblins and spiders and helping to find the dwarves’ treasure, Bilbo finds an inner strength and courage to defy traditional hobbit behavior. He may no longer be quite respectable to other hobbits but he has learned to be true to himself and found the strength to stay true to his course despite societal disapproval.

Strength – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Strength

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The LWP says: A biblical reference to a time that the Lamb will dwell with wild beasts. Peace. Strength to get above the mundane.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card symbolizes the growth and harmony that can develop when our more intellectual nature (the winged woman) can peacefully co-exist with our wilder, more primitive, animal side. The lambs and rabbit show that there is no need to fear or run from our wilder nature. If we are able to embrace that part of ourself then we can create the oasis in the middle of the hard cruel world. We can tame out inner beast but not by chains and shock treatment, by loving it and embracing it. If we try to run, that side of ourselves it will only catch up and devour us whole. We have to face it and learn to live with and love it. If we can feel the joy and the fire in ourselves, but learn how to keep it from consuming us, we may find our lives verdant, abundant and rich with unrealized treasures.

I really love the visual image on this card. It is both exuberant and calm, wild and serene. It graphically shows the meaning of Strength – if we can embrace our wildness then we can experience the growth and tranquility of the garden. Otherwise we are forced into the barren and rocky surrounding area, alone and lost.

The Empowerer – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom Empowerer

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: The Empowerer shows Andraste, Goddess of Victory. “She Who is Unconquerable” was invoked by Queen Boudicca in her insurrection against the Romans. Female warriors were a part of Celtic society; growing boys and girls were entrusted to them for their battle training.
Keywords: Fortitude, courage, energy, resolution, action, defiance, challenging that which is commonly accepted, tireless efforts, the appetite to live life, drawing on deep resources.
Reversed: Weakness, vacillation, dispiritedness, indifference, succumbing to prevailing influences, failure of nerve.
Soul Wisdom: The Empowerer of Will gives us the courage to be strong and powerful in our lives, by using our own energies with intention. What powers lie untapped within you?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This image is a reminder that sometimes we need to take actions that put us at risk and force us to plumb the depths of our endurance and inner strength. Boudicca is an example the sometimes the easier path is not necessarily the right path. If Boudicca had chosen not to fight the Romans it is likely that she and her daughters would have lived, but what kind of life?  And what would the impact have been on her people? Would we remember her name now? She looked deep within herself and realized that her personal code of ethics would not allow her to remain passive in this situation. But the sign of a true warrior is not just the ability to win in battle; it is acting with courage and honor, and following your own code of ethics, even if the rest of society disagrees. It is the classic argument over war. What is better – peace at any price or drawing the line in the sand and being willing to defend it. There is no easy answer to this question and it is something we must all answer for ourselves.

Challenging and rough periods in our lives are what forms us and makes us who we are. If life was always a smooth path, we would never know how high we could climb or what we can achieve. As Jim Kirk points out in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – our pain is what makes us who we are. The Empowerer shows us how to tap into this energy and use it to our advantage. She is a reminder that not all victories in life are physical ones, but learning to tap into this power is the first step towards achieving victory in your life.

Strength – Wheel of Change Tarot

Wheel of Change Strength

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book says: When this card comes up in your reading, pay attention to what you have passion for and use this passion to further your life. This is a card of enormous courage, vitality, and power to achieve anything within your imagining. The power you have is not a power over others but a power from within, a strength you have that is really your own. You do not need to hold it over others, but if you use this inner strength calmly, many others, by example, may discover this most powerful strength. This is also a card of initiation; just as the new woman is initiated into womanhood when her menstruation comes, you are initiated into something new and special when this card comes up in your reading. It is a good time to begin something new that you love and have a passion for. Like the blooming gorse, you will blossom into something bright and lovely. It is a special time for love and sexuality or for the passions that arise from anything truly moving. You are moving away from the control of others and can make your own decisions.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Her banner shows that she is comfortable with both her lunar and her solar natures. Her expression is one of sheer joy and excitement – finally she can ride the lioness too! She has learned the self-control and mastery needed to control the lioness without any visible means – just her body language. She and the lioness are one, joined in their goal and their destination. She has passed the necessary tests and achieved the maturity needed to continue onto the next phase of her journey. I just love the energy and excitement visible in this card.

I have a special affinity for Strength (being a Leo Sun) and this is one of my favorite versions of the Strength card. This card embodies the solar side of female nature. This is that wild, untamed, physical side which revels in the warmth of the Sun on our bodies. This is that part of us that wants everything out in the open, revealing all facets of herself and not caring whether others approve. At the same time she represents the inner strength, fortitude and ability to proceed along her journey, no matter how challenging it may become. I want to be this woman, riding forward with joy and excitement, confident that I can overcome whatever obstacles are in my way and in my ability to maintain my connection with the lioness and the natural world around me. Can’t you just hear strains of Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman “I am woman hear me roar in numbers to great to ignore”

Green Man Tree Oracle Ailm

When Ailm appears in divination, a new thing is coming into being. Someone may be pregnant or about to give birth, or you may be starting a new project, full of energy and the initial spark of enthusiasm. Your creativity is strong here, and you may find yourself on the brink of discovery, an epiphany waiting to happen.

Spiritually, you may be at the point of initiation, waiting in pregnant pause for that step over the threshold into a new life. It is possible that you are being presented with opportunities for new knowledge and understanding, or beginning a course of study, whether spiritual or mundane. An idea you’ve received may be at a point where incubation, persistence, and endurance are necessary, nurturing its growth for the birth to come, or it may be ready now to bring forth into manifestation.

Linked Concepts: Birth and death as beginnings, the cycle of life, origination, inception, conception, creation, children, pregnancy, initial understanding, epiphany.  (Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie)

What work am I starting? Strength R, 9 of Swords R + 8 of Pentacles (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Strength DruidCraft 9 of Swords DruidCraft 8 of Pentacles

I’m not sure why but this reading seem a bit ominous to me. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it but my initial interpretation to these three cards is that I’m entering a phase where inner strength, will and fortitude won’t help. In fact it might prove to be a hindrance. The 9 of Swords reversed may be indicating the nightmare is reaching an end but that end won’t be easy. The 8 of Pentacles may be letting me know that my current work is reaching its conclusion.

On one level I wonder if it refers to the situation with my in-laws. Is something due to shift? Is this part of my life going to change? Ailm’s message of birth and death and the cycle of life add an extra layer of meaning here. I don’t see this reading as indicating pregnancy or children – that ship has sailed. It might suggest new creative beginnings but that doesn’t quite fit the cards I’ve drawn.

I think these cards are giving me a heads up, a warning. The change might not be in the immediate future but it is coming – possibly within the next few months. I realize that the mother-in-law’s death is inevitable (it’s inevitable for us all) but I think this reading is telling me it’s time to start making preparations – both mental and physical. The work I am starting is to make sure those preparations are begun and hopefully in place by the time they are necessary.

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