The 78 Cards: Strength

“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”

bell hooks
Strength, Rider Waite Tarot

Upright: confidence, compassion, inner fortitude, harmony between body, mind, and spirit
Reversed: inner imbalance, anger, fear, self-doubt, self-hatred or lacking self esteem

Strength in many ways is what it sounds like it means, but it isn’t all about physical strength. It’s physical in that it demonstrates the ways in which body, mind, emotion, and spirit are linked — a healthy heart and mind will lend you more physical strength. The woman depicted in the card holds a lion calmly; she levels herself with the lion, understands anger, the physical realm.

But the infinity symbol over her head also signals a spiritual knowing; she is in tune with the divine, in complete balance with herself — and it begins just there. With herself.

Unlike the Chariot, there is not usually some tangible goal at focus with Strength in a reading. While there may be a goalpost, Strength indicates that there aren’t always physical steps that have to be taken to get there. She informs us that solutions will need to be found inward, and that you’re going to be your best ally at this point in time. She also reminds us the simple power of confidence and self-esteem, the ability to tame lions with even our patience, compassion, and courage.

Strength is a card that reminds you that you have all the answers and resources within. When you see her in a reading, remember the kind of advice she would actually give you rather than baseline definitions of what strength might typically mean.