The Meaning of the Strength
The Tarot Strength card meaning in a nutshell:
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings
Strength of a kind that's superior
because of its clever application.
Hero - a great feat.
The strength on the picture of the Tarot Strenght card seems delicate: A maiden pure at heart holds the jaws of a lion, making it harmless. That's real strength, far beyond what mere muscles can accomplish. It's so powerful because it has an ideal.
It's very significant that on the Tarot Strength card image, she masters the lion not by forcing its jaws apart, like any Tarzan would, but by keeping them together, hiding its teeth. The lion has become harmless and its tongue suggests that it enjoys this. So, it's the strength of neutralizing strength. A beneficial paradox.
Some would say that the Tarot Strength card is not about strength at all, but the path away from it. Maybe so. But strength is a force that tends to yield only to superior strength. Therefore, it can only be pacified by being defeated. That's the fundamental weakness of strength and the strength of weakness. What yields will prevail, what resists will break, Tao Te Ching has told us.
An expressive example of this is Achilles, the hero of great strength who had just one weakness: his heel. That's where his mother held him when dipping the infant Achilles in the potion that made the rest of his body invulnerable. This tiny weakness killed him. Every strength has one. Here's a Roman sculpture of Achilles, just when an arrow pierces his heel:
Achilles, just as the fatal arrow strikes his heel, the great hero’s only weakness. Sculpture by Innocenzo Fraccaroli, 1842.
The lion has mighty muscles by which to close its jaws on a prey, but not nearly as much strength to open them. Evolution slipped on that detail. Real strength is to utilize such weaknesses. That way, little strength is needed and still not even the strongest in the world can resist.
If the Tarot Strength card refers to a person, it's someone who knows how to apply the resources to where they accomplish the most. Such strength is power. If the Strength card refers to an event, it would be one where victory went where it seemed the least likely. Strength, as most things human, is in the mind.
A. E. Waite about the Tarot Strength Card
Click the header to read what A. E. Waite had to say about the Major Arcana Strength Tarot card symbolism and meaning in divination.
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
- The Fool
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I'm a Swedish author. In addition to fiction, I've written books about the Tarot, Taoism, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.