Exploring Strength

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Strength card and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.


Introduction of the Card

08

The Strength is card number 08 in the deck and the ninth card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.


Card Examples

 

 

L-08Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.


My Analysis of These Cards

Here in each card we have the primary persona with the beast either at peace or taming it. The Dragon Tarot card features the caduceus between them, the Universal Tarot bears the infinity symbol within the artwork, and the Tarot of Dreams card is the only one to feature a tiger instead of a lion. I find it somewhat disappointing that the artist decided to go with the use of force in the Mythic Tarot card to tame the lion.


Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • STRENGTH
  • PATIENCE
  • COMPASSION
  • SOFT CONTROL

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • STRENGTH
  • COURAGE
  • PATIENCE
  • CONTROL
  • COMPASSION

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.


What this Card Means to Me

My concern with the Mythic Tarot card is that it feels too much like what The Chariot card means in its visual depiction: control by force or will power.

Instead, this card means something a little different. This card is gentler and is more about mutual benefit. This isn’t about cracking the whip and yanking the reigns. It makes me think about the fable, “The Lion and the Mouse,” actually.

It’s still about self control, yes, but now you’re influencing the world around you because of it. And there’s the added dimension of kindness to yourself as well here. You’re chariot isn’t going to get very far if you whip your inner beasts to death or if you allow your wheels to fall off. You’ll also get more cooperation from others if you’re not plowing them over in your race.

And it’s also understanding that your race is just that: your race. You don’t need to allow others to set the speed for you and you most certainly don’t have the right to set the speed for others. This is where true strength in life is found.

The keyword I choose for this card is: COMPASSION.


Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

 


The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.


I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!


Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

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