Tarot Meditations: Strength
This summer I took a long-dreamed-of trip to Israel. In addition to feeling compelled to go on a pilgrimage, I was fascinated by the idea that Jerusalem is a (tumultuously) shared center for three major religions. While we were there, my best friend from college got a tattoo: an old Coptic design of the Lion of Judah. This symbol, adopted by numerous cultures over the millennia, always puts me in mind of Strength in the Tarot, and I thought this the ideal card to start my periodic Meditations series. In this series, I will reflect on the sensations that arise during meditation on particular cards. I believe that the intuition involved in reading the Tarot goes beyond dictionary meanings, and I will share my intuitive journey with you. For Meditations on Strength, I used the Radiant Rider-Waite, which draws primarily on traditional Tarot imagery. Its vibrant colors make for stimulating reflections.
First, I noticed the person in the center of the card. They are gaunt yet rosy-cheeked. They’ve experienced deprivation but are returning to health. The hot sun adds golden streaks to their (human) mane. The hovering infinity sign shows the eternal, internal nature of their strength and wisdom. They have come over the distant mountains to reach this plain, but their journey isn’t over. They are an unflappable force. The sun warms their back through their light robe. A breeze carries the scents of the hot grasses underfoot.
Red flowers around their waist and trailing down their leg recall the root chakra. The health of this chakra, located at the base of the spine, signals how well we are grounded. Our sense of physical security and strength are also seated here. This Tarot card, therefore, is indicative of an external vitality that reflects internal strength.
The lion poses in submission under the person’s touch. His mouth is open and face turned upward, his tail between his legs. He bows slightly. This lion was not overcome by physical strength but by the person’s calm knowledge and unwavering belief in their own capabilities.
If you draw Strength, how do you relate this person, who is a force of nature, to your query? How can you embody this unshakable person through a balance of internal strength and bodily health?
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