How I Apply The Strength Card to My Life

The Strength Tarot Card in The Major Arcana, the 8th card, was one of my mom’s favorites. It is represented by Leo, my sister’s Zodiac sign. It is a card that represents bravery, compassion, and mastery.

When the Strength card comes up, I’m reminded of the Aesop’s fable about the sun & the wind. I must have read this story a lot as a kid because I remember it well, but I don’t think I understood its wisdom until more recently.

The Strength Tarot Card in The Major Arcana

My construction paper Strength card- seek to be the beauty AND the beast!

The Sun & The Wind

In the fable, the sun & the wind are having a bit of a pissing contest. They are arguing about who is stronger when, finally, the wind comes up with a way to end the argument: They point toward earth at a man in a light jacket. Whoever can make the man take off his jacket is the strongest. The sun agrees to this, and they begin the contest.

Of course, the wind blows and blows, but that only makes the man wrap his jacket even tighter. When it’s the sun’s turn, the sun just shines. The sun shines ever more bright and warm until, feeling too hot, the man takes off his jacket.

The Strength Tarot Card in The Major Arcana

The Moral of The Story

True Strength comes from compassion, patience, and mastery over your basic instincts. In the RWS Tarot deck,  the Strength card features a woman taming a lion. But she isn’t taming the lion with a whip or a flaming hoop. She is taming the lion with empathy. How did you react the last time someone was angry with you? Did you meet that anger with more anger? And how did that go?

Sometimes you’re the lion, sometimes you’re the maiden. The best times are when you’re both. This tarot card reminds us to find a balance between extremes. Be in touch with your feelings and instincts, but learn how to communicate them constructively.

The Strength Card in Politics

This makes me think of the movement to de-fund the police. There are so many situations where a person trained in de-escalation techniques would accomplish so much more than a person with minimal training and a gun.

The Strength Tarot Card in The Major Arcana

The Rider Waite Smith version.

In our current political climate (and let’s face it, our constant political climate), there are a lot of raw nerves. There are so many people who, when faced with difficult or uncomfortable issues, get defensive. They aren’t listening. Because it’s hard to hear the beliefs and values you were raised with might be wrong. It’s hard to confront our own problematic behavior.

So many people are like the wind in the story: Just trying to blow, blow, blow their problems away. Get people to stop talking so they can go back to their complacent lives. The Strength card would ask us to make friends with that uncomfortable space. Listen, see your blind spots and illuminate them with compassion.

The Strength Tarot Card in The Major Arcana

“La Force” by Gonzalo Martínez Moreno


The Strength Tarot Card in The Major Arcana reminds us that strength can be gentle. There is merit in anger, and sometimes it is necessary to get mad. But it’s not the only way to look tough. It’s easy to yell and scream and wave your arms and demand that people do as you say. It’s easy to give in to the urge to react. Taking a moment to be calm and vulnerable? That takes guts.

Wondering what’s in the cards for you? Book a reading to see what comes up!