From the Old Notebook: Strength

Hey there, folks! Tis the season for me to go digging in my old tarot notebook. Old notes are in black, new notes are in purple, and I might have some thoughts to add at the bottom… thanks for reading! Find me on Facebook for more tarot stuff!

Pamela Colman Smith Strength

Key Words: courage in adversity, determination, resolution, love over hate, patience, compassion, inner confidence, gentle force, achieving soft control

**As we talk about the subject’s attire, remember our previous discussions about clothing, wreaths, and roses, and compare her to characters on previous cards.

Lemniscate (infinity symbol)–balance of upper and lower natures (usually denotes that you are tapped into some cosmic wisdom)

Crown of Roses–rulership over self, mind is flowering

Garland Around Waste–connecting woman to lion (it would seem,) we are chained to our desires, she accepts ownership and takes responsibility

Hands on Lion–gentle force, courage, confidence (inner strength, not brute force)

Lioneyes are strained, teeth barred–showing struggle. Bowing and tail between hind legs shows surrender

Sky is Yellow–Intense sunshine, solar plexus chakra (confidence, sure of self, inner strength,) Tipharet (similar themes, also highest place of mortal being, where mortal meets cosmic)

Soft Earth–changes, new ground (remember the Fool?)

Meadow–positive things to come

Mountains–challenges in the distance, need to work on self first

Thoughts from the future! Let’s talk about when this card has shown up for me.

When I was younger, I often needed to be the bigger person, grit my teeth and be patient with others who tried to walk all over me. It paid off. My relationships bloomed into being more positive and reciprocal, and people around me who had inner struggles found healing when I met them with patience and kindness instead of fighting back.

This was the most ominous card of all the Majors for me, not that it was bad, but it meant tough times ahead. Death was very positive. Even the Tower, though chaotic and traumatic, meant old walls would fall and truth would lie in the wreckage. But the Strength card usually meant endure. Less of a sprint and more of a marathon. Paired with Justice or Temperance, it also meant I would have to tread carefully.

Now that I am in a pleasant environment with little stress to worry about, it’s usually telling me to employ some self-discipline. When nothing from the outside is forcing you in a direction, you have to find your own. And if you want to be productive, you have to put the pressure on yourself.

Other themes


There are strong Jesus vibes here. Think of him calming a storm or healing someone who was angry.

Not to compare Harry Potter to Jesus, but I see Harry and Voldemort here, too. Voldemort basically functioned on pride, revenge, and personal desires. Harry had the wisdom of the Deathly Hallows, self-control, and had sworn not to be the aggressive one (hence his use of Expelliarmus and him waiting for V to strike first.)

This can also denote someone undergoing difficult training, or overcoming an addiction.

There is that rare time when someone shines so brightly from inner strength and personal development, they stop other people in their tracks–even people who are usually aggressive and rambunctious.

I hope this was helpful. Next will be the Hermit. Cheers!



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