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21 October 2014

Strength: 9/78 days of Tarot

I started the 78 days of tarot project almost exactly two years ago. I got as far as the 8th day before getting distracted by other things.

To be fair, I did not say I would do all 78 days in a row.

Here's day 9: card VIII, Strength.



Sometimes strength is staying calm.
Sometimes strength is fighting back.
Sometimes strength is gentleness.
Sometimes strength is violence.
Sometimes strength is forgiveness.
Sometimes strength is remembering.
Sometimes strength is gratitude.
Always, strength is courage.

In this image, I see all these things.
The woman is calm; she defies conventional 'wisdom' to hold the lion's paw; she is gentle; she is violent, as healing is painful, and there's -something- in her poise that seems to say she's capable of harm, perhaps harm is more normal for her than healing; she is forgiven this by the lion; the lion will remember, and perhaps she remembers the kindness of others in her act; the lion is grateful; she and the lion show courage where there is no basis for trust.

The fluid nature of strength is vital; we must remember this.

The book says: 
This card is about approaching one's inner monsters with compassion. The author compares this card to that of more traditional decks, in which the woman wrestles with a lion. The suggestion is that one's inner beast is better tamed with love and healing than with brute force; i.e., compassion is a more mighty strength than violence.

I've had a hard time writing about this card. It just felt so... obvious. Like, duh, of course being nice will get you farther than being mean. Then again, being too nice gets you trampled. So there's that. I've got this 'be nice' thing down so well that standing up for myself in any capacity is damned difficult. The kindness in strength isn't my challenge - its opposite is. It's all about balance.  

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