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A description and interpretation of the role of Strength in the Tarot

In a nutshell...


  • mastery
    quiet strength

  • weakness
    impulsiveness intolerance


General overview

Particularly appreciated by cartomancy adepts, Strength is the 8th arcana in the Tarot. This card represents two main protagonists: a young woman, a symbol of control and willpower, and a lion, who represents buried desires and passions. It is immediately obvious that the young woman looks both determined and impassive, some wouldn't hesitate to describe her as Olympian. Although slightly bent, the character stands in a dignified and calm position, shoulders straight and bust raised. She has both hands on the lion's jaws, which she seems to control without too much difficulty. This ferocious animal doesn't seem to be fighting his fate. Faced with the innate strength of the young woman, how can he not be tamed!

The woman is wearing a red cloak over a blue dress. Symbolically, red is a color associated with dynamism and action, whereas the blue testifies to the links that the character maintains with her inner world, and also the power of her instinct. It is particularly important to note that it is a woman who has been chosen to represent Strength. This teaches us that brute force means nothing if it is not perfectly controlled. The young woman does not draw her power from her physical attributes, but from a complete knowledge of the limits of desire and impulse.

What’s needed is the strength of reason and not reasoning by strength.


  • from an emotional viewpoint

    In love, Strength suggests a fulfilling, stable and lasting relationship. It indicates that the seeker has fully recognized their strengths and weaknesses and acknowledges both the strengths and little weaknesses of their other half. For singletons, the character also presages a positive situation. Thanks to Strength, the seeker can continue their quest for a soul mate without worrying about showing themselves to others as they really are.

  • from a career viewpoint

    In the professional field, Strength reflects the existence of a useful perseverance. This quality is essential to anyone who wishes to anchor their career project in the long term, without being discouraged by every little setback. The self-confidence that emanates from the seeker is also particularly conducive to the emergence of new opportunities. Be aware of your true worth, without pretence or false modesty: this is the major teaching of this card.

  • from a life path viewpoint

    Freewill is one of the main attributes of Strength. It teaches you to tame your fleeting impulses in order to register your action in the long term, in perfect harmony with the values that are important to you. With this card, the promise of future success is never far away. To enjoy it, it's simply a question of being patient and righteous.

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    • Strength

      quiet strength

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      In the short term, Strength invites you to become aware of your intrinsic qualities and to avoid hasty decisions as much as possible. You probably already have some goals in mind that you want to achieve. Now is not the time to change course and question start questioning things. Everything comes to those who know how to wait.

    • long-term

      In the long run, Strength is a good card for anyone who wants to enjoy a serene but active life. Like Temperance, this card encourages you to pursue your aspirations and develop your quiet strength. Your trust in yourself and the quality of your communication will support you in your quest.

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of Strength upright

    When drawn upright Strength bears witness to the seeker's mastery of their impulses and desires. Fiercely determined to achieve the goals they have set for themselves, they have now sufficiently controlled their will in order to overcome obstacles and quickly develop on the path of life. This arcana indicates that today the seeker's brute force has been turned into a long-lasting energy. Although quick fix opportunities may be seductive at first, you need to be in it for the long-term, in order to reach happiness. Perseverance and an equable temperament will play a key role.

    Strength also benefits from qualities that are usually regarded as feminine. This card is all about discernment, restraint and tolerance. These are particularly useful attributes in the seeker's social sphere. They mean the seeker will not try to forcibly impose their plans and points of view on others, but will communicate them in a reasoned way. An atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance is associated with the card. This is why it is widely considered by Tarot specialists as the very symbol of rule through gentleness. As the highest level of consciousness accessible to mankind, Strength teaches you to tame your overly violent emotions, your impulses and your destructive thoughts. For this reason it is a wonderful tool for those who wish to achieve their full potential.

    Interpretation of Strength reversed

    In the case of an inverted draw of Strength, all the qualities of the character are reduced or reversed. The quiet confidence characteristic of this arcana is transformed into an arrogance that is harmful to the personal or professional life of the seeker. The picture is dominated by aggressive behavior and intolerance to others, temporarily slowing the seeker's development. In some cases, the seeker may also be lacking in vital energy, so their ability to act is impeded by a complete lack of self-confidence.

    In any case, this draw encourages the seeker to have a thorough look at themselves and learn to reconnect with their inner power. If you are feeling excessively aggressive, it is often wise to take some time alone to determine the best way to communicate with others or with yourself. This awareness of your small faults is often the first step on the quest for self-control.