“To bend like a reed in the wind — that is real strength.” ~Lao-tzu
The Rider-Waite deck portrays a serene woman gently closing/opening a lion’s mouth. Her robes are accessorized with flowers, and a blossoming wreath adorns her head. Like the Magician, the infinity symbol is shown hovering above her. The lion appears calm and subdued. With his tail tucked behind him, he patiently accepts her tender care.
Lion: Animal instinct within us all, forces or influences that could be potentially harmful
Lemniscate (infinity symbol): Infinity, endless possibility
Flowers: Beauty, grace, and kindness
White Dress: Purity
Strength, Patience, Compassion, Soft Control, Courage
The Fool, now feeling proud and powerful from his knowledge of victory, next encounters during his journey a maiden and a lion. Amazed by her courage he watches the young woman gently, but firmly close the lion’s mouth. The furious beast passively accepts the maiden’s command, surrendering itself to her soft control. Afterwards, the maiden patiently explains to the Fool how he, too, can utilize the attributes of compassion and strength for higher purposes. Haveing been enlightened by the Maiden’s pure insights, the Fool continues his journey.
To learn how to remain courageous in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles through compassionate strength.
While the Chariot card shows the masculine technique of overcoming our animal nature through mastery and firm control, Strength demonstrates the feminine method of tempering willful energies by using kindness and a soft touch. However, neither the masculine nor feminine approach is better than the other in helping to keep intense passions and impulses under control; they can each work equally well in different situations.
In readings, Strength can represent patience and compassion. It’s easy to become angry when a situation provokes intense negative emotions. However dealing with a frustration calmly, accepting others, and practicing the delicate art of forgiveness takes great strength. When this card appears it may suggest that gentle manipulation in the form of empathy and kindness is needed .
Strength can also symbolize steadfast bravery in the face of adversity. Inner strength comes from within, and can grace us with the quiet qualities of courage, perseverance, and resolve. When our lives seem difficult, the Strength card urges us not to give up but to maintain an unwavering determination to remain true to ourselves and our beliefs.