When Strength appears upright in a reading, it is assuring us that, although we may be facing a challenging situation, we have all the resources we need within us to get through, and can respond to this challenge with hope and optimism. The card reminds us that we can unite our passionate and peaceful natures, and deal with life openly, and yet with a deep inner resilience. It also counsels harnessing the ambitions and loves that drive us, rather than letting them consume us and, over time, twist their purpose.
This is the card of compassion, too: it is a reminder that empathy, kindness, and actions motivated by love are the strongest of them all.
Strength represents the very best sides of power, perseverance, and determination. It can also symbolize the courage it can take to trust, and how this can lead to harmony, rather than subsumption of the self.
When it jumps from the deck reversed, the Strength card can point to a basic negation of its upright message: we are feeling overwhelmed with life, and the determination and resolve to face its challenges are failing us. It can mean acting out of harmony with ourselves or reacting violently to a situation when what is needed is a steadfast sense of calm. Strength reversed suggests, too, that the passions represented by the lion have leaped away, baring their teeth, and we have become their prey. Work to bring about unity, the card advises, ground yourself and look within to find the power at your core.
Strength is a card of both peace and great power. It represents finding the unending - notes the infinity sign that appears above the woman’s head in the Rider Waite deck version - supplies of courage and hope within us, and trusting that they are our greatest resource.