- XI -
"Only with strength can one endure suffering and torment."
Strength is more than just physical force, and those who exemplify this card show it. Inner power and willpower are key to enduring the vagaries of fate and mastering one's own weaknesses. Solidly dependable and loyal, and possessed of a powerful inner peace, Strength is well-equipped for both the bad and good times that come and go in life. A counterpoint of sorts to the Chariot, Strength is just as capable of bringing about changes in the world around them, save with a gentle touch or word rather than direct force. Though perhaps Strength's effects on the world around them are not as immediately pronounced, with enough time and effort, they may be able to get through to and affect anyone. However, patience has its limits. Even Strength cannot continue on forever. There comes a time when they must pick and choose how they cope with what comes their way.
Perhaps it's not surprising that those exemplifying the reverse might be lacking in that inner strength, or even in the peaceful patience that marks those of the Strength arcana. Rather than being in control of the situation, the situation might be controlling them. Rather than possessing that considerable willpower, they bow to the desires and wishes of others, unwilling to risk changing anything at all. Or perhaps rather than standing firm in the path of adversity, they turn tail and run away.
- Valkyrie, Norse warrior-women who bear the chosen to Valhalla
- Hanuman, the mischevious monkey-tailed lord from the Ramsyana
- Jikokuten, one of the Four Heavenly Kings and the guardian of the east
Self-control, Being solid, Patience, Compassion, Composure, Stability, Perseverence, Moderation, Kindness, Gentleness, Slowness, Softness, Serenity, Comprehension, Discipline, Inner strength. The one who's always the one who calmly, patiently talks her angry-drunk friend into handing her his keys and letting her drive him home.
OPPOSITE: Cowardice, Fear, Timidity, Weakwilled, Passive, Gutlessness, Backing down from challenges, Lack of self-confidence. One who keeps their head down because even if things are bad, at least they're familiar.
BLOCKED: Constrained, Bound, Inability to exercise control, Prevented from expressing will, Buckling under peer pressure. One who keeps their head down because while things are bad, they know kicking a fuss will make things worse.
UPSIDE-DOWN: Inability to control, Emotional weakness, Inequality to the task, Needing outside help, Desperation, Damsel in distress. One who keeps their head down in hope that the bad things will just go away.