Poetic Journey Through the Tarot

As many of my readers know I have been writing poetry based on the major arcana of the Tarot. I have been using the Rider-Waite tarot rather than some of my preferred alternative decks (Thoth and Dragon). Rather than describing the card I have been, instead, reflecting upon my own path through the particular card I am writing on. Thus far, in arcana I through VII, a very logical step progression has appeared. It very much feels like elevating through multiple levels.

Yesterday I made an attempt at writing on VIII. Strength. I couldn’t do it. The words did not come to mind despite the essence of the work being visible to me. I’m writing about this because this experience illustrates precisely why I am doing this writing. Allow me to explain. If I can write particularly well on a card it is because I own the concept behind the card. The lesson derived from it is very much a part of me. With VIII. Strength this has not been the case. It actually makes a tremendous amount of sense considering my bouts with depression over the past few years. I am aware of my intrinsic strength but have yet to embrace and fully explore it. That is what I need to do.

One might suggest that I move on to another card within the deck and come back to this one later. I cannot do that. Why? Because the very purpose of what I am doing is the sequential journey from zero onward. Skipping the card would be like skipping vegetables at dinner and coming back to them after dessert.

Readers, I would like to hear your thoughts on VIII. Strength. Maybe share with me your own journey with the card or concept. Write in the comments on what strength means to you and where you are at in your own strength. Thank you.


About ninefolddragon

I am a self-proclaimed writer, spiritualist, and warrior. My primary writings are poetry and essays that evoke elemental visualization and are written in honor of the sacred feminine.
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19 Responses to Poetic Journey Through the Tarot

  1. Scruffy says:

    Wow, this is a great idea as a tool to help in understanding oneself, although I do not use Tarot, therefore I do not understand it. I can kind of get the idea of what you are doing. Awesome, strength as you know can take on many forms one that I have seen throughout my life with my mother, brother and I is the the strength that comes for overcoming, my mother from abuse, my brother from blowing is knee out in the boot camp march a quarter of the way through and he still finished, and me through heart break and failures. Most people see strength as the word implies, but I see the mental strengths in life. I think those are what really define us. I am not sure it that helps. Great read by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It absolutely helps. I am a strong believer in “strength in the three aspects” as I call it. Body, mind, spirit. Overcoming adversity can involve one, two, or even all three of the above as you have come to understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jennavive72 says:

    I do not read tarots, but to me, strength comes from within, when you can find the light in the dark. Strength comes from the beauty around me. Positivity around me creates strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephen,
    This is an interesting post for me right now. Currently, I am investigating how for so long I considered the feminine to be weak. So when in need of strength, I have channeled my inner masculine animus. It has become my habit to use these steel strength and will to exert myself in the world and get through tasks like PT school. Even a good deal of my writing has been w/ a bulldozer or steamroller approach. Now, I find myself having difficulty writing as I sink down into the truth of my feminine strength. It is new for me and I am finding myself at a loss as I adjust to the liquid steel of mercury. Finding my strength in the submission vs domination, in waiting vs pressing, in being predominately feminine vs relying on my own minor masculine. I am not regretting my past channeling, instead I am seeing that my true strength lies within.
    A series of books that have helped me in this endeavor: He & She by Robert A Johnson. You might find them helpful. I read He first and began to see where I use my animus excessively. No wonder I so often feel the need to retreat heavily following a hard or long battle.
    Good luck in your inner quest. I know your strength is there, just waiting to be uncovered.
    Much love,
    PS Some of this reply may just make it into the post I’m writing about finding my inner feminine strength.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tiffany,

      This is a wonderful reply that inspires me to talk a little about the nature of the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine rather than addressing strength directly. In American culture there seems to be a real push for women to tap into the masculine animus in order to “progress” or “move up” in our culture. When not tapping into that animus it seems the push is to tap into the “dark feminine animus” which plays on a mirrored form of the sacred feminine. This is where the desire to go it alone comes from, to not rely on any man, to utilize sexuality for power. The energy is in direct opposition to sacred feminine energy which is about community and healing. It can, in fact, be extremely sexual but the sexual contact becomes less about climax and more about togetherness. Men who tap into dark masculine animus typically prefer dark feminine sexual contact. The two, I’ve observed, tend to be incredibly mutually destructive.

      It is my belief that a shift in women towards understanding their sacred feminine strength would actually lead to a more profound shift in the energy of our world than that of a man shifting towards sacred masculine. Women have a far more profound impact on culture and change than is truly understood and even accepted. I could go on regarding that but this should technically just be a short reply.

      Anyways I want to hear more of your thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. VictoryInTrouble says:

    I feel like I’ve been on a journey to learn about myself in the past couple of years and for me, one thing I’ve learned over and over is that there is strength in the emotional. I have always thought that I am “over- emotional,” and that it was a bad thing. But I’m learning that it takes a lot of strength to fully feel your emotions because a lot of them are painful. I’m also realizing that there is strength in hope. That it’s not naivety or foolishness that keeps me hopeful, but strength.
    I hope you can find out what makes you strong and put your ideas down. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I found one site which has interpretations of the cards that resonate with me. When I was first beginning to address my Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders, the first two times I got the Strength card in the Near Future of the Celtic Cross.

    “But strength is not always measured in terms of how much you can lift or how fast you can run. True Strength is fortitude of character, and the ability to not only control the emotions, but to rise above them, and triumph over all out lower impulses and desires.

    This card continues the lesson of the Chariot, showing that once we have learned to control emotion, we must rise above it….he only qualities that abound in Strength are courage and patience. Neither of these are really emotions, but ways of acting and doing that are not tempered by feeling. Courage is the antithesis of fear; patience, the control of worldly desires. There is no emotion here, just determination and action…..

    The symbology of the lion is common to Strength, and aptly so. The lion is the “beast within”, the raging inner desire inside every one of us that must be controlled or it will be set free to manifest in the world. The image of the woman opening the mouth of the lion shows both courage and patience; she must not fear the lion, and she must wait for it to tire before she can exert her own will upon it…..

    She needs patience to defeat the lion because her power is not brute physical force, as mentioned. The force she has is very little, but it can be applied infinitely, and she will continue to apply light but constant pressure until the lion submits to her superior will. It does show a certain determination, and the conviction that even small results will have effects if kept up long enough, just as a constant dripping hollows a stone. So Strength is not a card of compassion and love, but a card of quiet yet unstoppable power. Such power radiates from the soul, and for a consciousness aware of this power, there can be no resistance, and no defeat.

    The qualities of Strength are already in you, waiting to appear once you have mastered all your base emotions and when you are ready to move on to the spiritual tasks that lie ahead. Its main lesson is that emotions must be transcended if spiritual wisdom and intuition are to be awakened. Whispers from the intuition are often drowned out by the constant roar of emotion and preoccupation and fear. Only once you have eliminated these can the silence you need be created. So conquer your fears, control your impulses, and never lose patience with yourself or what you are doing. Eventually you will see the wisdom of letting go of your lower self…..

    No matter how strong the beast within you seems, you have the power to control it and make it submit to your will. This cannot be done with physical force or with undue haste; it is a slow and difficult process. When Strength is around, however, you can be assured that you have enough endurance to see this task through to its eventual end. If you are pushing too hard, Strength shows the need to withdraw for the moment, and be patient. Enlightenment will come only when the time is right; it cannot be rushed.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is precisely the image of what I wanted to get across in the poem. This idea that there is a beast within me that has been tamed by the sacred feminine and yet remains strong, royal, and proud. However the specific word combinations required to elicit that imagery are currently elusive to me. Thank you for sharing this as it deeply resonates with me. Furthermore thank you for sharing about the bipolar and anxiety disorders. You may already know that I suffer with chronic depression. In addition my daughter suffers anxiety and depression while a friend of mine deals with bipolar and has recently gone through a serious bipolar depression cycle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of the key words from the interpretation was the word “patience,” which at the time was quite irritating. I didn’t want to be patient. She hold the jaws of the lion and, as a result, takes a long time for the “taming” to take place. Thus for me this the card in the cycle which requires the most perseverance, even though the urge (which is part of the beast) desires to keep moving along the path.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That helps a lot. This piece, in addition to an email I just got done working on, will help me to write the poem tomorrow I think. Thank you so much for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • my pleasure. i have contemplated tackling the same endeavor with the Major Arcana, yet the courage to do so has not arrived. I look forward to your continued journey through them.


  6. krysiakorsak says:

    …Gosh, you reveal so much of yourself here and it has been such an eye opener to read all the comments that arose from your post. I agree for the need for this World to discover the Sacred Feminine and that She is gentleness, compassion, nurture personified. How very astute of you to realize that here is a blockage that requires working/ contemplating upon. I too am very much on a voyage of inner discovery of “who” I am. At the moment I am very aware of Boundaries…of folk overstepping them and the need to be True to my-Self…now that requires inner Strength! Tough when you have had a lifetime of knock-backs, and confidence kicked out of you. I wish you Strength on YOUR voyage of Self-discovery….take care! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lifecameos says:

    I think all the above comments all point to what I believe -we have to find our own strength within ourselves. The more help we get, the better, of course. But the old saying that that which tests us makes us stronger is true – if we open up to the testing. Which is no comfort when we suffer abuse inflicted by others, but only we can ultimately lift ourselves up again, and we have to be open to any help offered before it benefits us.

    Liked by 1 person

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