As of late, I have been at times struggling with keeping the darker, more pessimistic aspects of the mind at bay. At some point, spiritual and wellness practices don’t seem to be enough to keep the inner light shining bright. You begin to wonder if the old fearful scenarios that have been fought against for so very long, won’t end up winning in the end after all. We are left naked before the rawness of life, with nothing to cushion the hard edges of reality. The beast of nihilism threatens to take over. And the monster of spirit-killing may want to join. And that’s when Strength medicine can come in. The Strength card is not just about, as the title suggests, strength or fortitude. It is not a power that exists on its own, as a quality of the small self, disconnected and floating about. In the traditional Smith depiction, a lemiscate hovers above the figure’s head, alluding to a source of personal might that is from beyond this realm. Connected to that source, the figure tames the lion, closing the maws that can engulf reality in despair or in madness.
Strength is about more than just being strong. It is about witnessing our lives as God would. It is about perceiving the joys and sorrows that afflict our incarnate personas from the point of view of the Divine. Whatever ails you at this moment, Strength invites you to embody Spirit’s very gaze before you engage with life again. Underneath and within all of your layers of flesh and psyche, the Witness stands unmoved. Unshakeable. Ever present. The Rock of Ages. It is your birthright, through awakening and practice, to uncover it, and to melt into it.
Nothing that happens on Earth is outside the plans of Spirit, as difficult as that may be to understand. Deaths and births take place; joys and disasters come through; love and pain come and fade away… the Eternal, while compassionate, does not flinch. That same quality of equanimity in face of everything is yours, too. Hidden underneath the reactive patterns conditioned by existence, there your eternal strength lays, too. The Strength card is not just about fortitude… it is about connecting to, and living from, your source of superhuman strength.