In a society that highly values independence, acknowledging our interconnectedness and personal growth from relationships is truly a mark of strength of character. This Full Moon in Leo is showing us how It takes courage to express ourselves, to open our hearts, and to commit wholeheartedly to this journey: the Renaissance of the Self. Strength comes in diverse forms, from marching in protests to sharing personal experiences, from raising little ones in a challenging world to showing our true selves to deeply connect with others.
Number eight in the Tarot deck is Strength, often displaying various images. The card is usually represented by a lion, signifying Leo, which is governed by the Sun. The typical imagery shows a woman either arm wrestling or holding a lion in a headlock, opening the lion’s mouth and staring down its throat.
In some images, a woman is seen riding a lion or pushing over a pillar. The pillar is significant, as it is also often on the Tower and the Moon as well as the pillars as seen on the High Priest, High Priestess and Moon cards. Traditionally, the pillar and tower symbolize society, ideologies and the reality we are born into. Strength knocking over the pillar signifies their ability to step outside societal norms.
The conventional imagery of Strength shows a woman with a lion in a headlock, peering into its mouth. This is interesting because it portrays a character, who through Renaissance perceptions of femininity, is considered the “weaker” gender. This “weaker” woman is confronting the king of beasts, the lion. The lion signifies not only regality and strength but also nature. The image of a woman subduing the lion symbolizes humans conquering nature.
From an imperialistic, capitalistic, colonial mindset, conquering nature, subduing animals, ecosystems, and even other humans, is seen as strength. But from the perspective of Regenerative Tarot, strength is not about overpowering nature or others. Instead, it comes deeply from within, from strong communal bonds, and from conviction in the face of dominant systems.
The Strength card also symbolizes standing up against powers that cause harm. Some people show strength by putting themselves in harm’s way to prevent injustice, while for others, strength is speaking deeply from the heart and being extremely vulnerable.
The reimagined Strength card portrays a woman seated among lions in a multigenerational pride. She is part of them, showing the strength to be confident and gentle, not trying to overcome but to be a part of the group in a deeply holistic and gentle way.
In addition to frontline protestors, we also need people willing to be vulnerable. Being brave enough to share personal experiences, explore traumas, and express feelings requires a significant act of strength. For some, parenthood in a changing world is a great act of strength. The world, in all its beauty, can also be terrifying, and bringing children into it requires courage. For others Strength is about standing up to peer pressure to encourage bullying, it can be about sharing stories of oppression, and about knowing when to say NO to the normalization of injustice.
Our society tells us to be independent, successful, and beautiful. But it takes a great deal of strength to realize that we’re not complete without each other. We are shaped and refined by our relationships with others. It takes strength to use our voices, open our hearts, and stay dedicated to this path.
Checkout my previous post on the New Moon in Leo where I dive deeply in tarot, archetypes, herbs and some of my favorites books recommendations: New Moon in Leo: Strength VIII & The High Priestess II Reversed
So thank you, dear reader, for reflecting today on what it means for you to be strong and for allowing your vulnerability to shine through. It takes strength to connect deeply with others on a human level, to share, reflect, and not take things too personally, acknowledging that each human has their own struggle and luminosity.