it starts within

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Intro Image: Strength - it starts within

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

Strength represents inner strength, not physical strength, power, or control. Inner strength is made up of so many things: compassion, understanding, overcoming, forgiveness, gratitude, self-respect, love, determination, and so much more.

Strength is not passive. It’s not a victim. It’s not acceptance of injustice. It’s not defensive or angry. Strength is all about living wholly, as ourselves, with determination and freedom and expecting the same to be granted to everyone else.

Strength does not expect perfection. It acknowledges that you have anger, greed, pain, and fear as part of you. You are a complicated person but you will not be ruled by those complications. Strength knows what you hold dear, avoids self-sabotage, and tries to create change for the better.

Important Note: Strength is usually card #8 and Justice is #11. BUT, in some decks that card numbers are switched and you’ll find Justice is #8 and Strength is #11.

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Strength displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

Who is this person? What is that animal? What are they doing? Why? What does the other imagery say to you?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Astrology: Leo
Element: Fire
Numerology: 8 (movement, action, swiftness)

Common Symbols

  • The Infinity Symbol (lemniscate) to represent accessing a higher power
  • A Lion to represent the wildness within us
  • A Woman Taming the Lion to represent overcoming the wildness

Keywords & Concepts

  • Inner Strength
  • Bravery
  • Compassion
  • Focus
  • Courage
  • Forgiveness
  • Self-love
  • Acceptance
  • Choices
  • Complicated

Strength for Personal Growth

 Identify problematic habits and unhealthy tendencies, and weigh their overall impact on your life. Consider, too, the value of leaving these behind for healthier options. A good measure of maturity is the ability to forgo immediate gratification to reap benefits later.

Ask Yourself:

  • How can you enhance your self-discipline?
  • What behaviors tempt you? How can you resist?
  • What instincts do you continue to struggle with today?
  • What course of action would best symbolize your own moral strength?
  • What instinctual responses do you need to curb?
  • What role does self-control play in your situation?

Interpreting Strength

When the Strength card appears it represents a time to work on mastering your emotions and inner worries. Be patient with yourself for mastery will not come overnight.

Reversed Strength

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Negative: A negative reversed Strength suggests that your inner strength is buried deeply. You’re feeling weak, vulnerable, and lack confidence. It will be a big job to get in touch with your inner strength again but you must.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Strength means that you have lost touch with your inner strength. It’s time to work on finding it again.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Strength indicates something is preventing you from tapping into your inner strength.

Examples of Strength

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:

Love & Relationships

When it comes to love and relationships, Strength is a sign of wild behaviours.

If you’re in a relationship, Strength suggests that you or your partner are behaving in a way that’s off-putting. Be wary of any attempts at domination in your relationship right now.

If you’re single, Strength suggests that a wild romantic interest is heading your way. Embrace the wildness, as much as you can. Do not try and dominate them or force change upon them. At best, you can gently coax them to soften some of the wildest edges.


Negative: A negative reversed Strength suggests that you feel unworthy of love so you’re seeking out harmful relationships or behaviours.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Strength means a steady – but boring – relationship that’s not going to satisfy you in the long term.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Strength indicates that you’re afraid to put yourself out there and ask for what you need.

Professional Life

In a professional sense, the Strength card is telling you not to hold yourself back. Don’t limit your potential by fearing failure. Be bold (but not too forceful) right now and reach for what you want.


Negative: A negative reversed Strength suggests that you’re struggling to overcome your fears: failure, embarrassment, self-doubt. Now is the time to do the work on these fears so that you don’t miss some amazing opportunities.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Strength means you should be careful not to be reckless. There’s a difference between holding yourself back and allowing yourself to make wild, reckless choices.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Strength indicates something is preventing you from overcoming your fears.

Health & Wellness

The Strength card usually means solid health. It’s a good time to make some healthy improvements to your life.


Negative: A negative reversed Strength suggests bad habits are having a negative effect on your health.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Strength means bad habits are having a negative effect on your health.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Strength indicates something is preventing you from making healthy improvements to your life.

Strength Tarot Card Meaning

Pin This: 8 Strength - it starts within

Strength starts from within yourself. When have you used inner strength to get through a difficult time?

Once you feel comfortable with the Strength tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: IX – the Hermit Tarot Card Meaning.


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