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Strength — Spiritual Message of the Day

April 7, 2011

Strength -- Tarot of the MastersTypically, the image on the Strength card is of a woman gently calming or subduing a lion. But we are both the Lady and the lion; these are both aspects of ourselves. The Lady represents our connection to a Higher Power, our Divine nature, while the lion symbolizes our powerful weaknesses such as anger, jealousy, and aggression.

We also may see the lion as symbolizing the people in our life who we feel have attacked us or angered us. And when someone angers us, the roar of their lion calls to our own inner one, which roars back. (Of course, this works in the other direction as well, which is why our anger usually elicits an angry response in other people. So anger is a rather dysfunctional use of our energy, isn’t it?)

In Call Me by My True Names, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us, “The only thing worthy of you is compassion … Hatred will never let you face the beast in man.”

Similarly, in A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says, “Whether we choose to focus on the guilt in people’s personality or the innocence in their soul is up to us.”

Thich Nhat Hanh is talking about the Lady and the lion within us while Marianne Williamson is referring to those aspects in other people, but there is no real difference. Our lions are kindred spirits, and how we handle one of them both reflects and affects how we handle the other. Dealing compassionately with our own inner beast helps us become more like the Lady and less like the lion, and as a result, we become more compassionate with other people, which calls to their Lady instead of to their lion.

This transition is not easy and it takes time and practice, but we must learn to deal with difficult people with compassion, because to do otherwise keeps us in the role of our own internal lion. It keeps us from rediscovering our divine nature. One thing that can help is to pray for the courage and wisdom to change the focus of our attention—to look for the Lady in others, not the lion—instead of hoping or praying for the other person to change.

If you enjoy these words of spiritual advice from the cards, you will love my new Tarot book called The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot

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