He had not realized how far he walked. His mind was captivated with the Arjuna legend and he was still feeling like a brave warrior waging war on his enemies. He now found himself on a deserted road facing a hill ahead and he suddenly felt very tired. He realized he would not be able to go on much longer.
He heard the sound of a car approaching. He could hitch a ride if he was lucky and get some rest until his destination, wherever that might be. The car, an old compact, stopped next to him and the driver, an old gentleman with a kindly face, opened the passenger door for him.
“I am not going very far but you are welcome to tag along if you want to,” he said.
He jumped in without hesitation.
The driver was a talkative, nice chap. He greeted him warmly and began talking to him, asking him where he was coming from and what on earth he was doing in the middle of nowhere. He was trying to answer his questions as best as he could when he saw another car fast approaching from over the hill. He realized, much to his horror, that his companion was looking at him and not at the road, with a curious expression on his face, expecting to find out more about his passenger.
His face must have alerted the old man that something was wrong for he immediately turned his attention to the road, hit the brakes and turned the steering wheel sharply to the right. The other car swerved to the left but neither driver was quick enough to avoid the collision. Still, he thought to himself, it could have been much worse.
Their bumper was smashed in. The other car, an expensive coupe and brand new from the looks of it, was scratched all the way from the front to the end. Its door opened and out came a giant of a young man, his face red with rage and a huge vein he could see even from the distance, protruding from his neck.
“Oh, boy,” he sighed. His small companion, barely reaching the other driver’s chest, did not stand a snowball’s chance against him. Yet, he had stepped out of the car and was calmly walking up to him.
“What dumb luck!” he murmured to himself. Should he get out of the car now and stand by his new found friend? Especially while he still felt like a brave warrior? Or should he sit tight and see what happens next? He was still trying to make up his mind when he saw, to his amazement, the older gentleman stroking the giant’s back and telling him something, and the giant shaking his head and smiling at him. Then, to his even greater amazement, the two men shook hands and the giant went back to his car and his companion walked back to his, opened the door and got in. He was very relieved that his friend, who he thought would get the beating of his life just a minute ago, was now sitting next to him, safe and sound. On the other hand, he could not help wondering how he managed to get himself out of such a terrible mess.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Oh, nothing. We sorted it out,” answered the old man, smiling.
“Yes, I saw that. But how?”
“Well, I said to him ‘young man, before you say or do anything, take a look at yourself and take a good look at me; then, then you take a look at your car and take a good look at mine. Now, do you really think it’s worth your trouble?”
Strength, the card number 8, will treat strength –often thought to be a physical quality- in a different light.
It is the dream of the Fool to be a real warrior, a hero on a path to victory. As he feels that pure strength within him, it is impossible not to realize a certain weakness. He needs something more than a punch, or an arrow that will hit the bull’s eye. In the Tarot, the Strength card corresponds to that necessity.
The source of the strength and stamina we mentioned for the Chariot card was physical, yet the Strength card talks of the endurance within you. Its nourishment is fortitude, contentment and patience. Do not forget that a brave heart is also a soft spoken and compassionate teacher. Problems that appear insoluble might be solved with a maturity brought on by tolerance and propriety.
When you act only with your desires passions and instincts, you turn yourself into a bombabout to go off. It is difficult to supervise such high energy, and it might explode at the smallest spark. What initially gave you strength might begin to work against you. Therefore, you must protect your struggle and determination with a higher level of awareness. This approach is not only peaceful and loving, but also cool-headed and even-tempered. You begin by taming your strength and training the animal inside.
The Strength card advises the person who draws the card to strike a balance between his or her physical and spiritual strength, and to realize the weaker aspects of both in order to file down the extremities. Fortitude must be retained, and the card compassionately tells you that everything will be more beautiful in the future. The ruler of the card is the magnanimous, proud, self-confident and courageous Leo.
The message of the Strength balance is the necessity of balance between internal and external forces. Your savage nature and the compassion within must support each other. When these two types of energy, which are different by nature, do not work against each other, they will provide you with endurance independent of your circumstances.
You must, however, care not to destroy your instinctive and savage side while you try to domesticate it. The passionate and fiery mood that physical energy provides you with is not something that should be destroyed –it should be used correctly. In the same way, its opposite is not to become pacified and submit under the guise of compassion and tolerance. These two forces must complement each other; the truth is hidden in this union.