A Woman’s Strength
A woman’s greatest strength is not found in others but within. We greet the world with wonder and blessings. In the Haindl Tarot, Strength is depicted by a woman encircled by a large serpent. Rising from the water in kundalini-like fashion, the serpent represents change and renewal. Aligning with Elemental Fire and Leo, Strength, as the eighth card of the Major Arcana, also includes the rune, Sowilo, the rune of the will and Higher Self. Haindl uses both runes and guas from the I Ching to expand the interpretations of most of the cards whereas he uses deities and cultural icons to depict the Court cards.
The goddess depicted is nude, her power found in her lack of shame. She has the courage to be as she is, a gentle sort of strength as she commands the serpent to do her bidding. Strength depicts the power of the goddess within, aligning lower self with Higher Self vibration, as above, so below. She loves unconditionally and is never a victim.
As I mentioned before, Haindl uses deities to depict his Court cards and he uses Odin to represent the King of Cups, naming the card the Father of Cups in the North. One of the primary nonterrestrial deities who occupied the Earth in her ancient past, Odin, after losing an eye, was said to have hung upside down from the tree, Yggdrasil, to gain enlightenment, also receiving at that time the runes from the Norns of Fate. Another name for this visiting god is Woden and from that name, Wednesday was born. A card of Elemental Water, the King of Cups represents both a wise counselor and loving husband or father as well as someone who can be both sensitive and shallow. Although the King is self-disciplined, he also understands compassion and tolerance. A legendary figure in Norse and Germanic history, I’m partial to this deity given that he appears in my ancestry as a great-grandfather.
Lastly, the 8 of Stones, is not just in synchronicity with Strength as the eighth card of the Major Arcana, but it also represents strength found in self-discipline, aligning well with the previous Court card. Haindl associates this card with Knowledge, suggesting mastery and skill given its elemental earthly influence. The gua that appears is the 62nd hexagram from the I Ching titled the Preponderance of the Small which counsels us that a focus on detail can result in excellence. It’s making limitation work in our favor instead of struggling against it. Pentacles in other decks, the 8 of Stones represents a strong foundation and an attention to detail. And if you look closely, one of the boulders is actually a bubble representing that which is not yet manifested but full of hope nevertheless. They hover in front of an ancient stone structure, the silhouettes of both a mastodon and serpent standing watch.
Since I love synchronicity, two eights appearing is interesting as is the initial card of Strength, itself. But then any time a woman is portrayed as she truly is, strong, beautiful, and ethereal, I love that as well. The numerology of eight deals with structure and foundation, so clearly we’re being asked to consider that within our lives. But the goddess depicted in Strength represents the strength she finds within, so rather than a material foundation, I’m interpreting this as just that.
I think what’s really happening in this reading is that our focus should begin within, in a Higher Self alignment. We spend too much time reacting to everything around us, blaming this situation or that person for our inability to stay in control. The goddess commands a large serpent with no fear. If we look at that serpent as our kundalini rising, do we allow that to take us to greater heights of spirituality or do we succumb to the fire of our egoic will?
Like the Fool, we make the choice to have a spiritual or service to others focus or to have one that serves only the self with everything we experience flowing from that initial choice. Do we see others as the other side of self which they indeed are? Or do we seem them simply as the other? Where does our inner strength begin? For women, it’s always within.
Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on March 29, 2018.