In the Cards

"venus sextile jupiter" I was looking through one of my ginormous airtight containers this afternoon and found folders and manilla envelops of papers and photographs and old bills and letters of reference from professors and rejections from poetry magazines but the best find were the handwritten notes from a reading I had with my astrology teacher back in 2008.

Gems, I tell you. Gems. And then I found his response to an email I had written him. For some reason, I didn’t print out my question but the title of the email was: QUESTION ABOUT STRENGTH.

He talked about overcoming fear. He talked about the courage to admit fear. He talked about my Venus Jupiter sextile, that I needed to stop manufacturing fear and instead to manifest meaning. I think this had always been his advice for me, for as long as I knew him. He advised that I meditate on the Strength card in the Tarot.

Without hazard there is no meaning to what we do.”

When I see the Strength card, I like it, but I’m never quite sure what it means FOR ME. Be courageous? That I’m already courageous? What’s at stake? The context, as always, matters. The question, as always, matters. This card can mean, simply, that you’re doing better. You can handle whatever it is. Still, something is missing for me with this card.

The Strength card often depicts a woman and a lion. Is the beast her animal soul? Her fear? Portrait of Woman with Lion. In the version of the card I’m eyeballing right now, she’s not fidgeting with the lion’s jaws (like in the Rider Waite) but sitting calmly beside him, not paying attention to the huge mane on her right. It looks like he’s protecting her. But no fear. No struggle. The lion almost appears to grow from her hair. Is she wrestling with a problem? With the problem of strength? Just a little. They look like… good friends. Making friends with strength.

I want to draw a card about this card! "venus sextile jupiter"

Dear Tarot, what do I need to know about the Strength card?

The Eight of Cups: you have eight cups of feeling here. Eight cups of hope. Eight cups of light. Eight cups of self-pity. Eight cups of loss. Eight cups of joy. Eight cups of the past. Eight cups of eight cups of eight cups. Eight cups of what next. Eight cups of valor. Eight cups of spine. With Strength, you sit side by side with the lion, unafraid of being devoured.

But I know you know the truth. That you are fiercely here. That YOU are the lion too.


P.S. Interested in receiving a personalized Tarot/Astrology reading? I have a new Special going on for folks who find me through Beliefnet. Click here to get in touch.

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