The Strength arcanum in the Tarot of Marseille: positive or negative?


Due to its name, this Tarot card called The Strength   is somewhat ambivalent. How can it be interpreted? What does it inspire in us? The elements below suggest some answers…

How is the Strength pictured in the Tarot of Marseille?

A blond and elegant woman dons a blue dress and a red cape. She bears a hat in the form of an eight (universal representation of infinity) and maintains the mouth of a lion open with her hands. She seems to be doing this effortlessly, even gently.

She seems unfazed by this action. Her foot barely touching the ground suggests some kind of lightness. She gently makes use of her strength, with calm. She symbolizes the feminine strength that can dominate the brutal and primary strength of the animal. She represents the control of energies over animal urges.

The Strength is the eleventh card and is therefore linked to the Papess (11 = 1 + 1 = 2).

What does this card of the Tarot of Marseille mean?

Every being is capable of winning the fight against their own self: "The Strength" shows the way. As can be seen from the main character’s facial expression, it has nothing to do with some brutal implementation of arbitrary power. It is rather self-control and control over events relying on deep reflection and unfailing calmness.

This character opens the mouth of an animal – which is maybe just a puppet – with both hands. She seems to teach us that not being afraid means having a sway on things. Provided that this absence of fear does not draw your attention away from the significance of the danger. She looks to her left, just like the animal.

You should not confuse violence with strength. Not mastering our strength leads to violence while Strength is taking control over the violence that resides in every one of us.
The Strength card represents violence, which we must learn to manage in a positive way, to transform it into life intensity (Strength).

To know more about the cards of the Tarot of Marseille and their hidden meaning, I have written two articles:
-    One about the arcana that bring about a feeling of rejection at first sight  
-    The other one about the arcana that immediately seem to be positive