Full Moon & Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn: Strength
Tonight’s full moon and lunar eclipse feel quite potent. This morning, I pulled the Strength card from my delightful Queen Alice Tarot (I absolutely love anything to do with Alice in Wonderland, and this deck is totally joyful). Strength is not a card I pull often. Despite its one-word name, it’s a nuanced card. Strength can mean many things, after all. This card asks us to identify what strength means to us right now.
The Strength card in many decks depicts a woman with a lion. The lion represents wildness, brute strength, and perhaps aggression, and the woman represents the gentling, taming power over such wildness. This asks us to complicate our definition of strength. Is strength the animal with the most physical force? Or is strength the being who knows how to calm and tame that animal? Perhaps strength is both, and different situations call for different types of strength.
I have been thinking much about the strength of water. My genius, enlightened thought-partner and cousin Gaby posted this quote today (pictured to the right). It made me think about how maybe we can only move into new places, into the places that scare us, the places that require strength, with softness and not with force. Softness is not valued highly in our society at all. But what if true strength comes in softness?
What would that mean for you right now? How would you approach your current situations or conundrums differently?
Michelle Tea writes of this card in Modern Tarot: “The golden trick of this card and the way to make the work easier— even rewarding— is love. Compassion. Empathy. The maiden on the card— a slight, Mona Lisa smile on her face— uses a gentle hand. She has boundless affection for the lion and all his lion-y ways…. You are both the maiden and the lion, each in rapturous love with the other, engaged in a dance of mutual benefit and understanding.” These energies are not enemies; in fact, both are crucial. As the lion, we activate our softness, and as the maiden, we soften and channel our aggression. It’s the dance of energies, in cooperation.
We push to our limits to reach that edge, to use Victoria Erickson’s language, but then once we reach that edge, we must soften against it, to move through it like water. Otherwise we’ll just butt up against it, and stay put.
Perhaps it is a question of asking yourself which type of strength takes more practice for you. For me, it’s certainly the softness that is more difficult. When life gets overwhelming, I’m great at being productive, working out, tuning out, distracting, going, going, going. This works in the short term, but it’s not real strength. It’s just coping. And that’s fine. But I’m interested in stepping into a new version of strength, an authentic one, a deeper one. And for me, right now, that means softening past my usual rigidity. I’m curious to find out what is on the other side.
Wishing you all a potent and magical full moon. Blessed be.