The Strength – La Force Tarot – Tarot de Marseille
I. Overview of the Strength – La Force Tarot
Strength – La Force Tarot, number 11, is the first card of the second decimal period. She is the one who opens the way for subconscious energies. It should be noted that (this is the only card in the Major Arcana that bears this characteristic) her name is written on the left side of the card, and at the same time, on the right side, there are 20 stripes which are put together like a trigger helping new energy sources gather its power. 20 is the number of Judgment, the card ending this decimal period. Here, we will see the close relationship between the first card and the ending card of the cycle. Strength holds every potential thing that Judgment will recognize, the emergence of new perceptions.
Strength’s message is quite clear: firstly, consciousness will undergo a relationship with instinctive forces. While the Magician, her corresponding instincts in the first cycle, act from the waist up and train her intellect, Strength – La Force Tarot acts from the waist down, allowing profound instructions to interact with her mental powers. Some other details also relate her to the Major card number I: her hat has a figure 8 or an iconic infinity symbol, like Magician’s hat, but her hat opens at the tip and seems to have wings, a motif that reminds us of images of eagles appearing in Major cards No. III, IIII, and XXI.
Strength’s intelligence is ready to spread wings into space. She received support from her only visible foot, with six toes corresponding to six red sharp points on the hat, six black teeth of the animal, and six fingers on Magician’s hand. We can see this as a special power to help her cling to the ground. From here, we can deduce that her resources are beauty, the best thing about pleasure. The toenail on her big toe, as well as the nail on her thumb, were painted red. Remember that the nails on the human body represent eternity because they continue to grow after being cut off. The intense vitality of Strength is shown in red on her nails.
II. Keywords of the Strength – La Force Tarot
Animal Nature – Wild Animal – Creativity – Depth – Voice – Puberty – Speak up – Stop saying – Rebirth – Power – Begin – Communicate – Feel.
The Strength – La Force Tarot is conscious from head to toe. We can say that she is the best potential of Consciousness, in the aspect of diverting between high and low, between its spiritual energy and its instinctive energy. No specific setting was drawn around her; the only thing she had was a plowed yellow piece of land, in which cognitive work was done. She did not place herself in space or time but clung to reality as a manifestation of a pure source of energy.
All of her activities focus on relationships with animals, where the yellow power of wisdom embodies skin-colored parts. The reincarnation of the soul into the nature of the animal, and vice versa, that nature also leaves room for communication with the soul. Strength works with her bare hands, capturing the animal nature, the unconscious embodiment, and her own physical gender: the head of the animal lies across her pelvis. Her relationship with the connected resources at the time of her hand touching the animal’s teeth which suggested many interpretations. The hand on the left side of us is touching the animal’s muzzle but it does not seem to be holding or pressing it. The eight black spots drawn on the muzzle shows there is no reason to change this animal energy source; it is as perfect as itself.
But depending on the insight or misunderstanding achieved through the mind, or the creation and enlightenment that will appear, or instead, will be obstacles and inhibitions. Strength teaches us that the essential poles are deeply embedded in our relationship with our animal nature, and we should not deny this part of us. This is also the reason why the six sharp black teeth of the animal can be seen again through the six red sharp points on her hat. The nature of wisdom listens to the animal’s roar, and the animal listens to the impact of the mind. This is the ideal of the Strength – La Force Tarot, a motivation in which the hands dance with the muzzle in a perfect form of communication of number 8, eternity.
If we interpret the movement of the hand and the muzzle as a contradiction, a power struggle, every difficult genre can be read here. The red of the thumb and the bloodshed tongue in a battle, the source of sexual energy was suppressed, and in contrast to the nature of the animal that cut the soul (then we could see a line on the woman’s throat is like being cut off). The rope of her corset that wrapped around her chest became the closure of the heart caused by suppression. At that time, her body was divided into pieces; this person is a victim of sexual abuse, a trauma, or a rigid and toxic education.
However, the details we have just analyzed can be interpreted in a positive way. The horizontal lines on the woman’s chest are made up of four “material” lines, stretching from left to right, representing the nature of the animal, and they intersect the five “spiritual” lines, stretching from right to left, representing the work of awareness. These nine lines and the yellow color refer to the ninth level of this decimal period, the Sun (XVIIII), in which we can see the twins (one is the soul and one is the animal) are completing a new structure together with a perfect love. The line on the woman’s neck can be a necklace because the throat is the place of real disclosure and speech, it does not appear alone from intellect but the depth of humanity: a speech in which both awareness and subconsciousness find harmony.
- Figure 1: Strength’s hat is decorated with eagle feathers;
- Figure 2: Thumbnail and toenail are painted red, the positive color;
- Figure 3: The six-teeth of the animal is a repeating image of the six sharp points on the top of the woman’s hat.
III. Interpretation of the Strength – La Force Tarot
Strength talks about the beginning of an activity or a stage in life that is placed under the sign of instinct or of creation. It can also refer to the problems of sexual instincts or the appearance of one of the dominant centers of an individual that has so far been hidden and is now looking for an opportunity to show for the first time. We need to ask ourselves whether the young woman in Strength lets the animal reveal itself or that she is trying to control it. After experiencing illness or ending a cycle, Strength represents the return of life energy.
In all of the animals drawn in Tarot, the lion, which can be seen in Strength and in the World (XXI), is the only animal that can eat humans. The woman can find harmony with it representing the noblest dimension of the soul, where the power of miracles passes.
IV. When the Strength – La Force Tarot speaks up
“I am waiting for you. I am the beginning of a new cycle, and after all, you have achieved, you will not be able to continue living if you do not see me. I will teach you how to defeat fear; with me, you will see everything, listen to everything, taste everything, touch everything. The senses have no limits, but morality is created from fear. I will help you see a vast swamp of impulses in you, both brilliant sides and dark sides. I am the dark power within you to push you to the light”.
“From the deep bottom, from my underground rooms, these streams urge my creative energy. I clung to the densest, most dreadful and craziest sloughs. Like a burning stove, my sexuality radiates desire that seems interesting, but it is actually a song buried under material since the universe was formed”.
“My intellect, a light born from the stars, cold as infinity, works based on the eternal heat of lava to produce a roar of creativity. Heaven and Earth merge in this roar and awaken the world. I can turn mediocre stones into a masterpiece. I can make the withered trees bear fruits, the fruit is full of life. I can turn the horizon into a vivid purple cut, like an endless ruby. Every trace that my strong foot left on the slough behind me was a honeycomb filled with honey”.
“I let the violent and great impulse that the world needs, flowing in me from head to toe, like waves of the open ocean. You can call it any name you like: the sexual potential, the energy of matter, the dragon, the kundalini snake, etc. It is boundless chaos that formed inside me. In my stomach, an angel and a devil merged into one, creating a whirlwind. Like a tree, I stretch my branches towards the sky while plunging my roots into the ground. I am a ladder for the energies to climb up and down. Nothing scares me. I am the origin of creation”.
V. Traditional interpretations of the Strength – La Force Tarot
Creative potential – Courage – Noble heart – New departure – Starting an activity – New energy supply – Instinctive energy – Animal instincts – Strength – Anger – Heroism – Self-discipline – Relationships between reason and instinct – Expansion or restraint – Being attracted by sexuality – Sexual restraint – Psychological restraint – Difficulty in expressing oneself – Openness – Orgasm – Rage.