Tag Archives: eight

Strength

In the Tarot deck Strength is the eighth card. If you take a look at the tree of life. The Qabalah names the eighth spot Hod. This means glory. I could tell you every thing about the card now. The glory and strength of God is love. Your glory and strength is love.

When you look at the deck you see a figure. They hold the mouth of the lion. This lion is our impulses. The conflicting energies from the last few cards. It is our human nature. My aunt use to say tell me how the spirit was willing. But the flesh was weak. The lion is the flesh. It is strong in its weakness. The figure doesn’t hold the lion’s mouth shut.

While we shouldn’t be ruled by our impulses. We do need to respect their voices. They are a part of who we are, a part of God. The messages they give contain lessons. Important lessons if we take the time to listen. But we need to know when to follow these voices. And we to let them go. If we don’t listen to them. If we don’t understand. Then we could either be capricious. Or miss out on the meaning they offer our lives.

The balance is important. We develop strength. Loving ourselves is an example of a hard lesson. It isn’t easy to love each other. And in some ways even harder to love ourselves honestly. An honest self-love doesn’t think we are perfect. It knows we have faults. And it knows where we are weak. But an honest self-love also knows we are children of God. We are expressions of Love. A piece of the glory of God. Only love is real.

There may be no greater strength than honest self-love. Because we so easily slide to arrogance or self-loathing. And to many arrogance may appear to be self-love. But at a real level self-love isn’t arrogant. Because it feels no need to impress. There is no desire to hold influence over other minds.

The figure on the card wears white. It takes a pure heart to love. A pure heart and spirit to wrestle with the lion. The flowers in the figure’s hair and around the waist express a blooming strength. Love is pure goodness or it isn’t love at all. And it is growing all around us. If we open our eyes we will see. If we open our pure hearts we will see.

The figure of infinity hangs in the sky above the figure’s head. Another connection to the number 8. This symbol last seen above the magician shows the source of our power. We have an unlimited supply of love. And love is the only strength. Love is the only power. We tap into the source of all. We connect with the universe and God. All when we choose to love.

Aleister Crowley named this card Lust. When we love our lives we have a lust for living. The word Lust has been betrayed. The most real Lust is Love. When we love our lives deeply. We have a lust to be alive. When we love ourselves and others deeply. There is a lust to connect on a real level. Not just the rubbing together of fleshy bodies. But the touching of souls. When we Love radically we are showing how strong we are in our spirit. We live in a body, but we are not a body. Others live in bodies but are not bodies. Lust for bodies is a weak and shallow lust.

What this card is tell you today is gather your strength. A challenge awaits you in the near future. But you have the tools. And you have the strength to overcome these mountains. Find the source of all Love inside of you. Then you can not lose. The glory of God will take you any where you want to go. The glory of yourself will take you no where. Remember as you move forward to stay focused. Recall the source of your energy. Connect with it often.

This card is telling you: you’ve got this. But it isn’t telling you it will be easy. When in doubt of what the you should do next. Choose to love even more. This card is alerting you to the fact you’ll need this love. Or maybe it is encouraging you to find this love in your current struggles. Love in a radical and free way. Love yourself for making mistakes, and for making growth. Whatever others have done, or do to you. Love them for being broken, hurt and lost souls like yourself. Ongoing abusive behavior has to stop. Because this isn’t love. But walking away is a step of love too.

Strength

Strength. It seems so simple. The word reminds me of a time with my dad. We were watching a game. And I asked him a riddle. In return he asked me a riddle. Something about a seven letter word with one vowel. After a long time, and many guesses I gave up.
The answer was strength. Watching the game he told me they were using the word.

We often first think about strength in terms of ability. Like Hanuman who lifts a whole mountain. Muscular people at the gym. In passing we think about the strength of a tree. Or a strong pillar. Something which holds weight. But both these are physical terms.

In the tarot strength is more. It isn’t just about the outside world. We also need strength with ourselves. It isn’t just the action. Being able to remove a foe. Or even the ability to withstand a foe. It is taking the time to think. It is about feeling what is right.

Our lives are full of events which can upset us. But if we race off in anger all the time. We show weakness. And if we remain unmoved through all events. This can also be a weakness. The lion is a figure on many Strength cards. We must be like the lion.

It sits under a tree. As a heard goes by, it watches. You may not think it is acting on its environment. But the lion is strong enough not to run at the first prey. It sits and waits for the moment. Then in a flash, it springs to action. In the moment strength is about movement. It is about taking clear action. An action so fast it looks unplanned. But is really the result of a thought sitting in our minds for a long time. Without holding back, without pause. The lion will kill the prey.

In the card before we were on The Chariot. This card shows a figure with two horses. They are the polarities of this world. The figure is using their power. But he is only channeling their potence. They remain outside. They also remain apart.

In this card we see a knight. Looking right at us with a sword at hand. But it isn’t raised. Not a person eager for a fight. The sword and the armor speak to a readiness. But his pose and his square shoulders speak to a calm. The knight is waiting like the lion.

The knight has a greyhound. Dogs are know to be loyal. But also represent out instincts. When the moment is right action will take place. Greyhounds are known for their speed. So the knights action will be quick. True to instinct and loyal to the heart.

The number of this card is eight. Eight is a card of power. Connected to infinity. In the minor arcana they are about change. In Wands the change is fast. And in swords we see a need for change. This card is about the nature of change. There are two kinds of strength. Like an oak, which breaks in the wind. And like a bamboo which bends in the wind. The greatest strength is being able to do both. As needed. And given the nature of constant change. We always have to struggle to maintain our balance. It requires constant strength is adjust to the world. Because the world is change.

As the figure takes these energies inside. As these energies are united. The figure grows stronger. And will soon be able to set their own path. They step into the darkness, the unknown. True strength must be used in the world. In the next card we see The Hermit. A figure with the strength to be a guide for others.

This card is telling you to think about your strengths. And where you are weak. How can these two forces work together. Instead of being at odds. This card suggests you are trying to hard in one area. And maybe not hard enough in another. Your efforts are not balanced. They are not clear. And not true to your heart. This is a card calling you back to your heart. The source of all our true strength. Come home.

Whatever you struggle with right now. Taking a step back will only help you. Go back up under the tree with the lion. Ask yourself if this is a real threat. Is the action needed clear. Will it be quick and done? If not you may be using the wrong tactic.

Give a different voice in your head the switch. Be open to opposing ideas within you. And from without. The true warrior knows to listen to wise council. The warrior is willing to adjust plans. Meditate. Focus on this thought: only love is real.

The riddle my dad gave me wasn’t fair. The clues weren’t in the question. But if I had the strength to be patient. The strength to work our a plan. To figure out a process to get me to the answer. I would have been able to solve it on my own. But I was young.

Eight of Swords

Life can be full of anxiety. The Eight of Swords is a prison. But the space is our own minds.
We are bound. And blindfolded. Trapped by our own ideas. We choose to see the world in a certain way. And the world presents itself. Our jobs, our relationships and ourselves are images. We can choose different. But it isn’t easy.

Eight is a card of power. But unlike other eights this card holds us. In the card a figure is tied. A blindfold covers their eyes. And on either side are four swords. Swords are the mind. This blindfold and the bindings are in our mind. We are trapped by ourselves. By our own fears. Which is only a lack of self-love.

The eight of pentacles shows us the power of our skills. And the eight of wands represents the power of movement. Eight is so close to ten, there is always something missing. But what is missing couldn’t be clearer than in the Eight of Swords. We stand in the gap between the swords.

When you knock 8 over you get the infinity sign. And I believe this speaks to a condition which has the power to continue on its own. We will remain trapped until we take the first step.

The card before this was a time of discovery. We explored our ideas of the world. And we left some behind. But we still haven’t learn to be flexible. It isn’t about taking and leaving ideas. We need to allow ideas to change. Because the world changes. And we change.

In the next card we face the depths of anxiety. The Nine of Swords is one of the darkest cards in the deck. All our sins come back to us. Now as we experience the Eight of Swords is our time. We can change the future. Make tomorrow full of proud moments. And not full of regrets. Take action. Believe something different is possible.

I know all this is easy to say and hard to do.

This card is telling you to set yourself free. There is something which is holding you back. And it won’t let you go. You must let go of it. You must take your own life in hand. Free yourself. Who will free your soul, if you don’t free your own?

The first step is to choose to love yourself. Don’t look for a reason to be proud, so you can love yourself. Love yourself first and then be proud of the accomplishment. It is a hard task which many never master.