The Strength Tarot Card’s Meaning, According To Professional Readers

It’s an invitation to asses your energy.

by Kristine Fellizar
Originally Published: 
What does the Strength tarot card mean in a reading?

Despite what some may believe, tarot isn’t all about predicting the future. Sure, it can be fun knowing what’s in store, but tarot can also provide you with the reassurance you need to take that next big step in your life, whether it be in your career or love life. If you’re feeling discouraged or you just need a little push from the universe, the Strength tarot card is a great one to get in a reading. Professional tarot readers share the meaning behind the Strength card and how you can apply it to your life.

In tarot, there are 22 cards that make up the major arcana, which represent big life lessons and energies. According to tarot reader Emily McGill, the Strength card comes about a third of the way through the major arcana, also known as the Fool’s Journey. “It comes right after the Fool has met some teachers and learned a few lessons about caring for themselves,” McGill says. “It comes at the point when the character is put to the test.”

When the Strength card is pulled in a reading, ask yourself if you have the inner strength to make moves aligned with your values. Do you have it in you to “stand firmly in your center” and do the unpopular or hard thing because it’s right for you? When things get tough at work, do you push on or shy away? In relationships, do you leave when times get tough or do you stick it out?

“The Strength card isn’t about physical strength, but the strength of character,” McGill says. “Everyone has the capacity for Strength, but it’s a choice to practice it. This card is a great reminder of that ability.”

It’s important to remember that every reader has their interpretation of what the card means, but there is a general meaning for each tarot card. Knowing the basic meaning of each card can help you apply it to your situation when you do a reading on yourself. With that, here’s the meaning of the Strength tarot card.

What Does The Strength Tarot Card Mean?

There’s a big tie to fear with the Strength card. According to tarot reader Sarah Corbyn Woolf, fear is almost always trying to keep us safe. “When Strength comes up, whether in classes or a reading, my first step is to talk about the courage that it takes to approach your fear with tenderness,” she says. “There is deep, deep tenderness in the Strength card, obvious in the symbolism present in the human figure, but even visible in the vulnerability of the Lion. It’s with that gentleness that this card is asking us to approach our fear.”

It takes courage and determination to go after a goal that may seem unattainable or to leave a relationship you’ve been in for 10 years. The Strength card asks you to explore your situation in depth, reflect on any fears you may have, openly acknowledge them, and then find ways to overcome any negativity that may be holding you back. The card is your reminder that you have the strength inside of you to have whatever it is you want.

What Does The Strength Card Mean When It’s Upright?

When the Strength card is pulled upright, it’s telling you that you have a “gift” available to you. According to McGill, “You can stand in your power whether you realize it or not.” There are messages there for you to be confident, courageous, and bold, regardless of the situation you’re in. More often than not, you know the answer to the question you’re asking. Strength can be a card of reassurance.

For instance, if you’re in a job that pays well enough but doesn’t really offer a good work-life balance, Strength upright could be that last push you need to find another position. The Strength card upright can also mean having patience. For example, if you’ve been struggling to find a partner and you’re starting to get discouraged, Strength is telling you to stay strong and keep going. What you want is attainable, don’t settle for less.

What Does The Strength Card Reversed Mean?

When you pull the Strength tarot card in reverse, you may be allowing your fear to hold you back from pursuing the thing you want. According to Woolf, you may be “extra afraid,” and the courage you need to overcome your fear may be hard to access.

“The invitation offered by any reversed card is what action can I take to grease the wheels for this energy to get back into flow?” Woolf says. “When it comes to Strength, this can speak to slow, steady, deliberate steps into investigating those fears and embracing our courage.”


Sarah Corbyn Woolf, tarot reader and founder of Ecstatic Rabbit Tarot

Emily McGill, tarot reader

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