Strength and Valued Relationships
Although at this writing we’re only 13 cards into the Snowland Tarot, we’re amazed that this deck is already generating insights, applications and solutions…even in our own lives!
Take yesterday, for example.
Ron and I were sitting out on the porch talking and our 12-year old son, Noah, came to join us. After awhile, Noah was joking about my arm flying off its socket and out into the street. (No worries—we both love playing Plants vs. Zombies, so zombie references are rather common!)
He kept saying it in different ways, and I tried to deflect him into other topics (can you say “getting on my nerves”?). I finally asked him, politely, to stop.
Laughing, he kept it up.
That’s when I pulled out my ace (no, not a Snowland Tarot ace...the one up my sleeve): I said “And what if, after my arm gets ripped off, I put cogs and wheels in there to build myself back up?”
Instant frown and anger.
You see, Noah is fearful of cyborgs, so…
Now, I don’t normally do that kind of thing. But he just. Wouldn’t. Stop. But that did the trick.
He wanted to storm in the house, and, of course, blamed me for how he felt. As I usually do, I decided this would be a great “teaching moment” for our son…especially since the Strength card, and its dynamics, is his biggest challenge (that he both recognizes and actively works on).
Numerologically, Strength is one of his birth cards (The Star being the other…click here for more information on the topic), so it’s no surprise that he struggles with its lessons.
So on the porch, I gently reminded him of the Rider-Waite-Smith Strength card, where a relaxed woman holds the jaws of a lion, a symbol showing how we need to be mindful of the “beastly nature” of angry reaction and instinctual aggression—and how breathing deeply and slowly, seeing the situation as an observer would, could provide greater clarity.
Ron then chimed in about our Snowland Tarot version of Strength: an ice skater gliding on one leg, loosely holding a pink ribbon attached to a polar bear.
“Relationships are like ice”, he said. “They can be smooth, but you don’t want to rush into an encounter too fast”. We explained there are social cues to take into account, important clues indicating how our words or actions are affecting others.
The skater must be balanced and mindful of the ice, just as we need to be in social interactions and relationships (especially if harmony and continued connection are a priority).
Not only that, what happens if the skater lunges out on the ice too fast, too aggressively…and ends up yanking that pink ribbon? That docile looking polar bear may not remain so after such a tug!
Ron also noted that the polar bear stands closer to terra firma, while the skater is further on the ice; perhaps she’s trained him to stay close to the edge? There’s plenty of ribbon for her to skate and twirl, but if she goes too far…
As we told Noah, who is prone to beating himself up after mistakes like this one (think maybe our only-born is influenced by his elder-born parents?), just because the skater falls doesn’t mean she has to sit there and cry, calling herself “stupid”. No, I admonished, she gets back up, dusts off the ice from her clothes, and begins again.
Later, I contemplated our spontaneous lesson (which not only helped Noah greatly, but pulled him out of his “mood” rather quickly), and meditated on the Snowland Tarot Strength card for further insight.
In energy medicine and Hindu spirituality, seven energy centers called chakras are vertically aligned on the spine. Each governs various parts of the body, issues, fears, strengths and more.
Our skater’s shirt is yellow, the color associated with the 3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus), which governs self-esteem, personal power and boundaries. The skater needs all of these, not only to be an ice skater…but to be a skater gliding around on an outdoor lake with a polar bear on a beribboned leash!
Her pants are blue, which connects to the 5th Chakra (Throat)—the area of communication, speaking up and personal expression. Like any individual, the skater has a right to her personal creativity and unique expression—both on and off the ice. But again, if she wishes to be in relationship with another—a family, group or society at large—she needs to be mindful of her tenuous position…including the ice and the bear (metaphors for “where we stand”, our relationships and the instinctual nature).
Interestingly, yellow (3rd Chakra) combined with blue (5th Chakra) makes green—the color of the 4th Chakra, also known as the Heart Chakra, the bridge between the lower and higher chakras.
The combination of self-regard (3rd Chakra) and respectful, authentic communication (5th Chakra) serves as a magnificent channel for the compassion, love and harmony of the 4th Chakra of the heart.
Strength, then, is a balancing act between honesty and personal expression on one hand, and confidence or boldness in the other—especially when skating on the ice of valued relationships…with a potentially vicious animal in tow.
How do you see The Strength card? When does it come up in readings? How does our Snowland Tarot version of Strength expand upon your associations for that card? We'd love to hear from you! P.S. If you'd like to learn more about chakras, check out my eBook called The Chakras on Kindle.
-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot, Tarot in Reverse (Schiffer 2012) and the Snowland Tarot (Schiffer 2013). Featured in Tales of the Revolution: True Stories of People Who Are Poking the Box and Making a Difference (A Domino Project eBook edited by Seth Godin)