Strength (VIII) Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

Have you ever wondered what it truly means to be strong? Not just physically, but in a way that resonates through every part of your being? The Strength Tarot Card is a representation of not just the brute strength most people think of, but the real strength we find in vulnerability and kindness.

If you’ve drawn it in your tarot reading, you may be wondering what it means, to find out then just keep reading to learn everything there is to know!

Key Takeaways

Strength Upright:

  • Symbolizes inner strength, courage, and resilience.
  • Urges patience, empathy, and self-control in challenges.
  • Indicates positive outcomes in love, career, and spirituality.
  • Generally a ‘yes’ in yes/no questions.

Strength Reversed:

  • Reflects self-doubt, emotional turmoil, and vulnerability.
  • Advises introspection, emotional balance, and self-care.
  • Suggests challenges in relationships and career due to inner fears.
  • Often a ‘no’ in yes/no questions, urging caution and self-reflection.
Key InformationAttributes of The Strength
NumerologyRepresents the number 8, symbolizing resilience, inner strength, and the power of the human spirit.
Zodiac SignLeo, embodying bravery, warmth, and a commanding presence.
Ruling PlanetThe Sun, reflecting vitality, courage, and a sense of self.
ElementFire, signifying energy, passion, and assertiveness.
Yes or No“Yes”, indicating courage to face challenges and triumph over obstacles.
CrystalsAmber and Tiger’s Eye aid in fostering courage and personal empowerment.

Symbolism Of Strength

  1. The Lion: Central to the card, the lion represents raw emotions, instincts, and desires. It symbolizes the primal or base nature of humans, often related to our survival instincts, anger, fear, or desire.
  2. The Woman: The figure of a woman, often gently closing the lion’s mouth, symbolizes control, calmness, courage, and most importantly inner strength. She represents the strength of spirit and the power of compassion and understanding over brute force.
  3. The Infinity Symbol: Above the woman’s head, there is an infinity symbol (a horizontal figure-eight). This represents infinite potential, and the limitless nature of the human spirit. It reminds us that true strength is a perpetual, enduring quality within us.
  4. The White Robe: The woman is usually dressed in a white robe, symbolizing purity, innocence and the higher mind. It signifies that the true source of strength is in mental and spiritual purity.
  5. The Garland of Flowers: The woman wears a garland of flowers, symbolizing a life created with love and beauty. It can also represent a reward, victory, or achieved enlightenment.
  6. The Lion’s Open Mouth: The open mouth of the lion signifies that strength is not about physical dominance but about mastering the spoken word and communication. It’s a reminder that strength often involves knowing when to speak and when to remain silent.
  7. The Serene Expression: The peaceful expression of the woman, often shown in the midst of subduing the lion, illustrates that true strength comes from inner peace and calmness, not aggression.
  8. The Yellow Background: The bright yellow background, symbolizing happiness, optimism, and energy. It’s a reminder that strength is associated with positivity and radiant energy.
Strength Symbolism

The Meaning Of Strength

Representing the number VIII in the Major Arcana, Strength is a symbol of moral victory, courage, and control. The image of a serene woman gently yet firmly closing the jaws of a lion represents the taming of the beast within, the mastery of our baser instincts and passions through compassion and inner calm. This card isn’t about physical power; instead, it’s about the strength of character, patience, and what I love most, showing strength in the face of fear, especially when you’re in a precarious position.

Strength Upright Meaning

Strength, as depicted in the tarot, has a serene figure taming a lion, symbolizing the mastery of raw emotions and baser instincts. When this card appears in its upright position during a reading, it’s imbued with deep symbolism and significant meaning. It represents not the physical prowess but the inner strength, courage, and resolve that reside within each of us.

In its upright position, the Strength card primarily embodies inner fortitude and spiritual power. It’s appears to show you that you’re in a phase where your spirit, mind, and heart are being called upon to overcome challenges. It’s a beacon of encouragement, urging you to harness your inner reserves to persevere through adversity. It’s about tapping into your personal well of courage and determination to face life’s hurdles with grace and resilience.

Strength Upright Meaning

The Strength card also emphasizes the importance of patience and compassion in dealing with difficult situations. It suggests a gentle but firm approach, where self-control and calmness prevail over brute force, encouraging you to approach your challenges with empathy. It’s here to get you to understand that true strength lies in the ability to maintain composure and kindness even in the face of adversity.

Moreover, the upright Strength card is a symbol of moral and emotional courage. It’s about having the bravery to face your fears, confront your vulnerabilities, and embrace your truth. This card reassures you that despite the difficulties, you have the inner power and bravery to confront what lies ahead and emerge victorious.

In a broader sense, the Strength card in its upright position is a reminder of the human spirit’s incredible resilience. It’s about recognizing your own capacity for healing, and growth. You need to believe in your ability to weather the storms of life, knowing that each challenge is an opportunity to become stronger and more self-aware.

As you can see, overall, Strength is a message of hope and empowerment. It signifies that through compassion, patience, and inner courage, you can navigate life’s challenges successfully. It’s a call to embrace your inner power and to understand that true strength comes from a balance of mind, body, and spirit. With this card, you’re reminded that you possess an inner well of strength that is ready to be tapped into whenever you need it.

Love and Relationships

In love, Upright Strength asks you to remember the power of gentleness and understanding. True strength in a relationship comes from empathy, patience, and emotional resilience. So approach relationship challenges with compassion, showing that kindness and understanding are vital for enduring connections.

Careers and Finance

For your careers and finance, Strength indicates the need for inner fortitude. It’s about facing professional challenges with confidence and determination. Use a blend of patience and persistence to navigate work or financial issues, remember that calmness and inner resolve can lead to success.


Spiritually, the Strength card highlights the journey of overcoming inner fears and embracing your truth. You need to find the courage to confront personal challenges and grow from them. So tap into your spiritual power and resilience, and understand that these qualities will guide you through your spiritual path.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the upright Strength card generally leans towards a ‘yes’. With inner courage and resolve, the outcome you’re hoping for is achievable. This card is a positive sign, indicating that strength and perseverance will lead to favorable results.

Strength Reversed Meaning

When the Strength card appears reversed in a tarot reading, it presents a different set of meanings and connotations, often reflecting inner turmoil or a lack of confidence. In this position, the card is a nuanced symbol of the struggles one might face when internal strength wavers, and self-doubt creeps in. It suggests a period where you may feel overwhelmed, controlled by your emotions, or out of sync with your inner self.

Right now you may have a lack of courage or conviction. You’re experiencing a moment of weakness or vulnerability, where fears and insecurities are dominating. This card serves as a reminder to reassess your inner thoughts and feelings, to understand what’s holding you back. It’s a call to confront the negative self-talk and the internal barriers that prevent you from embracing your true potential.

Strength Reversed Meaning

It can also signify a loss of control, where impulses and raw emotions are getting the better of you. It may represent situations where anger, frustration, or resentment are ruling your actions, leading to rash decisions or unnecessary conflicts. The universe urges you to find balance and harmony, to regain control over your emotions and reactions. Recognize the power of calmness and restraint in the face of turmoil.

Furthermore, the Strength card points to a lack of patience or compassion, both with yourself and others. You may be too hard on yourself or quick to judge others, hindering your ability to navigate challenges with empathy and understanding. Try cultivating more self-compassion and patience, so you can recognize that everyone has moments of weakness, and that strength comes from learning and growing through these experiences.

In more extreme cases, the reversed Strength card can indicate feelings of inadequacy or impotence. You might be feeling as though you’re not strong enough to handle your current circumstances, or that you’re being overpowered by external forces. You need to look inward, to find the sources of your strength, and to remember that resilience is built through overcoming adversity. If you do this you’ll find the courage to face your fears and to believe in your ability to rise above the challenges.

Lastly, the Strength card reversed is a call for introspection and self-care. True strength is not about putting up a facade of toughness but about acknowledging and addressing your vulnerabilities. Take a step back to nurture your spirit, and to rebuild your inner reserves of strength and courage. By understanding and addressing the issues that this card highlights, you can begin to turn it upright, embracing a journey towards regained confidence, control, and inner harmony.

Love and Relationships

In relationships, the reversed Strength card suggests struggles with vulnerability and confidence. You could be in a phase where insecurities or emotional imbalances might be impacting your relationships. Address these inner fears and communicate openly. Remember, that strength in love often lies in showing your true self and working through difficulties together.

Careers and Finance

When it comes to your career or finances, the reversed Strength card points to a lack of conviction or feeling overwhelmed. You might be experiencing self-doubt in your abilities or decisions, leading to hesitation or missteps. Work on regaining your confidence, confronting your fears, and trust in your capabilities. Understand that true strength comes from overcoming these inner challenges.


Spiritually, the reversed Strength card highlights a disconnection from your inner strength and potential. Right now you’re probably going through a time of self-doubt or being too harsh on yourself, which hinders spiritual growth. Embrace self-compassion and introspection, recognize that spiritual strength often emerges from acknowledging and working through your vulnerabilities.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the reversed Strength card tends to suggest a ‘no’. Now is not the time for action, especially if it’s driven by fear or insecurity. It advises pausing and reflecting on your inner state, working on building confidence and control over your emotions before proceeding.

Combinations For Strength

Major ArcanaWhat It Means
The FoolPairing Strength with The Fool suggests a blend of raw potential and inner fortitude. It’s like having the courage to embrace new adventures with a mature sense of control.
The MagicianWhen Strength meets The Magician, it’s about channeling your inner resources to manifest goals. It’s the art of turning dreams into reality through patience and inner calm.
The High PriestessStrength and The High Priestess together speak of a quietly powerful intuition. It’s like having an inner knowing that’s both gentle and unyielding, guiding you softly.
The EmpressThe Empress and Strength combine nurturing care with resilience. This mix is about fostering growth and protecting it with a calm, steady hand.
The EmperorStrength with The Emperor brings together disciplined leadership and compassionate power. It’s like ruling not just with authority, but with a heart that understands and endures.
The HierophantMerging Strength with The Hierophant is about upholding traditions with a kind spirit. It’s the wisdom to guide others not just with rules, but with understanding and patience.
The LoversThe Lovers alongside Strength is a dance of heartfelt choices made with inner conviction. It’s about making decisions in love and life with a strong yet gentle heart.
The ChariotStrength and The Chariot create a dynamic where ambition is guided by moral courage. It’s the drive to achieve, tempered by the wisdom of restraint and compassion.
The HermitThe Hermit and Strength together focus on the power of introspection. It’s about finding your inner light through quiet strength and contemplative solitude.
Wheel of FortuneWhen Strength encounters the Wheel of Fortune, it suggests steadiness in the face of change. It’s like being the calm center in the whirlwind of life’s ups and downs.
JusticeJustice combined with Strength speaks to fairness grounded in moral fortitude. It’s the ability to stand firm for what’s right, yet do so with kindness and empathy.
The Hanged ManThe Hanged Man and Strength together teach the lesson of resilient sacrifice. It’s about letting go or pausing with the inner strength to know that it’s for the greater good.
DeathStrength meets Death in a transformation guided by courage. It’s the bravery to face endings and embrace new beginnings with a heart full of hope and resilience.
TemperanceTemperance and Strength together suggest a gentle, measured approach to life. It’s the art of maintaining inner calm and balance, no matter what’s mixed in your cup of life.
The DevilStrength challenges The Devil by offering the power to break free from bonds. It’s about overcoming temptations or restrictions with a quiet, yet powerful resolve.
The TowerIn the face of The Tower’s upheaval, Strength provides inner stability. It’s like being the eye of the storm, calm and secure, as everything else changes around you.
The StarStrength and The Star together bring hopeful resilience. It’s the quiet courage that whispers in the night, promising that after hardship, brighter days will come.
The MoonThe Moon’s illusions meet the clarity of Strength, suggesting inner certainty in times of doubt. It’s about navigating the unknown with a heart full of courage and calm.
The SunStrength in the light of The Sun speaks of joyful endurance. It’s the celebration of success that comes from a journey of inner bravery and a heart full of warmth.
JudgementStrength and Judgement together call for a rebirth rooted in courage. It’s about answering life’s deeper calls with a heart that’s strong and ready for change.
The WorldThe World and Strength signify the successful completion of a cycle through enduring courage. It’s about reaching life’s milestones with a heart that persevered and triumphed.

Journaling Prompts For Strength

If you like to use tarot as a tool of self reflection, here are some questions to ask yourself when you draw the strength card:

  1. What are your inner strengths? Reflect on times when you had to rely on your inner courage and resilience.
  2. Think about a recent challenge you faced. How did you use your inner strength to overcome it? What did you learn about yourself?
  3. Write about a time when being vulnerable felt like an act of bravery. How did showing your vulnerability become a source of strength?
  4. Think of someone you know who embodies strength in a way you admire? How can you incorporate their qualities into your own life?
  5. What are your goals for the future? How can you tap into your strength to achieve them?


Write a dialogue between your fearful self and your empowered self. Let them negotiate and find a path forward.

Final Message Of Strength

Feel the fire. Feel it simmering within, a wellspring of courage and resilience unlike any you’ve known. This is not the brute force of the warrior, but the quiet, unwavering strength of the spirit. It bends, it yields, but it never breaks.

Embrace the beast. The lion may roar, the emotions may surge, but you are not consumed by them. You hold the reins, guiding your passions with gentle wisdom, turning their raw power into fuel for your journey. Let go of fear, of anger, of self-doubt. These are mere wisps of smoke before the inferno that burns within.

Gentle hands, steadfast heart. Though your spirit may soar like a hawk, your touch remains light, your approach compassionate. Remember, true strength lies not in domination, but in understanding. Conquer your inner battles with forgiveness, not force. Subdue the dragons of your mind with empathy, not fire.

Rise, beautiful soul. Stand tall, not in defiance, but in the quiet confidence of knowing who you are. This is your moment, your victory hard-won and well-deserved. Let your inner light cast a warm glow on the world, inspiring others to tap into their own reserves of strength and grace.

Remember, dear one, the only chains that bind you are the ones you forge yourself. Break free from self-imposed limitations, from fear and doubt. You are capable of more than you know, of rising above any obstacle, of conquering any storm.


In short, the Strength card in tarot holds profound meanings in both its upright and reversed positions. Upright, it symbolizes inner strength, courage, and the power of compassion and patience. It encourages you to tap into your inner courage, reminding you that true strength lies in a balanced blend of mind, body, and spirit. Whether in love, career, or spiritual pursuits, Strength urges you to approach life with a calm, empathetic, and resilient spirit.

When reversed, it reflects inner turmoil, self-doubt, and a lack of control over emotions. It’s a call to introspect and address these issues, encouraging you to find balance and harmony within. In relationships, careers, or spirituality, the reversed Strength card suggests the need to confront vulnerabilities and build true inner strength and confidence.

Overall, the Strength card, whether upright or reversed, offers valuable insights into our inner world. It’s a powerful reminder of the human spirit’s resilience and capacity for growth, urging us to embrace our strengths and work through our weaknesses with grace and determination.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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