Poetry of the Tarot: Strength

Strength

In her wedding dress the maiden,
most beautiful divinity of nature,
encounters the wild beast within.
Peaceful strength draws us closer
to her timeless garland of flowers.
With nothing other than her love,
kind-heartedness and pure spirit,
her Shadow willingly surrenders.

Here inner bravery and fortitude
inspire the act of loving kindness
as she balances our fighting spirit.
Past rage she wakes us to insight,
finding power in taming our fury,
showing us how to love ourselves.
She who creates her own destiny.
She who assimilates love and fear.

Reversed, you will suffer meeting
the unforgettable Jekyll and Hyde,
the one who follows a rutted road.
Controlled by his animal passions,
he subjects the soul to dark nights
and sinister, murderous thoughts.
Of weak and impulsive character,
he heartlessly strikes others down.

Quieten the ego, the Soul declares,
you are human, animal and divine!
Bring to light the words dear poet,
discover the verses hidden within.
Know that strength is always there,
deep within the wisdom of hearts.
Allow gentle patience to help you
move closer to the Hermit’s lamp.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2016

16 thoughts on “Poetry of the Tarot: Strength

  1. So, this is the one you lost. That will make you strong.

    What an amazing word image of the assimilation of shadow and our animal nature into our higher selves. Beauty and the Beast. Love and Power. Necessary to assimilate, but fraught with the dangers of the third verse. I feel impatient with myself these days, but you remind me how essential gentle patience is.

    Susan Scott’s comment reminds me of hiking up a mountain in Colorado when I was 6 1/2 months pregnant. When I faced childbirth, I knew I had the strength to climb that mountain, too. With patience.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your wonderful rich reflections! In the depth and height of sorrow, anguish and anger it’s all too easy to forget our own gentle compassion and self-love. In its place we often choose to drown or explode … quite naturally, and yet I feel this beautiful card of “Inner Strength” offers us so much authentic healing during the many diverse challenges and conflict of our lives.

      Oh I love your poetic voice! And remember reading about your mountain trip with awe! Elaine, you are a light unto this world, a beacon for many and I’m so pleased to have met you! Blessings always, Deborah.

  2. Thank you for this poem, Deborah. Your tarot poetry brings out the enormous wisdom you’ve acquired from having undergone the inner journey yourself. This one is especially resonant for me: encountering the Wild Beast and taming our fury, indeed! I’m very inspired by your ability to articulate this so clearly and succinctly! I could write a book on it, but never a poem like this!! Love and blessings, Jeanie

    1. Thank you so much Jeanie for your generous, kind-hearted words. I still don’t know what ever prompted me to take this Fool’s journey in verse, especially after last week! And for some reason I post on Sundays, which is not my usual schedule … however it’s the day I now feel called to post my ongoing Tarot poems on. Hmm, note to Self, read again (ego) whenever you think you’re in control!

      Yes, the Wild Beast within, and its coming out party! Boy does it get furious, with a wicked temper to boot! No wonder people feel a bit Jekyll and Hyde like, for as soon as anger lifts, and we drop back into calmer feelings … it creates a huge shock to mind, body, spirit and soul as we slowly have to recover from those potent archetypal (god & goddess) possessions. Love and blessings, Deborah.

  3. Deborah – how challenging to lose a poem and notes that I am sure you spent many hours crafting, yet you regained your inner strength which helped you to write a truly inspiring work about Strength. The connection between love and fear is fully depicted in the card and you yourself must have had to integrate love and fear to gain your strength and rewrite it – how wonderful to actually have the process of writing the poem as your own learning experience.

    Such an enlightening event on what is also a very happy day for you – I hope that it has been filled with much love and happiness.

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your lovely, kind-hearted words and for making more connections. Yes, what an undertaking indeed, talk about having to learn the lesson on the spot … yet in a strange way, it all worked out perfectly, and the lesson, well and truly learnt!

      Just finished work, after a long, and happy day. Thank you again for your good wishes, truly appreciated. Blessings always, Deborah.

  4. Hi Deborah,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with strength. The beauty and the beast. I can not help but mentally tying it into your animus diet post. This is the balance between the animus and anima forces in every person (male or female).
    The girl in white represents -in my eyes- the mental, spiritual force of life, the power in the head, while the red lion symbolises the animal forces: the power between the legs.
    Combining those two is a task in every person’s life: to juice up your mental power with animal instincts (it is no wonder that in the Rider Waite Tarot the lion is positioned at the crutch of the girl) and combine wildness with wisdom. That is the way I try to create my own destiny…
    I am trying! Not really totally there yet at all times (grin).

    1. It’s wonderful to read your reply Susanne, thank you so much for sharing more of your rich, perceptive Tarot reflections. I agree, the “Beauty and the Beast” narrative works well. I really appreciate how you describe the power between the legs … as previously I hadn’t noticed the level at which the lion’s head is placed, aha! now this card makes even more sense to me than before. “Juice up your mental power” that’s a great way to describe so much of the individuation process itself.

      Me, I’m not there either, still, forever integrating all those contrasting aspects within. A lifetime’s work I hear … and then some! I hope this beautiful spring day finds you well. Blessings always, Deborah.

  5. Just lovely Deborah again juxtaposing those ever present opposites. Strength reminds me of the time I and others summited Kilimanjaro – as someone said to me then, you will always remember that you had the strength to do this when you thought that you couldn’t. Somehow that made me sort of dissolve – because it was so true. A moment of recognition … when I thought I was weak. Your poem has evoked not only that memory, but also the beauty of your words. Thank you so much xx

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your wonderful reply and loving-kindness. Wow, you’ve climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, I’m turning bloody green with mountain envy! I agree, what incredible validation for your own inner/outer “Strength” indeed. Two days ago I lost my original “Strength” poem and had to write another from scratch. All my notes lost too! I sat there with my head in my hands, reeling at the literal event of losing my strength … you couldn’t make it up! Yet soon after felt the blessing from the task that was presented to me and the rediscovery of where true strength lies … and how only an inner journey could ever take me there. Blessings always, Deborah. xx

      1. Wow Deborah! That was …. flooring is the word I come up losing your original writings. Wonderful that you picked yourself up and out and arose again … do you ever send a thought/prayer to St. Anthony the finder of lost things? I do and can tell of countless times that I’ve sent a prayer into the Universe for help.
        Have lovely week! xx blessings to you xx

        1. I forget, I forget! So thank you so much Susan for reminding me, early on this well-timed and beautiful Spring morning. Today is my anniversary with the beloved Poet’s Wife, such a happy, love-filled day has begun! Love and blessings, Deborah. xx

  6. Nature is love. Through nature we return to the Goddess. Without nature and love we lose our strength. Deborah, you illustrate this so well! Bravo!!

    1. How wonderful you answer my poem with your own! Thank you so much Anna for gifting me such lovely words … “nature is love” aww, that’s pure poetic perfection! You must be following me on twitter because I’ve just tweeted something similar. Warm wishes, Deborah.

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