Reflections on the Archetype of Strength

I picked Strength as my word of the year for 2018. It is more than just a word to me though, it is a whole archetype. It contains so much more than just one word or idea. Today, I’m going to write a little bit about what I think Strength means, how I’m working with it this year, and how you too can draw on the energy of Strength when you need a boost of energy, confidence, and stamina.

Shadowscapes Tarot

First and foremost, working with Strength for me is about building confidence. Strength is an energy that you can channel to prop yourself up when you need confidence, courage, and stamina. I know I often need more of that type of energy in my life. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and exhausted. Calling on Strength reminds me that I have deep reserves of inner fortitude, and that I can endure my challenges. In fact, I can do more than endure my challenges, I can blossom, grow, and build myself up throughout the process of confronting obstacles, roadblocks, and setbacks in my path.

Strength is also about perseverance and fortitude. It is the ability to just keep going even when I am worn out, struggling, or just plain tired to the bone. I have deep reserves of energy meant specifically for the areas of my life that are most important to me. If I really want something, if it really lights me up inside and gives me purpose, I will find a way to make myself keep going and strive. It’s easy to pinpoint the things that aren’t part of my life purpose, because there is just no energy or perseverance for completing them. When I don’t follow through on these things, I don’t feel deeply unsatisfied and disappointed. When something doesn’t get done and it doesn’t show up again at another time for a second chance at tackling it, it just wasn’t part of my ultimate path.

Strength means I don’t give up when things get tough, instead I dig deep and I find deeper answers and meaning because of that struggle and exhaustion. We are all trying to avoid pain and suffering, isn’t that only natural? But what else is natural is the meaning and purpose we derive from pushing through and doing the hard and difficult things that make us so uncomfortable. It’s in the pain and discomfort and feat that the story of purpose unfolds. When we are channeling Strength it’s easier to hear those messages of meaning. When we  ask Strength for assistance on something that doesn’t actually resonate with our soul purpose, Strength just kind of ignores us and no surge of endurance emerges to allow us to keep going. Working with Strength is working with our intuition.

Sometimes we do breakdown though. Sometimes we reach exhaustion, we fail, we shut down, we go into overdrive and burn out. In that moment, there is also a profound connection to Strength. Life tests us in excruciating ways simply to connect us to that extraordinary Strength we each hold within ourselves. It’s painful but it’s not wrong and we don’t have to suffer through it. We can lean into the pain, wrapped in the knowledge of our Strength, knowing we’ll pull through. This isn’t the end, it is simply a resting point.

Strength is not brute forth, it is endurance, it is the long run, it creates energy even as we are on our last legs, propelling us just a few steps farther. Strength is the tortoise, not the hare. Strength may even appear to crumple or stop or stagnate but she is just resting, and the resting point is crucial and beautiful. There is a subtle growth in the rest that indicates almost inpercetible continuation of movement. You can still feel that movement within you if you tune into that enduring vibration of Strength that is always pulsing in your center.

The Wild Unknown Tarot

Strength is also about control, aware of creating her life in collaboration with Fate. Fate is not running the show, but rather works in harmony with our shifting interpretations and perceptions of our reality. Strength allows you to be conscious and awake to the reactions you have to Fate. You can decide how you interpret and live in life’s troubles and problems. Strength allows you to choose your own reality, to decide how to react to the world around you. When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade? Do you look for the silver lining? Do you treat misfortune as an opportunity to learn something, a lesson buried within? Strength allows you to entertain the prospect that everything happens for a reason. She also allows you to accept that you’ll probably never know that reason and just have to believe and have faith.

Strength is acceptance but she is also your internal badass who totally has your back, massaging your shoulders in the corner of the ring, “Now go out there and fight!” Most of the fight is just against yourself, the little voice of doubt in your head, “You are bad at this. You have nothing to offer. No one will understand you. People will misunderstand, misinterpret, and twist your words and then BLAME you for their mistakes. You will cause mistakes. You are not good enough.” Blah, blah, blah! That little voice could go on for days but Strength is the angel on your shoulder whispering that, “You are good enough. You are worthy. Your uniqueness is a gift. You can grow. You are ready. We are all one. People want to hear from you. You can do it.” She is really good at being the cheerleader and being the coach.

I have many more things I could say about Strength, but that is going to be all for today 🙂 I hope you connect deeply with your inner Strength whenever you need it! Did you pick a word of the year? Care to share?