True Courage and the Power of Your Inner Wildness

Strength from the Druid Craft Tarot

Strength from the Druid Craft Tarot

Strength is the 8th card of the Major Arcana and traditionally depicts a young woman with her arms around a lion.  This Druid inspired deck depicts a boar instead of a big cat, but in both cards the symbol is one of tamed power.  The lesson of this card is about merging with and harnessing the feral aspects of one’s soul and making friends with that wildness.  The message it brings is: Your strength lies in your ability to have faith, let go, and work from the inside out rather than the outside in.  Strength lies in authenticity and honesty with yourself and others.  It’s time to stop playing roles for other people.  It’s time to start moving through the world with solid, grounded footsteps, taking good care of your body, being very truthful with yourself and wide awake with your emotions.

When you tap into the powerful, fiery energy of Strength, you feel courageous.   Your passions come alive and you have everything you need to see them through ~ not because you’re working hard to create that force, but because you are harmoniously allowing it to flow through you.  Ultimately it teaches that true strength lies in wholeness, and the way to wholeness is through gentle self-compassion.

How does this wildness show up?  In the negative, it shows up when we’re weak-willed, numbed-out, or addicted ~ that’s when it’s ruling us.  In the positive, it brings about passion and inspiration ~ that’s when we’re in harmony with it.  The Strength card is about realizing that we need to be awake and aware of what is going on in our physical bodies, emotional bodies, mental and spiritual bodies.  It’s time as Mary Oliver puts it, “… to let the warm animal of your body love what it loves.”  This will lead you right into knowing where you belong in the “family of things” {from the poem “Wild Geese”}.  Strength wants us to integrate all our scattered pieces through deep and abiding self-compassion.  You don’t tame the beast by beating it down ~ you tame it through love and acceptance. 

Let the crisp cold air of winter help you wake up and notice where you’ve been checking out.  Let your honest and authentic self be what shows up in the world.  Strength is about reclaiming self-esteem and channeling that energy into your true passions.  When you’re embodying this lesson you won’t have to go to battle, defend yourself, and fight to be strong.  You’ll know that your strength resides in your authentic nature.  You have accepted and lovingly tamed the parts of you that seemed wild, unacceptable, or out of control by loving them ~ a truly bold and courageous act.

Here’s a checklist to help you check-in with your 4 bodies:

˜       Physical Body:  Are you rested?  Do you have aches and pains?  Do you need to eat better, get more exercise, or maybe slow down a bit?  Check in.  The first thing you think of is the place that needs your attention.

˜       Emotional Body:  What are you feeling?  If you feel sad and need to cry then allow the tears to flow ~ your spirit is asking for cleansing.  If you’re angry, take a look at your boundaries and imagine sending fiery energy into a bright protective barrier all around your body.  Notice how you’re feeling and sit with that emotion so the energy can be released.

˜       Mental Body:  Are you scattered, confused, or locked in a noisy inner world of endless mind chatter?  Are you processing too much information?  Do you need to rest mentally or do you need to learn something new to stoke the fire of your inspiration.   Take a moment and just breathe slowly.

˜       Spiritual Body:  Do you feel overwhelmed or inspired?  Do you feel like you can trust life or are you frozen?  What does your spirit need most right now?  Rest, movement, creativity, silence… whatever you think of first is your answer.

Success and Getting Your “Games” in Sync

The Emperor from the old edition of the Mythic Tarot

The Emperor from the old edition of the Mythic Tarot

The Star from The Golden Tarot

The Star from The Golden Tarot

Well, I did promise The Emperor for my next post, but The Star has come up today, so I will write about them both.  These are cards with very different energies, but some pretty amazing stuff can happen when you combine the two.  They represent your “Outer Game” and your “Inner Game”, and when they are in sync you’re on your way to success.

The Emperor is all about laying foundations.  He is an action-taker, a protector, a planner, and obstacle remover.  When The Emperor comes up, we are being asked to establish a vision and break it down into action steps.  We need to create order, organization and protect our creations with good boundaries as they blossom and grow.

The Star is a card of hope, healing, compassion, success, plentiful supply, and authentic expression.  It’s tender and magical~ a bringer of blessings.  It’s truly a card of Spirit.  It asks us to look within and investigate our deepest heart’s desires and the dreams we hold dearest.  It calls us to see our light even if it seems like a far away twinkle.  It’s there.  The Star also acknowledges that these dearest desires sometimes make us feel the most vulnerable because they mean so much to us.  They can bring up both hope and fear.  We may long for something and at the same time be terrified to even try because the thought of failing is too awful.

In truth, we absolutely need both of these energies for success.  The Star card speaks to our “Inner Game” and The Emperor speaks to our “Outer Game”.  I’d like to say that all of this falls into place in simple, linear steps, but experience tells me that we work on both our “games” simultaneously and progress unfolds in leap frog fashion.

For example, you may have a great idea for a business and be the kind of person who likes to dive right in and figure things out as you go.  You take that glimmer of star light {your inspiration} and get your emperor energy going full steam ahead ~ your “Outer Game” is coming along.  As you progress, however, you may start running into situations that require you to work on your “Inner Game”.  Maybe you discover that you avoid doing certain tasks, that communication isn’t great, and that your business gets stuck and stalled because the same problems keep cropping up again and again.  Maybe you’re afraid to ask for help, or have difficulty trusting other people.  These are all inner issues, and they’ll need to be resolved if you want to move forward.  Your outer game focus has ultimately led you right back to your inner world.

Or… maybe you are the kind of person who has been tending to your inner life diligently.  You have been connecting with your spirit, clearing wounds, and learning to love yourself in a quiet, introverted kind of way.  You also get glimmers of star light and inspiration.  You know what you love to do, and you’ve harnessed your emperor energy to help you do it out of a commitment to your own growth.  Maybe you have created something very beautiful as a result, but this gorgeous inner life is now pushing against your edges and wanting you to expand more.  It’s time to  share what you do with other people in some way and even though this may seem very scary, it’s time to get your “Outer Game” in order so you can let your light be seen in a bigger way.

Oftentimes these aren’t static scenarios.  We all go through periods where our focus is on one game or the other, but they are both important.  As we nurture our dreams, keep the hope alive within us, and move forward in faith, beautiful things come to be.  The Star will ultimately push you into the world in some way.  You may need to see your own beauty first in order to have the courage step out.  Your experience may be like the quote by Anaïs Nin ” And the day came when the risk it took to stay tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to blossom.”

The Emperor will ask you to act first and learn by doing, but every step is leading you to discover something wonderful about yourself.  This energy will lead you to your beauty, your talents, and your self-esteem as you go about building and creating.  He won’t reward haphazard or disorganized doing, however.  He wants you to make a plan, take action that is informed by your truest desires, and not skip any steps.  There are valuable experiences and gifts to be gained in every action he asks you to take.

In a way, both of these cards ask you to push past your comfortable edges, and my sense is that many of us are feeling this right now.  Take a look at where the imbalances are showing up in your life, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of which card is speaking to you most today.  Do you need The Emperor to help you step out, take care of some business you’ve been avoiding and make a plan?  Or do you need The Star to bring you back to yourself for a visit to that magical pool of hope and possibility?

Most often, I find that we need a little bit of both.   We need to trust that our deepest dreams have come from spirit.  Those desires are the seeds of your potential.  They are clues to your authentic purpose and a promise that you have what it takes to manifest it.  You wouldn’t have the vision if you didn’t already possess the gifts needed to achieve it.  The Star promises that the gold is there, and The Emperor hands you a shovel and helps you make a plan to find it.  Embrace them both and happy digging! xo