The Fool’s Journey
At this point in the Fool’s journey, here is where we can see why Strength changes places with Justice in the 8th position of the Major Arcana, which comes after the Chariot card. The Chariot signifies (at least upright) a hard battle to be won, Strength following the Chariot makes a little more sense to me in the story than following the Wheel of Fortune as you’ll soon see.
The Fool is victorious against his enemies, he is feeling empowered, cocky, pompous, and mayhaps even hostile. There is this rage bursting from within himself, and he feels unable, or even unwilling to control it. But then he happens upon a serene woman battling with a lion. Somehow, she manages so calmly, but with firmness, to shut the lion’s mouth, rendering the beast to become obliging to her. The Fool is astonished and asks her how she was so easily able to control the wild beast.
With a smile, she says she simply asked the lion. Whilst the lion’s tumultuous nature informed his actions, the lion also recognized something higher, something more expansive, more understanding within the woman. The lion wanted to be a part of something more than his own compulsions, to share in the energy of the woman, to be more than his baser self.
The Fool asks yet another question, why would she want to spend her time with such a wild beast? Another smile, and another answer for the Fool; because the lion too has a marvelous energy within him. Yes, it is wild and passionate, but it is something that can be tended and used and enjoyed well when the need or desire arises.
When you pull Strength in a reading, it is a time to consider tending to your wild emotions that inform your actions in the world. To tend the subconscious, not simply try to extinguish it. We are all capable of going to extremes on either end of the analytical and emotionally passionate spectrum, but to temper each end with the other is where we are able to put our passions to better use, or soften the harshness that can be the analytical.
Feeling angry (or insert other overwhelming emotion here) about something? Don’t just yell about it, take time to think about why exactly you are angry. Think what the heat of the moment actions would actually affect in your life, usually this means exacerbating the issue.
Then once the emotion has cooled enough that it still burns without consuming all of you, focus that flame into something that will change the situation so that you are not so upset about it. When we take the effort to affect change in our own lives, especially the things that create wild emotion within us, we better the world not only for ourselves, but for those who are also effected by those angering things.
Feeling inspired? The same thing applies, take those wild flames and contain it within that creative hearth, allowing it to cook whatever emotion it is within you, and turn it into your art of choice that it pleases and sates your inspiration, and inspires others who see it.
By doing this, we are tending those passion flames, allowing them to consume only the things which need to be destroyed and transformed, instead of consuming our entirety as a human, making us beastly, wild, and frightening to ourselves and others.