A Month for Baldr – 22 – Strength

“Strength can come from the greatest of fears or greatest of loves.
We are strong for those we love because they are so dear to us.
We defend ourselves well from that which would harm us because they pose a threat.”

-Baldr

Strength

Tarot - Strength -by Sceith Ailm

Tarot – Strength -by Sceith Ailm

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.

 

Meaning
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.

Norse Runes – Uruz

Uruz (pronounced “ooo-rooz”), Ur, Uraz, Urs, Urus, Urur

Translation:
The literal translation is “auroch”, which is a wild, European ox.

Meaning:
When Uruz pops up in a casting, it shows strength: physical strength, endurance, speed, good health. As Fehu is the tamed cattle, Uruz shows us that once, the cattle was wild as the auroch. There’s energy and action, wisdom and understanding. It can also mean that there will be a sudden and unexpected change in your life that presents itself as a challenge, but is usually for the better. This can mean an initiation or rites of passage of some sort (especially into adulthood).
There is much wild creative formation going on within at the moment, but it is up to the querent to use their knowledge and understanding to make this energy manifest in a non-destructive manner.
For a male querent, it pertains to male virility and manhood, if a woman, then femininity, fertility and womanhood.

Merkstave:
When Uruz shows its face upside-down, it is a time of weakness, violence, brutality, being rash. Lust, misdirection of force, being dominated by others, obsession. Poor health and lack of energy, ignorance and inconsistency. It is not a time of thinking clearly.

Converse (sideways):
If this rune shows up and is laying sideways to you, then it means you must realize your hidden strengths and stay away from apparent opportunities as they will be deceptive.

Magical Purposes:
Physical strength, energy, good health. Creativity, to help in understanding and knowing one’s wild side and use it (tame it). Purification, healing and shaping energy, ideas and your creative juices.

Associations:
The number 2, male, Earth, Thor, Urdl, dark green, Taurus, Birch, carbuncle.


Month of the Rowan



Celtic Name
LuisLatin Name
Sorbus Aucuparia

Dates
January 21 – February 17

Parts Used
Berries, bark

Medicinal Qualities
The ┬ábark of the Rowan, as well as most other tree’s bark, has astringent and tannic properties. The bark would be used in a decoction as a blood cleanser, to treat diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

The berries are high in vitamin C, and were used to fight scurvy. The berries were made into jams and jellies; teas for diarrhea, hemorrhoids and urinary tract conditions as the berries have diuretic properties; a gargle of the fresh berry juice aids with inflamed mucous membranes

*Please note that before consuming the berries, they must be cooked as they contain parasorbic acid, a cancer causing compound.

Magical Properties
Associated with masculinity, Mars, fire, Imbolc, Brighid.

Used in protection spells, especially against fire and lightning. It was hung around dog’s necks for increased speed, hung in homes to protect against charms of fire, and protection against fires. The Rowan also has the powers to protect humans and animals alike against baneful spirits. It is also used in healing of the body. Equal armed crosses of Rowan are carried for protection against harm and wands placed above doorways for luck and good fortune.
The trees were planted in churchyards to watch over the dead. Because of the five pointed star you see when you slice a berry in half, it is believed that the tree has the ability to protect against witchery, trickery and enchantment. The tree is also said to bring about more strength through courage.