2024 "Softness as your Strength"
Welcome to 2024. In terms of Tarot, collectively speaking; this is an 8 year (2+0+2+4=8) and the card that corresponds with 8 in Tarot’s Major Arcana is the essence and energy of “Strength”.
One of the common uses and gifts of Tarot, is that it depicts a mirror of the human journey.
Cards that numbered 1-7 are concerned primarily with matters of the outer world and its various frameworks, foundational archetypes, knowledge, society, systems and structures. Card 8 marks the beginning of an inward turn; matters of the inner realm and quests for deeper understanding, awareness and meaning. During this phase of the journey, we ponder such questions as, “who am I without my masks, the roles I play, my appearance, the striving, my possessions”? We search for something beyond gratification, deeper than personality, truer than what we’ve been taught or shown. And explore concepts of success on our terms, personal values, balance, the bigger picture, our place in the world, and the interconnectedness of it all.
Strength as an inner essence is less about a reliance on the force of our will or the fears of our ego, and more about meeting the mystery, the nuance and the “more” of the deeper Self with a sense of open-ended curiosity, vulnerability, courage and calm.
Strength is our inner radiance, our passion, desires, sensuality, creative expression, confidence, fortitude, a maturation of the personality that is tempered with consciousness, self-control, and a harnessing of one’s energy that is intentional and self-directed.
In a Tarot reading, the appearance of the Strength card can be an invitation to face an aspect of life (or, the concept of approaching all of life) with a sense of willingness, enthusiasm, eagerness, awareness and hope. It represents someone who is strong within themselves, living life passionately, yet peacefully, without being eclipsed by, or carried away with the emotionality of their passion. It can also represent a summoning, an invoking of tenacity, courage, mettle, a certain boldness in order to navigate a challenge or to bring our best to a project or situation.
Strength asks and teaches “how can we better meet life with the benefits of centeredness, calm, patience, generosity, openness, curiosity, optimism and emotional intelligence as inner resources?”
This year, there will be more emphasis placed on matters of the heart. Caring for our physical heart, healing the emotional wounds of our heart, living by the wisdom of our heart, reclaiming our hearts joy, staying true to our heart and leading with love.
Again and again, 2024 will invite us to explore and discover the aspects of ourselves that behold our potential and pure possibility. Our inner pots of gold. Our strength, not as a force to yield and be reckoned with, but rather our strength as a “soft power”.
Not to be confused with weakness, softness as strength is an energetic essence, an intimacy and a practice of cultivating kindness, empathy, compassion, presence and an inner grace of the heart. To be in your soft power is to make decisions that are rooted in your values, intuition and discernment and reflect your truth, your worth and magnificence, as defined by you.
It is a way of being and moving through the world by way of nurturance, nourishment and renewal. In tending to one’s needs, we care for and support others from a place of ample and generosity, rather than depletion or resentment.
It is being vulnerable enough to admit you need help and support. That despite your outward facing confidence or "I'm fineness", you’re exhausted, unsure, lonely, grieving, overwhelmed, fearful.
Soft power often arrives after a loosening and releasing of behaviors that control, manipulate, project expectations and come with attachments, and adopting a practice of embracing what is. It is the prize on the other side of defending and explaining our actions, of letting go of the need to be right, of people pleasing, perfectionism and performative tendencies.
It is found within the power of “no thank you”, holding out, self-trust, speaking up, refusing to rush, and going for it (whatever “it” may be for you).
It is often the light that lies beneath our deepest wounding, our suffering and our debilitating fears. The salve that soothes and smooths a path towards peace, healing and wholeness.
And it is the gold held within the brave work of surrender, of forgiveness, of taking responsibility and overcoming, by doing the work that no-one wants to do.
Soft Power is the lifetime endeavor of continually choosing the inner path, the deeper Self and loving ourselves through it all, no matter what.
By investing and tending to the inner, we begin to strengthen and transform the outer. The more we care, the kinder we are, the more love we place in our hearts, the more resilient, connected and truer we become. Anything and everything is possible if we see it, believe it, and choose it as so.
Sending love to your gorgeous lion hearts, the radiant power within you, and the world that is possible when both are centered in LOVE.
Also … bear in mind that the invitations of Strength are for each and every one of us. Similar to astrology, or the cycles of the moon; the archetypes within Tarot offer an esoteric assist to the cosmic weather report as it were. Whilst Strength is our collective card, your personal card of the year is determined by adding together the numbers of your birth month, birth date and 2024, then simplifying.
For example 3/26/2024 becomes 3+2+6+2+0+2+4 = 19. In Tarot, 19 corresponds to “The Sun” card and simplified, (1+9=10) the “Wheel of Fortune”. Perfect invitations, teachers and companions for what’s on my radar for this year.
If you’d like help in determining your personal 2024 archetype, please let me know.