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VIII Strength

April 8, 2024

Strength Tarot Card

Confidence, Perseverance and Cunning

Strength is all about the capacity to overcome resistance. Pushing up against resistance is what makes us stronger. Yet the spiritual strength demonstrated in the Strength Card of the Major Arcana of the Tarot is more of a way of being that uses more than force to overcome resistance. Spiritual strength is more about confidence, wisdom, compassion, flexibility and perseverance. It is sometime stronger to accept things as they are and move through situations gracefully, than to try to force things to be the way we want them to be.

Strength Archetype Drawing Pencil By Beholdify

This digital art piece of the Strength Archetype has 3 layers. The bottom layer has the "Timber root" symbol I've used in other artworks to symbolism sorrow, suffering and hardship. In this art it is the resistance felt in life to stop or give up. The purple character witnessing the symbol represent the wisdom learned from contemplating such hardships.

From there the path leads up to the tower in the middle of the art. This is the embodiment of confidence, power, and manifestation. The purple character releases a glowing bird into the sky. The empowered energy from strength creates confidence and perseverance to reach goals and launch creations into the world. The fortress tower is a stable foundation much like a regular resistance training and exercise routines builds muscular strength in the body. Spiritual strength is built from meditation, introspection, emotional intelligence and studying wisdom teachings.

The top of the art is a more conceptual vision of the future. The staircase leads upwards and turns into cogs that are turning. They symbolize perseverance, work, and continuing to push something forward. The purple character at the top is pointing forward with optimism and a vision of an empowered future.

Emotional Intelligence and Letting go of Anger

Recovering and Collecting Possibilities DrawingWhile embodying The Strength Archetype in 2023, a coworker has started disrupting my work implementing security measures without understanding how anything works. They are arrogant and sloppy, not working with me on the solution I proposed, instead doubling down and blocking the solution. It's not that complicated of a problem, and I'm so glad it’s a company I can let go of, but they are blocking the solution because of their misunderstanding and seeking dominance over others. This is causing a fight or flight reaction within my body. Part of me wants to just destroy him to get him out of my way. I'd do this by talking to his superiors about how the security measures are illogical and incompetent while blocking actual work from getting done, costing the company time and money. But that's not strength. in fact that would make the situation much worse because he is part of the management team and would not go down without a fight. like the saying goes:

"If You Seek Revenge You Should Dig Two Graves".

digital doodle Timeinstead I have to let it go over and over and over again. My body is triggered by it and the sooner I can let it go, the less it affects me. I have other more important and inspiring things to work on. This is where meditation comes in. meditation teaches how to quiet the mind and let things go that we know are not worth the time attention and energy. the animalistic Lion in me wants to roar and fight or throw everything up in the air and just run away. but my higher consciousness knows I can navigate this without creating more work for everyone including myself. This is a test of my strength and my ability to let it go emotionally.

Transcending Issues, Instead of Pushing Them Down

Strength Tarot CardWhile in the strength archetype there's an important distinction between pushing emotions down and bottling them up as opposed to letting them go and healing or transcending the root of the problem. Suppressing emotion or avoiding talking about something is not strength. the traditional imagery Of the strength archetype is of a woman taming a lion not by holding it back, but by lovingly guiding the lion to a state of peace, tranquility, and trusting of the higher self. this may involve processing emotions and feelings in a safe environment until they are discharged. Only when the emotion has been discharged does a person stand in their own strength to make good decisions and remain in alignment with their values and spirituality. This is a process, not a decision.
doodle UFO

A Prayer for Strength

The Artist Way Week 1 drawingThe Prayer for Strength is a universal prayer that Transcends all religions and spiritual perspectives. It works well along with meditation, because it's such a simple and empowering prayer. Within the prayer for strength is a letting go of all that is not strong. It's a calling to sit in discomfort because of strength and resilience to challenge, instead of giving in to it. It can be taken metaphorically or beyond the self, as a prayer for strength for everyone, for when 1 person is strong, others follow by example and stand together in strength.

Strength is Demonstrated through Resistance

You get stronger by pushing up against resistance. That's why exercise is so important. If you don't push up against resistance you become weak. So we have to create resistance where there is none. To get stronger you have to strive to accomplish something that is challenging.

Reaching for a Battery Drawing


strength archetype rough draft

Overcoming Resistance by Changing Course

I drew a rough draft of the drawing that represents my experience while I've been embodying the Strength Archetype. There is a lot of great symbolism and parallels in it that I really enjoy. First it matches the style of "The Magician" Archetype drawing I did, which is in vertical alignment with The Strength Archetype. Both are about making things happen, and pushing forward with chosen manifestations. Yet The Magician is masculine side while Strength has feminine, nurturing and taming qualities.

The mirror effect was added to give something to be strong up against. The greater the fear, the stronger the resistance and the greatest potential for demonstrating strength. Ultimately a spiritual path and growth is about facing yourself, and learning how to become a stronger version of your highest potential.

Abandoning the First Digitized Artwork Attempt

strength archetype rough abandoned digital draft I was seriously straining and not enjoying the artistic process while working on this digital drawing based on the first draft. This is as far as I got. Which is about 4% done and looks bad from the start. So many annoying details. So I stopped and changed course. I believe this pivot of art choice demonstrates a spiritual kind of strength. I have chosen to compromise and align with the path of least resistance instead of pushing hard to overcome overwhelming obstacles that are not worth the end result. Work Smarter, not harder.

Strength is all about overcoming great resistance. Resistance is what makes us stronger. But there are other was to overcome great resistance, such as changing course. By choosing to work on artwork that I already enjoy doing and is closer to being done, I expend less energy to reach my intended goal, even if I am lowering the bar for myself as a compromise. The story of why this artwork was chosen holds the wisdom of spiritual strength.

“If a branch is too rigid, it will break.
Resist, and you will perish.
Know how to yield, and you will survive.”
― Liezi,

Completing the 12 week Artist Way Spiritual Course in an Organized Group

The Artist Way Drawings and Morning Page Mage
Strength Week 8 Artist Way Doodle and NotesI took an online Zoom web-cam based The Artist Way - 12 Week Course by Julia Cameron facilitated by Rachel Moore, LMFT. It's a spiritual path to higher creativity while healing creative blockages. I doodled each week which encouraged me to spend more time drawing as well as journaling. I have really enjoyed drawing the weekly doodles so much more than working on this deeply meaningful, idealized, digitized strength archetype artwork. I took the drawing from Week 8: "Recovering a Sense of Strength", and digitized it. I plan to fix the colors, but this is the first digitized draft I have completed:

The Strength Archetype Artwork Digitized and Colored

Strength Digital Pastel Colors Beholdify Drawing March 2024

The Strength Archetype Artwork with AI Lion Art Backgrounds

I added a background image of a lion i generated using Leonardo AI Art Generator. The Tamed Lion is a great metaphor for spiritual strength. In this case the lion is adorned with glowing cryptic and spiritual symbols beyond this world. The lion's aggressive and animalistic nature can be very physically strong, yet spiritual strength is stronger as it is connected to wisdom's higher calling and value system.

Strength Archetype Blue Leo Lion Beholdify

Strength Archetype Blue Lion Beholdify

Strength Archetype Blue Leo Lion Inverted Beholdify

Strength Archetype Blue Glow Leo Lion Beholdify

The lion is Associated with the astrological sign of Leo.

Astral Projection

Setting Goals and Striving to Fulfill Expectations

I like to have goals and expectation for myself with creativity. No one ever asks to see my artwork, or encourages me to share. By going on my own spiritual art path, I heal this and gain a sense of autonomy.

The Shadow of The Strength Archetype

ephemeral drawingPushing through resistance to demonstrate strength can take a lot of energy, even if wisdom and tenderness is used instead of brute force. This extra push that is required can show up at the cost of social engagements, rest and being reasonable. It can be expressed by staying up late to get something done, then feeling tired the next day. The shadow then gets expressed by cancellations, grumpiness and not being available. It can also result in low energy while recovering from a big push. Simple daily tasks can be bypassed in favor of completing something deemed more important or so challenging that it takes up far more time and attention than original anticipated.

Strength Archetype Drawing Pencil By BeholdifyWhen I embody the strength archetype while making decisions, I often decide to carry on with the plan full speed, even when quitting would be a wise and an honorable or at least reasonable option. I learned that quitting can be a sign of spiritual strength, especially when you take in to account that quitting sometimes relieves pressure off friends and loved ones. When 1 person is strong, everyone else is forced to step up, which can be stressful or uncomfortable for those who are not interested in showing their strength or sacrificing quality of life to achieve the shared goal. While bowing out or letting go can be a form of demonstrating spiritual strength, the shadow still emerges because behind it is still an overwhelming desire to reach a compromised goal. When quits while embodying strength, they have the power to fight, but choose to use the energy in a more effective way. This quitting is less of a retreat and more of a cunning re-calibration to work smarter not harder.

Celebrating Victory of Strength and Resilience

It's important and feel good to celebrate when strength has been demonstrated, or a challenging goal has been accomplished. I am on track to graduate from #8: Strength Archetype on April 8th 2024, for the total solar eclipse. This cosmic alignment celebration is an ideal time acknowledge what I have accomplished and what resistances I have overcome while embodying this archetype. I will be present to what learned as I spiritually expand my awareness both inward into my personal journey and outward to witness a shared celestial event in the solar system.

I will be transitioning to a more introverted way of being while embodying The Hermit Archetype to deepen and make more time to focus on my purpose. The Hermit archetype heals the Strength Archetype's Shadow by consciously retreating from social groups, and extra circular activities and traveling vacations in order to deepen purpose and move forward on a personal life mission discovered while embodying The Chariot Archetype.

Strength Archetype Drawing Pencil By Beholdify

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