The Major Arcana in Depth
8. Fortitude

Fortitude, often called Strength, is the eighth card in the Major Arcana, representing inner strength, courage, patience, and personal power. Symbolizing self-mastery, it highlights the ability to overcome challenges, control impulses, and face adversity with resilience and grace. Fortitude reminds individuals to tap into their inner resources, cultivate self-compassion, and balance emotions and instincts to overcome obstacles and maintain harmony in their lives.

The imagery of the Fortitude card alludes the power of gentle force and the importance of inner balance. The central figure is typically portrayed as a serene and composed woman, who is interacting with a lion or other wild beast. This interaction represents the ability to tame and control one's own primal instincts and passions, as well as the power to overcome external obstacles through calm determination and inner resolve.

The woman is often shown wearing a crown or garland of flowers, symbolizing her spiritual connection and the wisdom gained through self-mastery. Her gentle yet firm touch on the lion's head or mouth illustrates the power of love, compassion, and patience in dealing with difficult situations or turbulent emotions. The presence of the lion also alludes to the importance of courage and the need to face one's fears with bravery and fortitude.

In the background of the card, a peaceful landscape or a golden sky may be depicted, representing the harmony and balance that can be achieved through self-control and inner strength. This setting serves as a reminder that true power comes from within and that external circumstances can be faced with grace and composure when one is in touch with their inner resources.

When Fortitude appears in a Tarot reading, it often signifies the need for inner fortitude, self-control, and patience in facing challenges or overcoming obstacles. This card encourages the querent to tap into their personal power and to confront difficult situations with courage and resilience. Fortitude also serves as a reminder of the importance of self-mastery, self-compassion, and the need to balance one's emotions and instincts.

In some readings, Fortitude may represent a situation in which the individual is called upon to demonstrate courage, patience, or self-discipline. The card can also symbolize the need to confront one's fears, control impulsive behavior, or find a sense of balance and inner harmony.

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