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  • Emily Mundy

Dark Moon Musing: A Survey of Inner Strengths


Internal steadfastness, personal power, and endurance of the heart—all alluded to in the Strength card—are, for me at least, strange concepts to write about plainly.

They possess a sort of introspection and self-reliance that doesn’t easily translate to what I might consider *normal sentences. That’s the thing about these inner strengths—they’re often complicated, less obvious, even contradictory; they are less about forcing one’s will, and more about seeing an obstacle or a struggle clearly, and facing it with a gentle awareness of process.

Whatever you are enduring—know that you are strong, keep doing your work as best you can, and be kind.

We’ve been told a lot of things

about strength, and what it means—

the dictionary

asserts firstly the quality of being

“physically strong”

sites the “capacity of an object

to withstand great force or pressure.”

Sure, that bulk of body

that muscle of mind is mighty

but what about the other kinds?

The unconventional,

the deep down, the inside,

the non-societal, anti-patriarchal;

the culmination,

the audacity of juxtaposed harmony?

Gentle (and firm)

soft (and solidified)

passionate (and tempered).

We’ve been told a lot of things

about persevering

of pulling up and out and through

the pain while pushing forward;

we’ve been told about the fight

and the force and the ferocity,

about the beast and its teeth

and the war and the winning.

But little

of the quiet,

the subtle, the slowly,

the teeming, ebullient courage,

the silent swarm of growls

behind our sternums;

little of the forceless,

the sitting with inside.

Don’t you think it’s time

to name the ways our strength

is spirit-embedded, is seeping, is small?

Name the strength that is acknowledging

that is aware of itself

that knows its necessity, its essence,

that is therefore humble

that reserves itself

that converses with its own vitality

that does not need another thing to see its shape

that is itself enough, its breadth of being.

Name the strength that’s always been there

all the nights you were collapsed

with all the hearts that have been flayed to ribbons

every time you’ve gripped and reeled and grappled

with the very thing that has drained you

has dragged you to your weakest.

Name the strength that keeps you safe

in battles waged against yourself.

Name the last pinprick of light

still gleaming at your darkest hour.

The pinnacle of hidden power.

It has always been.

The undercurrent, undulating,

the vastness of it, rejuvenating.

Ask about its origin, listen to the story,

let it embolden you

with its unbridled loyalty.

Let it say no when it needs to

to say yes when it’s afraid to;

let it greet you, guide you,

hold you up.

We’ve been told a lot of things

about strength, and what it means—

but barely anything

of gentleness

barely anything of ours.

~

Emily Mundy is the co-author of the Dark Days Tarot Guidebook.

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