Dark Moon Musing: A Survey of Inner Strengths

July 31, 2019






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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