Card: La Fuerza / Strength
Numerical Value: 11
Astronomical Symbol: Leo
Depiction: In the Tarot de la Santa Muerte, "La Fuerza" depicts the white cloaked Santa Muerte, covered in a glowing yellow light, towering over a scantily clad woman who herself is leaning against a powerful lion, a beast which the woman appears to have tamed. Santa Muerte runs her hands through the woman's hair, while the lion rests at a position of protection or guarding for the woman - remaining by her side and looking outward with a ferocious scowl.
The scene appears to take place atop a hill, off a walking or riding path. The sky in the background appears dark and ominous as lightning flashes and gray mist swirls, but the three characters appear strong and confident.
Symbolism: La Fuerza represents strength in all its forms. The white cloaked Santa Muerte in her context on this card represents spiritual purity, lending itself to ethical strength and strength of conviction. The Santa Muerte is further shrouded in a bright yellow glow - yellow being associated with physical health in Santa Muerte magick, which lends itself here to physical strength and vitality.
The scantily clad woman in this image is a symbol for inner strength, emotional strength, and intuitive strength. All of the characteristics associated with feminine energies are represented as strong and powerful by the posing woman. The wild beast she leans against, the scowling and ferocious lion, symbolizes both the woman's ability to calm and tame a wild animal, as well as strength in the form of courage.
The ominous background depicting swirling gray mist and cracking lighting represents the external factors which will require our strength. Though a storm may brew around us, this card reminds us that strength, inner and outer, physical and spiritual, are our best option if we have any expectation of weathering storms, taming wild beasts, and being at peace with Santa Muerte, Our Holy Saint Death.
The scene appears situated at the top of a hill or edge of a cliff. The three characters on the card appear to be looking in the same direction and, while you can't tell what they're looking at, it's obvious that the lion appears on guard and ready to pounce, symbolizing that potential threats may be surrounding our characters despite how strong and confident they appear. The walking path depicted in the foreground of the image represents our own life paths and serves as a reminder that all paths eventually lead to struggle or moments which require strength.
In a reading upright, this card signifies the presence of strength in the face of adversity. It serves as a reminder that with the power of the Santa Muerte behind us, we are strong enough to tame wild beasts and face threats from any direction.
In reverse, La Fuerza represents weakness, a draining of strength, and a submission to controlling external forces. La Fuerza in reverse is a sign that external struggles may be taking a heavy toll on physical, emotional, or spiritual strength. A person may feel defeated when this card appears in reverse, or like they've lost the will to try and overcome adversity. If the period of weakness has not already passed, then whatever is sapping a person's strength must be addressed before it becomes all consuming.
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