November 11, 2009 § 1 Comment


Strength bears the Hebrew letter Teth, the ninth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. On the Tree of Life, Teth is associated with the 19th pathway, the path that connects Chesed and Gevurah. Chesed is mercy and Gevurah is power. In The Kabbalah Tree, Rachel Pollack writes of Chesed:

“…here in Chesed we revel in the sense that the cosmos loves us, and will protect us and help us as our souls journey through experience. When New Age people say ‘The universe will take care of you,’ or ‘Ask the universe for what you need,’ they are invoking Chesed.”

Of Gevurah, she writes:

“Kabbalists often describe Gevurah as the most severe place on the tree, a testing point. If we think of ourselves as traveling upwards on the tree (in a sense, back to our origins), then Gevurah becomes the place where we must shed our own weaknesses before we can revel in the overwhelming love and mercy of Chesed.”

I know very little of Kabbalah and am learning as I go along with the Haindl Tarot. If Gevurah is the testing point, then it seems to me it’s the place where Strength is needed most. I can identify with Strength (or, rather, Teth) being placed on the pathway between mercy and power. I have been pondering this a lot and I have come to the conclusion that Strength is not a quality or trait like honesty or patience as I once believed.

Strength – at least in the tarot card sense – is a process. It’s not a noun, it’s a verb. It is not an Oscar-winning moment of grace under pressure; it is the continued giving of yourself, your love, your kindness, and your soul when all you get in return is pain.


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