This card turned up three weeks ago as well, and I noted its message that day as “the spirit triumphs.”
There was a short period of time when I studied Aikido. I never got much further than basic dojo etiquette and learning to fall halfway properly. They call this period of training “knocking the edges off.” The idea is that if you’re going to train further, you had better be able to fall without getting hurt, because you are definitely going to be thrown.
Beyond that, learning to be “in harmony” (and in balance) whether being thrown or throwing a partner is at the very center of the art. The great master, O Sensei, put it this way.
When an opponent comes forward, move and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.
The philosophy of Aikido is to create harmony out of what appears to be discord. As a defensive art, this is expressed in using an attacker’s own strength, weight and movement to your advantage in fending off an advance.
One of our instructors was about five-foot-nothing, and maybe 120 pounds. Once, with a tender smile on his face, without interrupting his own sentence about the importance of always maintaining balance, he gently and effortlessly swept my feet out from under me, causing me to land flat on my back. Hard. One moment I was standing beside him listening intently. The next, I was wondering what those stars circling around my head were all about.
The word “Aikido” means, literally, “the way of harmony with the universal energy.”
I think of the Strength card as a visual expression of this concept. If we master ourselves, and align ourselves with the laws of the universe, we cannot help but accomplish miracles.
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