You've earned all your stripes


This card, for me, is all about self-care, self-love and the strength of feminine energy. This card is particularly calling out to any females who may be reading this interpretation.

When I read this card's title "lioness - you have earned all your stripes", the first thing that popped into my head was it's not a lioness who has stripes, it's the tigress. So it felt like there was a real contradiction going on.

Although it may feel like a contradiction and it may feel confusing, I feel that this could be a representation of you. How you are, and how people expect you to be or how they see you should be, may not always be the same. You may have grown up in a family or within a society that expects you to walk a certain path in life. There may be expectations of you. Perhaps you were expected to follow a career, perhaps you were expected to be the mother of your house, looking after the children. However, you may not have chosen to walk that path that was expected from you. And, even if you did walk that path, you may not be the person everybody thinks you are. So it feels that there's a very strong and very positive contradiction because you have paved your own way, you have found your own path, you have created and grown into this amazing person with such strength and power and, yet, at the same time, such gentleness. Again, that looks like a contradiction: gentless and strength & power. But they don't have to be a contradiction, they can all go together.

"You have earned all your stripes". That feels really important to me, especially as women and, yes, this is a card especially for women. As women, we grow up and there's so much pressure on us from the media, from magazines, to be skinny, to not have any stretch marks, no wrinkles. Once you're past your 20's and past your supposed prime, it almost feels like you're being pushed to the side, there's not so much room for you anymore. But what this card is saying is celebrate your stripes.

Look in the mirror look for those wrinkles and those laughter lines because they are proof of a full life.

If you've had children, look at your belly and love those stretch marks because you have had the strength and the ability within your body to carry another life and that is something to be celebrated.

Look at yourself and all the lumps and bumps that society says shouldn't be there and worship yourself and honour yourself for being such an amazing human being. You have come so far.

This card is all about celebrating you. There's no need to hide anymore. There's no need to pretend to be somebody that you're not. This card is saying "You are a lioness! Stand up and show exactly who you are".

And what do we think about a lioness?

Well, she a combination of nurturing, mother energy, and she's also, at the same time, a fierce protector. So whilst you may be nurturing those around you, you also need to fiercely protect and look after yourself as well. You're number one. If you fall apart, you can't protect and look after and care for anyone else around you.

The lioness is all about the goddess and divine feminine energy. If you think of a lioness whenever she's prowling, she's so elegant and yet there's such strength behind her.

The lioness is hunter. Like I said, she's a fierce protector of her family, but she's also a hunter. And what is special about the lioness is that she can, somehow, create opportunities out of situations where the doesn't seem to be an opportunity. This card is saying that you are a beautiful nurturer and, at the same time, you are a fierce protector of your family but of yourself as well. And that's really important. it's time to start protecting yourself, for being who you are. Stop taking the crap that people are giving you. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Nobody can live your life but yourself. And now is the time to stand up and do it. Now is the time to continue, like you have done all your life, to find opportunities in places where other people didn't think those opportunities existed, or couldn't even see those opportunites. Honour and love yourself for being able to do that.

It is said that the roar of the lioness is a call to action. This lioness card is calling you to action. It's saying to you "be proud of who you have become". It hasn't been an easy walk and it's not necessarily going to continue to be easy, but it will become easier when you honour who you truly are, when you respect who you truly are, when you feel you are honouring and being true to you at soul level; you're no longer trying to fit into the little squares and pigeon holes that family and society are trying to push you into. No! It's time for you to be who you are.

What has caught my eye, also, on this card is the other animal in the picture and I see it as being a whale that has just breached. The reason whales breach is to communicate a desire or a need. The whale is breaching and it's communicating to you the need for you to be who you are, to be that amazing nurturer and, at the same time, that fierce protector. To honour and be grateful of all your stripes. To look at yourself and say "I may not be perfect for the magazines but I'm perfect for me". Those stretch marks have stories in them. Those laughter lines have many tales to tell. Really look at yourself and be kind and gentle and loving to yourself.

The other thing that whales teach us is that they hold a lot of wisdom in them, they carry a lot of wisdom within them. And, similarly, as females and as souls, we have a lot of wisdom within us. We have more wisdom within us than we actually appreciate. And now is the time to start digging down into that wisdom to bring you the strength so you can be who you truly are at soul level.

Whales are also representative of peaceful strength. How huge is a whale? How powerful is a whale? And, yet, do you associate whales with aggression? No. They're very peaceful. There's something very spiritual about whales.

And the final thing I would say that a whale represents is the ability to communicate over long distances. Whales can communicate with each over 1000s of kilometres. And what that's saying to us is if you communicate with your heart you can bridge the gap, the distance between others. When you communicate from your heart, when you communicate honestly, and you tell people "this is who I am, this is how I want to be represented, this is how I want to be respected", you can help people to understand. Rather than going back to the beginning, to the cards' title, where I said it felt, initially, like a contradiction where you may be wanting people to see you in one light but people are seeing you in a different light, use your ability and your wisdom to communicate, to bridge that gap.

I also notice in the sky, pink and orange clouds. And clouds are all about higher thinking. Pink is all about compassion. Orange is about spiritual growth.

When you become the essence of who you truly are, when you stop hiding behind the curtain, when you reveal yourself as you are, your true and honest self, that will help you to grow spiritually. You'll become a more spiritual being because you are honouring the soul that is within your body. But at times you may also have to be a little bit compassionate to yourself. And I feel that the compassion is linked to the waves on the card. Water's all about emotion.

And waves are about the to and fro of emotions.

There will be days when you feel like a lioness and you'll want to stand up and you're willing to stand up and reveal every inch of you to the world. But then there are days whenever you may not be feeling that confident. We are allowed to have bad days, to have challenging days, and it's on those days that the card and the angels are encouraging you to show yourself compassion. Even the lioness needs a little bit of time off so that she can care for herself and nurture herself, and her family as well. We shouldn't be expected to be strong females all the time.

We are allowed to have challenging times as well, whenever we may doubt ourselves. But it's in those times that you show yourself the most compassion, the most love. That's whenever you would repeat and repeat to yourself "I love you", "You are amazing", "You have come so far", "You have overcome so many challenges in your life". Just repeat positive affirmations to yourself to raise your spirits so that the next day the lioness can come back out to play again.

This card is all about honouring yourself and the strength that you have within you, being true to who you are at soul level, saying "no more" to what people expect and want from you if it's not what you want for yourself. This is the time for the lioness to roar. It's a call of action. The angels are calling you into action now. Be who you know you want to be. Honour your soul. Honour yourself. And stand up for who you truly are.

Reference: This beautiful card is from Believe In Your Own Magic Oracle Deck by Amanda Lovelace, artwork by Janaina Medeiros

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