After the preceding card of Death brings change, endings and new beginnings into our lives, we have the beautiful card of Temperance. With an angel dominating the card, it gifts us the ability to weigh up our emotions and find the balance in our lives again.
The most important symbol for me in the Rider-Waite deck is the beautiful sun, with its crown within, rising up over the mountains. A gentle path leads to all it embodies, showing us that new life and happiness awaits in the distance.
But for now Temperance asks us to sit quietly after the changes, to face your emotions without fear. Find your centre again and feel grounded. The energy asks you to take life gently for a while. Don’t rush around, just take time to sit with your experiences. Feel and appreciate your life as it is right now. Temperance asks for balance and moderation while your new life comes into being.
All is well in this card – the radiance of the angel, the vibrant green of the grass and iris leaves. The yellow of the flowers and sun, the sky blue of the pool with its gentle ripples. There is an overriding sense of protection from the beauty of the angel’s wings, always there for you. And the gentleness in the folds of the angel’s tunic with soft shades of white and blue.
So how do you find the balance between your emotions with one foot in the water and the logical side of your life with the other foot on dry land? Balance and moderation may not be easy to find when you want to rush into your next job or romance or next project or big thing. Staying still is hard, but this is what Temperance asks of you and the rewards are worthwhile.
I love the Temperance card in the Buckland Romani tarot deck which shows a beautiful gypsy lady calmly pouring water from one churn into another. The flow of water in this card is large and I have the feeling there’s plenty of rain for the field behind her to be lush, green and fruitful. Her clothes are all pink, bringing the love into what she’s doing and the pink flowers are blooming. It’s a very peaceful scene and a wonderful image to meditate on. Temperance gives us emotional balance, moderation in all things, and the story of taking our time to feel calm and peaceful and bring that wonderful balance back into our lives.
Published in the Journal of the Tarot Guild of Australia Inc. The Magician, #56, 2018
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