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The Thirteenth Moon
 
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,760
Thirteen 
Bohemian Gothic-Temperance


A red-hared woman with wings in a lovely lavender-lace dress mixes the contents of two cups. The woman's wings might be part of a costume rather than real, put on with straps to make her a fake angel. Her off-the-shoulder, fancy dress certain suggests someone who might have wandered away from a costume party, and she might have done so in order to mix up some special drink for someone. Whether those wings are real or part of a costume, this is the Bohemian-Gothic tarot and we must be suspect of her innocent, angel look. That fiery red hair suggests she might be not so angelic. She also has a smirk on her face that looks mischievous.

As for the cups, we can see that the liquid within is red, always ominous in this deck. Blood? Wine? Poppy juice? Poison? What kind of trick is she playing and on whom?

She seems to have wandered out of some warmer place into a snowy, wooded landscape. She stands before a decorative pond where her image is reflected. The pool is fed by the stone head of a woman, water pouring from her mouth. Other stones head may be among those rocks, along with what might be a carved serpent. There is also a skull, which might or might not be another part of this odd stone pile. Thus, in traditional Rider-Waite style, we have the "angel" situated between water and earth, and the two cups. We also have all five elements: Air is represented in her wings, earth in the stone fountain, water in the pond, fire in her hair color, and spirit in the color of her dress.

Temperance is, very generally speaking, a card about two things: (1) synthesis, the merging of two opposites into a new and different third thing, and (2) moderation--cutting water with wine; indulging, but only to a point. It is a card about mixing, merging, creating and transforming. How do you feel that meaning is represented by this red-haired snow angel and the strange pond at her feet?
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