Thread: Temperance
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Join Date: 21 Dec 2010
Location: USA
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The "balance" of Temperance is its position on the Middle Pillar, between Mercy and Severity, not some impossible balance between mind and body or whatever is meant by "psychic" and "material." It's vertical position suggests not some sort of "balance" of Tiphareth and Yesod, but a synthesis thereof, the constituents being Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Fire and Water, Male and Female. The incorporation of Sephirah 6 into the synthesis is the experience of the Inner Self or Holy Guardian Angel. Waite, as usual, wants to direct our attention away from the Tree. He does later make a brief reference to the Hebrew letter correlations of the Majors, but only to dispose of Levi's system. Pictorially, it cannot be denied that Temperance strongly suggests its position on the Tree, maybe more so than any other card.

ETA. The synthesis of Tiphareth and Yesod is what Waite is referring to here: "It is called Temperance fantastically, because, when the rule of it obtains in our consciousness, it tempers, combines and harmonises the psychic and material natures." There is no reference to "balance," which, in any event, would be impossible.
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