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Join Date: 07 Apr 2009
Location: Down The Track Australia
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Temperance. This is my second card of The Bohemian Gothic IDS study I am doing. Again, my take on the card is a personal one, same as I imagine every other card of this deck will be. I have no intent of being right or wrong in my study, but one of simply doing. Instead of taking a week with the card I ended up doing two weeks because family commitments meant I had to take off to the city for almost a week. Though I carried a colour copy of the Temperance card with me at all times, my time spent with her during that week wasn't as much as I would have liked, hence two weeks study instead of one.

It wasn't the easiest week to get through emotionally and how strange, (or not so strange really), that I had chosen to have Temperance as my card of the week. It was through Temperance I was able to find the emotional and psychological balance I needed to cope with the family situation I was in and at the same time be able to come to a closer understanding of this card. There were times when I was Temperance and then a letting go.

Stranger still, it was through Temperance (from another deck) I had a very odd experience with a few months ago... to do with my life long closest friend who died last year. I moved in with her in the city when she became very ill so she could spend what was left with her life at home. An experience I had well after she died and one which when I think about it in detail, I still find 'unreal' and amazing. Some happenings are what they are.

Temperance in Latin is Temperare, which means to blend, mix or bring into harmony. She stands at the edge of the pool of water in her gothic dress, angel wings and reddish dark ginger hair. Her ornamental clothing style is of the common style seen worn in today's Gothic nightclubs other than her dress is in shades of light purple (lilac) with only a little black lace on her shoulders. Her wings are white, tinged with a light silvery blue which is the same colour as the two cups she holds. Whereas the dresses and wings the Goths wear can be similar in style to the one Temperance wears, but mostly black, contrasted with touches of lilac, red, pink or purple, sometimes green.

Temperance wears the all purple as a symbol of her heightened spiritual awareness, her self esteem and her high ideals. The lilac, the light purple, is a sign that she is actively working on the balance of each aspect of her life, be it personal or spiritual. Thus she is able to accept others for whom they are, and find a balance towards all lifeforms and towards her surroundings.

At first glance her hair appears to be red, but when comparing her hair colour to the colour of the liquid in the cup, it can be seen that her hair is of a more coppery dark ginger tone rather than as red as the liquid in the cup. Red in alchemy (refleted in the red liquid in the cup) possibly tells of some serious, important changes in her thoughts. She balances the liquid between the cups, one cup is for the conscious mind, the other for the unconconsious mind... a mental healing.

The red liquid symbolizes the flow of life, the connection between conscious and unconscious, light and dark and the logic and intuition. Each requires its opposite as a complement in order to form a whole, thus to be in balance and in harmony with one self as well as with all else.

This balancing of the conscious and uncouncious is also reflected in the surroundings. Both snow and the pool of water represent the mind. The snow is not flowing, has not melted, it's the conscious thoughts, but the water in the pool is flowing, not frozen (melted snow) and represents the unconscious mind. A blending of the mind, the balancing of emotions which in turn keeps a sense of harmony and balance, thus she is adaptable within whatever circumstances she finds herself in.

The mixing between the cups is like an hourglass, time. Time is the healer of all wounds, emotional and physical. Time moves on and never stops but keeps on going forward. Thus Temperance is a way of enduring and coping during a hard time and is often a temporary deliberate state of mind. Once the way has been found, then the cups can be put away because the waters of balance and harmony flow. However, if you go through life never feeling quite right, always agreeing with others just for peace and harmony, or never taking into consideration of others around you.... then you will never be able to put the cups down because there is no balance between light and dark, the conscious and the unconscious, between yourself and others.

The rocks represent a meeting point (the merging itself) for the conscious (snow on ground) and the unconscious (water in pool). There is some snow on the rocks and it appears to be melting through the rocks ready to flow into the pool through the Stone Spirit's mouth. Under the Stone Spirit are large glowing ice crystals which when they touch the water appear to melt. The Stone Spirit, a Gargoyle head, appears to be unshiftable, a carved face spurting water warding off spirits with bad intent. Thus the blending of the conscious and the unconscious is being protected so balance can be achieved.

The skull on the rock is symbolic of the transcendental state that being Human in the pyhsical form is a limitation and that one needs to find the balance with the Spirit to be whole and eternal. Thus some cultures venerate the skull (and bones) of both humans and animals as being sacred and then one can leave the bones to rest and travel into Spirit after physical death.

There appears what to me looks like a (carved) snake just below the skull which is symbolic of the primordial life force. The Snake is for protection, a symbol of eternity, duality, of balance and rebirth.

Temperance doesn't need to be looking at the cups while she blends for she is adept. After all, she has the wings of an Angel for she is the guardian who guides the spirits of the dead towards judgement. Her spirituality is reflected in the water through the colour of her light purple gown as movement in the water within the unconscious mind.

The Tarot meaning of Temperance is blending, harmony, equilibrium and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances.... being able to clearly see both sides thus balance is created. Temperance, you are The Angel with the Fire of Life in your eyes and I am The Goddess with Bat Wings... we meet in Spirit.

Welf
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