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LS Secret Tarot - Temperance

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LS Secret Tarot - Temperance


I've been wanting to talk with you about this card ever since I got this deck. Now I finally get along to do it.

There is a female angel standing with two cups. As we know it from every deck, she pours a liquid from one cup into the other. She looks very serious but to me it doesn't seem like she is concentrating on what she is doing with the cups. She has her eyes closed and her thoughts seem to be focused inwards. I guess she is so familar with her task that she doesn't have to pay much attention anymore. She is still aware of what she is doing.

When you look at this card you immediately notice the huge amount of brown. Usually brown gives a warm tone but somehow in this card I get a dull impression. Any thoughts on this?

Now I come to the thing I really find interesting. Have you noticed the head of the white animal in the background? It looks like a marten or a ferret. So far I couldn't come up with an interpretation. What do you make of it?


(Edited for correction of grammar errors)
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Re: LS Secret Tarot - Temperance


Quote:
Originally posted by Darla
She looks very serious but to me it doesn't seem like she is concentrating on what she is doing with the cups. She has her eyes closed and her thoughts seem to be focused inwards. I guess she is so familar with her task that she doesn't have to pay much attention anymore. She is still aware of what she is doing.
Well, in most of the decks that come to mind, the "pouring" action is just a symbol of balance, emotional, spiritual, etc., and not a real "physical" action. Hence, many decks show the liquid moving horizontally or at an impossible angle, something clearly not possible in the "real" world. So, if that is the case, watching the action is just not necessary for her and she can turn her thoughts to other matters.

Quote:
When you look at this card you immediately notice the huge amount of brown. Usually brown gives a warm tone but somehow in this card I get sad expression. Any thoughts on this?
I agreed that it is an emotionally "dark" brown but my mind is blank at the moment beyond that. As for the ferret (or whatever) in the background, no ideas yet; I don't associate ANY animals with this card but need to check my other decks to be sure. BUT, the ferret may symbolize something in the classical world; I would need to research that.
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The Ferret, or Stoat, is the Page of Wands in the Greenwood deck and the Greenwood online booklet, by Chesca Potter, has this to say (in part):...Stoats are considered highly sacred in many societies, because in cold climates they transform their coats into white fur and are then called Ermine. I was struck by the extensive use of ermine on shamanic clothing and ceremonial objects in Native American tribes. In European witchcraft weasels and stoats were allies, shapeshifters, mediators between the worlds. In Britain ermine is considered symbolic of the Sovereignty of the land and is worn at the coronation of the monarch; but the roots of its sacredness must be far more ancient. One is painted on a French Palaeolithic cave."
I believe ermine is also supposed to be the white fur trim on St. Nicholas' (Santa Claus) red outfit. So I'm guessing that since Temperance is obviously an angel, that the Ferret lends an extra note of spirituality and sacredness. Since it is also connected to the Sovereignty of the land, and since this angel is all in brown, I see a strong sense here of spritual help in a very practical, down to earth manner, as behooves a card that falls between death and the devil. The spiritual among the mundane, the dirty, the difficult trials of life is a mix that can indeed temper and transform us.
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IMPRESSIVE research Galadrial!!!!!! Ever since i got the deck I have been wondering what that little rodent was about . I thought it was a ground hog or a praire dog. I loved reading the information on the ferret. I like them a little more now - previously I just thought they were stinky!
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Yes, I second that (the thanks for the research part, not the stinky part! )

I learn so much every day here.............
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Wow! Thank you so much, Galadrial! Now the ferret completely makes sense.
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huh, all this time I thought it was an otter! (which for some reason appears on some card in the Sacred Circle deck)
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Quote:
Originally posted by galadrial
The Ferret, or Stoat, is the Page of Wands in the Greenwood deck and the Greenwood online booklet, by Chesca Potter, has this to say (in part):...Stoats are considered highly sacred in many societies, because in cold climates they transform their coats into white fur and are then called Ermine. I was struck by the extensive use of ermine on shamanic clothing and ceremonial objects in Native American tribes. In European witchcraft weasels and stoats were allies, shapeshifters, mediators between the worlds. In Britain ermine is considered symbolic of the Sovereignty of the land and is worn at the coronation of the monarch; but the roots of its sacredness must be far more ancient. One is painted on a French Palaeolithic cave."
Interesting stuff! I have always wondered about that strange looking creature.

I am slightly colour-deficient so I may be wrong, but are the angels' wings the same colour as the stoat creature? And if so... does this mean that she shares some of the same sacred aspects of the stoat?

Oh... and has Miss Temperance been on the Atkins diet? Haha.
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See I think it's an otter, a creature that can live on land (physical plane) or sea (emotional plane) but has been driven to sea for saftey.
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I love this card. The brown miasma in the card could symbolize the muck and pollution of the world. Her dress is pollution-brown and even her wings are a pigeon gray color because she has to live in this world. The only pure thing is what she pours from cup to cup. There is something incorruptible.

IIRC in renaissance times the ermine/ferret/stoat symbolized chastity. Here is a link to an engraving of the Triumph of Chastity from a long poem by a renaissance poet. The idea is that a series of concepts (love, chastity, death, fame) each prove stronger than the one before. The ferret is on the banner:

http://www.adh.brighton.ac.uk/school...E/LTPet02.html

The Temperance image in the Mantegna series also has a creature that is probably meant to be a stoat or ferret:

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/mantegna/

-- Myrrha
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