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Temperance

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Temperance


This seems to be the truth of it-- sun mixed with moon, or fire with water, etc, to newly create the Whole Human Being. It could also be about mixing Higher Individuality or Self with the waters of personal ego or mind, same as sun with moon as to consciousness. And it's as much centering to the harmonious Middle as combining the flow of opposites , or so it seems to me. Quite a Picture of Who We Are and How We Become. Thanks to L Richard.
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To me the substance is the elixir of life of Alchemy. The chalices aren't necessarily opposites, they're both gold. I see them as apparatuses the angel's using to distill the elixir.
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Originally Posted by Parzival View Post
This seems to be the truth of it-- sun mixed with moon, or fire with water, etc, to newly create the Whole Human Being. It could also be about mixing Higher Individuality or Self with the waters of personal ego or mind, same as sun with moon as to consciousness. And it's as much centering to the harmonious Middle as combining the flow of opposites , or so it seems to me. Quite a Picture of Who We Are and How We Become. Thanks to L Richard.
Yes, masculine and feminine do not refer only to physical gender but rather to things like spirit and soul, mind and body. The experience of the inner Self makes it possible to realize one's true Will (as in "Do what thou wilt"). It is the Tiphareth Sun on the forehead of the Temperance Angel. It is interesting that Waite mentions early in the description that the Angel is "neither male nor female."

In the Thoth Temperance (titled Art), which likewise represents the Great Work, Fire and Water are being combined in a gold cauldron. In the Waite card, I've always thought of the substances being mixed by pouring back and forth from one chalice to another, so the transformation is, in effect, taking place in two golden vessels rather than in a single gold cauldron.
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Parzival, I've been thinking about your question about what the two "liquids" are and "coming up with something new." Waite does reveal a lot in his usual backward way.

First, "It has one foot upon the earth and one upon waters, thus illustrating the nature of the essences." Then, "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." One essence is psychic, the other material. They look like liquids, but they're energies.

The angel represents the enlightened mind. Waite again, "It is, moreover, untrue to say that the figure symbolizes the genius of the sun, though it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity." It's that third part that balances the other two.

What it all seems to point to is summed up by, "it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity." It's an illustration of the emotional (what Waite calls psychic) and material energies brought into harmony and balance through the influence of an enlightened mind. These core ideas could be expanded in a number of different directions, but this gives you some idea of what Waite was trying to say.

I'm not sure this is an illustration of anything new being created. I believe Waite dismisses that notion with his comment, "All the conventional emblems are renounced herein. So also are the conventional meanings, which refer to changes in the seasons, perpetual movement of life and even the combination of ideas." It seems to more precisely reveal a principle, that of the influence of the enlightened mind and its role in an individual's progress.
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......What it all seems to point to is summed up by, "it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity." It's an illustration of the emotional (what Waite calls psychic) and material energies brought into harmony and balance through the influence of an enlightened mind.......
So it's essentially the Buddha's Middle Way in reverse? Enlightenment precedes balance rather than balance leading to enlightenment. Interesting.

ETA. No. I've decided that it's not interesting. Waite is engaging in a dull, moralistic sermon on some of the exoteric implications of the symbolism.

The Thoth Rebus is just another representation of the androgynous Temperance Angel, each of which is combining Fire and Water (or whatever other opposites they represent). The Angel and the Rebus are both engaged in the Great Work, the ultimate object of which is the production of a new creation: the Philosopher's Stone, the Elixir of Life, or whatever. Arcana XIV in the Crowley and Waite decks are largely parallel in symbolism.
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Temperance


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Parzival, I've been thinking about your question about what the two "liquids" are and "coming up with something new." Waite does reveal a lot in his usual backward way.

First, "It has one foot upon the earth and one upon waters, thus illustrating the nature of the essences." Then, "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." One essence is psychic, the other material. They look like liquids, but they're energies.

The angel represents the enlightened mind. Waite again, "It is, moreover, untrue to say that the figure symbolizes the genius of the sun, though it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity." It's that third part that balances the other two.

What it all seems to point to is summed up by, "it is the analogy of solar light, realized in the third part of our human triplicity." It's an illustration of the emotional (what Waite calls psychic) and material energies brought into harmony and balance through the influence of an enlightened mind. These core ideas could be expanded in a number of different directions, but this gives you some idea of what Waite was trying to say.

I'm not sure this is an illustration of anything new being created. I believe Waite dismisses that notion with his comment, "All the conventional emblems are renounced herein. So also are the conventional meanings, which refer to changes in the seasons, perpetual movement of life and even the combination of ideas." It seems to more precisely reveal a principle, that of the influence of the enlightened mind and its role in an individual's progress.
Thanks for your detailed thoughtfulness about this remarkable spiritual Image/Metaphor. I really like how you put this: "They look like liquids but they are energies." Now, if they are psychic and material natures, this raises the matter of how to balance these. At any rate, it's about the Way to Enlightenment, and some of it has to do with how we the interpreters meet the given symbols and bring them to life in our own way.
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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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Temperance


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Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
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 ....
Nicely put. I see this as attunement to the Middle Pillar, with a dynamic combining of "Sun and Moon," not only by the angel, but by we human beings as well. It's as much a making of what is yet to be as a unity with Tiphareth. But I could be off on this -- the Image does no doubt hold to the center/middle.
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Originally Posted by Parzival View Post
Nicely put. I see this as attunement to the Middle Pillar, with a dynamic combining of "Sun and Moon," not only by the angel, but by we human beings as well. It's as much a making of what is yet to be as a unity with Tiphareth. But I could be off on this -- the Image does no doubt hold to the center/middle.
Yes indeed, it represents spiritual alchemy, the transformation/transmutation of the human being. The goal of Temperance is the attainment of the most central of the Sephirah, Tiphareth, the alchemical Gold. I like the Albano version of the card, which depicts the Rainbow, the Bow of Sagittarius, seemingly aimed upward along the Pillar of Balance.
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