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Bohemian Gothic-Temperance

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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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there is a skull on stones. Near the stone head I can see that something like the lamp. I think this person deprived of joy and light of life. I can see something like a snake on the rock of stones. This ambivalent character of Christianity. Maybe he was a victim of one's malice?
May be it was Hermit (lamp and snake) who dead with his own death near by favorite place. Stones like and element of frailty of our lives. Winter like the element of the end of the life and may be indication of the old man who dead from the oldness. I do not know, I am not sure ... May be it will be changed under following discussion.

I agree with you and I think it is Blood in two cups.
Winter - Death, Water source - Life.
It is winter and land is frozen but the water source is still not frozen. People say that blood is Hot. May be she try to heat the blood in order keep source of life been leaked in order to keep ballance in nature.
it is look like blood in our body that always is moved along artery from one side of the heart to another, this transfer is heating our blood. It helps us to keep our body under the certain temperature in order to stay alive.
If blood stop - our body will become cold.

But at the same time there is scientific statement that dead body can be kept for a long time and can be revived.
Or if the person is at the Coma state and his blood transfer is dependend from artificial respiration machine, which do not allow his body to become cold and stop his heart.

At the same time this girl in violet dress and red hear. May be it is an element of fatouma and variability of our lives and our state - from liquid to solid and vice versa. It is creative element of destiny that transfer our life from birth to the death and from death to the new birth.
It is mixture of soul and body. They are different in their structure but should be always in ballance not press each other.

What do you think?
Actually too many thoughts are in my mind I can not gather the only place for this card
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surja76
it is look like blood in our body that always is moved along artery from one side of the heart to another, this transfer is heating our blood. It helps us to keep our body under the certain temperature in order to stay alive. If blood stop - our body will become cold.

But at the same time there is scientific statement that dead body can be kept for a long time and can be revived....At the same time this girl in violet dress and red hear. May be it is an element of fatouma and variability of our lives and our state - from liquid to solid and vice versa....What do you think?
I think I'm blown away! What awesome observations!

Personally, I've never felt that the name "Temperance" worked all that well for this card. I've always identified it by its some-time-pseudonym Alchemy or Art. Your observations give it both that "chemistry" and "artistic-ness" that seem to be what the card really about.

But what I never thought of was how the moving of fluids pictured in any Temperance card might relate to fluids moving in the body, most especially blood from chamber-to-chamber in the heart. How perfect! Blood is, certainly, very much that symbolic mix of water and fire that the Angel is traditionally supposed to be mixing. And I think your connection of death/coma/winter is brilliant! I did notice that the pond's water isn't frozen. So we have frozen water and fluid water, life and death. Also stones and trees, living and unliving again. This card certainly suggests a season (winter) very strongly, unlike most of the other cards. I think we're supposed to think of seasonal changes and transitions.

I think you're right that this card does a lot to show that constant transition between states. Between frozen water and flowing, angel and mortal and demon (there's really no telling which the woman is), sky and earth, tree and rock. The woman is standing at a nexus between all these things, mixing that liquor between the cups, keeping it flowing. It exemplifies the idea of Temperance as always being in a state of flux or transformation.

It also occurs to me that in the winter, when the ground was hard, the dead were often buried under piles of stone. Maybe there are bodies under that pile of stone?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen

It also occurs to me that in the winter, when the ground was hard, the dead were often buried under piles of stone. Maybe there are bodies under that pile of stone?
YES YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!
Great, surely!!!

WAW ... I did not know about this. But it is so easy to understand! Thank you! it is so interesting to discuss with you!!
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Bohemian Gothic Temperance


The lavender gown is symbolic as the Victorians wore this color as they came out of mourning after wearing black. The snow is thin and the angel has cups which hold blood - the promise of new life.
Its like its represents the transition from death or winter the dormant and dying season to the promise of spring and new life.
I can almost envision the angel performing a ritual with the blood which causes the change of seasons. Alchemy.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumble bee
The lavender gown is symbolic as the Victorians wore this color as they came out of mourning after wearing black. The snow is thin and the angel has cups which hold blood - the promise of new life.
Its like its represents the transition from death or winter the dormant and dying season to the promise of spring and new life.
I can almost envision the angel performing a ritual with the blood which causes the change of seasons. Alchemy.
Oh, I like that! Wonderful point. The lavender color in Victorian times was one of those things I'd heard and stored away in the attic of my mind. I'd have never remembered that or made the connection. Thank you, Bumble Bee! What a fantastic observation! I think you're really right.

You know, when I first saw this card I didn't think much of it, outside of the fact that I was struck by the snowy landscape. But it's becoming one of my all-time favorite Temperance cards. It has that BG scary factor as between the semi-mourning dress, skull and liquor in the cups, she might be trying to bring the dead back to life. But I love the power it suggests for Temperance. That in-between, on the verge of transformation stage. Get this mixture just right and everything will change, the landscape, even oneself. I never thought of Temperance that way, though really, I should have. It's always such a quiet card, and so many decks make it feel passive. Make it feel like the dull moderation of its name which dilutes wine with water.

This card, however, in its quiet/creepy way, does an amazing job of reminding us that if this peaceful experiment goes right, everything will reawaken--become active and energized. What Temperance is doing may seem innocent and serene, but it's full of energy just waiting to be released. The card is marvelous; true synergy in image and meaning.
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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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The snowy landscape, the coming-out-of-mourning lavender dress ... is she Demeter?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncefafn
The snowy landscape, the coming-out-of-mourning lavender dress ... is she Demeter?
Did Demeter wear lavender and have wings?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
Did Demeter wear lavender and have wings?
She might have. She's a goddess, she can wear anything she wants.
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