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Gilded Tarot- Temperance

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Gilded Tarot- Temperance


I have been working my way through the Majors: Here are my thoughts on Temperance..I know there is so much more to this card, though I would throw this out and get your opinions-

“Temperance is derived from the Latin temperare, which means to moderate, blend, or mix together harmoniously. This card was earlier named “Time” which is the key to its underlying meaning” S Alexander

Temperance indicates the ability to combine spontanstiy with knowledge, to free ourselves from our artificial personalities, to take life as it comes moment by moment.

False personalities, what is that? Life throws us into many situations, and for many of us we wear different hats (personalities) to deal with them. We have one personality at work and another personality at home, both are false, not a true self. Even in love some have different personalities, the person we choose to marry is far different than the one we find sexually attracted to. These types of personality separations are our own inability to take life as it comes, a self protection. We are unable to combine elements of our personality and the outside world to flow together. We hide our true selves because our outside persona will not allow it.

How does this happen? Young children are in touch with who they really are, it’s as we get older and want to “fit in” do we start the cover up of our real selves. We do things not because we feel this way, but because of habit or our feelings of social acceptance. We only become masters of our fate when we learn to deal with life moment by moment, not according to routines of habits and defenses. To find who we really are, we need to blend ourselves with the world around us, to release ourselves.

Temperance is about doing/action, not about concepts. It is easy to talk about it, but hard to put into action. Sometimes temperance means inaction, letting things go, or lettings things develop on their own, giving things time, to let go of ego. Ego will keep our true self locked up, unable to let our feelings blend with our actions. When temperance is achieved this will give us harmony, peace, be able to avoid extremes, to take life and everything in moderation.

Direct: Inner growth, balance, patience, time, spiritual awakening, peace, calm, reaching a compromise, enjoying well being, self control and discipline, team player

Reversed: Works best alone, imbalance, alone, abuse, discord, conflict, hostility, impatience, search for answers, not a good time to start something new.
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I have always found this card's message to be fairly straightforward (for a change) but I never really considered it from this perspective, though you're right: Temperence does represent action, not just concepts: she is not imagining the water that flows between her cups, it is real, and she is activly mixing it with the fire.

However, she also symbolizes the concept of moderation. The middle ground: water AND fire, air (the clouds) AND earth (mercury), because we need a little bit of everything, in just the right combinations, to live well.

The Gilded card for Temperance is particularly interesting. In addition to having all four elements present, the woman is unique. Her hair is like fire, brilliant, flickering in the wind, but shot though with black ash. Her eyes are open, but it looks as though her iris is completely white, and yet she stares, enchanted, by the fire in her goblet. She preaches moderation, and yet she herself is tempted to the one end of the extream (the fiery end). Apparently, even she sometimes has to hold herself back, and maybe this is why the water all flows towards the fire, cooling it, though the fire never goes to warm the water. Her personal balance needs all the cold water it can get.

This, I feel, is emphasized by her appearence, her red hair (long associated with a hot temper, as well as magical inclings) and her sheer dresswhich looks to be only just staying on her body in a failed attempt at modesty. She is an odd symbol for temperence, I think, but appropriate, too: afterall, it is those of us who lean towards the extreams that need the most help in remaining in the middle.
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