Tuesday, 8 May 2012

XIV - Temperance/Alchemy

Mythical Goddess Tarot
©Holloway & Skaggs
While people may find Death or the Tower frightening when they come up in a reading, Temperance is also a card which evokes a lot of sighs and rolled eyes.  The message that we need to be balanced, to avoid extremes, to moderate our behaviour and be self-disciplined, strikes many as boring and hard-work.

I have generally seen this card in a more favourable, if still somewhat annoying light.  It asks of us to find the right mix of ingredients, to wait for the best moment.  For example, in a question about moving house it might suggest that getting all your ducks in a row will take hard work and patience. Finding a buyer who wants a family home rather than a development opportunity; waiting for the offer on your house, and to find a place you like that fits what you want, what your OH insists on, and what the kids can't live without; delaying to get all the necessary bits of paper and the okay from the various banks and other institutions involved.  Tedium can definitely be involved!

Still, meditating on this card today brought me a different insight.  It also says that the path we walk is our path: not one we can hurry, not one where we can get all the answers from a self-help book, but one which we must walk one step at a time.  Learning at a deep level comes from doing - practice makes perfect - and so we will find that balance, that correct mix of variables, through trying things out. It doesn't have to be a passive waiting, nor a boring slog, if we see it instead as a series of experiments, with no right or wrong, each just a learning experience. 

The only way we can fail is not to ask, not to try, not to live.  If we go too far, life will push us back, and we will have to try a different route.  So, going to extremes may well end in frustration, hence Temperance's caution to moderate ourselves.  Ultimately, though, everything we try adds to the rich stew that is our existence. 

Today, then,  remember that we create ourselves with everything we do, so let's try to see every challenge as an experiment in being ourselves.  Who do we want to be?  What actions will best lead us in that direction?  Now, let's get going!


  1. That's a good insight, just what is needed when thinking how to make sense of guidance from whatever source.

    1. Hi Hamadryad,

      Glad you found this useful. This is another great thing to do to get to know the Tarot, or a new deck, or just a card that's giving you pause in a reading. Meditating on it, path working with it, can be very productive. Wishing you well in your explorations :)