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While navigating the landscape of the less desirable within the Major Arcana of the Tarot, The Fool has encountered a challenge requiring Strength, has been hung out to dry as the Hanged Man, and has recently undergone the transformation of Death. Now a light beckons. A peaceful landscape, a serene pool and a divine winged figure present what will perhaps be a relief after all. The Temperance card promises calm, tranquility and balance. It promises these things, but does not automatically grant them. With Temperance, we must conquer the challenge of patience and prudence. This is no easy task in a modern era in which most would rather be scraped from head to toe with straight razors than have to wait for delayed gratification. The Temperance card reminds us of the need to cultivate patience. The right combination will be found, success will be had, and accomplishments will be achieved. Just not right now.
Death brings a transformation and sometimes painful losses. Temperance brings a challenge to the soul as well - that of a gradual emergence into relief. The Fool would love to tear through the kitchen throwing ingredients into a skillet to whip together an impromptu stir fry which just might be tasty. Zest for life and enthusiasm pulling the reigns, caution and reason nowhere to be found. Temperance on the other hand, carefully hand picks the finest quality foods, carefully combining one at a time into a slow cooker, allowing the aroma to waft through the air. Dinner will be served - eventually. Luckily we know that with Temperance, our reward will be worth the wait. Now as for the whole waiting thing….
Temperance challenges us to delay spontaneous reactions. We must re-examine our motives, and strive for balance. If we are used to acting in complete control and flying solo, we are now faced with the need to share, to admit that we have not perfected every skill and to find the blend of talents, resources, strengths and capabilities to bring about a more ideal combination. Esoterically speaking it is a card of Alchemy, purification through combining the right increments of the right elements. This requires a knowledge that spans beyond the comfort zone and allows for gradual exposure to ideas or skills that may be foreign or new. Compromise, combination, pulling creative forces together, this is the nature of Temperance. There is no dash to the finish line here.
This card suggests processes involved that contribute to a whole. Assembly, separate skills brought together for a common good, specialization and cooperation and harmony and contribution as part of a team rather than for individual gains. When this card appears it is a reminder that as good as you are at your trade or niche, it is by combining talents with others of equal skill in complimenting areas that completion is found. You may be required to exercise patience while working as a team or coordinating or collaborating on a project over which you do not have complete control. It is a card of acceptance, surrendering, cooperation and moderation of efforts. It is also a card of creative energy, bringing the best of your abilities to the fore, combined with the best resources in your surroundings, including other people, and bringing together various facets to find completion, refinement and achievement. Just as the Magician earlier in this process granted the lesson of wielding one’s thoughts to manifest in reality, Temperance raises this lesson an octave. It is not just the refinement of one’s thoughts and restraint of one’s reactions that cultivates success, but the discipline of one’s own mind and collaboration of skills with others to serve a common good.
Article by: Angela Kaufman. Angela is a Priestess for the Dragon Warriors of Isis Coven in Upstate, New York, and the co-author of Wicca: What's the Real Deal? She is a professional tarot reader. For more information about Wicca: What's the Real Deal? visit http://www.wwtrd.webs.com.