Tarot - the Fool's Circle of Life
by Danielle Astrid Ricard
For ease in writing, I will use the gender pronoun that best matches the illustration below - no sexism intended. To listen to Musical accompaniment, look for a small link in the text!
This Archetype is number 14 of 22 Trump or Major Arcana cards in the Tarot. While the remaining pip and court cards portray more mundane realities, these cards represent higher energies, karmic forces, powers beyond our control, and superhuman strengths. In the Thoth Tarot deck, Temperance is ruled by Sagittarius
~ Grace ~
Can you tell I love this deck?? This woman is the epitomy of grace and style. She is Venus, welcoming you into her garden. Already prepared to give you whatever you need, she will not disappoint you!
Imagine yourself at a party. Your very gracious hostess offers you the comforts of her home and delicious food. She offends no one, smoothes over misunderstandings between guests, pays sincere, heartfelt compliments, and basically does her best to make sure that everything goes well, and nobody leaves unhappy. She is Temperance.
Picture yourself once again at the same party. You spy some beautiful person you'd just love to take home with you. Or maybe you smell something delicious in the kitchen that hasn't been served yet. Do you grab what you want and run with it? If you're the kind who strives to maintain good relationships and the love and respect of your friends, you act with class and wait for the perfect moment. Realizing that everything comes in its own time, you relax, enjoy the company, and behave just as graciously as your hostess.
Temperance is acutely aware of the passage of time, and the affect her actions through time have on all areas of life. Her broad vision gives her the clarity she needs to behave with great care and respect at every moment. Temperance also means moderation. This archetype teaches us how to walk the middle road, the path of least resistance, and to be in the here and now...observing the flow and the best possible role for each of us within that flow.
In another sense, Temperance refers to toughening, as in tempered steel - through many rounds of heating and cooling. This one has seen much, and walked down many roads - she is able to proceed with an objective awareness about the feelings and needs of others.
This card is most of all about patience and tact. Without social graces - respect for others (and ourselves!) and sensitivity about how and when to approach things - we are nothing but base creatures bent on fulfilling our own needs, or drones waiting for someone to tell us what to do. Fortunately, most of us have some sense of timing that keeps us within the circle of social acceptance.
When this card shows up, what may required is a thorough look ahead and backward, and a clear assessment of the current situation before taking some action right now... and what is certainly required, is patience. Often, what this card means is - yes, this will come about - in time!
MEDITATION: Contemplate your role as Temperance. Think about moderation, patience, graciousness, and your affect upon others through time.
PERSONAL DISCUSSIONS: When have you felt the energy of Temperance? Have you seen it in other people? Have you had happy/sad experiences with this energy?
TAROT EXPERIENCE: Recalling a time when you may have you drawn this card, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what did it mean to you? How do you feel this archetype affects the cards that come before or after?
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