Tarot Meditation: Temperance

Posted: February 26, 2016 in Tarot

RWS_Tarot_14_TemperanceSo, here again we have the rather imposing figure of a red-winged angel. I’ll admit Temperance didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm, not least because the symbolism is relatively straightforward and I’m not sure I have much to add, but here we go. The angel figure, clearly an authority, pours water from one cup to another. The angel bears symbols which are too tedious to discuss, though I will say that the sun sign on the forehead puts me in mind of the image of the image of doctors from a couple of decades ago, with a small lamp strapped to the forehead for performing examinations. this is particularly striking given this card’s association with physical things, and the health of the body.

The importance of temperance is set out ably enough in the general layout. On the right hand side of the card is relative abundance, greenery and flowers (also the side from which water is being poured) whereas the other side is barren and rocky. One should spare the abundance of now for the famine of later. I am also struck by how grounded this card is. Other cards featuring balance as a key theme do so in an abstract sense (for example Justice or The High Priestess) whereas the angel in this figure stands with bare feet on the earth and in the water. Whilst I’m not quite a foot fetishist (quiet at the back), there is something incredibly visceral about experiencing things with the bare feet. So this is a card of material and pragmatic balance rather than settling some kind of spiritual discord.

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