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Temperance, the combining of opposites, is number fourteen of the Major Arcana. According to Raven’s Tarot site “14 as two times the 7, adjustment of destiny.” It is also the number of cards in each suit when you count the court cards.
- Symbolism: Moderation.
- Element: Fire (see Tarot Elements)
What I See:
For a fire card I don’t get an overwhelming sense of the element. Though there is a feeling of steam, fire mixing with water. A very Lady of the Lake image with her raising from the pool like that. I get a sense of day blending into night, or vice versa. Rainbows can symbolized the bridge between heaven and earth, and more currently GLBT, which leaves me thinking of acceptance and finding peace within ourselves. It maybe the story I’m working on, but I also get a feeling of mixing cultures, races, and/or bloodlines. The overall color palette speaks of art and creativity, the blending of colors to create others.
Light (upright) Reading:
The serenity of the middle between polarities.
- Keywords: Tolerance, Moderation, Blending, and Adaptation.
Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:
Beware of a struggle to blend opposing sides.
- Keywords: Volatile, Excessiveness, Outlandishness, and Haste.
The rainbow has become a symbol of gay/lesbian rights, perhaps your story revolves around that. Angels and demons? It looks like she’s raising from a pool of water, perhaps a Lady of the Lake type story. How about the obvious guardian angel? Maybe her wings mean the ability to cross between worlds, spirit and physical. Or maybe the colliding of worlds?
Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues, perhaps the cutting of something with water or alcohol abstinence? Temperance is the blending of opposites to create something new, maybe your story focuses on wine making, cooking or a nutritionist, a pharmacist, a doctor or nurse or healer.
- Themes: Balancing Opposites, Art & Creativity, Healing, Moderation, Finding the Middle Path, Owning Your Light & Shadow, Boundary Between Conscious & Unconscious/Thought & Intuition, or Blending to Create Something New.
Temperance is a mixed-race child with the bloodlines of many cultures.
- Archetype: Alchemist, Healer, or Guardian Angel (the Higher Self).
Mentors represent the Self, the god within us, the aspect of personality that is connected with all things. The higher Self is the wiser, nobler, more godlike part of us [think Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s Pinocchio]. ~The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler
- Mythical Figures: Hestia, Panthea, Asclepius, Chiron, Vishnu, and Apollo.
The personality enneagram, a nine-pointed array of personality types, might also be a useful reference for character building.
Temperance is E5: Observer, Investigator, and/or Sage
- Self Image — I see through
- Passion — Greed
- Virtue — Detachment
- Narcissistic Trap — Knowledge
- Avoids — Emptiness
- Speaking Style — Explaining or Systematizing
E5 people are ruled by their head. They need to understand the pattern of events, where all the pieces fit in the puzzle of life, and are often detached from their emotions. Their objectivity may hide feelings of isolation or confusion.
Additionally, look up one of the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) for personality traits.
When the Temperance card appears in your writing practice, you might want to reflect on how you find balance in your work as a writer. ~Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner
Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide