To begin, it’s probably worth noting I have a lot going on today. Thursdays are just typically like that for me. It’s always just a busy day right before the weekend… sort of. So, I feel like today’s card is probably appropriate:
Ah Temperance, the one card that used to really confuse me. With a little time though, I’ve come to understand the importance of Temperance. I think my initial confusion is that the Temperance card in many ways echoes the art of The Star card. There’s this pouring of water from one source to another. Likewise Temperance is the 14th card, while The Star is the 17th. Maybe I’m not the only one to get them confused! In any case, Temperance is actually a card all about balance. This was explained to me as the balance between fire and water specifically. That fact, might explain such a strong red color in the angel’s wings.
When looking at Temperance in terms of themes and the Tree of Life, it isn’t as easy to place. As a pathway, Temperance is placed between the sphere of Tiphareth (Beauty) and Yesod (The Foundation). What this tells us is actually a little interesting. This would make Temperance a balancing force between the Sun and the Moon. That theme actually seems to have inspired the Gilded Tarot, perhaps. It’s difficult to reflect on what could balance, or perhaps stand between, the Sun and the Moon. Although, I can’t help but be reminded the Sun is reflected in the Moon.
To put another spin on things, Temperance fits between, or balances, the four sixes and the four nines. Honestly, that doesn’t help me very much. It’s confusing to think about. The sixes are about moving forward, while the nines are about facing a situation alone. What does interest me, is the fact most of these cards seem positive. The Six of Wands, Nine of Wands, Six of Cups, and Nine of Cups, one for each sphere and element involved, result in relatively positive aspects of each card. At the same time, they aren’t necessarily ‘completely’ positive. They simply are balanced in their own way.
The last thing to consider then, is the Major Arcana cards. The spheres associated with the numbers six and nine are The Lovers and The Hermit. From a purely personal intuitive sense, this could embody the balance between pursuing something we love, making that choice between two things, and spending time on ourselves. Water cools fire, and likewise we have to remember to keep our passion in check. Personally, this is a really important reminder to me. Balance is not easy, but it is extremely important. But, enough about what I think, here’s the traditional meaning of the Temperance card:
“It is hard, at first, to see where Sagittarius, the ruling sign of this card, fits in… Sagittarius is a sign of optimism, philosophy, and taking risks. This card urges the querent to have faith that they can merge fiery red and watery blue into otherworldly violet. But they will need to experiment, have confidence, and try, try, again.”