XIV-Temperance / Art (♐︎)


Temperance Temperance by G A Rosenberg


Alchemical art
mix my opposite being
within my vessel


I Not I
being, becoming
from the Not into the I
and the I into the knot
Letting the old flow into the new
and transmuting it
my male to female
woman to man
body to soul
gaining new awareness as I go
controlling it carefully
yet letting it flow.
Integrating the dissolve
with new resolve
all with the aim of the gold in mind.
Eagle and Lion cracking the egg
the snake transforms
new insight descends.
— G A Rosenberg


In the trump the Lovers, we become aware that there is an existence outside of our own and sensibilities very different from ours. It is this difference that makes us start to question our lives. With Temperance we learn to synthesize these differences and consciously incorporate them into our own being. Temperance or Art is the card of Balancing Transformation. It is connected by many with the art of Alchemy. When many people think of Alchemy, they think of the Philosopher’s stone which results in the ability to change lead into gold. What the Alchemists true goal was to change the lead of corse matter into the gold of spiritual awareness. This was done by blending and combining the opposite elements within one’s being. Combining in other words who we are with who we are not, our shadow selves to become something greater. The angel in the card is combining onto (and into) herself the liquid fire with the fiery water to form something new. By being aware of who we are and who we are not, we can consciously acquire new talents and abilities, blend the two and become something greater, the being who we wish to be. Just as the alchemist followed very specific methods with very specific ingredients, this transformation does not happen in a wild and uncontrolled form but through self-examination and meditation and quite usually through ritual (even the ones we create for ourselves).


Astrological Correspondence – Sagittarius (♐︎)-The Sagittarius energy is an exploratory one that hungers for the freedom to search out truth. It is an enthusiastic fiery energy and one that shifts in viewpoint and location to further its understanding. Its symbol is the hunting centaur (denoted by the centaur’s arrow). The centaur is part man and part horse and partakes of the nature of man and beast and masters the blending of them both. Sagittarius’ ruling planet is Jupiter and has that optimistic and expansive aura. It is an energy that takes risks in its desire to do more, know more and understand more and it becomes what it needs to in order to achieve this end. The Sagittarius influence is one that focuses on self-truth, personal integrity and self-perfection. Sagittarius brings back what its arrows aim for.


Runic Correspondence – Dagaz (‘Dawn’) dagaz
Dagaz is the rune of transformation. It is connected with achieving enlightenment through the resolution of paradox. Dagaz’s time of day is the in-between times of twilight and dawn.
Dagaz involves the blending and transformation of one thing into its opposite and the synergy that can come from the two working together. The rune heralds the safe conclusion of these shiftings. Other runes associated with Temperance are Laguz and Nauthiz.


Path on the Tree of Life -Path 25-Samekh-Samekh means literally “tent peg”. It is the path that dissolves the lower ego with ones higher consciousness. It connects the sephiroth of the Sun and the Moon, Tiphareth (“beauty”) and Yesod(“foundation”). It is known in the Sepher Yetzirah as the Testing Consciousness and is connected to the temptations that can befall one in that spiritual becoming. The temptations are connected to the balancing out of the self and its shadow and the blending of the two. Samekh is also connected with the worm ouroboros which it resembles, a snake with its tail in its mouth.


When Temperance turns up in a reading, it can indicate that one’s life has reached a state of balance. The querent may be at a stage where the allot enough time to do both the things they want to do and the things they have to do. They work when they need to and have enough time for family and leisure. It may mean tho that it is time for them to examine their lives and figure out how to bring this state of balance about in a conscious way. Temperance may also show in a spiritual sense that the querent is undergoing a transformative experience and that they have made it through the trials and are integrating it with their conscious awareness. The card may be cautioning the querent against going to extremes and learning when to assert themselves in a conscious manner. A keynote for the card is taking responsibility for one’s life in a conscientious way. In a situation where the querent feels torn between two different paths, it suggests finding a synthesis of the two


Temperance inverses talks about imbalance in the querent’s life. It could mean that they are going to extremes, first acting in one way and then acting wildly the opposite in order to try to balance the two. This may be because they lack any long-term plan or purpose for their life and they need to take conscious responsibility for it. It may refer to passive-agressive behaviour on the querent’s part. The reversed Temperance may also refer to someone being so cautious and afraid of their own actions that they hesitate too much refusing to act at all. The card reversed may also refer to someone who is unable to integrate recent changes in awareness into their lives possibly out of fear for how others will react.