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temperance tarot card vitoria deck

Just what is this angel doing? She is the first of the angelic cards and is here as counterpoint to the Devil just as we have other pairings and possible pairings in the Tarot - Emperor /  Empress, Hierophant/High Priestess - or is that Magician/High Priestess? There are no rules, no set pattern. Themes are the key. What the angel is doing is remixing / blending the essences of life (it follows the reaper card remember - another pairing.

At the time the tarot appeared, Temperance was recognised as a virtue in terms of moderation. It also represents an alchemical process - fusion - the merging of otherwise opposed substances to create something stronger - a vital quality in any ruler uniting a divers group of peoples.

The more specific association of Temperance with alcohol dates from the late 19th century and is strongly in accord with ideas of moderation in today's society.
temperance tarot card marseilles deckTo temper is to strengthen through blending.  This card represents the melding of two streams – emotion and intellect, ambition and ability, the possibilities are many…   Here, you rise above simple controlling by tempering, fusing the divers elements into one powerful force.  Control, though, is a double edged thing - I hear a lot of psycho-babble about ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘control freaks’... We are all control freaks! We live and act in our best interests and attempt to control our lives towards those best interests.  Some though, take things a little too far and find that controlling others is a challenge they can’t resist, above and beyond the control they exercise over their own lives.  We choose when to relax and tighten the control we have over ourselves and should be alert to others manipulating this themselves.  We should, though, be aware that everyone needs their own degree of control and this is the speciality of Temperance - understanding and identifying that, melding the needs of others with our own.  This is The Diplomat, the Bringer Together, The Negotiator (but not the estate agent).  This is finding common ground where differences can be accommodated and made to work.  This is the ability to work and to play.  The blending and fusing of contrary forces is seen as Angelic, the work of a Healer, of a Peacemaker.  As positive as it can seem, in some cases this card will only point up the impossibility of a situation reminding us that it would take something of the order of a miracle to make things work.  The appearance of Temperance in a relationship question can indicate that things are in need of extreme rescue.












© Jeremy Rogers 2007 Document made with Nvu return to top