When we hear the word “Temperance”
we think of the enforcement of a government’s social attitude
concerning substances that are “currently considered evil”,
or perhaps the avoidance of such substances.
However the Tarot presents the more classic concept
from Alchemical studies.
The classic image in the Tarot Card is that of an Angel
with one foot on land and the other in water
pouring liquid from one vessel to another.
The act of “tempering” is taking a substance and moving it from one extreme to another:
Hot and Cold.
As with the other Tarot Images,
Water represents Consciousness,
the vessels that are being uses are “states of being”.
As we are being stressed by our everyday lives
we are experiencing “tempering”
and provided with the opportunity
to strengthen our Spirit and focus our Will.
the making of a blade requires heat
for the steel to be worked.
Then is quenched by water, hardening it.
This is repeated until the shape is accomplished
and the metal is worked to create an edge.
It is much like the process of alchemy.
One’s Being is separated into its elements
heated, cooled and combined for the final tempering;
the result is the Philosopher’s stone,
which in fact is You.
Samekh is the Hebrew letter attributed to this concept:
sometimes referred to as The Womb Preserving Life.
In this way we see a kind of containment
(much like the Chariot)
yet this is used to strengthen and preserve.
In the elder days
when folks talked about the mysteries
they used everyday images.
They would ask the Crone
(the old woman who is the keeper of the knowledge of the Tribe):
“What is it like?”
“Well”, she looks around and spies the fireplace.
“It is like that old cauldron over the fire.
We set the great pot in the fire place
(the alchemical crucible)
and fill it with water (consciousness)
and your father would go out and Hunt a deer
(The God) and place it into the pot.
Your Mother goes into the garden
and collects Herbs and vegetables
(aspects of the Goddess in nurturing, healing and cultivation)
and that too is placed into the pot.
It is heated and cooled,
from that we fill our bowls and feast.”
We derive nourishment form the source itself,
and in fact we find it delicious,
here by demonstrating an Art in this expression:
food is both a sacrament of the body and the spirit,
nourishing us in every way,
The classic image of Sagittarius
a centaur drawing a bow and aiming at the stars.
This tension and release is fundamental in the composition of music,
the greatest music of the ages utilizes
drawing your attention and holding it,
causing the listener to physically sit on the edge of a seat
for the chord progression to resolve,
teasing us when it doesn’t.
For the Temperance Amulet
I have placed a cauldron with a Crone of Wisdom behind it,
form finger tip to finger tip we see a rainbow,
representing the tension (like the bow of archery) and the assurance of success.
She stands before a cauldron brewing a stew of nourishment
containing everything you need to learn and grow,
aesthetically pleasing to the pallet.
On the cauldron is the letter Samekh
signifying the alchemical crucible
in which we must endure in order to gain the necessary experience
to transcend our current position.
The image is to convey the process of Art itself:
a process that can open the mind and heart
to deeper realization and the potential for growth.
The Temperance Amulet is for the Artist,
Actor, Musician or Dancer.
The filmmaker that can inspire and inform their audience.
The Temperance Amulet would be for those that are more subtle in their abilities
to express themselves for the benefit of those around them:
home makers that can turn their dwellings into places of inspiration;
a chef that can create food,
helping one transcend their daily routine.
It is within the context of Temperance
we gain a better understanding of the Art of Living.
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