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The Temperance Tarot Card
The Fool has been totally transformed during his meeting with Death, and his journey through the dark forest. He feels confident, happy, and infused with a new sense of direction and purpose.
He sets out through the late winter snowy fields in the city of Light. Spring is finding its way to the earth and the trees are decorated with tiny leaf filled buds. The air is fresh and clean and the Fool inhales and raises his face to the sun as he walks along his way. Wisdom, his little dog, feels the oncoming spring too as she scampers and chases the laughing snow imps. The Fool has never felt so alive.
In the field ahead, the Fool sees a winged being near a steam, holding two cups in it's hands. It is Temperance, the Angel of patience and balance. Temperance is neither male nor female, suggesting the balance of the genders. Temperance, in fact, is all about balance of the opposites. It has one foot on the land and one in the stream, indicating the balance between logic and emotion, and the conscious and subconscious minds.
The water flowing from the cups it holds is actually flowing upwards to the higher cup instead of the other way around. But, it is actually also flowing in a circular infinity like pattern, which is indicative that what occurs on the upper plain is reflected in the lower plan and vice versa. It is the flow of consciousness which is present in all things. As above so below. Temperance teaches patience, understanding, compassion, and above all balance. It also represents the middle path as taught by Buddha. In essence, Temperance is the Buddha of the Land of Tarot.
The Fool approaches and Temperance offers him the cups. The Fool feels and understands the flow of life and death. All things have their season, and they rest dormant, but still alive in some form until it is again their season to bloom and grow.
The Fool leaves Temperance and soon finds himself in a thriving city. He wanders among the shops and businesses and thinks that it feels very good to be among people once again.
In time, the Fool becomes one of the people. He is considered to be a Sage, wise in the ways of the world and a teacher and a healer. People come to him for advice, understanding and compassion. His days are filled with love and joy in his chosen profession. He has learned to be patient and compassionate with himself and with others.
He even chooses a wife. She is beautiful and strong and wise, and he loves her with his heart and his soul. Her name is Harmony and together they lead a life of love and happiness. She bears him several children and he is at his happiest when he watches them at play outside his window.
Time in the Land of Tarot, however, passes very quickly. And, in the blink of an eye, many years have passed. The Fool, and his dog Wisdom are magical creatures. They are members of the Major Arcana, and their lives are not subject to the confines of time. But, unfortunately, the other people who populate the Land of Tarot are not immortal. In time, they all grow old and pass on to the Land of Spirit.
The Fool watches as his friends and relatives grow old. His precious wife Harmony grows old as well. The Fool stays by her side patiently and with compassion as she goes through her end of life process. When she dies he feels empty and alone once again. His children are grown and all of his old friends are gone. The town is still alive and thriving, populated with new faces and new places. But, the Fool knows it is now time for him to walk forward once again.
He is heart broken, sad and lonely as he leaves the Land of Tarot behind and sets off once again.
If Temperance steps into your cards, it is telling you to have patience. Sometimes, the best process in life is to just wait and see what happens. Don't push the river and don't make the mistake of rushing ahead when the best course is to just stand still and wait to see what happens next. Have compassion for those who are less fortunate and for yourself as well. The best way I can think of to describe Temperance is the Serenity Prayer.
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