Friday, May 21, 2010
KEYWORDS: Flexibility, Moderation, Transcendence
The magic of the Tarot lies in its timeless symbolism. When we look closely and contemplate tarot symbols, they help us awaken intuitive channels and unlock the secrets of our higher selves. The Great Mother gave us more than a tool for divination. She provided us with a visual roadmap to understanding as we navigate our way through a constantly changing world.
The tarot’s major arcana cards represent universal experiences that we all go through, no matter what our background or how we were raised.
Change, like death and taxes, is something we can count on but don’t necessarily look forward to. It often affects us directly in very tangible ways igniting a series of internal changes in its wake. When circumstances push us through hoops, doors, and open windows, we are pulled out of our comfort zone. We may react strongly, with unexpected emotions, and we may find ourselves acting out in unanticipated ways. Stress, after all, can do strange things to even the most stable individual.
In this modern, pop-culture rendition of the Temperance Card, actress Catherine Deneuve is an angel praying serenely over a chalice of flowing water. Her classic beauty and peaceful repose reminds us to slow down. The birds in this card signify the elements of air and thought, and they remind us to respond rather than react. Insinuate the intellect wisely when the raging waters of emotion threaten to carry us away. Catherine’s praying hands are held up to her forehead, indicating the third eye, which is open. In this, she acknowledges that integrating internal change is critical to maintaining emotional stability. She is also secure in the knowledge that the watchful Raven (the eyes of the Morrigan or Dark Mother) is a representative of the Goddess, who is always watching over us.
It is no coincidence that the Temperance Card falls between the Death Card (#13) (transformation through change) and the Devil Card (#15) (enduring problems) in a tarot deck. When viewing the major arcana in a linear fashion, it becomes apparent that the placement of this card gives us an opportunity to deal with and process emotional change. Take time to watch for signs, markers, totems and patterns that are significant to our personal journey. These signals point the way. Let go of what should be released, such as failed relationships, unsuccessful work arrangements, and uncomfortable or awkward circumstances. Know that irreconcilable differences or contradictory opposites, whether they are inner archetypes stretched by duality or personalities that make working together difficult, can be transcended.
Concurrently, these issues can isolate us when ignored. They keep us from moving forward by instilling fear and making us too frightened to take emotional chances again. When left to fester, they become the even bigger issues that vex us symbolized by the Devil Card (in which case a hearty sense of humor is very helpful).
When the Temperance card appears in a reading, remember the words fluidity, agility, and flexibility and go with the flow.
Read more about the creative process here.
View the Major Arcana Gallery on my art site here.