Tarot Temperance – A Useful Symbol


I like symbols. I always have. They help me make some sort of sense of the world and the things that happen to us. I use many different types of symbols but by far the most used are what I call my 78 Ambassadors. These 78 pictorial energies are what constitute the major and the minor arcana of what is popularly known as the Tarot.

I know Tarot cards are popularly thought of as a tool for fortune telling and this is a shame. It does them a grave disservice. Tarot cards are more about fortune shaping than fortune telling which brings with it an implication that somehow our futures are already out there and preset. I cannot and never will accept this and neither does the Tarot.

Used properly the Tarot is an instrument of growth and development and this is how Katarina and I use them. Here I introduce one of my favourite ambassadors a card from the major arcana called Temperance. When discussing health in a general way and not being specific about any particular area, disease or affliction Temperance is the symbol of choice.

Whilst many cards in the Tarot have a strong balance theme, the Justice card for example, Temperance is the ultimate card of pure balance. This is especially true when coupled with the idea of mixing. This leads to the idea of combining different elements to achieve a desired result. This is a definite skill and at its peak it is an art. It is no coincidence that in at least one Tarot deck the Temperance card has been renamed ‘Art’.

When considering our health it doesn’t take much to realise that the desired result we seek to achieve is ‘Good Health’. We are fortunate as for the most part nature is kind to us. Being healthy is in fact the ‘norm’ but looking around at those sharing this life with us it is easy to have doubts. Why is this? Here we come back to the Temperance symbol.

Whilst it may be normal to have good health retaining it depends on the delicate balance of many factors. Here in Sweden we have the word ‘lagom’. It has no single word translation in English it’s meaning being, “not too much and not too little – it’s lagom”. In other words striking the right balance between extremes. This is why Temperance is my Tarot card of choice when talking about our health in general. If we want to stay in good health for as long as possible then we need to practice ‘combining’ all aspects of our lives. We need to become skilled ‘lagmomists’ (a word I just invented) or better yet Temperance Artists. That is, take this combining skill to its highest level and turn it into a refined art.

© 2015 by David J. Meredith.

David J. Meredith
Not An Authority On Anything.
Härnösand den 31 dec 2015.
Web Site Home Page: www.dasanka.net

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