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Mary El Tarot - Temperance

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Mary El Tarot - Temperance


http://www.mary-el.com/14.html

This is the first Temperance card which has allowed me to really understand what temperance means to me. It is such a departure from every other temperance card I have ever seen and particularly from the typical RW that finally it made sense.

Temperance or moderation has been a part of every spiritual system from the beginning of human experience. Fasting and feasting are all part of this but beneath is the very human ability to override our animal instincts and urges, to 'temper' our actions and in this card we see just that. The raw, primal, instinctive and predatory urge of the tiger to hunt out and eat what it wants, when it wants it but in this image it is out of it's place, swimming through the cooling waters which so go against the instincts of most cats (but they can do it). Steam rises from his back, there is always a trade off, an energy released or a new balance found and in the distance, a small flock of birds (to me) represents the flight of or freedom attained from this mastery of the basic instincts.
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I have difficulty with this one and think I always will...


All I can see in this card is the symmetry of the stripes (?)... is that relevant? I'm determined not to let this card spoil the deck for me but I just don't get it. It seems to me the flattest card in the whole deck, the least detailed, least layered one.

I'm trying. I think the William Blake verse helps, doesn't that talk about symmetry?

"What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"
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The artist is a member of this forum as FearfulSymmetry.
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Ha you got ahead of me... LOL!
This card is a definite departure from traditional imagery. I have been reading the book only so far as I have gone over the cards in this study group at this stage in order not to taint my observations, but, the tiger is first introduced on pg 28 – under the Hierophant.

Quote:
”…if one’s consciousness expands to where the judgement of good and evil are transcended, everything is beautifully right. These things are a balance and interplay, and are necessary for this whole of creation. Light and shadow, positive and negative, black and white, life and death, the orange and black stripes of the tiger.”
All of the imagery is tied up in the body of the tiger, in his stripes. Perhaps this is the microcosm. Steam rises from the tiger’s back for he is the fire in the water surrounding the him and that pairing is the macrocosm.

The energy and the turbulence of this card returns us to the activity of the Universe, Stillness, the moment gives way to the constant shifting of things to retain balance. Flux and mutability.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
All I can see in this card is the symmetry of the stripes (?)... is that relevant? I'm determined not to let this card spoil the deck for me. But it looks like a kitschy beach towel. It seems to me the flattest card in the whole deck.

I'm trying. I think the William Blake verse helps, doesn't that talk about symmetry?

"What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symetry?"

But the Temperance card comes up for me so rarely, I'm hoping I may not see it much
Yes - the poem is - for those who may not know - called "The Tyger". Cats are remarkable at keeping their balance, are they not? I want to say more about this in a bit....
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Apparently tigers love swimming.
http://animal.discovery.com/tv/tiger.../swimming.html
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Such a fascinating card. When I first scanned my eyes over the images on her website, this is really the one that made me sit back go "woa." Talk about a departure from the traditional representations!

I thought it would be my favorite, however, like Le Fanu, I have a hard time reading Temperance out of it. I think it's a beautiful picture but... I still don't get it. I will have to muse on it some more.
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Yeah, very strange temperance card...
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For me means that the tiger is tempering his body, his wishes, his passion, hunger, pulses, with the cold water
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Any more thoughts on this card? The only thing I get is that the only time one can be anything close to balance is when when one is in stasis...yet if one is in stasis, one isn't growing, isn't learning. Balance isn't a state of being but a flow from one state to another and back again. Just as the tiger isn't just standing there but moving...

UZU--Feisty Kat aka Melia
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