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Abrac 
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Good points.

One thing that's always puzzled me, and still does to a certain extent, is Waite's comment that the card is called Temperance "fantastically." Lately I've been thinking he might've said this to show he meant Temperance in a metaphysical sense; in a way that goes beyond the typical understanding of the word. This makes sense in light of the rest of his comment, ". . . because, when the rule of it obtains in our consciousness, it tempers, combines and harmonizes the psychic and material natures." which is a comment on how "Temperance" works on an esoteric level.

In Part 1 of the PKT where Waite comments on each of the trumps, he says of Temperance: "The first thing which seems clear on the surface is that the entire symbol has no especial connection with Temperance, and the fact that this designation [Temperance] has always obtained for the card offers a very obvious instance of a meaning behind meaning, which is the title in chief to consideration in respect of the Tarot as a whole." He's saying the symbolism suggests a meaning behind that which is implied by the title. Thus the title "Temperance" on his card is meant in a metaphysical, or "fantastic" sense, and not a mundane one.

This could all just be intellectual gymnastics though. Waite's uses "fantastic" in different ways depending on context. It can be anything over and above the merely mundane to delusion, so it hard to say for sure what he meant.
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I was wondering if the square and triangle of the septenary are related to the Theosophical seven principles of man, not an area I am familiar with myself, though it seems to talk of the three higher principles, Atman, Buddhi, Manas (immortal) and the four (mortal) quaternity four.


http://www.blavatsky.net/index.php/t...n-basic-course

Wm. Q. Judge, The Ocean Of Theosophy, Ch. IV.)

........... the lower man is a composite being, but in his real nature is a unity, or immortal being, comprising a trinity of Spirit, Discernment, and Mind which requires four lower mortal instruments or vehicles through which to work in matter and obtain experience from Nature. This trinity is that called Atma-Buddhi-Manas in Sanskrit, difficult terms to render in English. Atma is Spirit, Buddhi is the highest power of intellection, that which discerns and judges, and Manas is Mind. This threefold collection is the real man; and beyond doubt the doctrine is the origin of the theological one of the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The four lower instruments or vehicles are shown in this table:

Real Man: Atma, Buddhi, Manas,

Lower Vehicles:
The Passions and Desires,
Life Principle,
Astral Body,
Physical Body.

Quote:
These four lower material constituents are transitory and subject to disintegration in themselves as well as to separation from each other. When the hour arrives for their separation to begin, the combination can no longer be kept up, the physical body dies, the atoms of which each of the four is composed begin to separate from each other, and the whole collection being disjointed is no longer fit for one as an instrument for the real man. This is what is called "death" among us mortals, but it is not death for the real man because he is deathless, persistent, immortal. He is therefore called the Triad, or indestructible trinity, while they are known as the Quaternary or mortal four. Let us recapitulate.....

The Real Man is the trinity of Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or Spirit and Mind, and he uses certain agents and instruments to get in touch with nature in order to know himself. These instruments and agents are found in the lower Four -- or the Quaternary -- each principle in which category is of itself an instrument for the particular experience belonging to its own field, the body being the lowest, least important, and most transitory of the whole series.
Waite mentions in the PKT that the figure is an analogy of solar light, realised in the third part of our human triplicity. Maybe this could refer to its residence in the mind and consciousness.

He mentions earlier in the description of Temperance the direct path on the verge of the horizon with a crown vaguely seen in a great light...some part of the Secret of Eternal Life... not quite sure where I am going with this, maybe the angel is showing the divine link of immortality, with the alchemy of solar light and material nature being harmonised or united.

Am interesting thing about the imagery is that divinity is straddling the earth (humanity) and the solar crown in the distance is not described as being in heaven. The triangle is contained within the square...



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I can't seem to edit my post to make more sense, I was thinking too of the distant crown suggested by Waite as being part of the Secret of Eternal Life, immortality and eternal life... or apparently sometimes also known as the Elixier of life, the mythical liquid potion for immortality and eternal youth.



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Abrac 
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Hi smw. This is basically how I'm coming to see Temperance. We might use different terminology but in principle I think we're on the same page. The square symbolizes the four lower principles in a purified (white) state, allowing for the infusion of solar light. The triangle symbolizes the influence of the Divine and the awakening of awareness.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
Hi smw. This is basically how I'm coming to see Temperance. We might use different terminology but in principle I think we're on the same page. The square symbolizes the four lower principles in a purified (white) state, allowing for the infusion of solar light. The triangle symbolizes the influence of the Divine and the awakening of awareness.
Hello there Abrac. Maybe awakening of divine awareness relates to Waites's description of the crown being some part of the Secret of Eternal life 'as it is possible to man in his incarnation'. I was wondering before if it meant that immortality or eternal life on earth was being hinted at more literally.

I have just been reading Jung's references to alchemist visions of sparks, 'scintillae' of the world soul or spirit of God which appear as visual illusions in the arcane substance. In one description as the watery earth or earthy water. (This reminded me of the angel figure with feet on water and earth) .The human mind is also referred to as one such spark, linking perhaps the divine awareness already present to the greater.



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Abrac 
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When he says "Hereof is some part of the Secret of Eternal Life, as it is possible to man in his incarnation," I'm not sure he's referring to the crown specifically; he might be, but I take it as reference to to image overall. He's talking about the crown right before that, but to me it seems he shifts at that point to the overall imagery. I could be wrong, that's just how I read it.

I do think literal immortality is what he's getting. It's a process begun on earth but only completed in it's totality after passing from this earth.

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...maybe the angel is showing the divine link of immortality, with the alchemy of solar light and material nature being harmonised or united.

Am interesting thing about the imagery is that divinity is straddling the earth (humanity) and the solar crown in the distance is not described as being in heaven. The triangle is contained within the square...[/QUOTE]

This appears to be getting at Waite's intention, a kind of open secret, especially the triangle in the square, which is about the transformative Spirit immanent (Atma-Buddhi--Manas) within the four elements or the four theosophical vehicles of the human being. Also, the light above and beyond is the light within. Transformation from lower lead to higher gold is now, not past or future, as all the great Masters/Teachers tell us, not that it's all that easy to achieve. So the whole manifold message of the Temperance Angel is that we are that Angel's/ our own being and becoming.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
When he says "Hereof is some part of the Secret of Eternal Life, as it is possible to man in his incarnation," I'm not sure he's referring to the crown specifically; he might be, but I take it as reference to to image overall. He's talking about the crown right before that, but to me it seems he shifts at that point to the overall imagery. I could be wrong, that's just how I read it.
maybe the crown which suggests to me the humanity side (rulership, royal divinity) is a part of the great light rather than just 'part of the Secret of Eternal life'. I think that would make sense with reference to the whole image as you say.

I am wondering too if the crown described as being seen 'vaguely' suggests mystery and the secretive, harder to grasp/see element. The imagery of the crown kind of reminds me of when you sprinkle glitter over a shape, like a coin and you can see the coin's shape, indicating what it is by the space it takes.



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Originally Posted by Parzival View Post
So the whole manifold message of the Temperance Angel is that we are that Angel's/ our own being and becoming.
ahh... maybe this is further reflected in the imagery of the card with the 'vague' .secretive crown of humanity in the space made up by the lines of the great light and it's counterpart in the angel along similar lines but showing that space filled.



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parsival 
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In the PKT section on Temperance , Waite says that the figure " is the analogy of solar light , realized in the third part of our human triplicity " . The " human triplicity " is of course Spirit , Soul and Body . I think that the " analogy of solar light " is the Spirit , and that he is talking about this as somehow being " realized " in the body . It reminds me of the alchemical axiom " to spiritualize the body and to corporify the spirit ". So he appears to be talking about a knowledge of the Spirit through the body while we are still alive or in incarnation. Here the soul or psyche seems not to be involved whereas the position of the feet of the figure and the contents of the chalices , as previously noted by Abrac , seem to refer to soul and body . I assume then that the solar symbol on the brow of the figure and the shining crown stand for the Spirit?
In alchemy the spirit , soul and body correspond to Mercury , Sulphur and Salt which on Waite' s ToL correspond to Mind on the central pillar of Benignity , Desire on the pillar of Severity , and Will on the pillar of Mercy respectively. Thus we have Mind in correspondence with Spirit , Soul with Desire, and Body with Will .Although I could see that the first two correspondences make some sense , I don't understand why Body and Will are related. Also , in alchemy Salt is usually the product of Sulphur and Mercury which would put Salt on the central pillar .
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