Golden Dawn Temperance—1st and 2nd versions


I've been aware for awhile that the GD had two versions of Temperance but only recently have seen a picture of the first version. It seems to me it has played an important role in the development of Crowley and Waite's 14th trumps. For example it's easy to see where Waite probably got his inspiration for the five-pointed crown. I made a panorama that shows the evolution from Levi—by whom the GD's first version was inspired—to Waite.

Temperance Panorama

There's also another excellent thread on this subject here:

Here's the full description from the GD Portal Ritual which describes both versions:

"This drawing represents the more ancient form of the 14th Key of Tarot, for which the later and more usual form of Temperance was soon substituted, as better representing the natural symbolism of the Path Sagittarius. The earlier figure was considered not so much a representation of this Path alone, as the synthesis of that and the others conjoined. The later figure, therefore, is better adapted to the more restricted meaning. The more ancient forms shows a female figure crowned with the crown of five rays, symbolising the Five Principles of Nature, the concealed Spirit and the Four Elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. About her head is a halo of light. On her breast is the Sun of Tiphareth. The Five-rayed Crown further alludes to the Five Sephiroth Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed and Geburah. Chained to her waist are a Lion and an Eagle, between which is a large cauldron whence arise steam and smoke. The Lion represents the Fire in Netzach—the Blood of the Lion, and the Eagle represents the Water in Hod, the Gluten of the Eagle whose reconcilement is made by the Air in Yesod, uniting with the volatilised Water arising from the cauldron through the influence of the Fire beneath it. The chains which link the Lion and the Eagle to her waist, are symbolic of the Paths of Scorpio and Capricornus as shown by the Scorpion and the Goat in the background. In her right hand, she bears the Torch of Solar Fire elevating and volatilising the Water in Hod by the fiery influence of Geburah, while with her left hand, she pours from a vase the Waters of Chesed to temper and calm the Fires of Netzach.

This latter form is the usual figure of Temperance, symbolising in a more restricted form than the preceding, the peculiar properties of this Path. It represents an Angel with the Solar emblem of Tiphareth on her brow, and wings of the aerial and volatilising nature, pouring together the fluidic fire and the fiery water thus combining, harmonising and tempering those opposing elements. One foot rests on dry and volcanic land, in the background of which is a volcano whence issues an eruption. The other foot is in the water by whose border springs fresh vegetation, contrasting strongly with the arid and dry nature of the distant land. On her breast is a square, the emblem of rectitude. The whole figure is a representation of that straight and narrow way of which it is said, “few there be that find it” which alone leads to the higher and glorified life. For to pursue that steady and tranquil mean between two opposing forces, is indeed difficult, and many are the temptations to turn aside either to the right or to the left—wherein, remember, are but to be found the menacing symbols of Death and the Devil.

The 25th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah to which the Tarot Key of Temperance is referred, is called the Intelligence of Probation, and it is so called because it is the primary temptation by which the Creator tries all righteous person. That is, that in it, there is ever present the temptation to turn aside to the one hand or to the other."​