Pearls of Wisdom - Temperance

Rede Seeker

This card makes me giddy - there is so much to see.

Central to this card is a woman, swarthy, not young/not an elder, she has some mileage on her. There is a red mark on her third-eye chakra; this mark radiates yellow/gold beams. Her shoulder-length hair hangs free, below her headdress.

She wears a headdress of pearls, gold and alternating gold and silver feather-like projections. It reminds me of a Shaman's headdress. Our lady wears pearl earrings, a pearl necklace and a pearl belt. She is winged. Her long-sleeved gown is red on one side and blue on the other; below the belt it becomes purple. Male-Female/Fire-Ice coming together to bring forth something new and higher than it's parent elements. The fabric seems to flow around her. She pours from a silver ewer into a golden one. Her eyes are down cast, intent on the task before her.

Temperance kneals on verdent grass at the edge of a pool of water. It could be a river bank, it could be a pond or lake. Her reflection is readily discernable although marked by the water's currents and wavelets. The pool is fed by a free-flowing river to the lady's right. It begins as a waterfall in the far distance and winds its way to the pool.

The background is filled with greenery - a meadow filled with small yellow flowers, woods and hills behind that. A sleeping Earth Spirit is to the lady's left and there is a pine tree beside her. A deer drinks from the pool. There are red flowers beside the deer.

The sky is half day-shine/half moon-light. Both sides hold gentle, fluffy clouds. A hawk flies on the 'day-side'; two stars appear on the 'night-side'. One star is reflected in the water beside the lady's reflection.

The upper corners of this card contain a shelf with a balance scale. Each scale is in perfect balance - the items resting on the scales match exactly. Both columns hold a yin-yang bracket from which hangs a pearl necklace. A golden ewer sits in the lower left-hand corner; a silver ewer sits in the lower right-hand corner. The golden ewer holds red flowers - I don't recognize the species; the silver ewer holds red calla lilies.

There are no Runes on this card.

Elements represented:
Earth - the rich, green meadow and trees
Air - the clouds and hawk on-the-wing
Fire - the Sun; the flame-like yellow flowers in the meadow
Water - the river and pool; the liquid poured from silver to golden ewer, Temperance's flowing garment
Spirit - the yin-yang symbols (brackets and Sun-Moon in the sky); the nimbus around the third eye chakra mark; the nimbus around Temperance's head (shaped like a headdress); the deer at peace with its surroundings drinking from the river; Temperance reflected in the pool

If anything, I think Fire is under-represented. A warning, perhaps that it's energy needs to be carefully metered for the peace of this scene to be maintained. The water Element needs to be contained and directed (river and pond).

I especially enjoy the mature female image given to Temperance. Yes, she has wings, she's angelic - but she looks like she earned her wings. Her skin is sun-darkened, her hair, while full, lacks the luster of the High Priestess, Strength or the Sun; the fluidity of the Lovers, the Star, or Justice. Her hair is similar to the Empress'. Both these ladies are surrounded by abundance; their focus, however, is the task at hand.


To me, it looks as though the lady is meditating or in a trance instead of looking down at what she's doing. Also, her blue breast seems larger than her red one and the scale on that side seems very slightly out of balance, too, looking heavier on the right than the left (using her right and left, not ours). Oddly, instead of everything on the night side being in shadow, it's the sun side that seems in shadow on the stone arch and pillar. The flowers in the vase on the sunny side are in shadow and closed up into buds, while the ones still growing are open but slightly less than on the ones in the blue vase are.