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Sunday, April 12, 2009

TEMPERANCE - Astrological Associations

I continue my astrological exploration of the Major Arcana with Trump 14, Temperance. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley
Crowley titles Trump 14 "Art" and attributes it to the zodiac sign Sagittarius, "the Archer" (a mutable Fire sign ruled by Jupiter). Book T does likewise, also titling the card "The Daughter of the Reconcilers: The Bringer-Forth of Life." Crowley tells us that this card foreshadows "the final stage of the Great Work" and directs our attention to the act of Fire and Water being harmoniously mingled at the bottom of the card. In their book Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler describe the energy of Sagittarius as a "force that strives for something higher."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
In this deck, Crystal Love associates Temperance (Trump 14) with the zodiac sign Taurus, a mutable Earth sign ruled by Venus. She writes: "Taurus creates the structure required for the materialization and maintenance of material form. As Taurus is ruled by Venus, it also produces fine artists, dancers, and craftspeople." Love notes that Taurus can also be "lazy, stubborn, insensitive, greedy, grasping, and self-indulgent." Temperance, according to Love, "symbolizes wealth, material success and material possessions. . . It also indicates a need to stabilize and to develop a solid base from which the self can operate."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens associates Trump 14, Temperance, with the planet Mercury, "lord of the sphere of Virgo, surrounding the solar Leo-sphere." He tells us that "the function of Mercury is that of the mind in its concrete activities and imparts knowledge, learning, which after all is the beginning or potentiality of all our further relations in this world."

The Celestial Tarot by Brian Clark
Clark titles Temperance "The Spirit of Sagittarius." He writes: "Sagittarius embraces spiritual ideals, morality, ethics, justice, and temperance. . . The pursuits of knowledge, understanding and wisdom are virtues for Sagittarius. . . A common theme underlying Sagittarian myths contrasts the barbaric, stormy, wild side, with the pursuit of higher vision, knowledge, and ethics. Similarly, the card Temperance implies moderation and balance, finding the middle path, and discerning between right and wrong."

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann
Mann associates Trump 14, Temperance, with the zodiac sign Sagittarius. He writes: "Sagittarius indicates the necessity for high mindedness and religious contemplation, acting through its ruling planet Jupiter, the planet of moral aspiration and transcendence."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel
Liz Hazel lists Sagittarius as her attribution for Temperance, Trump 14. Keywords she associates with this card include renewal, successful expedition, high expectations, a blending of opposites (or of taking diverse elements and mixing them successfully), blending the old with the new, learning foreign languages or being influenced by what is seen and experienced in foreign countries, people who use a variety of disciplines in their work. Reversed characteristics are very much in keeping with the less desirable traits of Sagittarius: refusal to gain maturity, pessimism, bitterness from past struggles, reluctance to reach for new possibilities, lack of poise and dignity, refusal to ask for or accept help.

As usual, we have many sources agreeing on the same astrological association for Temperance: the sign Sagittarius. The fact that Sagittarius is a dual sign -- with a highly philosophical component and a highly physical component -- corresponds nicely with the idea of Temperance representing balance or blending of diverse energies. I am not completely opposed to Love's association of Temperance with Taurus. Certainly both represent keeping things on an "even keel." The Mercury/Virgo connection proposed by Thierens doesn't work well for me.

I welcome your comments!


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