Temperance is a card all about finding the balance and middle ground between extremes. It is a card of peace and calm energy, that reassures, recenters, and renews your energy. The Fool is coming to learn the lesson of self-calm and composure. It can often take us a long time to get to this place of complete neutrality and non-reactivity, but Temperance teaches us that it is all possible, for this Divine state of equilibrium lives inside of us. There is a Universal force at work, in all of our lives, and balance is the natural state of being. This is a very comforting card, indeed. In this card we see an angel, with one foot on land and one in water. This represents the balance between the worlds and also between the conscious and unconscious mind. The triangle inside of the square adorning her robes represents the feminine force being protected by natural law. The angel is shown holding two cups and mixing water between them. This act represents the way our minds process information, and there being a higher and a lower order to consciousness. One who has mastered temperance does not act in terms of extremes, but finds ways to live in moderation.
The Devil, on the other hand, represents in some ways, the opposite of Temperance. This card’s themes are of being controlled, enslaved, addicted, ignorant, and hopeless. The Devil appears to show us when we are out of balance, in a state of obsession, compulsion, and unhealthy behavior. The archetype of The Devil represents everything that we fear or think is bad in society. We always see things in terms of these dualities; light and dark, good and evil. And our true human consciousness always wants good to prevail. The truth of it is though, good and bad, dark and light are not two separate forces; they are two sides of the same coin. When there is negative energy present, it is because there is something blocking the truth to come through. The first step towards vanquishing evil is to recognize when we do not know the truth. This is what The Devil comes to teach The Fool at this point in his journey: ignorance is the first step towards living on the wrong side. Getting too caught up in the physical and material is also what leads us astray from our Highest Truth. We must always keep in contact with the Divine, lest we forget our connection to it. Misery, hopelessness, and devastation are apparent if we have been chained for too long and are losing our inner light. This card shows the image of a Satyr – half man- half goat, with the same two figures from the Lovers card chained in bondage at his feet. He has an inverted pentagram atop his head, portraying the dark side to magic.
As history would have it, The Devil represents evil, but when it appears in a reading, there is no need to be afraid, because it is telling you that you may be trapped in something toxic, or negative. This card teaches The Fool not to “remain in the dark” for too long – about anything. Even when misfortune or negative events happen, we must always rise above to connect with what is good and pure within our Higher Selves.
I hope you enjoyed our first seven classes, and I look forward to chatting with each of you in our Facebook group until our next class on June 24th! Continue to explore your Rider-Waite deck, as well as the Tarot Ritual Kits, which you can either subscribe to and receive your tarot kit monthly, or get the new kit today. I can’t wait to see you in class.
If you are joining me for the first time, you can purchase previous tarot classes here.
Many blessings on your own journey to deeper wisdom.