a moment of repose.

Ah, the lovely trump 14 card: Temperance. A very fine card for a Monday, and the beginning of our spring. 

The word temperance means 'moderation', and especially moderation of self. Within our lives so easily be overcome by drama, fighting, emotional challenges and other such discord, the idea of moderation may seem impossible and overwhelming: there are just so many battles we need to be fighting, no time for being calm and reflective! 

But of course we know that is not true, and is certainly not the perspective that will get us beyond these experiences. 

Temperance lands between Death and the Devil in the Tarot deck, and is seen as a moment of resting and recalibration amidst understanding impermanence and the realities of nonduality...both heavy work. The card stands not as a reminder for us to go and seek peace, however--it's no suggestion to take the day off work or avoid situations of conflict--but to move inwards and recognize that peace already exists within us if we just allow it to be so.

We can be in the midst of great chaos and emotional storming and yet are always capable of contacting our inner ground. We just have to practice. 

 

It is from this ground and place of peace that we are then able to come to understand more perspectives than just our own, and this is where temperance comes from. To seek 'right action' and doing the right thing in whatever situation we find ourselves will always require us to understand the deeper complexities of what is happening, not just our own limited perspective. If we are constantly looking at everything as a fight of us versus them there is no way we will find our own evolution nor create healthy, co-creative relationships with those around us. 

The root 'temperare' comes from Latin and means 'to mix properly', and this card can also be a reminder of 'mixing properly' in our personality and response to life.  

 

Often times we separate the different sides of life so as to feel like we have a solid handle on each. We keep work related things to one part of our mind, family and friends in another, and perhaps close friends or lovers in yet another compartment. We treat some people in one way, and respond entirely different to others because of past experiences or how we assume they will respond. 

It is said that this compartmentalization prevents a deeper freedom within us to take life just as it happens, as we are not able to be fluid in our personality and responses, instead calculating and balancing as we go. Temperance is a call to remember our innate ability to handle all experiences with joy and peace; to release into what is, and then free up all that mental and emotional energy that might be used fighting to do our own healing work.