Temperance at Half Time: An in-depth look at working with your Yearly Tarot Signifier
It's going to take me and my entire Spiritual Congregation, to come together and plan an offensive attack on the second half of 2020 if I'm to successfully make my way to the finish line.
When I first crunched the numbers and realized that Temperance was/is going to be my Signifier for 2020, I was kinda 'meh' about it. I can't say that Temperance has ever really been a ‘favourite’ card of mine, and maybe even a little misunderstood on my part. With that same kinda 'meh' energy, I originally assigned the message in its most basic and lazy Tarot 101 underscore, Balance.
We can probably assign 2020 a few choice key words,
Balance not being one of them.
I've since learned so much about this card, and am hoping to use this as an opportunity for you to see how you can tap into your Signifier more deeply, as well as give you some additional insight as to how to work with Temperance in your Divination practice.
There is an amazing Tarot Grid that I’ve recently learned to work with (courtesy Between the Worlds podcast), and it's brought significant enlightenment. The grid is based on placing your Tarot Majors in three lines, from left to right, The Magician leading the cast, with The World ending it. Basically, 7 cards across by 3 rows deep. The Fool can be removed from the Grid, and placed anywhere, depending on how you work with The Fools energy.
When placed this way, Temperance is the last card in the middle row. Now here's how this affects me directly:
Temperance is my 2020 Signifier
Death is my June Signifier*
The Devil is my July Signifier*
The Chariot... which
Cancer is my Moon sign
Cancer is governed by the Moon
Cancer transitions us into the second half of the year
*these cards were pulled in August of 2019 as a part of my Birthday Tarot Cast
As you can see, there is a lot of alignment and energy being thrown at me right now, with all fingers pointing to July, The Devil.
Here's what I mean - July is the last month in my birth chart (my birthday being August 2nd), giving me the opportunity to work with these three aligned cards from top to bottom in the following manner:
The Chariot ~ Take what you have, work with it, perfect it, and make something of it
Temperance ~ Take what you know, work with it, understand it, and use it to grow
The World ~ Reflect and honour all that you've become, and move on
This IS the path of progress, and I'm right smack in the middle of it. Another example, if you read the cards from left to right, they're numerically in sync... Death 13, Temperance 14 and The Devil 15. If I were to take 13 and 15 as book end advice prior to my birthday, I would read the message as such:
The Chariot (Cancer season) and Death (June) ~ I spent a major portion of this month sorting out what is working for me, and what isn't. I spent time with the things causing my pressure to elevate and really took the time to understand why, allowing me to come out of this month with a strong understanding of what my key triggers are. Taking this time to grasp the shadow side of many of my behaviours is me working with the enegy of Temperance.
The Chariot (Cancer Season), Strength (Leo season, and my sun sign) and The Devil (July) ~ July is going to require that I take all that I've learned from The Chariot, bundle it with energy of Strength so as to tame the beast within (The Devil or my triggers as it were). I'm being called to tap into an elevated understanding of my self worth as a tool for major growth in conciousness. Exhale & Happy Birthday. Wild.
You can also look at these 5 cards as a streamlined Celtic Cross:
i. Temperance being the card at hand
ii. Death being recent past (June)
iii. The Chariot being current (Cancer season)
iv. The Devil being near future ( July)
v. The World being outcome, the end of my 41st year.
I'll take it!
Temperance is an act of Transformation. It's being able to take all that you've learned and create something tangible with it (usually depicted as a lateral transfer of water between two cups). The impact of Temperance is the requirement that you have courage. I really like the imagery of the Temperance card from the Housewives Tarot for this exact reason. It's literally depicting the act of taking everything you have access too and having the faith to blend that shit together. If the cake turns out a total flop, who cares? You found the belief in yourself to give it a go. Now that you know, you can make the necessarily edits and move on. The more you do this, the more grounded in your self-worth you become. Here's an example of the difference between The Chariot and Temperance:
The Chariot - You have a cook book and you work your ass of to learn how to make a seven layer cake. You have the discipline, drive and desire to perfect the recipe.
Temperance - You've mastered how to make the seven layer cake, but it's someone else's recipe. Do you have the courage and faith to come up with your own seven layer cake?
How this works for me personally is that I have a strong grasp and knowledge of Tarot. Do I have the courage to intuitively reimagine the language of Tarot so that it speaks to BIWOC who've been affected by displacement and colonization and are looking to reconnect to the Divine through their ancestors? That's a big scary, I don't know!!
To the point of the Divine and the Ancestors, Temperance is the perfect card for me to call on, in that, Temperance does not work on its own.
This is a card whose energy relies on the feedback, connection and the assistance of master healers, Goddesses and Elders alike. I love knowing that, as this card now becomes a passageway for me to communicate with my Spiritual round table. I can use this card, or intuitive elements of it, as on offering on my alter when wanting to call on and call in my guides. I can also use it as an aid in meditation on my vision quests when wanting to speak directly with my ancestors.
"Do I have the courage to intuitively reimagine
the language of Tarot so that it speaks to BIWOC..."
Life after death. Temperance literally proceeds the Death card, forcing us to recognize and reconsider all that we are and all that we've become. A pause for enlightenment and rebirth is an appropriate next step when considering the medicine of Temperance, so that you can find the rainbow at the end of your storm. This particular June, as energized by The Death card, was so complicated for me. It rooted up so much unprocessed trauma and issues around displacement. George Flyod's Death opened the floods gates of recognition with the BIPOC community, and I was not... and don't think most of us were prepared for the tempête that ensued. Especially with an ongoing pandemic, many of us, including myself, had the space and time to navigate the complicated web of repressed emotion.
Something snapped inside of me this month. It left me raw, confused, deeply exhausted and sad beyond measure. After the initial impact, in a moment of deep exhalation, a path was made clear. It was like this storm needed to ride through in order to expose a truth that had been buried beneath years of placated emotional suffering. Amplifying melenated voices and self expression is the medicinal light of Rainbow.
The rainbow is the perfect expression of major things happening at one time, and depending on where you're standing, the storm still hasn't made it your way, you're somewhere stuck in the eye of it, or you've survived to witness the lessons of it. With all that is going on right now, I can't quite see the rainbow, yet. I need to spend more time finding balance, that milieu between black and white noise (literally and figuratively), so that I can start to walk my way forward along the path and bathe in the lessons of renewal, acceptance, adaptation, forgiveness and flow.
starNote ~ Rainbow also represents the Goddess Iris, who is the Goddess of communication and new beginnings, and can be found on several Temperance card illustrations.
starNote x2 ~ Rainbow also represents our LGTBQIA+ community, in which June is recognized as Pride month. An incredible movement was bought to my attention this season of Pride, the protection our Trans community. Temperance beautifully represents our the Trans community in a way that we can revere and embrace the fluidity of the Guardian who is most often illustrated as a beautiful merge of the Feminine and Masculine Divine.
Finally, I'd like to make reference to the astrological sign of Cancer, and its representation as the crab, as it relates to Temperance. I don't think I would have normally ever associated the crab with Temperance, but because we're currently in the season of Cancer, there's an element that stands out.
"This is a reminder to me that the more balanced I am,
the more I am firmly rooted in the security of the everyday,
the better equipped I'll be to dabble in creative play."
When you look at the position of Temperance, in many of the card versions that I've seen, they have one foot firmly planted on the ground and a toe in the water. Symbolically, Temperance is firmly rooted on the ground, or earth, which traditionally would represent finances, education, and career. In Thoth Tarot, Temperance is actually referred to as Art, which is reflected by the flow of water, and the transition of blending one thing to make something else... which we see Temperance doing with the cups, it's kinda like spiritual alchemy.
This is so relevant as I am currently on the path to healing my Root Chakra, requiring me to firmly have my feet planted on the ground, however, the Leo in me, my Sun sign, needs a creative outlet in order to thrive and avoid suffocation. This is a reminder to me that the more balanced I am, and the more I'm firmly rooted in the security of the everyday, the better equipped I'll be to dabble in creative play.
Finally, the agility and ability of Crab. Land and sea based, this incredible little animal walks sideways, and because of this, Crab is ALWAYS focused on adapting, and finding new ways to successfully manoeuvre in its surroundings. At the heart of Temperance is its willingness in the ability to blend. It's about finding balance and equality in all things in order to level up. We are all being called to do the same, so lets all add a little Crab into our lives, and sort it out.
starLites, if you're looking to connect with the energy of Temperance in your own life, and/or the impact of your personal Signifiers as a malleable life source, book a reading for your free consultation, and let's work towards creating your blendable path forward.