This year I’ve decided to focus on Temperance. The idea of Temperance (and the card also) is very much about Equilibrium and Balance.
Therefore I asked the cards about how I can best balance the different aspects (roles, task and identities) of my life. As a mother, a wife, as a co-worker, a friend and as, well, me. How can I make all that a whole person?
In a short while I’m going back to my job after 11 months on maternal leave, and would like to know how to balance things so my life with my little projects, work, family etc does not end up being too stressfull and chaotic. In fact I’m a little bit afraid to get drained of energy in the swing of things.
I drew 10 of Staffs: The Phoenix : rebirth, strengthened by ordeal, renewed strength; 3 of Staffs: The ship: a new wave, reinforcements, replenishment; and the Lovers: The Minor Conjunction, love, sex, attraction, coming together.
One of the things I have to get used to by this deck is that Place connects Staffs (or Wands) with the feeling function, not the intuitive function, of the Psychological Types coined by C.G. Jung. So the two Staffs card makes this very much about feelings and about valuing. (Appearently feelings should not be confused with emotions. Emotions can rise from all of the four psychological functions).
There is some passion in this reading, I should say.
The Alchemical Study Group at AT says about the 10 of Staffs: “The phoenix represents the birth of a new personality. Tarot wisdom: You have been transformed by your experiences. You have been tested by fire; your old self has died away, and a new self is being born. You are renewed .”
During the months of my maternal leave and by giving birth to a new little child, some changes have already happened to me. A transformation has taken place, so that I am actually ready for the new phase in my life. I can start anew. I am also at a point in my life where I am proactively starting changes for myself. For example I’ve decided to let go of my overweight and a lot of bad habits. Im ready to let go, purify, and let something new into my life.
There certainly is a lot of power in this image of fire.
The Alchemical Study Group at AT says about the 3 of Staffs: Tarot wisdom: Your ship has come in. Energy has been put out, and now it returns in reward. What you have been waiting for is arriving; the project will be complete. Or, the message may point to the arrival of reinforcements to help out in a tough situation.
I guess that this means that I need not to be afraid to get drained. I have the power in my self to sustain, and there will come reinforcements from my reserves, as long as I stick to my course. Here I also have in mind the UW 3 of Wands. I also think of this ship in connection to the Six of Swords, and my soul journey, I’m going to embark on this spring. That will provide me with energy too.
The Alchemical Study Group at AT says about the Lovers, that “The Lovers mark the first or lesser conjunction of the masculine and feminine principles, symbolized by the union of the Emperor and the Empress, with their spiritual essence, Sol and Luna, in the background. This is called the alchemical wedding, and was depicted in the texts as a wedding ceremony, or more often as a consummation of the marriage. [...] [A]nd ideally balance between the male and female aspects of our personalities. The Lovers are in harmony with each other, and therefore with the entire physical world”.
The Lovers are in fact doing what the Temperance is ultimately doing on a more sophisticated level: Mixing and combining opposites; female and male energies, solar and lunar. This is the alchemical wedding in the more mundane, sensual form. I’m also thinking about my husband and about my marriage, and that tending my love for and with him really is a key to make things work – of course. All you need is love. Well, love certainly is the x-factor to make the world go around. That goes for our little world too.
Something is also telling me that a key to balancing and healing (making whole) my life is passion. To be passionate about things. If some activity does not “do it” for me or fail to make me want to “just do it”, it has to get out of my life.
The overall message seems to be : The balance will be right. Just do it.
Images from The Alchemical Tarot, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Tarot website.