XIV. Temperance

Unification, Moderation

Appearance

An angel standing at a river, pouring a liquid between two vessels.

Story

Continuing on his spiritual path, the Fool begins to wonder how to reconcile the opposites that he's been facing: material and spiritual (which he hung between as the Hanged man), death and birth (one leading into the other in the Death card). It is at this point that he comes upon a winged figure standing with one foot in a brook, the other on a rock. The radiant creature pours something from one flask into another. Drawing closer, the Fool sees that what is being poured from one flask is fire, while water flows from the other. The two are being blended together!

"How can you mix fire and water?" the Fool finally whispers.

Never pausing the Angel answers, "You must have the right vessels and the right proportions."

The Fool watches with wonder. "Can this be done with all opposites?" he asks.

"Indeed," the Angel replies, "Any oppositions, fire and water, man and woman, thesis and anti-thesis, can be made to harmonize. It is only a lack of will and a disbelief in the possibility of unity that keeps opposites, opposite." And that is when the Fool begins to understand that he is the one who is keeping his universe in twain, holding life/death, material world and spiritual world separate. In him, the two could merge, as in the vessels that the Angel uses to pour the elements, one to the other. All it takes, the Fool realizes, is the right proportions, and the right vessel.

Divinatory Meanings

Unification; the blending of opposites, reconciliation. Time, care, patience, experimentation; moderation. Alchemy.

Reversed

Disunion, unfortunate combinations, competing interests.


The Fool | The Magician | The High Priestess | The Empress | The Emperor | The Hierophant | The Lovers | The Chariot | Strength | The Hermit | Wheel of Fortune | Justice | The Hanged Man | Death | Temperance | The Devil | The Tower | The Star | The Moon | The Sun | Judgement | The World


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