I Am Temperance

Level Up, Spiritual Wayfaring


Edit: Dear God so many typos. Guess I should have proofread twice.

This is my newly updated blog header. It is a collection of Temperance cards from my favourite decks: Dreaming Way, Universal Fantasy Tarot, Mystical Cats, Wild Unknown, Fairy Lights, and Night Sun.

I remember reading one episode of Tarot Spotlight from the Four Queens, featuring Ashes and Wine Tarot a while ago. I remember this question was asked: “If you had to describe your reading style with a Tarot card, which one would you choose and why?” 

Good question! As I started reflecting on my own tarot reading style and my own worldviews, I could not exactly pinpoint which tarot card would fittingly describe me as a reader. I thought I might be Strength, because I like to focus on self-empowerment. However, although self-empowerment is important to me, it didn’t feel like it was something that defined me as a tarot reader. I thought about Death and Tower, because I believe in self-renewals, the willingness to accept the inevitable as well as the ability to open up oneself towards changes. No, not quite right, either. Maybe the Wheel? Surrender and let go?

None of those cards seemed right. I set the question aside and decided to return to it later. A few days ago, it occurred to me that I am, in fact, quite accurately represented byTemperance. It dawned on me all of a sudden–and it surprised me that I didn’t think of this before! But there we go. I am Temperance.

Temperance is about balance and flow. It is about living in the Now and relishing, walking gracefully in the Nowness. It’s about connecting with the present moment, not worrying about the Future, not being trapped in the past. It is about the Moment. It is also about balancing your perspectives, centreing yourself, remaining free but grounded in the fluidity of the Universe.

Temperance also reminds me of the Middle Way, because of its theme of balance. The Buddhist Middle Way is about avoiding the extremes and living peacefully with yourself and your circumstances in calmness and neutrality. Temperance also reminds me of the Tao: the push and the pull of the currents of the universe in their most natural state of being and existence, the yin and the yang.

Furthermore, Temperance is clarity and detachment. It’s about opening yourself up and becoming the hub of everything around you. There is an immense energy and attitude of freedom emitting from the Temperance card. While you may be limited by your background, your circumstance, by your physical incapability, by others who are consciously or unconsciously seeking to hinder you, by aspects of reality itself–your very existence or your very self is Free. It is liberated because you choose to liberate yourself by connecting to the Now and the Flow. You choose to be free and fluid. You choose to dance and make the best out of your given space instead of rigidly standing there and waiting for the worst to come.

Temperance is about choice and deliberately entering Freedom. Or shall I say, consciously creating freedom in your life?

Basically, Temperance describes my core attitudes towards spirituality and towards life. Needless to say this is reflected in my tarot readings and my style as a tarot reader. My observation is that my tarot readings are often geared towards self-discovery, letting go of negativity, and connecting the true part of yourself that is eternal and free. And then, choosing to stay there after you’ve found that liberating self-space–choosing Temperance and staying in the Temperance zone.

Other than Temperance, to be honest, I was just thinking to myself that: I can say that I’m a little bit of every card in the major arcana, and even the minor arcana. Which is really pointing towards the sky and saying, “There is a sky!” The tarot, of course, is meant to capture the human experience and psyche–of course I’m a bit of everything because I am, of course, human!!

But you know, sometimes we know there is a sky, but we really come to appreciate it when we look up to admire the different shades of blue, the slow, distant and tectonic movement of the white clouds smearing across the celestial canvas. That’s when we stare, in silence, and say to ourselves, “There is a sky up there.” In the same way, I rediscovered tarot (again!) and realized that every time I hold a tarot deck, I hold the complicated matrix creature that is myself in my own hands.

And that never ceases to be cool.

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