One Foot in the Water, the Other on the Earth, and a Head in the Clouds: Temperance

When Temperance appears in a reading, it is a call not to just resist temptation, but to find one’s center.  It is about remaining calm and steady, and not indulging in rage, terror, or frustration.  I see it as a reminder to seek solutions, and not to make yourself suffer through inaction or feelings of helplessness. 

Barbara G. Walker’s Temperance shows an angel woman calmly pouring water from one red pitcher to another.  She is the Water Bearer, Aquarius, the sign of innovation, social change, and global concern. Aquarians, in balance pour out blessings on the world with their communication skills and passion for equality. Temperance may indicate an Aquarius in the questioner’s life.

The passionate red of the pitchers, and the deft way the water flows from one to the other, may symbolize our ability to channel our intensity in constructive ways. We can harness the emotions that could destroy us and use it to our advantage. For example, we can channel them into creative pursuits: we can write, paint, and make music, or we harness the energy to strengthen our bodies– we can learn a martial art, or lift weights. 

Note the clarity of the blue sky, and of the water.  The woman’s dress is pure white. The trees are in orderly rows.  Emotional clarity leads to better ability to solve problems, better creative prowess, and serenity.

Notice how she has one foot on land, and the other in the water? This means she is comfortable both in the intuitive and the practical realms.   The woman’s wings align her with the element of Air.  She is balanced, both mentally and emotionally. She is intellectual and reserved.

The shadow side of this is that Air will trample the Earth and Water side of the personality (that is, the sensual, emotional sides, respectively) underfoot.  This, of course, leads to a cold, over-rational personality that’s divorced from feelings, intuition, and even its own body.

 

Robin Wood’s Temperance shows an angel man with golden wings, standing with one foot in water, and one foot on land. The water and sky are also clear and clean, as is his white robe.  Depending on how you read this card, the sun can be either breaking, signifying a new day, and a fresh clean slate; or the setting sun, which implies mastery and gained wisdom. There is also a little path leading from the pool. With poise and composure, everyone can find the path to a goal.

Temperance can be a man or a woman. Like Aquarius, this quality is egalitarian and androgynous.  It’s interesting, the alignment of the elements with the masculine and feminine.  I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone that while elemental energies are associated with male and female energies, they are also androgynous in the sense that anyone can possess each element’s qualities, no matter what their gender.

To show balance, the Angel Man is juggling three balls–one crystal, one gold, and one silver.  The silver is for intuition, gold is for intellect in the real world, and the clear one is for possibility.  Robin Wood writes in her book The Robin Wood Tarot that the silver ball is for spiritual wealth and the present, gold is for material wealth and the past, and the crystal ball is for mystery.  Temperance is equally developed in all these realms, without preference for any one.  Temperance calls us to be able to efficiently and deftly juggle all our roles and talents.  

 

 

Mary Guinan and Julian De Burgh chose a wise looking woman with silver hair for their water bearer. The woman’s white hair shows wisdom and knowledge gained by experience. The softness of her face and of her surroundings tell us self-control and mastery can be used to carry out loving actions.  I also love how she looks like she has no feet.  She looks like she’s floating.  Self-control can be used to master skills that contribute to our own well being, like meditation and yoga, for example.  Temperance can indicate transcendence.

 

Interestingly, Kris Waldherr chose a goddess I associate with Pisces, Yemana, to stand for Temperance.

Yemana is the Afro-Caribbean goddess of the oceans.  She exits the sea bearing treasures to benefit those on land; she is equally comfortable both in water and on earth. Temperance indicates harmony between the unconscious and the conscious, between the internal and the external, and the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Temperance is a picture of Jungian balance.  Temperance is equally introverted and extroverted, intuitive and sensing, feeling and thinking, judging and perceiving.

 

If Temperance shows in a reading, it indicates the person is well-balanced, or about to be successful in an undertaking if they remember to remain dedicated to harmony and clarity.

If reversed, it means that the questioner is either being too emotional, too intellectual, or too rigid in their thinking.  They may be feeling rage or terror.  They may be indulging in feelings of self-pity or paranoia, or they’re indulging in an addiction.

 

Would you care for more information about the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory? Do you want to know whether you are primarily an extrovert or introvert,  an intuitive or a sensor, a feeler or a thinker, a judger or a perceiver? Then click right here!

 

For more info on Yemana, click here! She’s one of my favorites 🙂

 

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Moon Signs

When people think of astrology and personality, they most often think of the Sun sign.  This is the sign people mean when they ask “What’s your sign?”  However, a person has a Sun sign, a Moon sign, a Rising sign, a Venus sign, a Mercury sign,  a Mars sign, a Jupiter sign,  a Saturn sign,  a Uranus sign, a Neptune sign, and a Pluto sign. My hope is we will talk about all of these.

The Sun sign is the sign of the outward personality.  Jung called it the “persona.” It is the personality traits that people see, and that we are most comfortable showing to the world. That is not to say that this personality is fake. It is a part of us; its energy is the energy that most of the time feels most natural to us. It is also the most “social” energy of ourselves.

However, we have other types of energy that we are born with, and other energies that we can develop.    This energy is closely related to the archetypes that Caroline Myss speaks of in her book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. Caroline Myss takes Jung’s work with archetypes and expands upon it, but keeps many of the original archetypes Jung worked with.  One of these archetypes is that of the Shadow.

The Shadow can be seen as being an opposite of the persona.  It is the part of ourselves that we may not be very comfortable with, energy we are not sure what to do with, or energy we are not even consciously aware of possessing. Just as the persona is associated with the Sun and the energy of that sign, the Shadow can be associated with the Sun’s opposite–the Moon.

The Moon has long been associated, in astrology, with emotions and the subconscious. The Moon sign, or the sign the Moon was in when you were born,  thus tells how you handle your emotions. It tells about the personality that you may not show outwardly, and that you yourself may not be very familiar with, as the Moon, in traditional astrology, rules that particular realm.  The Moon is also the ruler of the five senses, and your instincts. The energy with which you react to your environment is ruled by your Moon sign, according to astrology.

I myself am a Moon in Aries, which is interesting, since here a physical, fiery sign is in the watery realm of emotions and the subconscious.  My sun is in a sign aligned with water–Luna (the sign formally known as Cancer and also known as Fegerri or Selene. We’re still working this out. At least here at Turtlephoenix).

First, let’s discuss the Shadow as I feel it, in my Moon placement. As a Moon in Aries, I am ashamed of my anger, which sometimes feels consuming.  I am also very competitive, but, because I am insecure and frightened of displeasing others (a common complaint of people in my Sun sign), it tends to show up in self-destructive tendencies when I am feeling off balance–I constantly compare myself to others and never quite measure up.

As a Moon in Aries, however, I feel I have a certain passion for pursuing matters relating to the subconscious, the emotions, and the instinctual.  When I am balanced, this competitive spirit helps me push myself. Also, when I am emotionally committed, I am in it for the long haul. This can be a double edged sword, as I don’t take rejection easily. Going into the more personal realm, I see my exes, both erotic and platonic, as competition in the imaginary contest for whoever is more lovable, desirable, successful, etc.  They usually have no idea they’re running against me. Sometimes, I’m not even aware I’m in the race until my emotional legs give out.

Raven Kaldera chose Macha, an Irish goddess who was faster than anything on earth, including the King’s horses. Her mortal husband bet she could outrun the King’s horses, and the heavily pregnant Macha won the race. When she reached the finish line, she gave birth to twins, and then cursed all the men of Ulster.  This is the Arien anger magnified by the intensity of the Moon.

Arien Moons are always quite open in the expression of their emotions, even if they try to hide them. As a weepy Luna, I have many a time bruised my Arien Moon pride by sobbing in front of people. That is the peril of this fire sign in the Moon, though. It’s too strong to stifle.

Currently, the Moon is in Libra, and tomorrow it will enter Scorpio.  Libra, being an air sign, is an uncomfortable place for the emotional moon, and the Shadow side is charm, flattery, and manipulation–as well as a tendency to play favorites–but it lends a romanticism, and an instinct for harmony and peacemaking that can’t be beat. Raven Kaldera chose Isis for this placement, a goddess whose love and devotion brought her husband back from the dead, but marked her son as a tool for vengeance.

The Moon in Scorpio is powerful, indeed. The emotions here tend to be taboo–the sign of Scorpio rules sex, death, and rebirth–and the subconscious mind can be full of disturbing images that can peek out as disquieting thoughts. On the other hand, a placement here leads to a richness in imagination, fertile dreams, and a deep compassion.  Raven Kaldera chose Hecate for Moon in Scorpio, the Greek goddess of death, crossroads, and the underworld, but also the goddess of midwives. As matriarchal medicine fell out of favor, the midwife became synonymous with witchcraft.  This misunderstanding is very familiar to anyone with a lot of Scorpio energy, who understands that decay brings fertilization.

You can find your Moon sign here, at the Lunarium. Knowing the time of your birth is important, as the moon can stay in a sign for only a day.

Your Moon sign is not alone. All the archetypal energies of the signs and the planets interact with one another, and manifest in similar, but not identical, ways with each person. The fact that watery Luna is my sun affects how my firey moon expresses itself.

I want to take a moment here before we close to remind us that these signs are energy that is accessible by anyone. For example, if you are having relationship difficulties, call on Libra energies to help you balance your emotions.  If you are preparing to do psychological work, either for yourself or for another, bring in Scorpio energy. Here is a quick visualization to help you.

Imagine that you are lying on your back in water of a comfortable temperature. You are completely safe in this water. Breathe smoothly and naturally. As you lie on your back, you are gazing up at the moon.  This moon is a new moon, just a thin slice of silver in the sky.

As you gaze at it, the moon begins to swell into a full moon. As if swells, it fills with the color associated with the energy you want to access–if you need the strength and power of Aries, it shines red and orange.  For Libra’s peace, harmony, and charm, soft pink and blue, and for Scorpio’s courage and insight, scarlet and black.

This light flows down on you, and pours into every cell. It lights up the chakras, the energy centers that form a path from the coccyx to the top of the head.  Absorb this light. You may want to chant a mantra, repeating the quality you most want to draw into yourself–such as “peace,” “courage,” or “strength.”

Soak in this power as long as you need. When the moon is full, bask in it, and feel the water supporting you. Then, let the moon wane until it is again a simple crescent in the sky. Afterwards, say thank you, and go about your day.

Archetypes associated with the Moon:

Virgin/Mother/Crone

The Heart

The Inner Child

The Moody One

Kindness

The Inner Parent