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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Living water

Isn't the tarot cute? Today's message builds on the one I got yesterday about finding balance. What do I draw today but Temperance, that card that so many people associate with balanced behaviour, thinking and feeling? Some people, including Rachel Pollack, have said that they find Temperance boring and that it's one of their least favourite cards in the deck. It's certainly not fiery or glamorous, but for me, Temperance is one of the highest aspirations of life. It's one of my very favourite cards. Temperance is balance. Temperance is moderation. Temperance is what the Buddha taught, what Patanjali taught, and even, I believe, what Jesus taught. Temperance is existing in a state balance, because we understand who and what we are.

So in this image we have a figure standing on the grass (earth) with one foot in the stream (water), having wings (air) and following a path that leads toward the sun (fire). Her balancing act is not really achievable just on the material plane. What she's doing with the water there, though not as exaggerated as in some Temperance cards, is not really possible. You can't pour water sideways. There's some magic happening there, the magic of the will and of the mind and of the realm beyond the mundane. Because the water flowing from that cup flows endlessly in an inexhaustible supply, and what type of water is inexhaustible? The Bible calls it 'living water'. Jesus said, 'Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. For the water that I shall give is like unto a well of water springing up into everlasting life' (John 4:14). What is this living water, this magical supply we see, both in the Temperance card and the Star card? Is it not enlightenment, realization? And what is the realization? The knowledge that we, our True Selves, are already balanced, are already Temperate, are already perfected, and that it is only our thought-forms that lead us to misunderstand, that throw us out of balance in our mundane lives, and that lead us to unbalanced behaviours.

The Temperance card from Crystal Tarot (Permutt, 2010) is reminding me to seek my true Self in order to find the place from which I can move toward more balanced thoughts and behaviour in my daily life. 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,' said Jesus, 'and all these things shall be added unto you' (Matthew 6:33). To me, the Kingdom of God refers to realization of unity with totality. It's the enlightenment taught by Buddha, and Patanjali, Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle, and all sorts of teachers I've never heard of. It's a teaching that's everywhere, that's everything. Just like you and me.

Contemplate the Temperance card today.


  1. It's interesting, my first teacher hated the Temperance card, but like you, I've always aspired to it. There is serenity in that balance :)

    1. I wonder why people hate Temperance? I really don't get it. What's to hate??

    2. Well, I think my first teacher had been a bit of a druggie, so it had been a very hard lesson for him, one which he still didn't really like. Some people say moderation is boring - it's fun to take things to extremes sometimes. Not sure about that one. I guess it's the thrill-seeking side of us humans...

    3. It can be fun, I guess, but most of my experiences of taking things to extreme have turned out to be quite negative. Perhaps I take my avoidance of thrill-seeking to the extreme, but it seems to work for me. :)

    4. Although I've done a few things like bungee-jumping and flying in an air tunnel, for the most part I'm not a big thrill-seeker, either. I prefer to enjoy the simple pleasures of life :)