Hard Card: Temperance


Balance is something we all strive for but how to go about getting it? Some people try each day to balance work and pleasure, so that they get equal amounts—only to find that that balance becomes harder to maintain every day.

Others need more structure and schedule everything, including their free time so they can make sure that they are getting everything taken care of that needs their attention, even themselves! But that too has drawbacks, if you miss a day of scheduling or forget to put something important in your calendar, then it can be only too easy to get off track and buck the entire system.

Putting Temperance in Perspective

Sometimes life doesn't seem to stop. There are days where we have to be "on" constantly and that's going to drain even the most extroverted person's batteries. Temperance, though, lives by the metaphor, 'work hard, play hard', and encourages us to honor that by making sure that we find some time to schedule to breath and recharge. 

But Temperance doesn't let us off that easily. What things are dragging you down or causing anxiety? These things are ingredients that don't mix well and rather than continue to practice this lesson in futility, Temperance is more apt to throw them right out and start over with fresh items in hand. This means, dear reader, that you are very much so allowed to set aside everything you know is not serving your best interest. It may sound blasé, sure, but it can be that simple sometimes. 

When It Isn't That Simple

There are times when people cause us a lot of distress. People who seem to attract drama like Pigpen and dirt clouds. These people will often grow agitated for no reason when another person is acting as Temperance, and attempting to alchemically create the balanced life they desire.

Because negative energy isn't going to move on its own. Instead it stagnates and doesn't want to meet us even halfway. This is showcased no better than one experience a friend had when they received an engagement ring at a family holiday dinner. Their self-described 'best friend' called them after she had posted the image of the ring on social media—recall she was with her family on a holiday—and launched into a tirade that boiled down to: "Why didn't you tell me personally? How dare you, I am offended." Which severally confused my friend, as you can imagine. 

It was the other person's stagnant energy, which often my friend had tried to help her through, railing against the quick moving and shifting energy of a person making some kind of progress in their life. There is psychological evidence for this as well—where control issues flare up in the face of others who are doing their own work. 

The best thing to do in these situations is claim your boundaries. Temperance stands on land and touches a foot to water but her physicality is firmly rooted on dry land. We don't have to drown. So whether you decide to sever everything by confronting those you need to, or by magical means, or not, remember that Temperance is about balance.

You need to do what you need to do for you before doing it for others but don't forget to pay things forward and elevate people when you can. This is important, I think, more than we realize, as we often want to distance ourselves from negative energy but we can sometimes turn around, after making sure we are firmly planted in our own solid ground, and help lift them from the water they've been floundering in—if it doesn't come at the expense of pulling us back in with them.