14:   Temperance

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The Temperance tarot card
Universal Waite
The Temperance tarot card
BOTA (Builders of the Adytum)

1.   Avoiding extremes; self-control; moderation; being careful.

2.   Economy/thrift.

3.   Combination/synthesis/adaptation.
A harmonizing or blending of opposites.


We are told that the angel in the illustration is Michael.

One writer says that "temperance" refers to the act of tempering, or the making of a properly balanced mixture.   One no longer goes to extremes, but has mastery of the pairs of opposites; he now chooses a path somewhere between two extremes.   Tempering refers to the blending of opposites to achieve synthesis.   Blending must occur in the correct proportions.

Another writer has said that one cup is pouring water into the other; and that cup is pouring fire back into the first one (in the Rider-Waite version).

In the Crowley deck, this card is "Alchemy."

In the B.O.T.A. (Builders of the Adytum) deck (see illustration supra), the letters יהוה can be seen above the medallion on the angel's chest.   יהוה is the "Tetragrammaton"   —   the Hebrew name of God found (hundreds of times) in the Old Testament.   An English Bible will render it The Lord in small caps, instead of actually translating (or transliterating) it.   יהוה does not mean "Lord."

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