Sagittarius and Temperance

Today the Sun began its month-long trek through Sagittarius, the sign of the celestial archer, which is assigned to the Temperance card of the tarot. Sagittarius’ ruler is the planet Jupiter and belongs to the element fire. In Scorpio, the Sun has been intense, careful, methodical, and concerned with longevity, in Sagittarius, the Sun is in good spirits, adventurous, open-minded, and opportunistic with big, bold ideas. It's the journey, not just the destination. While the Sun is in Sagittarius, dare to dream a little. Allow Sagittarian ideals to stir excitement within yourself. This is a perfect time to start thinking about those new goals and desires to be planted in the New Year.

In the tarot, the Temperance Card, numbered 14, refers to the blending, moderation and tempering of disparate elements to achieve a balanced whole that is greater and more harmonious than the sum of its parts. The Greek philosophers, beginning with Socrates, spoke of four natural virtues: prudence or virtuous use of the intellect; temperance or virtuous regulation of the emotions; fortitude or virtuous effort of the human will and justice the result of the combined virtuous activity of the other 3. The virtue of temperance is found in the inscription on Apollo’s temple at Delphi, which has been translated as “nothing in excess” or “everything in moderation.”

Both Sagittarius and the Temperance card are constantly striving for a more enlightened state of being. The angel in the Tarot card here demonstrates this by slowly pouring the liquid from one golden cup into another, a culinary process called "tempering". Similarly, Sagittarius accomplishes this by exploring the far reaches of both the physical and philosophical world to expand on or "temper" what is already known. The Angel's beautiful, red wings represent blood or life, while the triangle on her dress means spirit and also the elemental symbol for fire. The angel's feet are also symbolic of the eternal pilgrimage or spiritual journey. By showing one foot in the water and the other on the shore we are reminded that our greatest wisdom lies in the art of balancing. And lastly, the iris flowers are indicative of the Goddess Iris who provides the link between God and humanity. Like Sagittarius, she travels from one end of the world to another, building upon something that is bigger and brighter than herself. 

Tarot Meditations while the Sun is in Sagittarius

This period of time when the Sun transits through Sagittarius is an excellent time to meditate on the tarot’s Temperance card. Are we acting with a balance of intellect, will and emotion? Where in our lives are we going to extremes or behaving in excess? Are we confronting situations that allow us to temper our character, like steel, to make ourselves stronger and more durable? Are we blending the disparate elements of our lives into a more beautiful and harmonious whole?

To prepare for mediation, sit or lie in a comfortable place and allow your body to be free of tension and distractions. Pay attention to your breathing. Feel your breath go in and out as you inhale and exhale. If distracting thoughts enter your mind, simply observe them and allow them to float by as you gently return your attention to your breathing. When you have established a steady, comfortable rhythm of breathing rhythmically in and out, turn your focus to the tarot card. Observe the card and contemplate its images. Let your mind be open to the messages you receive from it. When you have completed your meditation, you may wish to record your observations in a notebook for review later on.