Reading: Temperance

Reading 2015, Nov 24
Animal Wisdom Tarot, A Reading for Temperance from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

This reading is about a choice or situation with extreme contradictions. I will keep in mind my internal conflict between people pleasing and intolerance for what I consider unacceptable behavior.

Position One: Current Situation

Falcon, Seeker of Feathers (Knight of Swords)

Air of air, the Knight of Swords can represent battle. I definitely have an internal battle being fought in a very air-like way (logic, thoughts). I think this card in this position is representative of this internal battle rather than me rushing forward, because I keep wavering back and forth, which is not a courageous run forward.

Position Two: Alternative

Bat, Master of Suspension (The Hanged Man)

Funnily enough, I think this card is an indication that the time for contemplation is over. At least until I reach a new place worth contemplating. It’s time to have my world turned upside down, to surrender control and see what happens. I have thought so much, but the remaining question is how others will react to me when I stop being so quiet and passive. And their reaction is something I cannot control. So surrender and jump into this new world. Then I can ponder where I’ve found myself.

Position Three: Possible Middle Way

Gorilla, Six of Fossils (Six of Pentacles)

I particularly love the Animal Wisdom Tarot interpretation of this card: “Six of Fossils highlights the harmony of exchange. Gorilla advises balance, to share freely and take just what you need. Release judgments of pride or shame; learn to give and receive” (73).

This could imply a more conscious back and forth. I may need to recognize when an olive branch or gift is being extended my way, even if it isn’t being presented in the way I might want or expect it to. And I can communicate what I need. I don’t have to only change my behavior and then fearfully wait for a reaction or response. This doesn’t have to be entirely in my head. I can keep these loving gorillas in mind and try to emulate their give and take, their loving care for all: others and themselves.

Position Four: Needed Approach

Hippo, Ten of Shells (Ten of Cups)

Happy, harmonious, and loving. Approach from a position of assuming the best and of loving those around me rather than imagining the situation as antagonistic or dangerous.

Position Five: How to let energy flow

Heron, Two of Feathers (Two of Swords)

Don’t assume my choice is between either the logical path or the emotional one. They are not actually mutually exclusive. It will be a painful choice if that is the choice system I create. The energy will flow better if I slowly lower my defenses.

Position Six: What commitment is needed

Monkey, Two of Fossils (Two of Pentacles)

I need to commit to the journey, knowing there will be ups and downs. I need to commit to staying in the process. This might take creativity, flexibility, and a playfulness I often keep buried.

Overall Reflection

There are an abundance of cards that speak directly to balance in this reading! I’m hearing that message loud and clear — both in the spread itself (a reading for Temperance) and in the cards that showed up (The Hanged Man, Six of Fossils, Two of Feathers, Two of Fossils). That may be my new mantra for a while: “Balance. Share like the gorillas. Choices aren’t all  mutually exclusive. Go with the ups and downs. ”

 

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