The Artist's Concept
I always smile when I see Temperance. I know that I can find balance and that if I weren't able to have it, then the card wouldn't etch itself so prominently in my mind. Temperance is always one of the first cards I look at when choosing a deck to add to my collection.
Temperance and the art of balance are a life-long goal of mine. As I grow older in this life path, I find it very hard to bring balance and harmony into my world. I am torn between a full time career and wanting to play and experiment with my spirituality more often. As such, the two collide. I've always been drawn to Temperance, as a guide and a daily reminder that balance CAN be achievable and it is within my grasp. (This is something I struggle with daily.) Balance helps to de-stress the body, mind, and soul, and without balance, we become too wrapped-up in our daily lives and worries. I believe that without balance, we grow unhappy and complacent with things. Therefore, being able to design this card for the project was perfect as I constantly search for my own balance and inner peace.
Eastern thought and symbolism has always intrigued me. The Eastern ways of spirituality have long been a source of balance to me, from the Tai Chi exercises that free my mind from thoughts, to their slow and careful ways of watching the earth. All the symbols had to present a calming, balanced unity. I chose Chinese characters, the Yin Yang balance imagery for the background, and a butterfly in a balanced, almost symmetrical way to represent the ideals of harmony, living a life of balance both within one's self and with the world around us.
At the heart of the card's symbolism is the Yin Yang symbol. To me this symbol is the ultimate in balance - accepting the good with the bad. It represents that fine line I want to discover within myself that pits all of life's duality into a harmonious balance. The card's background is also neutral and calming. The image, while hard to see, is of a smooth sandstone, its lines running from top to bottom just as the energy shall flow between the top to bottom of one's body. The butterfly, intersecting with the Yin Yang, is a symbol of creativity. Creativity and balance run hand in hand in my mind. Without a creative life, there is no balance for me. Also, without creativity one cannot find new ways to uncover the balance in one's life. I am sorry to say I do not know the true meaning of the Chinese character in the card, but I selected it because it instilled a sense of balance and focus when I saw it.
The card carries a simplistic meaning. We should all live a life of balance and harmony in all we do. Inner peace and outer-peace with the world around us. The card is a gentle reminder that we should take time out of each day to respect and embrace and enjoy the gifts we have been given and the time we have on this planet. It reminds us that while the world may pass us quickly by, that we have the power within us to balance out our hectic schedules and tormented inner lives by returning to simplicity.
Reversed, the card denotes that we have allowed ourselves to be wrapped up in the daily hustle and bustle. Not enough attention is being devoted to appreciating what just is around us. We have forgotten the simple pleasure of just being and watching. It is a warning and a reminder that if we continue down this path that our mind and our bodies may become sickened.
A variety of images gathered and manipulated in Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop. Filters and fonts applied to create the desired outcome. The final image was produced on an Apple Macintosh Pismo PowerBook.
Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.