General Meaning: What is traditionally known as the Temperance card is a reference to the Soul. Classically female, she is mixing up a blend of subtle energies for the evolution of the personality. One key to interpreting this card can be found in its title, a play on the process of tempering metals in a forge.
Metals must undergo extremes of temperature, folding and pounding, but the end product is infinitely superior to impure ore mined from the earth. In this image, the soul volunteers the ego for a cleansing and healing experience which may turn the personality inside-out, but which brings out the gold hidden within the heart. (This card is entitled "Art" in the Crowley deck.)
Fast Facts About Temperance
Theme: The time is now for self-healing.
Astro Association: Sagittarius
Alias: Alchemy, Art, Balance
The Wheel of Fortune. For anyone who uses tarot cards for indications of where your life is heading, this card is always a fortuitous one. It tells you that you will have tremendous power over your own destiny and the power to heal yourself from any pain from the past. A new chapter begins in your life even if you don't know it yet as you are building a bridge to a beautiful future.
As you do so, you come to realize that you have to choose to let go of any pain from the past and a decision to move forward. Drawing the Wheel of Fortune card tells you that you are going to make the right choice. And most likely you already have, because you are capable of moving out of the past and into the happiness of your future on this very day.
Lydia Ulenghong Smith-Lenardson's Personal Card:
This Deck: African Tarot
General Meaning: Although it has taken on a strictly romantic revision of meaning in some modern decks, traditionally the Lovers card of Tarot reflected the challenges of choosing a partner. At a crossroads, one cannot take both paths. The images on this card in different decks have varied more than most, because we have had so many ways of looking at sex and relationships across cultures and centuries.
Classically, the energy of this card reminded us of the real challenges posed by romantic relationships, with the protagonist often shown in the act of making an either-or choice. To partake of a higher ideal often requires sacrificing the lesser option. The path of pleasure eventually leads to distraction from spiritual growth. The gratification of the personality eventually gives way to a call from spirit as the soul matures.
Modern decks tend to portray the feeling of romantic love with this card, showing Adam and Eve at the gates of Eden when everything was still perfect. This interpretation portrays humanity before the Fall, and can be thought to imply a different sort of choice -- the choice of evolution over perfection, or the choice of personal growth through relationship -- instead of a fantasy where everything falls into place perfectly and is taken care of without effort.
Fast Facts About The Lovers
Theme: Integrate two potential realities or let go of one of them.