This is the seventeenth post in a series on the Tarot Rug Project (also known as "Exploring the Tarot: 23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana"). To view the entire series, go HERE (that post will be kept up to date as new photos are published and the show travels).
TEMPERANCE: Here is the "classic" Rider-Waite-Smith image below:
"Joy, temperance, and repose, slam the door on the doctor's nose."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Use what seems like poison as medicine. Use your personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.”
"A fretful temper will divide the closest knot that may be tied,
by ceaseless sharp corrosion;
a temper passionate and fierce may suddenly your joys disperse
at one immense explosion."
Let's have a look at Jule Marie Smith's interpretation of the Temperance card on her rug:
Jule Marie Smith is an enormously talented, highly respected rug artist who--as with just about all the artists in this project--has won numerous awards for her originality and mastery of color. I think she is too busy teaching, dyeing wool, and creating rugs to have a webpage. The easiest place to see several of her rugs is HERE--to see them, scroll down to the bottom of that page. (The page is a description of a class she's giving in 2016.) I've been lucky enough to take two classes with Jule Marie and loved every minute of both. I hope to study with her again. Rug hooking seems to attract very special and kind people, and Jule Marie fits right into that category.
To see one of her rugs up close is to see how she paints with wool, using colors in both bold and subtle combinations. She has long been known for her penchant for creating original colorful borders around her rugs.
Jule has worked with The Egyptian Tarot rather than with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and her rug reflects that. I love the design, from her red-rayed sky and powerful sun, to the lotus border and the angelic figure in Egyptian garb pouring from one flask to another (complete with "walk like an Egyptian" stance).
And those wings! Check out the coloring in the wings. I also like the bargello-like water underneath, its pedestal and lotus vase, and the Serpent of Wisdom sneaking in an appearance.
Going back for a moment to the original Rider-Waite Smith image at the top of this post, you can see the complex and numerous symbols in the card itself. In both the card and in Jule's rug, we have an angelic figure mixing a liquid between two cups. So...
WHAT DOES THE CARD MEAN?
One of the many traditional meanings of the card is that of bringing two unlikely things together and successfully integrating them. To do this, one must achieve the correct balance--first within oneself, and then with any external ingredients. And if you look at the angel's feet in the card, one foot is on land (the material world) and one in the water (subconsciousness). This angel is all about balance, moderation, and careful experimentation until s/he hits just the right combination of ingredients in the two substances to create the perfect blend.
When you get this card, ask yourself:
A few more quotes may help you, especially the last one from Rumi:
"Temperance: Eat and carouse with Bacchus, or munch dry bread with Jesus, but don't sit down without one of the gods."
"The ingredients of health and long life, are great temperance, open air, easy labor, and little care."
Sir Philip Sidney
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.”
Remember that you can catch up on all the other rugs in the exhibit at the link at the very top of this post. If you are curious about what's behind the exhibit, there is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here (scroll down to the bottom of that post to get to the FAQ).
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcome.
Today's suggested tarot resource: The Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI). You don't have to be British to appreciate and use what they have to offer.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society