Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Favorite Majors: Temperance

So, this is another middle of the road type major for me - neither a favorite nor particularly challenging to read. Like all the rest, it has a range of meanings, but by and large these have always made intuitive sense to me, paired well with the imagery of the card. Aesthetically...I must say, in the RWS deck this very well might be my least favorite of the majors, though in other decks - both clones and decks that hew further away from the RWS tradition - the card is often done quite nicely, though with...varying degrees of depth, I'd say.

Anyway, it wasn't TOO hard to choose favorites for this one. In this case, one I chose more aesthetically and the other more conceptually...

XIV. Temperance

So, choosing pretty blatantly for aesthetic appeal here but...I just really, really love what Ciro did with this card in the Legacy of the Divine tarot. The perspective is quite unusual, and really adds to the effect of the card. The colors are great - I love the deep purple, the bronze. I love how life-like the water and fire looks, and the light from that stained glass dome, illuminating everything? It's just lovely. It's a very original take on the card, and yet it keeping with most of the traditional RWS aspects - the mixing of water and fire, the angel figure... Also very in keeping with the theme of the deck as a whole, very fitting. I love to just...look at this card. Its really mostly a combination of the lighting and the perspective that does it for me but...yeah. An awesomely done Temperance card.

Runner Up:
Ok, so really it's a combination here. I do love the artwork of the Thoth - the use of color in this major especially draws me in. But primarily, as is the case with a lot of this deck, this card especially appeals to me conceptually. I like the renaming of this card...I don't think it's as perfect a subsitute as the Justice/Adjustment switch, but I do like the extra layers of nuance and meaning it adds here. I love the androgynous nature of the figure, the merging of male and female, black and white, balance. So many details here that speak to balance, to mixing, to synthesis and experimentation, creation and renewal...the switching of the colors of the eagle and the lion, the bright green, spring-like, of the dress with the bees, the rising up out of that cauldron (engraved with the symbols of death as a reminder...) where water and fire are mixed of that rainbow of energy....this card is so symbol-packed, and yet, to be honest, as much as I appreciate how much there is to glean from all of that...it's now what draws me to this card. At a much more visceral level...this card just makes perfect sense to me. When I draw it, it reassures me - I know what it's telling me to do in the context of the reading. In a way, the whole card has a kind of rainbow-ish feel to me that just...encompasses Temperance perfectly...


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