Saturday, August 9, 2008

Temperance, Alchemy, Science…

Looking for something to add to my daily work while I figure out this betwixt and between period, I've started doing the Tarot Contemplation exercise from the DM Kraig book “Modern Magic.” (Someone, somewhere described John Michael Greers teaching style as too intellectually rigorous, but it seemed to fit me just right). The tarot exercise uses only the major arcana, and not even all of them, when you start, you pull out and put aside some of the cards. So, the likelihood of repeating a card in quick succession is high. As a result, I was not surprised when I pulled Key XIV, Temperance, two nights in a row. When it showed up on the third consecutive night I said “OK, there is a message or a lesson here for me.” But, because the purpose of the exercise is to learn the cards, on night four, I pulled that card out of the deck and put it aside before starting the work. And, when I got to that part of the evening, I shuffled the remaining cards and pulled one out to study, and got---Key XIV, Temperance, because, yes, I am using a deck that has more than one version of the card in it. I think that I know where I will be focusing my studies for a little while…

(I know that usually the title Temperance is connected to the idea of cutting wine with water, but looking at the title of this post, something else occurred to me. Might it be the act of tempering? As in tempering steel by subjecting it to controlled heating and cooling? The strengthening of “something” by repeated controlled exposure to fire and water. This would certainly tie in with the other names for the card. Am I to do the tempering? Or am I the “something/one” being tempered? Or both?)

4 comments:

Frater BH said...

The JMG comment was from me and I meant it as his direct student. If you ask John to teach you, he'll give you about 20 books and a year's worth of work and tell you to come back when you're done! While I respect John a great deal and consider him a friend and teacher, I needed something else when I was beginning. I do enjoy his books. Circles of Power and a World Full of Gods are among my favorites.

Fr. POS

Rufus Opus said...

Years ago, a wandering Otter explained to me that Temperance is the perfect representative of the Holy Guardian Angel, and is the card that represents K&CHGA specifically. He had me meditate on it, sleep with it under my pillow, and all sorts of other stuff, and I benefited nicely.

Note that on the GD Tree, Temperance is found on the path of Samekh.

Lavanah said...

Hi, Fr. BH. The curriculum of LRM certainly follows the form you describe for his personal students. By the last few chapters of the book, not only was I spending hours a day at the work, but it had taken over the entire dining room table. In addition to LRM and the journal I was keeping of the work, there were also the recommended supplemental readings and the reference books I brought in to supplement the supplements. I thrived on the whole thing, but it really was close to full time work. (which is why I steered the teenager to Natural Magic, instead, she doesn't have time for a study program designed by JM Greer at this point in her life!) I certainly wasn't insinuating anything about your intelligence, ability or capabilities. I'm truly sorry if you thought so.

Lavanah said...

Hi, RO
I know about the card being on the path of samech in the GD system, and in the same system, representing the sphere in which the elements of the personality, having been separated out and refined, are once again recombined. I wasn't aware that it was specifically and directly associated with the K&CHGA. Considering some of the work I commenced the night the card first showed up, its repeated appearance (and in dreams, as well) does make sense. I wonder (and hope not!) if I will ever get over the wonder of such events?