TemperanceI’m a collector, a Tarot addict as you know, and I’ve just stumbled onto the beautiful Llewellyn Tarot deck. The first image that caught my eye was that of Temperance or as titled here ‘Keeper of the Well’.

For me Temperance is one of those cards that usually doesn’t pull much of a punch in readings. It’s important, it has a message to give but it just doesn’t seem to have the same clout as Death or the Devil for example.

Temperance isn’t even a word we use much any more in our every day language. What does it really mean anyway?

According to dictionary.com it means the following:

1. Moderation or self-restraint in action; self control.
2. Habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion, esp. in the use of alcoholic liquors.
3. Total abstinence from alcoholic liquors.

This definition got me thinking…. is self control really valid in our modern society?

We can pretty much do as we want these days. We spend what we want whether we have it to spend or not; we eat what we like; we drink what we like; we smoke; we work incredibly long hours. We’re wild, we’re uncontrollable, we’re out to have a good time.

With all of this freedom why would we want to show any kind of self-restraint? We’re having fun, right?

Well actually, perhaps we’re not.

If we balanced out a little we could possibly find what’s missing in our lives. If we saved a little money each month we might feel financially secure instead of dreading the bills. Perhaps if we ate healthily some of the time we wouldn’t be an obese nation. If we didn’t drink quite so much perhaps we’d learn to cope better with life. If we cut back on some of our working hours we might find joy again in our families.

Maybe, just maybe, with a little temperance in our lives we can become happy.

And that message from Temperance is probably the hardest hitting of all.