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La Tempérance (14)

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de La Tempérance dans la tarot de Marseille

A stout character, The Devil sits on an altar looking haggard and pugnacious. His bat wings spread out over a black sky as he perches with harpy feet. Fur covers his loins and ram horns curl out his skull; he is part man and part animal. Chained before him are two human devils, one male and one female. They are naked and horned. The man has a fiery tail and the woman has a tail made of purple grapes. In The Devil’s left hand he holds a fiery torch, and his right hand is held up, palm out. Perhaps this is a greeting or a gesture meaning “stop”--quite opposite interpretations; The Devil is manipulative and intentionally confusing.

Also interesting to note is that The Devil’s face is slightly pinker and paler than the rest of his body. His expression is weary and angry, and his mouth is shaped in a grimace. There is a weight about him. Despite his bird feet and bat wings, imagining him in flight seems far off and difficult. We often think of flying as enjoyable and liberating, but even in a strong gust this Devil will probably have to exert incredible muscular force to remain flying. Often we think of The Devil as careless and free-wheeling, but flying is not that way for him. To fly, to appear free, actually requires much effort and strain on his part.

That the human devils are chained below The Devil’s feet in a dark world shows that they are incapable of exaltation. They cannot transcend and live in a world with neither sun nor moon. There is no time or beauty. Everything down here happens in extremes: sex, fire, frenzy, fear, enjoyment. Despite all these opportunities for pain and pleasure, there is no world here, no empire to show for. Despite all the devils efforts’, nothing is created because nothing here is sustainable. Here the devils seek immediate experiences only, so they never get the chance to attain knowledge or wisdom through extended effort and patience, through trial and error. The Devil does not take care of himself because he does not love himself. He is motivated by pain and tragedy or a sick curiosity derived from the latter.

Though the card depicts the dark world represented by The Devil, as humans this card is only part of our experience, not the entirety. It is true: we are part animal and sometimes the world feels bleak and low down. Sometimes it is refreshing to askew our higher goals for more immediate experiences of pleasure or pain, and doing so can sometimes bring us back to ourselves in a deeper more compassionate way.



Vous avez tiré la tempérance à l’endroit ?


The Devil indicates that it is sometimes difficult for you to fight against some of your most stubborn impulses, and that your passions often take center stage. Forces buried within you sometimes take control of your life and make it more difficult for you to get rid of harmful habits.

While it is quite natural to pay heed to your impulses, they can be destructive when they are given too much importance. It is therefore important that you learn to control them more, by taking a step back when you are assaulted by sudden emotions, and by thinking twice before making important decisions. The Devil teaches that each of your choices is likely to have a lasting impact on your life path. Therefore you need to be moderate in all things and show flawless self-control!

Ask yourself

•There is no going back. How can you accept this and move on? You are a bigger person for it.

•How can you integrate a life-changing experience you had that others may judge negatively? Unnecessary shame may be holding you back.

•What can you do to purge yourself of your demons to free up your spirit and lighten the load of emotional baggage?




La symbolique de la Tempérance

• Horns : Animal nature and also stubbornness.

• Wings : These are bat wings representing feasting on darkness, taking cover, or hibernation.

• Goat Legs : Animal nature, inclination toward nonjudgement and pure enjoyment of life’s thrills.

• Black Box : Repressed memories or a lock box of opportunities you cannot grasp due to self-sabotage.

• Chains : Mortality, duty, loyalty and self-limitation as well making the best of these limitations through celebration.

• Torch : Seeing man’s capability for destruction and depravity; understanding the seven deadly sins – pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.

The Devil Card #15 represents the extremes of life, immediacy, impatience, and our intrinsic animal nature.

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