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Image by Matt Gross

Temperance • PORTALS Tarot Print

- Divinatory meaning: “Temperance” is a bit of an antiquated virtue. The word on its own brings up images of prohibition legislation. Or of prim, repressed pilgrims way out of their depth in a new American wilderness that does not - will never - belong to them. The word itself does not hold a sympathetic place in the modern heart. It is a sanctuary to merit and morality. So where does it fit for us today? In the weird universe of social media? On the new frontier of gender fluidity and racial justice? Who has time for Temperance in this age of expression and liberation? Temperance is restraint, refraining. But the virtue of Temperance in tarot is not necessarily moderation in the traditional, tee-totaling sense (although it certainly can be, if that is what’s needed), but more likely the ability to respond to each situation as it arrises with grace and dexterity. To take not the path of extremity, but the Buddhist “middle way”. This path is not without its joys.
My aunt Ellen has a joke about my dad. They’ve been friends since high school, and she later married his brother. Now they’re in their 70’s, and it’s still the same joke. She loves to say, “Pat, when you die, I want your guardian angel.” She’s been waiting a long fuckin’ time.
He does indeed have a very hardworking and dedicated angel. The man has escaped death more times than I care to think. He lives real hard, and anyone half his age would struggle with the lifestyle my Dad has always carried on. He lives under the sheltered canopy of Temperance’s grace. That is sometimes how this card manifests: as a gift from someone you can’t see, and in the things that never actually happen. I’m pretty grateful to his angel of Temperance. From the knee injury that saved my Dad twice from the Vietnam draft, to his endurance through the coronavirus pandemic as a septuagenarian smoker with a history of heart problems… the instances of his living on when he shouldn’t continue to stack up. He isn’t immortal, of course, but if it weren’t for that angel working overtime most days for the past 73 years, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the most unique, loving and flawed father a girl could ever have. And I certainly wouldn’t be here myself.

- Our card: The making of the original piece that would later become this card was a doozy. Savannah and I had stumbled on books in her grandmother’s art studio that were thrilling new source material to us. When we came across a collection of works by Magritte, the Belgian surrealist, we were drawn to their topsy turvy wit. In particular, a frequent motif in his work is when an object appears in the guise of something else: a bird made of clouds, for example. We decided to use this idea as a way to depict the void. As our Temperance is made of the void, she sets off the colors around her to great fiery effect. We had some fun finding just the right shape for our beautiful winged horse. Once she was gently sketched out, Savannah set out on the task of cutting minuscule wisps of bright, textured colors from our magazine collection. It took AGES. She would send updates after spending hours in the studio and I would have to zoom in and strain to see the tiny section she’d completed. Slowly, slowly, our Pegasus emerged, bursting through the violent display of color around her, only visible as the absence of what she was surrounded by. It was beautiful to watch her unfold. Like an impressionist painting, the effect is different up close than it is from a distance.

Original Art by Savannah Green
Insights by Eryn O'Sullivan

• 10 mil (0.25 mm) thick
• Slightly glossy

Temperance • Tarot Print

PriceFrom $55.00
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