Bringing in Temperance and Thanks-Receiving
“With equanimity, you can deal with situations with calm and reason while keeping your inner happiness” — Dalai Lama
On November 22nd we move from Scorpio and the Death card into Sagittarius season, whose card is Temperance.
In the Death card and Scorpio season we were called to let go of old energies to make way for spiritual growth. Sagittarius season and the Temperance card call on us to expand and receive.
Today I'm offering a ritual designed to help you receive from a state of equanimity with the Temperance card and the Ace of Cups. Use it for November's New Moon on the 23rd, Thanksgiving, the busy holiday season, or any time. A practice of equanimity is evergreen.
I think the most common association people have with the word Temperance is with the prohibition movement, but this card has nothing to do with alcohol. The word ‘temperance’ comes from the Latin ‘temperare’ which means ‘to mix’ or ‘to combine in due proportion’.
Just as a blacksmith might combine two types of metal to create a sword that is both strong and flexible, the angle in this card is combining water from two cups to create peace and equanimity.
The water flows both up and down, and the angle stands on both the land and the water. The Temperance angel is performing gravity-defying miracles, but the truth of this card is that we are all capable of receiving miracles. At all times. In every moment.
Because this is the final card in Line Two of the Major Arcana, it helps to take a look at how we got to this point.
The quest we take on in Line Two is to find out, "Who am I?"
The last three cards of Line Two are: The Hanged Man, Death, and Temperance. If we look at the story of these three cards as a parallel to the story of Jesus' crucifixion, death, and resurrection, we learn that the answer to the question, "Who am I?" is: miraculous.
The Hanged Man is like the crucifixion itself. In this place of discomfort, Jesus gains acceptance and forgiveness that he did not have before. He believes himself to be forsaken before he is crucified, and then finds forgiveness, compassion, and acceptance.
In the Death card, Jesus' body is placed in a tomb. All bodies eventually die. So does each moment, but that is not where the story ends. It is the requirement for miracles. In Death we learn that our authentic selves don't identify as fear, judgement, or separation. Those feelings belong to the ego, and so it's only the ego that fears death.
With Temperance, comes the resurrection. By releasing our attachment to the belief that the world must conform to our agenda if we are to feel safe, we understand that suffering is needless. We were safe all along.
Temperance and Thanks-Receiving
In my individual readings it is very common for the cards to show up with the message, "Receive, receive, receive!"
It's no surprise since almost all of us have been given a blueprint for life that says, "If we are to be happy we must first, sacrifice, suffer, and give."
In learning, "Who am I?" we think we must do to be, when in reality we are always being first.
That is the biggest misreading of the story of Jesus! It's not a tale that demonstrates how we should all worship suffering and bear guilt and original sin- hooey! The story of Jesus, the Buddha, the Tarot, is that suffering is a trick of the thinking mind.
Our hearts are gratitude muscles, but the mind can be very successful in intercepting our connection to the moment. It sucks us into believing that there is some "thing" that keeps us separate from peace and love. It tells us if we could only get ____, then we could be happy.
As someone who provides Moon manifestation rituals, obviously I believe that they have value, but not as a means to acquiring something you perceive is lacking. The law of attraction isn't about manifesting things through platitudes or affirmations, it's about releasing your attraction to thoughts that feel shitty and instead following your curiosity to receive joy and peace.
If you are using this exercise to as the time to set your intention for November's New Moon, you'll want to wait until after the New Moon cycle begins on Wednesday at 2:57pm PT.
When we look to the Ace of Cups, we see a full cup, overflowing with peace, love, and receptivity. Take a moment to study both this and the Temperance images. What do you notice? What feelings do they bring forward for you?
When you’ve absorbed these images, begin your meditation by closing your eyes, sitting upright, and drawing your awareness to the breath. Allow your mind to settle on the gentle rhythm of the inhale and exhale, counting in for 5, out for 7.
Just as the earth-angel of Temperance pours both up and down, notice the breath as you inhale for 5 and exhale for 7. As you relax your shoulders and your facial muscles, breath into your heart center. Feel into that space.
This feeling of connectivity between your breath and your heart center is the experience of your authentic self.
If a thought, a judgement, a desire, or a criticism should enter your awareness, notice that there is a distance between the thought and the awareness of it. Let it pass. Do not follow it.
It may help to observe the sensation in your hands. The fact that you can control the movement of your fingertips with your brain is miraculous. Awareness emanates from your palms, without judgement. Feel as your consciousness touches energy. This is the sensation of equanimity.
When you feel you are ready, slowly open your eyes and begin to feel into the space around you. This is the space of receptivity. There is no grasping for things to be different. We can accept the present moment as a miracle and a revelation.
I encourage you to revisit this exercise often. Before preparing the mashed potatoes, give yourself the chance to follow your heart’s connectivity and creativity. Notice how the butter melts with gratitude.
When we focus our energy and thoughts on giving we can get easily swept up into micro-managing the moment through a lens of judgement.
Will our guests judge our home and will we feel judged in accordance? Will the turkey be dry? Will aunt Mary say something offensive at dinner?
In contrast, when we allow our focus to stay in receptivity and equinimity, we get to accept that all experiences are revelatory from the taste of the meal to the fight between relatives over politics.
If our thoughts begin with an agenda, then we’ve already commissioned our brains to hijack our heart centers, and we will continue to attract lessons in resistance.
When we are in thanks-receiving, we can recognize that suffering was never random and it is not necessary.
Being your authentic self and trusting that the Divine will never require you to suffer is both the greatest challenge and most valuable practice you can engage.
I’m sending out my gratitude to you all, and wishing you a happy New Moon in Sagittarius, happy thanks-receiving and happy Thanksgiving too!