Temperance The cosmic flow from the unseen and unknowable into the known and visible, often represented by an angel pouring liquid from a pitcher in one hand into another pitcher in the other. In old alchemistry it was seen as the result of combining all of the elements, earth, air, fire and water, the "doctrine of solution".

The card represents a harmonious solution and pouring oil on troubled waters. Careful control and balancing of all the elements involved is required. Self- control, diplomacy and adaptability are needed along with effective use of the imagination to come up with a realistic solution.

Because the temperance card represents the necessity of balancing all elements to achieve success, the Chestnut seemed appropriate. The chestnut gives us medicinal remedies - including those of Nicholas Culpeper mentioned in our article on the tree - but it also provides us with food and several recipes are detailed in the article. It is extensively used in construction but its fine grain makes chestnut, along with figured walnut, a favourite for cabinet making. One way and another it is the best all-rounder in terms of its usefulness.

As the fourteenth card in the major arcana, Temperance bears the fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alefbet, Nun (N). Note that there are two versions of this letter; the one used at the end of a word and the one used in other positions, which is the one I have used here. The astrological symbol of the card is Saggitarius.

The photograph of the tree is surmounted by the Yin Yang symbol emphasising the need for balance and harmony of all elements indicated by the card.

To view our article on the Chestnut CLICK HERE

Back to tarot ~ Back to topics ~ Trees ~ The Chestnut