Temperance and the tide that turns
‘You never ask questions when God's on your side
You don't count the dead when God's on your side
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side
The words fill my head, and fall to the floor, that if God's on our side, he'll stop the next war.’
While I am writing this I am aware that it is a monumental time in the history of world politics.
After long weeks of listening to Clinton and Trump tear each other apart with rhetoric that, at its very best, was amusing and its very worst, was most frightening, America goes to vote. We have witnessed a dialogue that was sometimes barely believable, especially around those most sensitive subjects as sex and race and class. The good thing that came out of it was that we got to see the reality of social hatred, just in case we had forgotten.
When we postulate about healing the world, now we know exactly what we are up against; it isn’t pleasant.
But then neither is eating fish and chips out of a newspaper in a rain storm. There has always been the diabolical in the world. It’s nothing new but there is something insidious and sinister about modern day jingoism that is distasteful and cheap but yet masterful in how it ultimately shapes our view of the world we live in and our place in it.
By the time you read this the dice will have been cast and America will have a new President.
I have heard that people are saying prayers for whoever fills the hot seat; that they will have integrity and compassion and serve the greater good of all. It occurred to me that this seismic political moment could be a catalyst for a renaissance in faith, courage and discernment. When all else fails there is always prayer.
It is the end of an era.
The established order must fall, this is the nature of the beast. Whilst we are left wondering if the lunatics have taken over the asylum, we must trust that everything in the end will become abundantly clear. Poison has to come out, it has to make its way to the surface and be dispensed with. All the corruption, the hatred, the twisted loathing of the disappointed and disenfranchised will percolate to the surface. This may not be a bad thing, in the cold light of day a healing must begin.
I pulled Temperance as signifier of an undercurrent at large in our midst.
What does Temperance have to say about the way of the western world at the moment? I think it encapsulates very nicely the requirement for closing the divide.
Temperance teaches us that deep feelings and passion need to be balanced by restraint, compromise and a generous nature. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
Central to the Temperance’s healing theme is giving and receiving in a communal and creative life that does not pander to desire or any plans to harm others.
Temperance is one of the four virtues and as such it moderates passion and desire according to what is needed and the expected goals, thus willpower has its champion. Our will is fed by our passion but I see the will as an arrow being shot from a bow, the arrow needs a target; it is not what is our will but more where should I place my will?
In Victorian times Temperance societies sprang up in many towns and cities. Their aim was to encourage people to lead a more virtuous life away from the grip of the demon drink. When we think of this we are once more brought to the word moderation, a modicum of decorum in all things.
However, I am more drawn to the word temper.
Not the word meaning angry but meaning to shape something. A smithy at his forge tempers his iron in the hot coals. One of my favourite quotes is from Silver Birch: ‘And the soul is tempered like gold from the crucible of bitter experience’.
Life happens; experiences come and go. Certainly as a collective we are all experiencing a shift, a movement in people that at once is predictable yet at the same time entirely unpredictable! We are being shaped by the drama of those that would lead and the process of change.
Archangel Raphael, with his sun symbol signifying clarity and purpose, his jugs of water symbolising integrating base self into the elevated and refined self, brings us closer to our divine source within. One can only hope that this is the case as we move towards an uncertain future.
The shadow side of Temperance is where our search for personal freedom is thwarted by moral codes imposed on the community at large based on the image of its own vision of established order.
We find rigidity and a hierarchy that is corrupt and oppressive. Mindfulness must be exerted so that there is an avoidance of rules being handed down from an elite community that harangues anyone who is not willing to comply with imposed laws.
Temperance points us to working with a situation and creating relations based on recognising the sanctity of all life. A knowledge that there are many paths, not just one, and reconciliation in the opposites create greater potential.
We are reminded that moderation does not mean denial or doing away with but more of acquiescence of harmony and balance. Here we can see the connection of mind, body and spirit, all working together to reach the greatest potential for the highest personal attainments.
This dialogue is but one angle to the majestic Temperance and it does give us the insight as to how to proceed during these challenging times as our leaders struggle for ascension.
The spiritual traveller is driven by passion and sensitivity and often has self-indulgence and overstimulation as their travelling companions. The traveller has now to truly understand self so as not to be caught in the net of mediocrity or psychic disturbance as their role is defined by social inclinations. The aim is to be whole and to remain so.
My sense is that soon we will see more artists, healers, alchemists and networkers come forward to take us to a whole new paradigm, that should be exciting and is very possibly an intrinsic part of a divine plan.