Today’s card is number fourteen of the Major Arcana, Art, also known as Temperance in the more traditional Tarot Deck. Each of the Major Arcana cards represents a principle in occult worship or enlightenment, with this card being the 22nd and final card of the Majors, which are numbered 0 – 21. When studying these principles, one would start with the number 0, The Fool, representing innocence, the beginning of a journey, and the initiate, and ending with number 21, The Universe. Having traveled through the theoretical concepts of Magick, therefore, one would need only to apply these principles in real life to move forward on the path of enlightenment.
The theoretical principle behind this card is that Magick is an Art, and like any other art, it cannot consume the whole of your mind, heart, and spirit as it’s sole activity or philosophy. The balance of all elements in one’s life, the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual side of us must be balanced in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The necessity for inner balance applies to working with the various esoteric disciplines as well; if you work spell with a lack of faith that they will work, you have defeated yourself in the moment that you cast the spell for the subtle energies of magick need to be activated to your benefit. Even divination should be done in balance with rest and renewal for the truth and accuracy not be diluted by negative influences on the reader.
Magick is not just a set of corresponding scientific rules carried out in a certain order, but one that is practiced in order to become better at it. Knowing the theory behind how magick works is only the beginning of our magickal knowledge; when and how to use it effectively it the other side of magick and this part takes time and practice! This applies especially to those who are learning via books or online mechanisms. The knowledge of magick is not enough to activate the energies; you must actually practice the skills in order for it to work. In the beginning stages, working with the properties of Earth magick, and growing your practice from there. This will aid in your skills growing organically and in the ‘right order’. It is also important to take a break from the study and practice of magick to spend time on physical health, building relationships, increasing our non-magickal intellect, and creating, all of which will help link the Elements together in both your mundane and esoteric lives.
From a prophetic standpoint, Art is telling us that we must balance our lavish behaviors with restraint. This is not a message to drop all your bad habits; no need to be a tea-totaler or anything! Keeping a store of physical energy, financial savings, friendships and honest loving partnerships, intellect and psychic abilities, and creative endeavors and passion never hurts and it keeps your life in balance. Try to set a schedule and stick with it; work on organization and management skills; spend time in thought and reflection before making critical decisions. This is a good time for rebalancing your life and setting new priorities for the coming year.
On the flip side, this card can show us that we are out of balance in the realm of spirit; focusing on this side of our lives has allowed things to become out of control in other areas and those around you are starting to find you unreliable or unpredictable. Take the time to step away from your spiritual path and do some self-checking. You may need to spend some time working on the above mentioned areas of your life in order to reset the balance.
May you be blessed with an appreciation of the Art of Magick without becoming a ‘fan’-atic!