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Working with Temperance During Imbolc


Happy Imbolc Blessings to you all!

There is so much happening during this first week of February! Not only are we celebrating Imbolc, the first cross-quarter holiday of the new calendar year, but we are also celebrating a New Moon in Aquarius as well as the Lunar Chinese New Year, Candlemas and Groundhog Day! We are certainly full of energies to work with this week!

For Tarot Readers, there are many ways to work with the cards each day but from sundown February 1st to sundown February 2nd many celebrate Imbolc, I wanted to offer an opportunity of connecting with one particular card in the Majors that reflects this period's energy, Temperance.

Temperance is an incredibly powerful card, showing a winged figure, often interpreted to be Archangel Gabriel, holding two chalices with a liquid flowing from one chalice to the other and back again. This liquid symbolizes the flow up from the subconscious to the conscious and back down again. It shows the movement from “underground” to “above ground” and the never-ending cycle between the two. It’s the mixing and blending and the creation of something completely other from this work.

On the chest of the Angel, we see a triangle inside a square. These are alchemical symbols, the triangle symbolizing fire (passion, drive and transformation) and the square symbolizing earth (the physical world and our bodies). It’s a combined symbol showing Fire inside Earth. This is a card of blending, mixing, transforming, transmuting. This is the energy and practice of the Alchemist. Taking something that may have been considered nothing (a seed or idea, perhaps?) and turning it into something completely different.

At Imbolc we recognize the turning towards spring. We notice the days are growing longer and feel the first stirrings within as we anticipate earth’s reawakening! Perhaps you work with the Goddess Brigid, Bringer of Light, Goddess of the home and hearth, the forge, health, among many other things! As a Fire Goddess, she will invite you to tend to your own inner fires and nurture the seeds planted last fall, ensuring their good health, safety and security.

Include the Temperance card on your altar this Imbolc period. Meditate on what work you have ahead as the growing season begins in earnest. Clarify your projects and plans for the year. Focus on those things that seem sustainable and dive into your imagination to help find ways to grow the seeds you've planted!

-Rhonda Alin

(Temperance from The Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans and, Brigid Goddess Art by Emily Balivet)

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