Temperance Again: Losing My Bah Humbug!



I hadn’t written a word about Temperance until yesterday and now here I am doing another post about it the very next day. That’s because once you start focusing on a Tarot card all these thoughts begin to rise to the surface. There’s so much to discover. As I’ve said before: Fifty shades in every card.

The Temperance card comes at the end of what I call the ‘adulthood’ section of Life Lessons Tarot (aka Major Arcana.) Straight after the Death card. Death represents major change like giving birth to a child, moving house, changing careers, getting old and, um, dying of course. After any life change there is a period of readjustment. This is the realm of the Temperance card.

For example, as I get older I find my feelings towards things changing. Like Christmas. As a young adult I was callous towards this significant event on the yearly calendar. Despite (or maybe because?) being raised Catholic. There was one year when I spent the day huddled beneath a rock in the Scottish Highlands eating tuna out of a can feeling very smug about the fact that unlike 99.9% of the Western World I didn’t feel the need to make a big deal out of the occasion. (Although smugness was the only warmth I felt that day. It was pretty lonely out on that mountain track.)

Over the years I’ve held onto my bah humbug attitude like a badge of pride. Not feeling the need to care about what happens come December 25. Proud of not being caught up in the madness. And then I gave birth to a child who cared like mad about Christmas. Still does. Who loves Santa even at 16. Who’s prepared to argue to the death re the finer details as to where she will sleep on Christmas Eve and dine Christmas day. And I learnt to bite my tongue so I wouldn’t spoil the occasion for her.

And now something strange has happened. I find myself indulging her wildest Christmas fantasies. Letting her loose to wrap the whole lounge room up in tinsel. Getting a real tree even though I’ll have to chop it up in the New Year to fit it in the bin (which always makes me feel like I’m killing Christmas.) Buying CDs and DVDs so we can soak up the atmosphere via song and screen. Without her even asking me to.

This then is Temperance. Your feelings and attitude and behavior shifting as you age. Often in unexpected ways. Some people become more difficult. But others soften.

Has the way you feel about Christmas changed over the years?

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