Creativity and Self-Expression
TEMPERANCE: The process by which life’s experiences temper us; Stimulus
See the card accurately
An angelic figure is using its powerful wings to help sustain a position, which has one foot within the water and the other on the land. A halo of light radiates about the head. A symbol for the sun, the Solar expression of the power we call Will, is on the brow. A triangle within a white square is worn on the chest. The entire attention is being focused on the activity of pouring the watery contents of one golden chalice into another one, perhaps guarding against the possibility of spilling a single drop. Irises border the water’s edge and in the distance is a great crown, shining like the sun, over the mountains. A path leads back there from the pond.
Consider the implications
In the unity that binds us all, we are one with any figure from an angelic hierarchy, so this is an image of our own completed or High Self. It represents a wisdom that is entirely benign but impersonal. Because it is not sentimental, it oversees the flow of consciousness from one situation into another without judging the degree of convenience or inconvenience. The purpose is to aerate, or to impregnate with ideas and inspirations associated with the element of Air in esoteric lore. Change and challenge are associated with growth. Like the Chinese character for “crisis”, which combines the sign for “dangerous” and the sign for “opportunity”, our guardian angel self, comfortable in all modes of consciousness (one foot on land and one in the water), consistently urges us towards new experiences, whispering “go ahead, take a chance”, in a form that we recognize as impulse. The ultimate security comes from knowing oneself as a divine being, incapable of being annihilated by any earth circumstances, as signified by the wings that are strong enough to bear one up above the tumult.
What is your inner knowing trying to communicate?
The triangle within the square is a symbol from earlier days of an all-encompassing knowledge based on the Septunary or Seveness which was thought to be the combination of matter-Earth-four squareness and the divine-Spirit-synthesis of Energy or a triangle. Now that we know that there is no such thing as a finite particle of inert matter waiting to be enlivened by the touch of the spiritual finger, but all that exists is charged with energy in a wave or particle form, matter doesn’t exist as separate energy but is just its manifestation. The symbol should be two triangles, facing inward, overlapping to manifest a square, symbolizing energy-on-energy or energy crystallized or energy squared (3 x 3). It is never matter; it is materialization. The remaining symbols that need inclusion are the crown and the irises. When the crown is positioned in its natural placement we see it as something to be worn on the head, and when we take the symbol for the sun, here worn on the brow, it seems appropriate to locate it in the distance high above the mountains. Why the switch? It is time for us to understand that it is our High will that is in charge of our lives, our solar selves knowing what changes we need. To blame upheavals on a concept of a distant God gains us nothing in our need for greater and greater understanding. We must learn to take responsibility for the events of our lives, which are only partly as a result of conscious choices. The irises are a very compact symbol representing Iris, the Goddess of the rainbow, and the rainbow as a sign of God’s covenant with mankind, through Noah, promising never to visit a flood of such severe proportions on his creation again. Here, again, it is the symbol for a personal promise to you from your High Self, that the severest lessons are already in the past and things will never be as bad as they were for you again.
You have tended to blame others and outer circumstances in your life for causing upheavals in your affairs. No matter how upsetting the events have been, it has been the cause of growth and important learning for you. Stop envisioning yourself as a participant in a Bumper Car Ride at the carnival, fair game for every other driver bearing down on you. Get out of victim psychology and take command of your life and responsibility for your moves. Ask yourself what you have learned from the previous shifts of circumstance and decide what you need next to build upon that, constructively. No matter how bad the past has seemed to you, it will never be that bad again. Just acknowledge your wise self, which has learned from adversity and even now is helping you plan good moves for your future. Life is, and has been, under your control far more than you had realized.
Sandra Marie Matuschka has been involved
with the tarot since the late 1970s, first as a student of the late
Rusty Carnarius, a dedicated tarot teacher, and later — up
to and including the present — as a collector and continuing
learner. She is a writer, editor, and photographer currently living
and working in Rhode Island.
Review by Sandra Marie
This is a book long awaited by those who studied with the late Rusty Carnarius over the years. I am happy to report that those who waited so patiently will not be disappointed. Both those who are beginning their tarot journeys, and those well on their way, will find this an invaluable and rich tool as they continue on their paths.
The title of the book is a clue to the direction of its contents: Rusty’s Friendly Tarot for Self-Development. I, and others, began our tarot journey under the watchful eye and kindly guidance of Rusty back in the 70s and early 80s. Rusty had a lengthy resume, including many years teaching at the annual Life Spectrums Conference, serving for a decade as a counselor with Quaker Family Relations Committee in Philadelphia and serving on the Lancaster County Mental Health/Retardation Board.
She was a Lancaster resident for 34 years before moving to Colorado to be near one of her daughters, where she died in 2002 at the age of 71 at the Boulder County Hospice after a lengthy illness. Her book was in process for many years before her untimely demise.
Rusty suffered physically in the last years of her life, but bravely soldiered on, even from her sick bed, always seeing yet more depth in her beloved cards and planning the next project. The thrust of who Rusty was as a person in this life comes through in her expression of tarot understanding. Although Rusty did not live to see her dreams of a published book realized, I thoroughly believe she knows and rejoices in the finished product now available, whose materialization was brought to fruition by her loving family, principally her husband Stan and her daughter Megan.
The words are Rusty’s. Anyone who knew her will hear her voice in them. The book is very affordable, and is not a coffee table book — which is to say, it is to the point and without illustration. Rusty used The Rider Tarot Deck® (Waite-Rider tarot), and the card descriptions are confined to that deck. If you do not have a Waite-Rider deck, I would suggest purchasing one so that you can study each card as she delineates it.
Rusty taught tarot as the highest and best tool to learn about yourself, and to assist others in their journeys. There are no reversed cards. I do not see this aspect explained in the book, but as I learned it from her, the cards in and of themselves contain the totality of information and inspiration. With experience, the reader knows and/or feels all of this totality, which, like life, contains both positive and negative aspects; thus the energy will express itself, move one way and then another, depending on the person being read and his or her situation.
Rusty’s students were given handy tools with which to begin their journeys, and the reader is provided with the same tools. These include a way of understanding the meanings of suits, numbers, elements and elementals, and then how to combine and apply them to the pertinent areas of life. There are a few layouts in the book, and directions on handling the cards.
Rusty believed that the cards in or of themselves do not hold “power,” that it is the reader who possesses the knowledge and insight, and the cards are merely tools to make that inner knowing available. A deeply spiritual person and a practicing member of the Sabian Assembly, Rusty states clearly in her introduction that she dismisses any negative connotation associated with the cards. She explains: “I can assure you that I would not have spent these years working with the cards if this in any way led one on a pathway to the devil. The Sun card [#19 in the major arcana] is my preferred image to refute those arguments.”
Rusty gave full weight to the full tarot deck, major and minor arcana alike. In the Major Arcana, she begins each card by reiterating the card number (broken down into one digit) and its meaning, as well as a thumbnail in describing the card’s meaning that easily is memorized. She asks the reader to “See the card accurately” in a heading, as she describes the card’s details, including significant meanings attributed to components that might be overlooked. This is followed by a heading along the lines of, “What is your inner knowing trying to communicate?” and helps the reader to make those connections.
These two components are followed by the “Key insight,” which is the lesson that can be learned from the particular card. But in fact, the learned lesson resides not just in the “Key insight,” but in understanding and internalizing the full card explanation. This format is followed pretty much throughout the entire deck, and once the fledgling tarot reader is thoroughly familiar with it, it almost guarantees an understanding that is a base for any future learning. The seasoned professional can reap great rewards from this book as well, adding to his or her knowledge base with an easy, clear explanation of items that could, in lesser hands, have become arcane lore.♥
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