Welcome to the Mabon Tarot Blog Hop.
Perhaps you have come from Koneta’s New Path Tarot.
When you finish here, hop over to Kerry Ardilla’s blog, Neopagan Priestess.
If you find a break in the chain, visit the Master List so you can continue the hop.
The Tarot Blog Hop happens eight times a year, at each spoke of the Wheel of the Year. The Wheel of the Year is marked by the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days in between. It is the Pagan calendar and these are Pagan holidays, but Pagans and non-Pagans alike are subject to the movement of the Earth around the sun. On some basic level, the Wheel of the Year is universal, as the sun shines on us all.
At each turn of the Wheel, the Blog Hop is “wrangled” by a new volunteer. The wrangler is responsible for coming up with the theme on which we will all write. This is my third Blog Hop. Each time, including this one, the wrangler has asked us to think about the holiday in a way that is different from my own practices and traditions. I love the opportunity to stretch out of my spiritual comfort zone and contemplate a turn of the Wheel from a different perspective – and always through the precious lens of tarot.
This is Mabon, the festival of the autumnal equinox. Our wrangler, Aisling the Bard, associates Mabon with the making of mead. I have to say, I associate mead with every Pagan holiday and festival. The “need for mead” is an expression oft-heard at Pagan gatherings.
Aisling’s challenge for us is this. Mead is made by taking fresh, sweet ingredients and allowing them to ferment; to rot. For the delicious mead to be made, something must be destroyed. It is the power and process of this transformation that is a spiritual focus of this holiday. This process of making mead, done by nature and not by our hands, can be an allegory for our own souls’ progress. As we are refined, we must relinquish that which no longer serves us. For this turn of the Wheel, our challenge is to find a tarot spread, card or deck that describes this process on a personal level.
For me, the answer is clear. The card I choose to describe and define this process of transformation is Temperance. The irony of choosing a card called “Temperance” as an allegory for the making of an alcoholic beverage isn’t lost on me. It just makes the choice sweeter.
Temperance is the card of alchemy. On a spiritual level, alchemy describes a process of deep transformation. On a chemical level, alchemy is the turning of one thing into another, greater thing.
Other words that are associated with Temperance are “Art” and “Time.” Well, doesn’t that make sense? Mead-making is certainly an art. And time is the only ingredient that will cause the fermentation to happen. When we think of personal transformation this is true as well. Without creativity, and without patience and time, no transformation can occur.
That I often refer to Temperance as “The Cosmic Bartender” seals the deal for me.
To think more deeply about that process of personal transformation, there’s this. I see Temperance as the card that describes the greatest level of emotional health any of us will ever achieve. Temperance understands patience. Temperance understands balance. Temperance understands moderation in all things. Temperance understands that nothing will ever be perfect, and that it is our job to find the perfect blend.
At this time of equinox, we have a moment of balance between dark and light. Temperance reflects that balance.
When I look at Temperance in this process of fermentation, I see that which must rot away within me is the desire for everything to be perfect; the requirement that everything be exactly the way I want it to be. I must relinquish the desire that everything must happen when I want it to happen. I must understand that things of quality have no fear of time.
A few years ago I wrote a poem about Temperance as part of my 78 Poems Project, a project still in progress. As I go back and read it, I see it fits this Mabon theme exactly. As so often happens with tarot, there is perfect synchronicity.
Water poured from cup to cup, and metal turned to gold
Sorrow turned to patience, and ego turned to mold.
One foot on the water, another balancing on land
Not a drop is spilt by the angel’s gentle hand.
Caution guards the recipe, stirring grace with balance
Art and time make alchemy with these select ingredients.
Change forged of disappointment, mingling with hope
Built on tragic lessons learned that gave us skill to cope.
Expectation and assumption gone, accepting what will be
Still the angel blends the cups, creating perfectly.
Perfect are the cups’ contents, and perfect is the measure
And perfect are the woes and joys, blended into treasure.
Happy Mabon, everyone!
Now, please hop over to Kerry Ardilla’s blog, Neopagan Priestess! Or, if you are working backward, go visit Koneta at New Paths Tarot.
If you happen to come across a broken link, visit the Master List here.