Thursday 20th June 2019: (14) Temperance

Since Saturday 4th May, when (14) Temperance last appeared as the arcana of the day, I have considered this arcana to be the guiding principle of the summer term after Golden Week here in Japan. For one thing, it is a fourteen week period, consonant with the number of this arcana, but it is also a time when I personally, and I suppose millions of others who are engaged in business at this time of year, to exercise temperance in our lives so as not to burn out.

(14) Temperance is also the arcana of tempering, that is of strengthening steel through the process of heating and cooling. Precise control of timing is necessary to achieve the desired degree of toughness and ductility. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia an increase in toughness is achieved through tempering by decreasing the hardness of the alloy. If we too are seeking the qualities of mental and physical toughness, we can do so by becoming more flexible and less brittle. Exposure to the heat of daily affairs, followed by periods of relaxation and self-reflection are the keys to success in this field.

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