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Temperance Art and Meaning

Court de Gebelin Trumps

About the Deck

Drawn by Court de Gebelin in attempt to show that the Tarot was Egyptian in origin, these cards represent the height of circular logic. They are far more eighteenth-century than they are Egyptian, and in any case they are basically a reproduction of the far older Marseilles pattern tarot deck, with some ideological changes to help him prove his own point.

Provenance

Court de Gebelin. France, 1781.

According to Many Schools of Thought

A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings

Temperance. The winged figure of a female--who, in opposition to all doctrine concerning the hierarchy of angels, is usually allocated to this order of ministering spirits--is pouring liquid from one pitcher to another. In his last work on the Tarot, Dr. Papus abandons the traditional form and depicts a woman wearing an Egyptian head-dress. The first thing which seems clear on the surface is that the entire symbol has no especial connexion with Temperance, and the fact that this designation has always obtained for the card offers a very obvious instance of a meaning behind meaning, which is the title in chief to consideration in respect of the Tarot as a whole.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers's Divinatory Meanings

Upright

Combination, Conformation, Uniting

Reversed

Ill-advised combinations, Disunion, Clashing interests, &c.

Papus's Divinatory Meanings

Temperance. Economy.

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