5 min read

from death to temperance

the magic that dwells between scorpio & sagittarius
from death to temperance

hello, friends. i’m still deep in book-writing mode, a strange and magical thing that is challenging, exciting, intoxicating. i’m sharing little glimpses of this writing every month over on patreon, so if you’d like a sneak peek of my book and also want to support my work, please check it out.

sagittarius season can feel so energetic and vivacious after the transformative release and intensity of scorpio. crackling with brilliant fire, bringing inspiration and curiosity and adventure, sagittarius longs to explore, to move, to seek truth. as we shift from death to temperance, as the loss we’ve experienced changes our perspective, there’s much wisdom to glean in this transition.

take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. take a moment to appreciate your natural sparks, your burning fire, your rich and steady embers. welcome to sagittarius season.

from death to temperance

i write a lot about the necessity of death: its importance, its value, the freedom and relief that it can bring. but knowing that something is necessary doesn’t mean that pain is alleviated, that sorrow is avoidable, that we don’t still feel an ache of remembrance. in death, there is always a period of grief, of adjustment, of new understanding. and in scorpio season, we spend time practicing that awareness, opening our eyes to the truth of our circumstances, recognizing all that we have lost and slowly, gradually understanding what we may now find. space brings opportunity, new beginnings, rebirth.we’ve shed a heavy weight and can move now with a quickness, an agility, that we haven’t felt in awhile.

we are wonderfully, wildly present. we are once again dreamers.

in the wake of death’s stillness, we run breathlessly back into the world, arms outstretched, eager to touch and taste and feel. we’ve seen the darkness, the rot, the underground, and are desperate for fresh air, sunshine, space to roam. we know that we are still healing, yet our brush with the larger forces of the universe have given us a new hunger for exploration, a renewed desire to carve out a space for ourselves.

sagittarius is not just chaotic movement for movement’s sake. this is the time of philosophers, travelers, explorers, a time of looking for deeper meaning, a time for joy. it’s here that we find a spirit of optimism, of positivity. sagittarius wants to roam, intellectually and spiritually: to discover new kinds of magic, to delight in the unknown instead of fearing it.

it’s in this discovery, this wonder, this awe, that we find our archetype for the season. as we make our way back to center, temperance reminds us there is beauty in the world. in pairing a desire to explore with a need to understand, we grow and change, heal and celebrate, find restoration and nourishment and appreciation in our everyday lives. we’ve just learned with death that control is an illusion, and with temperance, we experience the other side of that: the brilliance, the delight, in the things that are unexpected. the magic between these archetypes is one of dawning awareness, of a determination to be present, of a need to grab a little happiness for ourselves.

temperance reminds us that not everything makes sense, that we are recycled stardust and borrowed energy, that there can be deep, lasting magic dwelling between what we know and what we can never know.

we are all twisted mysteries, endless multitudes, layers of want and need and hope and fear and movement and stillness. we are all contradictions, paradoxes, sharp contours and soft lines, blurry spaces that are impossible to define. yet the pieces that we are afraid of are not less than, simply because we try not to acknowledge them. the parts of us that we hide don’t disappear just because we shield them from the light.

-from my piece on temperance & iris, december 2020 for pop tarot

temperance is walking the middle road, living in the tension between possibility and predictability. some things we can count on, orchestrate, but others come out of nowhere. and while there is steadiness and security that comes from being able to depend on a particular person, structure, or method of support, there is also real euphoria in unanticipated connections. when a class or job offer or opportunity pops up at exactly the right time, when someone long forgotten comes out of the woodwork with a perfect resource, when people or ideas collide in a way that inspires new movement and evolution, that is temperance. when disparate parts come together in ways we never could’ve planned or intended, that is temperance. when we remember an old skill or a former ambition, when we’re able to use experiences from our past to shape our future, that is temperance.

we find this energy in the mysteries, the strangeness, the perfect timings. in the wake of a harsh reminder that things are out of our control, we also feel a joyful nudge from the universe, the ultimate joke: things are out of our control. this concept gives and takes, inspires and confines. it reminds us that we are vast, limitless, and simultaneously fleeting: that we are everything, and nothing. there is freedom in being surprised, in letting go, in seeing what happens. there is magic in being open to whatever comes, in receiving with joy, in being enchanted by our own experiences and creations and realizations.

after all, we can only see so much, can only experience so much, can only understand so much. uncertainty is the only certainty. and rather than feeling restricted or discouraged by this truth, temperance and sagittarius remind us to find the power in it. we all have one wild and precious life, and sagittarius wants us to hold that knowledge in our trembling, eager hands, to let it fill us with curiosity and passion and energy.

sagittarius isn’t scared of their mortality: they’re inspired by it.

the magic between these archetypes of death and temperance is the simplest kind: a sublime, foolish, childlike wonder and reverence for the things that we do not understand. how often do you let yourself hold space for fascination, for amazement, for true surprise? what does it mean to not analyze something, to not scramble for purpose or meaning or causation, to just enjoy the moment? how can a lack of control help us find a different kind of stability in movement, in revelations, in awe?

isn’t it a gift to be delighted?

looking for more on sagittarius season? don’t miss my latest round of tarotscopes, live now on autostraddle. make sure you download the free ritual i shared a few days ago, and watch your inbox because i’ll be sharing a special offer with subscribers later this week.

have a brilliant, inspiring, joyful sagittarius season, friends.

this post features cards from the numinous tarot. all photographs by meg jones wall.