Balancing Otters+Third Eyes

Today’s card from @gardenskull is not one I really get…yet. What can you add to my interpretation?

[Tweet “Today’s card from @gardenskull is not one I really get…yet. What can you add to my interpretation?”]

The Wooden Tarot  Temperance
The Wooden Tarot

#affirmation So today’s card is one that I am not so sure about. Working with the Wooden #Tarot again, I have drawn Temperance. Artist A.L. Swartz has gone off on a tangent with this one.

First, let me tell you how much I love otters. One of my favorite necklaces features the Three of Water from the Gaian Tarot. It is three otters. This otter as Temperance gives me pause.

Temperance is a card of alchemy and change for me. It is about balancing all elements to come to something new. It can also be about moderation. Normally you see land and water with this image. Here you don’t.

An otter swims past on its back. The third eye is open but partially hooded as if there is some inner seeking going on. The otter is surrounded by water or is that air. It puts me in mind of a shroud–maybe the caul the seer child is said to have at birth. two lily-like flowers are on either side.

As a land/water animal, the otter works for that part of temperance. And it is in a restful state which speaks to me of that balance of life–the pausing between playing and working. The surrounding shroud of white and grey might be the veil, or more correctly, the Veil. Perhaps this otter is on the other side peeking through.

I will have to work with this one a bit more to fully grasp what the artist’s message is here. I do like the card though–simply because it has an otter. I’m easy.

Today’s affirmation:

I walk my path knowing balance. I appreciate the ups and the downs. I honor my grief for it leads me into joy. I honor my joy for it leads me into grief. I understand the importance of balance. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Temperance, The Wooden Tarot,

NOTE: I have added a (c)A.L. Swartz to the images to protect the artist’s rights.

Tarot In Nine Words: Temperance

RWS_TemperanceI was a bit surprised where this card took me. In my ongoing personal journey through the Major Arcana in various ways (the Fool’s Journey is another where I am telling the tale of the Fool as he meets the various Majors), this is the poetry version. Using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, I look at the card. I write down nine words that come to me. Some are simple descriptions of the cards while others are impressions I get. I try to relinquish what I already know. That is difficult. It is hard to separate the many years of study and approach this with a beginner’s or Fool’s mind.

I invite you to join me. Look at the same card in your favorite deck. I am using the RWS for its familiarity for most of us. But you take your own Temperance. Write down nine words about that card. Then craft a poem for that card using those nine words somehow. I love this as a writing exercise.

See the other poems of the Major Arcana here.

The Nine Words: Stand Pour Scarlet Gold Path Lily Gaze Foot Wings


Stand like a terra cotta soldier
Posed for an emperor’s pleasure
Wings stretched in supplication
I pour
I pour
I pour

One foot firm upon the green earth
One foot casting for stability
with only a lily to support me
I pour
I pour
I pour

Scarlet heralds life’s blood
Scarlet sheds all death’s blood.
Gold shimmers balancing the red
I pour
I pour
I pour

Continue on your seeker’s path
Take my lesson of balanced wings
Know moderation to know peace
I pour
You pour
We pour

Stephanie Arwen Lynch (c) All Rights Reserved

How Will You Change Energies Today?

For me, the product of those no-distraction moments are greater than the black and white on the paper.

zentangle046Today’s card is one of my tangles using the Zentangle(c) process. If I were to name this a specific Tarot card, it would be Temperance.

Temperance is a card of balance and changing one energy into another. The central piece of this reminds me of wings. I can’t get my mind off the idea that this is the back of an angel. We can’t see his or her head because it is bent doing the work of mixing energies–blending two disparate things into one. If you are a tangler, the wings are Meer and the side pieces are Hollenbaugh (my shading is still not what I hope it will be and for some reason the scan totally missed picking up the shading. Weird. :D)

How do you work with disparate energies? We all have them or so I believe. We are all dichotomies of pushmi/pullyu feelings that cause us to start then stop then start again.

The key is to keep starting. It’s so easy to lose your focus particularly in the multi-tasking, super distracting world we live in. There’s always something to pull us away from what we start.

You start cooking and a child needs help with a homework.
You start the homework and the dog needs a walk.
And so on.

Some distractions can’t be helped. Dogs need out and kids need love. But what about the ones that can be helped?

  • Facebook doesn’t need me that badly.
  • Twitter can stream along just fine.
  • My email isn’t so urgent that it can’t be dealt with twice a day instead of every 15 minutes.

When I do these tangles, I go into a no-distraction zone quite often. Suddenly the world gets turned off. I can’t hear the murmur of the TV that is rarely off when my son is home. I can’t hear the traffic streaming by.

I just tangle.

For me, the product of those no-distraction moments are greater than the black and white on the paper.


Because my brain has a chance to process other things. I have a new vision of my Fairy Tales Tarot Spreads eBook that Lisa Hunt (yes, I said Lisa Hunt) is illustrating for me. I have more things to add to my 100 Things I Want To Do This Year in my workbook+planner.

It’s like magic only better.

And if you want a copy of my Fairy Tale Tarot Spreads eBook (pre-illustrated and then illustrated) for free, you’ve got 14 days left to get it. Starting 2/1 it will be for sale but for now all you need to do is snag a copy of this workbook+planner from this link and let me know. You’ll get my eBook with all ten spreads at no cost.

So how will you change energies today? How will you blend them into something that, even for three minutes, calms your mind allowing you to see new ways?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Connecting, Pouring & Passion

What connects you to your physical self? To your passionate self? To your emotional self? How do you utilize those energies in your world? How do you balance them one with the other?

DotM_TemperanceToday’s card is from an older deck. Round tarot cards are unusual in that you have more than reversals to read. You can read angled cards as well. Is the energy of the card tilted towards the reader or away?

Here we have Temperance from the Daughters of the Moon colored version. I also have the black and white version. Traditionally, Temperance is an angel pouring water from two cups–one into water and one onto rocky ground.

This Temperance, while not visually an angel, pours water and fire that loop out and around to combine into a rainbow above her head. What really calls me in this card today are the lines in the ground under her feet. They seem to be spreading out as if they were ley lines.

Perhaps they are connecting her to the earth and to the others in her net. Maybe she is showing them how to balance emotional needs, spiritual needs and physical needs. If you turn the card upside down, there is almost a yoni effect with her in the middle waiting to be born. The lines then seem to be drawing her out.

What connects you to your physical self? To your passionate self? To your emotional self? How do you utilize those energies in your world? How do you balance them one with the other?

Perhaps, if you feel overwhelmed by one or not engaged by another, you can hold this image in your mind. Focus on working all of the energies. Understand that when you have all three things in balance, you can become your own angelic self.

And, grin, of course there is always the message from Terence:
“Moderation in all things including moderation.”
Don’t be hard on yourselves today. Do something to make someone else joyful if you are feeling down. Remember to find those tiny, small joys and let them pile up.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Temperance, Daughters of the Moon, 1991

P. to the S. Looking for a way to make 2013 an incredible year? Join me as I work through my workbook+planner to create amazing things!

Balance, Falling & Trust

It’s how we learn. It’s how we grow. It’s how we correct our own course in life. We make mistakes. We hurt others. We hurt ourselves.

Today’s card reminds me of two things. The first is how hard it can be to find my balance. The second is how beautiful it is when I recognize both sides of myself.

This is the Temperance card from the Cat’s Eye Tarot (U.S. Games 2011). As an animal lover, this deck truly appeals to me. As a professional Tarot consultant, this deck reads amazingly well.

These two kitties understand love and trust. Curled up on a seemingly precarious perch overlooking a rocky coast and deep water, they sleep. No fear shudders them awake. No worries about the other one moving keeps either awake. They are in harmony with one another.

In our lives we are often blessed with this gift with another person. My best friend is someone I am in this kind of harmony with. Even when we squabble, I know in my bones that she’s always going to be there for me and me for her.

There’s another person in my life that I need this unity with. It’s myself. There are times when I doubt my worth, fear my success, know I will fall off that thin rail I foolishly stand on.

Trusting yourself can be such a hard thing. None of us pass the age of 20 without having some mistake in our past that leads us to worry that if we can make that bad decision, surely there will be more.

Um, y’all? I’ve got a secret to tell you.



It’s how we learn. It’s how we grow. It’s how we correct our own course in life. We make mistakes. We hurt others. We hurt ourselves.

The thing we forget to do?


Not the others (although that is very freeing). No, we forget to forgive ourselves. I have a person in my life who hurt me very badly. I forgave her and renewed our friendship. Then she did the exact same thing again to me. I ended that friendship. And it hurt a great deal.

Part of it was because she did such an awful thing to me. But a larger part was that I had done such an awful thing to me. I had trusted this woman to do what she said and mean what she said. She didn’t. She’d been driven to it by others in the community asking why I never came to her home. She’d been basically guilted into it.


I had to forgive myself for being played a fool not once, but twice.

What do you hold on to that throws you out of balance with yourself, darlings? What threatens to teeter you off the rail into the water below?

Love yourself. Trust yourself. Understand that each mistake, each hurt, all of it has been a learning process. You were learning how to correct your own course.

Forgive. Love. Trust.

Find balance today. I love you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Cat’s Eye Tarot, U.S. Games, 2011

Lizards, Giraffes & St. Francis

Today’s card is from a darker deck. I used this one for this week’s Tarotscopes. It’s a self-published deck from the instigator known as Inappropriate Tarot. I saw an image on Alison Cross’ Game of Thrones blog (a marvelous blog on Court cards) and loved it. It’s dark. It’s funny. It’s tragic. It makes a statement.

Here we see either one giraffe with two heads or two giraffes perfectly silhouetted against one another. As one reaches up for leaves, the other reaches down for what look like skulls. The card is splattered (trademark of the art on this deck). The words read Balance, Restraint. If you’ve ever seen a giraffe drink, you understand immediately why this elegant but gawky mammal might make an appearance as this card.

And it reminds me that I am a lizard petter. Jarring transition? Maybe, but stick with me. On my morning amble with the wuppy dogs, I saw a lizard on the fence. An anole to be exact although many of us call them chameleons. This was a tiny baby. My little finger was longer than he or she. I reached down slowly. She (or he) turned to look at me with big little baby lizard eyes. This was no reaction of fear–just curiosity. I gently stroked his (or her) back. S/he didn’t run but s/he did indicate movement so I withdrew. Just as slowly. Then I walked on.

My mama used to laugh and tell me I thought I was St. Francis of Freaking Assisi because a sparrow landed on me when I was sitting in our backyard. By her telling, I was about five years old. But it is true that I’ve always had an affinity for animals. My friends and family who travel with me sometimes express amazement at the animals I can spot. It’s particularly surprising when you understand that my vision in my right eye is 400/20. No, that’s not at typo. I’m technically legally blind in one eye but it is correctable with lenses. I used to be the kid with coke bottle glass. Grin. Yes, glass since the other eye was 40/20 then. It’s gotten a bit worse now that I’m in my 50’s and wearing progressives.

But back to lizard petting and giraffes and balancing acts. That lizard and I performed a very delicate act of moderation. I wasn’t trying to grab for her/him. S/he wasn’t running immediately. We were restrained in our actions which led to a tiny, brief, miniscule moment of balance.

I pet lizards. Do you? Do you want some help learning to balance your own life? Contact me (look to the right and click that contact me button). I can help.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Get your own copy of the Darkana Tarot.

Wings, Tigers & Bartending

What do wings, tigers and bartending have to do with the Temperance card. Join Arwen as she does a comparative study of this angel of balance using some very different decks including the Gaian, the Mary-El and the Tarot of a Moon Garden.

I have been thinking about doing some articles on comparing cards. This morning, I picked up a deck to draw a card for the first comparison. Using the Cat’s Eye Tarot, I pulled Temperance.

Click for larger image

This Temperance shows the balance as Continue reading “Wings, Tigers & Bartending”

Musings On The Fool’s Journey: The Fool Meets Temperance

When we last left our foolish Fool, he’d just met the very scary Death who told him to seek out “the one who balances.” Even though the Fool had more questions, Death had left him only telling him to stay on the path he was on.

So the Fool continued down the dusty road. He carried his little dog for a bit since he wasn’t sure that skeletal rider wouldn’t show back up. When the canine began to wiggle and whine, the Fool put him down on the ground. With a sigh, he adjusted his stick carrying his belongings wondering if he would ever find Continue reading “Musings On The Fool’s Journey: The Fool Meets Temperance”