When life gives you lead, spin it to gold. From the Couture Tarot by Megan Skinner.

Temperance

Have you ever had this experience: you approach a group, crowded around a table. They’re deep in conversation, perhaps creating waves of uproarious laughter. You demure, observing there’s no room and you don’t want to interrupt; but it’s too late, someone notices, another person scoots over ever so slightly, and they make room for you at their table, welcoming you as you get folded into the very conversation you were wary of interrupting.

It’s a wonderful feeling, if you can allow yourself the risk of being seen. But for most of my life, that table equated to a high-stakes poker game, and I never had the courage to play.

How is it that our own skin can be so uncomfortable to wear? And why is it that I’m over here today, parading all over the internet, wearing nothing but mine?

Because I’ve tapped out of the goodness that can be mined from the surface of life, and I want to go deeper. I’m ready to show up. Packaging myself in a warehouse of SKUs has been both exhausting and counter-productive. I’ve spent far too much of everything, be it time, energy, money, you name it — managing perceptions, softening my edges, choosing to listen to detractors instead of divine wisdom. The gift of hindsight allows me to see that all those critiques, comments, and other acts of suppression — deliberate, accidental, misinformed, cultural, familial — that I experienced very early in life are meaningless; and yet, they are hard-coded in my programming as my beliefs about who I am.

Beneath all of that mythology is the perfection we were all born with, the beautiful souls that we are, and I’ve made the conscious decision to let mine come through. Put another way: I’ve got lightening in a bottle that I’ve been diluting, dispensing it in drips and drabs. Now, I’m comfortable with the full-strength formula. And I am getting comfortable with the idea that my purpose on this planet is sharing it with others.

I know that sounds confident, but I still have doubts. That old script immediately runs the second I sit down to write, or open my mouth to speak. Fortunately, it’s no match for divine wisdom, which appeared again today when I pulled the Temperance card from my Tarot deck, an exercise I do to get my thoughts clear and intentions centered.

Temperance is the process of creative transcormation that comes about through the integration of different elements in our life. … I sometimes describe the Temperance card to my clients using the analogy of a master chef combining different ingredients to come up with the perfect recipe. The Temperance card would be described as the process of creating a grand soup — the soup of life. Temperance translates to the willingness to mix things up a bit and experiment with different elements and proportions in order to explore new dimensions in life. Different ingredients, whether in the form of new experiences, perceptions, knowledge, or insight combine to bring us multi-dimensional wisdom.

-Megan Skinner, Essence of the Tarot

In the art of alchemy, temperance is the art of transforming lead into gold. I’ve led a life leaden with unbearable heaviness. It is my hope that my remaining years will be spent spinning bright golden threads.

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