Vertigo: My Lesson in Temperance

Vertigo: My Lesson in Temperance September 6, 2021

A few weeks ago I experienced vertigo that lasted for several days and then intermittently over the following week. It started while at work one day. I looked up from reading an article on my desk to check a notification on my computer and the room spun. I kept waiting for the moment to pass but the spinning continued. To top it off, I had to use the bathroom. So, I stood up and made my way to the bathroom while holding on to every tabletop and wall on the way. A coworker noticed something was wrong and I later made my way to urgent care. Turns out I had vertigo.

A potential cause of my vertigo may have been an inner ear issue associated with ear crystals being out of place. Yeah, that sounds like some whack New Age BS but look it up. Ear crystals are an actual thing. Misaligned or floating inner ear crystals can send signals to your brain that you’re off-balance, causing vertigo. The room spins, you may get nauseous, your speech may become slurred, and you might break out into a cold sweat. SO FUN.

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash.

Something my partner said about my vertigo really struck me, though: “It’s amazing how one tiny thing can screw up your entire perception of reality.” There it was: it’s like a Princess and the Pea moment that I was having. This tiny thing, possibly an ear crystal, was totally screwing with my perception of gravity and I had no control over it. Me being me, I like to turn many experiences into life lessons. Bear with me.

“Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which sets bounds to the passions.” – Thomas Aquinas

Temperance. Temperance is the ability to maintain balance, control, and patience. What can I learn from this? I can learn to be adaptable to change, for one. I can learn that I may need to (literally) lean on other things to make my way. Lastly, I need to learn that I cannot control every tiny thing in my universe. There will be things, people, and experiences that completely alter my perception of reality without me knowing or being able to do anything about it. I didn’t plan for vertigo but I found solace in feeling it was a lesson in temperance.

While feeling that I was being called to exercise temperance, I can’t help but think of the Temperance tarot card. An angelic being is standing in a sunlit meadow next to a body of water. They’ve got one foot dipped into the water and the other on the shore, while neatly pouring liquid from one raised goblet to another. Not a drop of water appears to be escaping the pour. They’re an expert bartender, y’all. I imagine that if you don’t get the angle and force quite right while pouring liquid from goblet to goblet then some serious splashage will occur. Can’t get the angelic robe wet – it’s dry-clean only!

Where in my life can I apply a steady hand? Where can I be bold enough to ride the balance between steadiness and dipping my toes into a flowing, uncontrollable force? Temperance isn’t asking me to jump into the water. It seems to me that Temperance is asking me to pay careful attention to where I’m placing my attention and with how much force. Am I too concerned with work instead of home matters? Am I allowing only one perspective or emotion to drive my actions? Where can I add a dash of temperance into my life? What would a literal dash of temperance taste like? Asking the real questions, my dudes.

Intent or Portent?

Photo by Kayla Maurais on Unsplash.

As a witch, I believe that intention should be at the heart of my actions and reactions. With that in mind, I can intentionally introduce new things, people, and experiences to alter my current perception of reality. When done intentionally well, witchcraft can achieve altered perceptions of reality. Most witches I know purposefully seek out Craft experiences to challenge their perceptions. I don’t think many of us are looking to pull a Steve Urkel – “Did I do that?” Like, “whoops! However did this very-specific-thing-that-I-secretly-wished-for-ever-come-to-fruition?” Nah, witch. Own it. You did that on purpose and you intended that to happen.

I recently got into a rut with my witchcraft, as most of us do from time to time. I don’t know about you, but being in a rut makes me uncomfortable. You’d think it’d be the opposite, right? Not for me. I cannot stand feeling like I’m zapped of motivation or lacking in spiritual connectivity. Sitting in that weird limbo feels like my back needs to be popped but I just can’t find the right angle. It borders on painful, so I sought to read a type of witchcraft book that I hadn’t before considered. My hope was that I would find somethinganything to inspire me — and I did! It just took me putting down my typical Craft books and trying something new. I strongly encourage you to do the same if you’re feeling uninspired, stuck, or bored.

Speaking of books, I have several books that I will be reviewing in the future. I just received my copy of The Witch’s Path: Advancing Your Craft at Every Level by Thorn Mooney, and I’m also reviewing So Potent Art: The Magic of Shakespeare by Emily Carding. So, be on the lookout for blog post reviews by Yours Truly.

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