Temperance Tarot Meaning

14 - Temperance Tarot Card Meaning

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Temperance Tarot Card Meaning

This post covers the Temperance Tarot Card Meaning in the traditional tarot deck. Featured card is from the Tarot of the Ages Deck

Astrology: Sagittarius

Element: Fire

Hermetic Kabbalah Element:  25 – Samekh


  • Balanced forces, moderation, equality of forces, a successful melding of opposites into a whole new form.
  • Positive personal growth; signifies a willingness and ability to listen to our inner voice.
  • Healing and recovery from loss.
  • Tapping into higher self; Higher and lower self in harmony
  • Making connections between various parts of our life.

Temperance Tarot Card Meaning In a reading

Finding Balance

  • This card often pops up when you are trying to balance or combine competing elements – such as work-life balance, or people in a new relationship. Integrating or connecting them takes time, effort, skills, and patience. Sometimes the mix works eventually, and sometimes it doesn’t, but a decision about wanting to compromise needs to be made before it can happen.
  • Temperance is about finding balance both within ourselves and in the external world.
    • The Lovers was about finding balance internally.
    • Justice was about finding balance in the law and external structure.
  • Try new things but keep a hold on your present security. At this time it is important to maintain a balance in your life. Don’t rush anything at this time. Don’t give up security and you may need more time before making any major decisions. Don’t overdo things; take a life at a moderate pace. Patience will win in the end.

Healing and Moderation

  • Temperance as the healer – consider what does healing mean for you? If healing is needed, think creatively and outside of the box. How can you pull together resources? Where do you need to adapt and do things in a new way?
  • The Temperance card does not reflect the exact definition or meaning of the word (e.g., moderation, self-control, restraint). It is bigger than that – it is about mastery of life so we can stay on the path we started as the Hermit.
    • It means that we refrain from reacting in order to gain mastery
    • We exercise restraint from retaliation so that we can be open to forgiveness and compassion
    • We restrain from excess so we can find value in what we have.

Temperance is the Magician amplified.

  • Temperance also has access to elements and the angel is communing and engaging in a way that makes the impossible, possible. She doesn’t need the tools or props of the Magician. The angel has mastered their energy and uses it to benefit the collective vs. the self (Magician).

Other things to consider when the Temperance card comes up:

  • How we are enlightened (in action and alignment) in our everyday?
  • The best innovations and ideas come through a process of alchemy. We can’t control nature but we can control our personal nature. We can transform from the inside out. Is it time for a spirituality or personality makeover and what elements do you need to tap into to make that happen? What is the best possible scenario of this situation and how can you make it happen?

Symbolism in card

  • The Angel
    • Multiple representations
      • Temperance personified as an angel – one of the 4 virtues
      • A symbol of our pure spirit or our higher self.
      • Greek goddess Iris
      • Our spirit guides
      • Sometimes referenced as Michael the angel – protecting from the Devil that comes next.
  • The angel figure emphasizes the balance of masculine and feminine energies together.
    • The angel is a master alchemist – they can make the impossible possible.
    • She is standing on water AND on land.
      • Water = emotion, imagination, unconscious;
      • The land = earth, material, body.
      • She is safe on earth but connected to emotion and imagination. In order to tap into intuition (water) – we need to be grounded in the earth. When this happens we can be free to let our creativity run wild.
    • The Angel comes after Death but before the Devil – so Temperance is a guide – the guide taking our hand through the Devil and Tower until we can get to The Star.
  • Cups – the water is being poured back and forth; defies physics and slants.
  • Rising sun – the dawn after the sunset of death.
  • River – emotion
  • Rainbow – A bridge between heaven and earth symbolizing balancing spirituality and our physical existence.

High expression

  • When we are no longer afraid of “death” (change and transformation) we experience and embrace the healing process.
  • Taking the castaway items from “death” and repurposing them. Taking old things (material, relationships, or spiritual) and using them again in new and beautiful ways.
  • Living magically – consistently connecting to what we value
  • Self-acceptance

Shadow side

  • Not allowing the healing process – continual struggle just for the sake of it
  • Living a compartmentalized life and not showing up as whole self in relationships or jobs (fragmentation).

Magical uses

  • Study alchemy
  • If experiencing a loss – this card is telling you to prioritize your healing (breaks, time off) what does that mean to you go do it.
  • Time to connect to guides or guardian angels
  • Elemental healing – connecting to the elements in an engaged and focused way. What do you need more of in your life and working with them magically?

Related Articles

  • Tarot Card Meanings Library (all tarot articles on my site) – CLICK HERE

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