Major Arcana: Temperance Tarot Card


Consider as one of the most important virtues; Temperance is all about self-control and moderation. As a tarot card, Temperance relates to patience, making compromises, and finding a sense of our actions. 

When we go out of our path, this is the card that helps us get back on track. Temperance gives us balance and fills our lives with purpose. No matter how senseless some of the things that happen to us may seem, there is always a reason to continue, and this card will help us find it.

The Temperance tarot card

The Temperance tarot card shows us the road to moderation. Especially when fighting excesses and self-abusive tendencies. It makes the limits clearer and makes us more aware of the consequences of our actions.

This card teaches us the value of understanding the needs of the other, without forgetting what is important for you.

There is no sense in closing yourself to what you decided and completely ignore the opinion of the other. It is better to find a solution in the middle.

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Card Description

On this card, the main character is an angel. Concerning the gender of this angel, it is hard to say if it is a he or a she. However, most of the experts of tarot or angels will agree that the gender of the angel on this card is ambiguous.

As a matter of fact, the appearance of the angel is a bit androgyne, which seems to be coherent with the main thematic of the card: combining opposites.

The angel has large purple wings and is wearing a white robe. The symbol of his robe is a yellow triangle (that represents humanity) inside a white square (that stands for natural law and the earth).    

On each hand, he is carrying a cup that he uses to pour some water from one cup to the other. This is a symbol of alchemy and the need for things to flow.

At the bottom of the card, we can also see the water of a lake. If we look closer at the Temperance tarot card, you may have the impression that your eyes are fooling you.

You have the impression that the angel is floating on air because of his wings, but then, you look at his feet.

One foot is inside the water, and the other is standing on the rocks. This is an apology between the need to be in flow and the need to stay grounded.  Finding the balance between both is the secret to a healthy existence.

Other Elements

On the background of Temperance, we can also see a path that leads to the mountains. This path represents our path in life. Above it, there is a shiny golden crown that spread his light all over the valley.

This is the same kind of light that we see shinning over the angel’s head. On the other hand, the golden crown on this card symbolizes the importance of searching for a higher path, while remaining true to yourself.

Concerning the astrology aspect:

  • the zodiac sign that rules Temperance is Sagittarius.
  • the element is fire.
  • and the card number fourteen on the major arcana, as you can see on the Roman number on the top.

Temperance Meaning

The main lesson that can be extracted from this card is living with moderation. In a world full of excesses, moderation can help you maintain balance in life and spare you from very uncomfortable situations.

1. Temperance Teaching

Enjoying life as much as possible can be very tempting, but you need to know your limits. To know when it turns from fun to damaging. It is no worth it to waste your talent and joy on something that is only distracting you from real happiness.

2. Temperance Teaching

The Temperance tarot card shows us that even in situations of stress, it is important to stay calm. Even in moments of despair, keeping your emotions under control can help you find solutions to your problems or to understand your situation better.

3. Temperance Teaching

This card is also about compromise. Sometimes there are points of view that collide, but we don’t solve anything by waiting that others accept our conditions blindly. Life is about meeting in the middle.

Other Meanings

One particularity of this card is the relationship that it has with alchemy. Alchemy in the sense of mixing the different elements that you have close to you. Something alone can be worthless, but combined with other elements can be the biggest treasure.

Think in long terms. Where you want to direct your life. Sometimes there are miracles, but there is no guarantee that a miracle will happen. You have to give in, to receive. But you also need to know where to focus your efforts.

Finally, there is another meaning associated with Temperance, and it’s related to our goals. This card also teaches us the value of accomplishing what we have set our minds on, especially when it is about the learning process that we start. 

In this sense, Temperance is an invitation to master higher knowledge. Independent of what we decided to focus on.

Reversed Meaning

When this card appears reversed, it can be a symptom that something is out of balance in your life. Something that is causing you stress and anxiety. Temperance reversed is trying to help you identify the areas of your life in which you need to work.

Temperance reversed also deals with excesses. When someone is carrying a behavior to extremes, it is time to stop before they regret it forever. In this case, this card is a warning signal. There is so much hurt involved.

If possible, Temperance tells us to start a self-healing process. We need to hear what our organism has to say. Remember, sometimes closing the wounds may require an extended period, but is definitively worth it. 

But not everything about this card reversed is negative. Temperance, when it is not upright, can be the beginning of a self-evaluation period. This will be the perfect time to evaluate everything that is going on with you. Rethink your strategies or put your priorities on balance.