Do you see both sides of an argument? Can you lead adversarial parties toward a middle ground? Have you recently discovered the value in sharing control? Is your recovery something that has brought you to a happy medium in life? Are the days of excess behind you? The Temperance card is the Tarot’s way of indicating that peace will not be arriving, because you already have it within you. When you are in that even place away from the harsh side of things, you will find that peace, and in unleashing it, exert the greatest amount of control over your world with the least amount of effort you could ever imagine.
An angel with large feathered wings stands at the water’s edge of a lushly landscaped pond. Her right foot is dipped into the shallow water. Her left foot stands firm on the ground. On one side golden lilies blossom from out of the greenery. On the other is a path leading from the pond all the way through a verdant landscape to far-off mountains, toward a bursting yellow sunrise. The angel’s gold crown and yellow hair pulsate with a halo. Her white robe has a golden triangle in a white square embossed in the center of her chest. In each hand she holds a golden chalice and she is pouring water from one to the other, her gaze fixed on the stream of her own design.
This card is linked closely to the cards before and after it in the Tarot deck, serving as a buffer between uncontrollable destruction and self-destruction. The card before it is Death, #13, featuring a gloomy sunset indicating that things have ended for good. The same sunset on the right side of that card is rising here on the left side of this card. The card after it is The Devil, #15; the winged angel has transmogrified into a winged devil and the two chalices here are two enslaved pleasure-seekers. The Tarot’s sophisticated pace gives us the peaceful respite that only an oasis can bring. Everything in this card speaks of balance, equity and repose. The golden triangle is an ancient symbol of healing. That stream of water between the two cups is the act of finding the right balance between two sides, giving everyone their fair share. With all the gloomy drama surrounding this card in the deck’s natural order, there is a healthy dose of serenity throughout this illustration.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
Each Tarot reading features an examination of your past, your present and your future. Specific locations in the reading lock the card that lands there into a description of one of these time frames.
When the Temperance card lands in your past position, there is a foundation of calm in your world. Your childhood had a peace to it that has lent itself to ensuring that the ever-maturing present is never too rattled. This could also be an indicator of an incident in the recent past when you showed a great degree of integrity and character in a situation that you could have easily tilted to your advantage.
In the present position, you are finding common ground in a dispute. This is a great card to appear if you are going through a divorce and custody battle. You can feel confident that, moving forward, things will be equitable despite past disagreements. We often cling to our more extreme positions out of a fear of what life will be like were we to move toward the mainstream. Temperance insists that in abandoning extremism, you will actually be happier, will not miss the past at all and may find a greater degree of acceptance for who you are and what you believe. The stubborn side of your character will be replaced with tolerance when Temperance appears in the present position.
This is one of the most welcome cards in the Tarot deck when it is in the future position. No matter how tense your struggles are now, or how forgettable your past may appear, the future is a sunrise of peace and wellbeing. If you are ill at present, this is a great card, reflecting stamina and physical health are on their way. Many people seek a Tarot reading as entertainment, but almost as many seek it in times of great crisis. Tarot readers delight in seeing the Temperance card in the future position as they get to give their client great news about his or her days ahead.
When the Tarot cards are dealt out, the group speaks as a whole. The presence of one card will influence the other cards. Certain cards match up well and change each other’s meaning a little … or a lot!
Temperance (Tarot Card #14) is most closely related to The Emperor (Tarot card #4). Whereas The Emperor card exerts control from an inherited position of leadership, Temperance effuses a self-control that has been learned and earned. When The Emperor appears in a reading with Temperance, a mastery of your passions leads to a major career breakthrough. Learn more about the connection that Temperance shares with the other cards numbered four in the Tarot deck.
When The Tower is in a reading with Temperance, your self-control is challenged by events in the outside world that you could never have planned for. The forces of chaos will take you out of your normal day-to-day existence, but will you really be that rattled?
The Nine of Pentacles is a card that complements Temperance. This is the card of being blissfully enraptured with material success to the point that you may not see how it has entrapped you. With Temperance, the wisdom to leave behind excessive behavior produces a material security without the obsession for big spending.
The Three of Wands is a card of wanderlust that is aided by Temperance in any reading that occurs before you begin setting out on an adventure. You will have a fun time without it being so wild that it risks your personal security.
When your reading features The Star accompanying Temperance, look for a great dose of artistic inspiration to lead you in a creative direction. You can accomplish quite a bit under the energy of this reading, especially if you are in the middle of a project for work or are working toward a college degree. The Star inspires, but we can often dissipate this energy with partying and casual effort. Temperance delivers the diligence to manifest a great result out of a good idea.