14 – Temperance
Upright: Balance, moderation, patience, purpose, meaning
Reversed: Imbalance, excess, lack of long-term vision
Temperance Tarot Card Description:
On the Temperance card stands a winged angel. The angel is actually a hermaphrodite (the child of Hermes and Aphrodite), showing a balance between the genders. The angel has one foot on dry land, representative of the material world, and one foot in the water, representative of the subconscious. In this position, she also represents the need to ‘test the waters’ before jumping headfirst into unknown circumstances. The triangle inside the square on her robe represents the female being protected by natural law. In her hands she holds two cups which she uses to mix water. The cups represent the sub- and super-conscious minds. One cup can be thought of as holding hot water and the other cold water. The water flowing between them is actually going from the lower cup to the higher one, signifying rising from a lower plane to a higher one. The temperate individual mixes the opposites and finds a balance in life by avoiding extremes. The astrological sign is Sagittarius, the teacher of truth, enthusiasm, tolerance and beauty.
Upright Temperance Tarot Card Meanings:
Temperance indicates that you are learning to bring about balance, patience and moderation in your life. You have been able to take the middle road, avoiding extremes and maintaining a great sense of calm in your life. You have learned to keep calm in situations of great stress or anxiety. You do not let things get to you, and you have found a place of peace where you can put things into perspective when things get hectic. Your respect for balance and tranquility is what will help you to achieve and experience fulfillment in your life. Your temperament will be well balanced and you demonstrate good management in your outlook on life.
The Temperance card reflects that you have a clear, long-term vision of what you want to achieve. You are not rushing things along; rather you are taking your time to ensure that you do the best job you can. This card also reflects a higher learning in what you are doing and demonstrates that you are learning a great deal on your journey. You are at peace with what you are doing and it is all coming together very well. Your inner voice is guiding you gently to the right outcome and you are patiently listening and following. You have a very balanced perspective on the situation at this time and you are in a very good position to make the right choices.
In relation to others, Temperance represents adaptation and coordination of external influences. You are able to work in harmony with others and there is a heightened level of co-operation in your activities with others. You are able to combine forces and join with others in order to bring it all together. There is a beautiful synergy at work that leverages the right mix of talents, experiences, abilities and skills.
Temperance asks you to be patient so that you can act with timing and precision. Patience and moderation will result in good management of all things. Do not feel that you need to rush, just let the situation evolve at its natural pace.
Temperance can also reflect a period of self-evaluation in order to re-examine your life priorities. You are now seeking a much greater balance between your inner and outer selves, searching for a higher meaning and purpose in life. Throughout this transition, you may also experience a clash between the old and the new you, sometimes feeling confused about which direction you ought to take and what is really important to you. You will evaluate seclusion, detachment and retreats as methods for accomplishing great things. You will avoid pain, conflict and distractions and lessen your stress and anxiety. Looking inward will re-charge you. There is nothing to fear, it is part of the process and without it change could not occur.
Reversed Temperance Tarot Card Meanings:
Temperance reversed reflects a time when something is out of balance, in conflict or excessive, and is therefore creating stress and tension in your life. Look to the other cards in the reading to understand what is out of balance or contributing to this feeling. Temperance reversed can also be a lead indicator that, were you to follow a certain path, you would create imbalance in the situation. You may be acting impatiently or refusing to take the moderate, gentle approach. Be wary of hasty action as this will only lead to further imbalance.
Temperance reversed can suggest that you lack a long-term vision and/or purpose and, as a result, you are feeling out of balance. This is a time when you need to reflect on what changes are necessary in your life to create greater purpose and fulfillment. Try to understand what you need to leave behind you in the past and what changes you need to embrace in the future.
People you are dealing with are proving to be uncooperative or you may feel as though your interests are in conflict or competition with each other. Getting the ‘flow’ right between you seems an impossible feat. You are both striving to express your individuality in very different ways. There is a lot of energy around now but none of it is being used positively. Unresolved conflicts in both of you have yet to be expressed clearly, indeed you may not be conscious of them, although you are aware that something is wrong. These conflicts may manifest themselves as role reversal. In the beginning one of you was dominant, now the other seeks to take control of the union. An old fashioned argument may be necessary to clear the air and establish new ground rules.