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Temperance - Tarot Card Meaning

Temperance is a Major Arcana Tarot card linked with ideas of the life journey. It can help you understand if you are on the path to your higher purpose, and what you need to do to get back on that path. It is also a reminder of the importance of balance. This stability creates a platform for you to do greater things.

Temperance Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

In the upright position, Temperance should reassure you that you are on the right path, and you are working towards your higher goals. While you might be able to make some adjustments to improve your situation, you are finding balance and flow in your life, but there are always opportunities to do more.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

In the reversed position, Temperance suggests that something is not right in your life. You are burning yourself out, or you are on a path that is not meant for you. It pushes you to take some time out, assess where you are, where you want to go, and what you need to change to make that happen.

Number - 14

Temperance is ruled by the number 14, which is often a symbol of new beginnings and positive change. It suggests that you have already taken the steps along this path and now is the time to continue and go with the flow. This number 14 can also give you a push to focus more of your energy towards your ultimate goals, rather than expending it elsewhere.

Element - Fire

The Temperance card is associated with the element of Fire. But in this case, it is a fire that clearly needs to be tamed. While our strongest emotions, such as anger and hate, can often provide us with strength, they can also throw us into turmoil. We need to learn how to channel these emotions in positive ways.

Planet – Jupiter

The planet Jupiter rules the Temperance card, and this is the planet of good luck and fortune. It usually means that something positive is coming your way. But this should be no surprise. It is something that you have been working towards, and your dedication and commitment is about to pay off.

Temperance - Tarot Card Description

While the Temperance card appears differently in different decks, most pull on the symbology represented in the Rider Waite deck.

A large angel appears at the center of the Temperance card. They appear both male and female, reflecting the importance of balance between elements. The angel wears a blue robe that is decorated with a symbol of a triangle inside a square. This represents humanity bound by the earth and natural law.

The angel has one foot on a rock, to ground them, and one foot in the water, as they move forward in harmony with the world around them. In their hands the angel holds two cups and pours water between them. This represents the transformation of alchemy. But the angel can only transform energy, it cannot bring new energy into being.

Behind the angel is a winding path up the mountains. This represents the journey through life that we must all take. Hovering above the mountains is a shining golden crown. This is a symbol of the true life calling that we should strive towards.

Read our profile of the Norse goddess Freyja.

Temperance - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

When the Temperance card appears upright in a Tarot reading, it can be a reminder of the importance of balance in life and of stabilizing your energy. You are probably generally good at this, but the card might nudge you to notice where you are burning energy ineffectively.

The card can also remind you of the importance to remain calm in the face of challenge and stress. Again, this is probably something that you are doing quite well, but something may be at the point of tipping over and you need to do a little more to bring these fiery energies back into balance.

If you are struggling with a challenge, the Temperance card can appear to advise you to take the middle path and try and find a way to accommodate everyone. While sometimes giving everyone what they wants means that no one wins, in this case, there is value in compromise.

The Temperance card might also appear upright in a reading to reassure you that the path you are on is in alignment with your greater purpose. If you are unsure, try reconnecting with your why to bring yourself back into focus.

What to do?

When the Temperance card appears upright in a Tarot reading, it is usually a good sign that you are on the right path. You are working towards your higher goals, and you are successfully finding balance in the chaos of life. There may be some small things that you can do to further strengthen your situation, but in general, you are on the right path and your work will pay off.

Temperance - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

When the Temperance card appears reversed in a reading it can suggest that you are taking things to excess. Whether you are working too hard or playing too hard, you are bursting at the seams, and you can’t keep pushing without consequences. It is time to try and find a new balance.

The card can also appear when you are just feeling a little off or like something is not right. This is probably down to your actions not aligning with your ultimate goals, or inconsistency between your internal world and what you are acting out in your daily life.

Reversed, the Temperance card can suggest that you enter a period of self-reflection and self-care to reorient your life in the right direction and find an energetic balance that works for you.

What to do?

When the Temperance card shows up reversed in a reading it means that something is off. It could be that you are pushing yourself too hard, not taking care of yourself properly, or working towards something that is not right for you. Take time out to reassess where you are and where you want to go and find new balance in your life.

Temperance Tarot Reading

When Temperance appears in a Tarot reading, it can help you understand where you are on your path. Upright, it suggests that you are going in the right direction and continue what you are doing with some refinements. Reversed, it suggests that you are off course, and it is time for a major reassessment.

The card also reminds us of the importance of balance in all parts of life. While going outside of your comfort zone is important, you are best able to innovate and find flow when the rest of your life is running smoothly. Finding balance creates space for greater things.

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