Unveiling the Mysteries of the Temperance Tarot Card

The Temperance card, a key player in the Major Arcana of the tarot deck, is a symbol of balance, harmony, and moderation. As the fourteenth card in the Major Arcana, it represents a significant point in the Fool’s journey, where the lessons learned from previous cards are synthesized, and a sense of equilibrium is achieved. The Temperance card is a beacon of serenity amidst the tumultuous journey, reminding us of the importance of maintaining balance in all aspects of life.

Temperance Keywords and General Associations

Temperance general

The Temperance card is rich with symbolism and carries several key themes. In its upright position, it represents balance, moderation, patience, and harmony. When reversed, it signifies imbalance, excess, impatience, and discord. These keywords provide a basic understanding of the card’s energy and can guide the interpretation process.

  • Upright: Balance, moderation, patience, harmony
  • Reversed: Imbalance, excess, impatience, discord

In terms of astrological associations, the Temperance card is linked with Sagittarius, a sign known for its quest for knowledge, freedom, and truth. This association further emphasizes the card’s themes of balance and moderation, as Sagittarius is often on a journey to find the middle ground between freedom and responsibility. The element associated with Temperance is Fire, symbolizing transformation, passion, and energy.

Detailed Description of the Temperance Card

Pamela Coleman Smith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Temperance card in the Rider-Waite-Colman tarot deck is a visual feast of symbolism. It depicts an angel, one foot on land and the other in water, symbolizing the balance between the material and spiritual realms. The angel is pouring water from one cup to another, a representation of the flow of life and the harmony that comes from balance.

The angel’s robe is adorned with a triangle inside a square, a symbol of spirit contained in matter, further emphasizing the theme of balance. In the background, a narrow path leads to a golden light, symbolizing the spiritual journey towards enlightenment. Every element in this card contributes to its overall meaning of balance, harmony, and moderation.

Meaning of the Temperance

The Temperance card holds a significant place in tarot readings. It represents the need for balance and moderation in our lives. It’s a reminder that extremes, whether in emotions, behaviors, or relationships, can lead to imbalance and disharmony. The card encourages us to find the middle ground and to integrate different aspects of our lives into a cohesive whole.

In a reading, the Temperance card can represent a range of concepts, from emotional balance and inner peace to patience and compromise. It can also signify healing and the need for self-care. The card’s meaning can vary depending on the context of the reading, the question asked, and the cards surrounding it.

Interpretation of the Temperance

Tarot reading

The interpretation of the Temperance card can vary significantly depending on whether it appears in its upright or reversed position. Both positions offer valuable insights into different areas of life, from love and relationships to career and personal growth.

Upright Temperance

When the Temperance card appears upright in a reading, it signifies balance, harmony, and moderation. In the context of love and relationships, it can indicate a harmonious relationship where both partners balance each other out. It can also suggest the need for compromise and understanding in a relationship.

In terms of career and work, the upright Temperance card could suggest a balanced approach to work-related challenges. It might indicate that you’re successfully maintaining equilibrium between your professional and personal life, or it could be a nudge to seek more balance if work has been overwhelming.

In social dynamics, Temperance encourages patience, understanding, and the ability to see different perspectives. It’s a call to foster harmonious relationships and to approach conflicts with a balanced and fair mindset.

Reversed Temperance

The reversed Temperance card, on the other hand, represents imbalance, excess, and a lack of moderation. In a love reading, it might suggest that there’s an imbalance in the relationship. This could be emotional, such as one partner giving more than the other, or it could be practical, like an unequal division of responsibilities.

In a career context, the reversed Temperance card could indicate that you’re overworking and not taking enough time for rest and relaxation. It might also suggest that you’re rushing into decisions without considering all the implications.

When it comes to challenges or obstacles, the reversed Temperance card suggests that impatience or a lack of moderation might be hindering your progress. It’s a call to reassess your approach and strive for balance.

Comparing and Contrasting The Temperance with The Lovers and The Tower

Understanding the Temperance card in relation to other Major Arcana cards can provide deeper insights into its meanings and interpretations.

Compared with The Lovers

The Lovers card, like Temperance, deals with relationships and choices. However, while The Lovers often represents the passionate beginning stages of a relationship, Temperance suggests a more mature, balanced love that has stood the test of time. The Lovers is about the attraction and coming together of opposites, while Temperance is about the ongoing work of maintaining balance and harmony within a relationship.

Compared with The Tower

The Tower and Temperance are almost opposites in their themes. The Tower represents sudden upheaval and chaos, while Temperance is all about balance and harmony. Where The Tower brings sudden change that can be disruptive, Temperance encourages gradual change through moderation and balance. If The Tower is a storm, Temperance is the calm after it, bringing healing and restoration.

Temperance in Specific Readings

Temperance tarot card
Johann Georg Rauch, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The interpretation of the Temperance card can shift significantly depending on the context of the reading and the specific question being asked. This dynamic card can offer a range of insights, from affirmations of balance and harmony to warnings of imbalance and excess. Let’s delve into how Temperance might be interpreted in different types of readings.

Yes-no readings

In the realm of yes-no readings, the Temperance card tends to lean towards a ‘yes’. However, this ‘yes’ comes with a gentle reminder. It suggests that the answer to your query is indeed positive, but it also advises the querent to exercise patience and moderation. It’s a call to avoid rushing into decisions or actions, and to maintain a balanced approach. This card in a yes-no reading could indicate that the desired outcome is within reach, but it’s crucial to proceed with a sense of calm, balance, and patience.

Temperance yes or no

In a yes-no reading, Temperance is like a wise friend who encourages you to take a step back and view the situation from a broader perspective. It’s a reminder that while the answer may be ‘yes’, the journey to that outcome requires a balanced and thoughtful approach. It’s a call to make decisions with both the heart and mind, to consider all angles, and to move forward with a sense of calm and patience.

Love readings

In love readings, the Temperance card is a beacon of positivity. It suggests a relationship that is balanced and harmonious. If you’re single, it could indicate that you’re about to meet someone who complements you perfectly, someone with whom you can build a balanced and harmonious relationship. It’s a sign of mutual understanding, compromise, and the ability to balance each other out.

Temperance love

In the context of an existing relationship, Temperance is a sign of harmony and balance. It suggests that both partners are working together to maintain equilibrium, respecting each other’s individuality while also nurturing their shared bond. It’s a reminder of the importance of compromise and understanding in a relationship, and it may also suggest a period of peace and harmony after a time of conflict or misunderstanding.

Work readings

In a work reading, the Temperance card suggests a balanced approach to work-related challenges. It might indicate that you’re successfully maintaining a good work-life balance, or it could be a nudge to seek more balance if work has been overwhelming. It’s a reminder to take time for rest and relaxation, to avoid burnout, and to approach work-related challenges with a sense of calm and patience.

The Temperance card in a work context can also suggest that you’re in a period of harmony and balance in your career. You may be finding that you’re able to balance your professional responsibilities with your personal life effectively. Alternatively, if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work, Temperance is a call to seek balance. It’s a reminder to take a step back, to assess your workload, and to make sure you’re not overextending yourself.

Key Card Combinations

The Temperance card, like all tarot cards, doesn’t exist in isolation. Its meaning can be influenced by the cards that appear alongside it in a spread. Here are a couple of key card combinations that can provide deeper insights into the Temperance card’s message:

Combined with The Chariot


When the Temperance card appears in a spread with The Chariot, it suggests a powerful dynamic of balance and drive. The Chariot is a card of determination, willpower, and victory. It signifies the drive to push forward, to overcome obstacles, and to achieve one’s goals. However, this intense drive can sometimes lead to a lack of balance, as one might become so focused on the goal that they neglect other aspects of their life.

This is where the Temperance card comes in. It serves as a gentle reminder to maintain balance even in the pursuit of our goals. It suggests that while it’s important to be driven and determined, it’s equally important to stay balanced and harmonious. This combination could indicate that you’re on the right track towards achieving your goals, but it’s important to maintain balance and not rush the process. It’s a call to move forward, but with moderation and patience.

Combined with The High Priestess


The combination of Temperance and The High Priestess is a potent one, suggesting a deep connection between intuition and balance. The High Priestess is a card of intuition, mystery, and inner knowledge. It represents the ability to tap into our subconscious mind, to listen to our inner voice, and to trust our intuition.

When paired with the Temperance card, this combination suggests a need to balance our logical and intuitive sides. It’s a call to not only listen to our intuition but also to balance it with rational thought. It might also indicate that by listening to your intuition and maintaining balance in your life, you’ll find the answers you’re seeking.

This combination could also suggest a need for emotional balance. The High Priestess can sometimes indicate strong emotions or deep-seated feelings that are not being acknowledged. The Temperance card, with its message of balance and harmony, suggests that these emotions need to be acknowledged and balanced. It’s a call to honor your feelings, but also to keep them in check and not let them overwhelm you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the general meaning of the Temperance tarot card?

The Temperance card generally represents balance, harmony, and moderation. It’s a reminder to maintain equilibrium in all aspects of life and to avoid extremes.

What does the Temperance tarot card mean in a love reading?

In a love reading, the Temperance card can indicate a balanced and harmonious relationship. It suggests mutual understanding, compromise, and the ability to balance each other out.

What is the meaning of the reversed Temperance?

The reversed Temperance card represents imbalance, excess, and a lack of moderation. It suggests that there’s an area in your life where there’s too much or too little of something, and it’s causing disharmony.

Is Temperance a Yes or No card?

In a yes-no reading, the Temperance card leans towards a ‘yes’. However, it’s a ‘yes’ with a caveat. It suggests that the answer to your question is positive, but it also advises patience and moderation.

Last Thoughts on “Temperance”

The Temperance card, with its themes of balance, harmony, and moderation, is a powerful card in the tarot deck. It serves as a reminder to maintain equilibrium in all aspects of life, to avoid extremes, and to strive for harmony. Whether it appears in a love, career, or personal growth reading, the Temperance card encourages us to take a balanced approach and to integrate different aspects of our lives into a cohesive whole. As with all tarot cards, the key to understanding Temperance lies in personal intuition and experience. So, keep exploring, keep learning, and let the journey of the tarot guide you.

Learn the Tarot with Online Flash Cards

Are you looking to dive into the world of tarot and master the meaning of each card? We have a post, “Learn The Tarot Cards – Online Flash Cards” by our own Tarot expert Ersa Fay. With interactive flash cards covering all 78 cards in the tarot, both the Minor and Major Arcana, you will learn key facts and the symbolism and meanings associated with each card. 

By using these flash cards, you’ll become more comfortable with performing your own readings and enhance your journey into the world of tarot. 

In the post, Ersa focuses on the iconic Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, known for its rich imagery and profound symbolism. The captivating illustrations in this deck draw from various sources such as mythology, astrology, alchemy, and the Kabbalah, creating a visual language that resonates deeply with the human psyche. So, if you’re ready to start learning, don’t miss out on this fantastic resource. We hope you find it useful and remember to have fun with it!

Photo of author

Maria Figueroa

Maria is a multifaceted individual who wears the hats of a professional astrologer, licensed psychologist, tarot reader, and angel number enthusiast. Since 2019, she has dedicated herself to writing horoscopes and articles on a variety of topics, including spiritual growth, mental health, and self-development. Her insightful writings reflect her deep understanding of the spiritual and psychological realms, providing valuable guidance to her readers. In addition to her writing, Maria also runs a private practice where she combines her expertise in psychology with her intuitive abilities. She uses her knowledge of astrology, tarot, and angel numbers to help individuals unlock their hidden potential and navigate through life's challenges. Her unique approach blends her psychological training with her spiritual insights, allowing her to provide holistic support to her clients. Through her work, Maria connects with people from all walks of life, offering personalized birth chart readings, helping individuals overcome personal obstacles, and sharing her wisdom through enlightening articles. Her goal is to empower others by providing them with the tools and insights they need to lead fulfilling lives and embark on their own spiritual journeys. A lover of astrology, tarot and numerology, Maria embraces the mystical and symbolic aspects of life and uses these powerful tools to deepen her understanding and connection with the Divine. Her unique combination of skills allows her to provide guidance and inspiration to those seeking a greater sense of purpose and direction.