Temperance Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

Temperance upright

Temperance At A Glance

Keywords: Balance, sharing, cause and effect, consequences, consider all sides, compromise, team work, overreacting, closed minded, selfishness
Seasons: Summer
Zodiac/Planet: Sagittarius

Temperance Tarot Card Description

Temperance is the fifteenth card within the major arcana numbered as 14. Within the original RWS (Rider Waite Smith) deck Temperance describes an angel with one foot on land and one in water. The land refers to the conscious and the water refers to the subconscious.

The gender of the angel is unknown to suggest a balance between the divine masculine and feminine and that both are equally important within this card and its meaning of balance.

The angel is pouring water from one cup to another. This shows a deliberate action to weigh and measure the water between the cups and how movement is vital to maintaining balance.

Temperance Upright Meaning

When the Temperance card is turned over in a card reading and is in its upright position (the art work is right side up) it generally symbolizes complete balance, harmony and peace. This happens by using and accepting equal amounts of the dualities we find in our life, for example light/dark, harmony/chaos and so on. We can’t simply sit on one side of the fence forever.

We will need to interact with these polarities and select the right amounts of each needed to acquire our own personal peace of mind. This card asks us to be mindful with our consumption of all the things which shape our mind frame.

Social media, the news and other resources shape our political and religious views over time. Regularly assessing their effects on us is a good way to check in that our thoughts are our own and that peace is possible for us.

“Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.” - Steve Maraboli

Temperance Reversed Meaning

Temperance reversed

Temperance reversed is about the opposite of balance: imbalance. It can refer to there currently being a lack of balance or peace in our life. The card says just like the angel that pours the water, we too, will have to take an action to restore peace. Waiting or inaction will not change our circumstances in this particular scenario.

“I see a world on the edge of a blade. Without balance, it will fall.” - Victoria Aveyard

Temperance: Yes or No

Temperance is yet another card which rarely has a definitive yes or no meaning to it. Because this card speaks of balance and finding the middle ground between opposing polarities this card (in this case yes or no) it can only ever mean maybe.

Which might be frustrating if we have asked a simple yes or no question but one of the amazing things about tarot is how much nuance and information it gives in its answers. So the answer to our yes or no question when Temperance shows up looks like: find the compromise or hidden third option. 

Let’s Break Down Temperance In Our Lives

What Temperance can tell us when we have asked a question about a certain area of our life and the details relating only to that area

Temperance In Love

If the reader has asked a question about love either romantic or platonic and the Temperance card appears then it can suggest an equal partnership which brings all involved the upmost happiness.

It says we must continuously work on this. Even when times are good we cannot let our efforts wane because a harmonious relationship is one that quickly adapts to our ever changing lives.

Reversed Temperance with money means this avenue would bring impending debt. It warns that the pay off may not be worth the stress it would inflict to see this plan through to the other (profitable) side.

Temperance With Money

If the Temperance card appears when a question about money has been asked it is suggesting a slow approach to our money making efforts. We must be prepared to react quickly and make small changes as we progress. This wont be a ‘set it and forget it’ endeavor but rather one that we will tweak over time.

Reversed Temperance with money means this avenue would bring impending debt. It warns that the pay off may not be worth the stress it would inflict to see this plan through to the other (profitable) side.

Temperance At Work

When asking a question about a situation at work or about our careers the Temperance card can mean we are equal to the tasks or role being asked of us. At all times we must remember we have a choice and we need to assess if the tasks we currently perform are fulfilling enough for us.

Reversed Temperance at work suggests we are constantly being asked to do or give too much without the pay or reward matching. We must summon our courage and discuss a raise or changes to our contract so that the pay is equal to the workload.

Temperance With Others

If we are asking about our external world, either our immediate world of people we know or the world at large and we get the Temperance card as an answer it means we feel at home in the world and can trust the universe to support us. It says times before have been difficult but they are coming to an end soon. We can relax with our loved ones because we are about to find a long awaited sense of peace and wellbeing.

Reversed Temperance with others can signify feeling stressed or out of balance with the true workings of the universe. Needing to spend some time alone to get back to equilibrium.

This can look like the anxiety we feel when we leave university to emerge into the world, or the temporary feeling of loneliness when we move and haven’t made friends yet. It says this period is temporary and in time we will feel at peace again once the situation settles.

Temperance With Self

The Temperance card relates to our internal world by asking us to explore our internal world more thoroughly and discover the places we have not healed yet. Old traumas which have lain dormant can now finally be vanquished. We are in a time and place in our lives where it is safe to unpack all the old traumas we have been carrying around.

Reversed, the Temperance card with self can symbolize an existential crisis and the fear or anxiety about our place in the universe. This card says we need to show ourselves all the ways that we positively impact others so we understand that our actions and our place in the universe does matter and that we are valued.

Temperance As Feelings

Temperance as a feeling is a very difficult one to describe. The very nature of this card means it is about finding a middle ground or a compromise between 2 or more opposite forces. This means it is not a strong emotion but more like a perfect mix of all of them. It isn’t extreme rage or absolute lethargy.

It is a moment of neutrality, detached disassociated thoughts or even gentle contentedness. It is how we feel when we feel every and nothing at nice. Our empty minds when we meditate and our full hearts when we are quietly expressing joy.