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14 - Temperance - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


balance, the right measure, peace of mind, healthy body, healthy mind, compromises, cooperation, moderation, reconcilation of opposites, avoidance of excess, to restrain oneself.

temperance tarot

Temperance - Description and Symbolism

An angel in a white dress is depicted letting water flow from one cup to another. Some think that the lower cup the angel is holding is filled with wine and the wine is being diluted by the water – as a representation for temperance. Her right foot is placed in a stream and the other on the ground to illustrate the right balance between opposites. On her white dress there is a triangle symbolizing balance. There is lush vegetation around her and a sun – looking like a crown - is rising behind mountains in the background.


Temperance - General Meaning​

Temperance has the number 14, which can be reduced to 5 and stands for change. This card is about moderation and the right balance. The angel dilutes the wine in one cup with water from the other cup - or she is divinding the water in the two cups. She wants to generate the right balance. Temperance can appear in situations when you have found the right balance and when you moderate your behaviour. For example if you have been working long hours all the time and now you notice that is has a negative effect on your family life, so you take a step back again to find a better balance between work and your private life, it could be represented by the Temperance card. Another aspect of this card is the combination and mixture of different things. It can indicate that forces need to be combined for the best results. Temperance also symbolizes a healthy state of mind and body.

Temperance - Love Meaning

If Temperance shows up in a love reading it can be a sign that a relationship has the right balance and there is a harmonious cooperation. Temperance can also indicate that it is necessary to find the right balance and make compromises in a relationship. When you tend to be clingy or jealous for example, Temperance can ask you to restrain yourself and give your partner more space. When you are single, it can hint that you need to find your inner balance first before you can attract the right person.

Temperance -  As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, Temperance can indicate that the person in question wants to moderate their feelings for you. This could be the case if they don't want to fall in love for example. Another interpretation is that they enjoy the flow of emotions. They could be very aware of their feelings at the time. They also might feel as if everything is in perfect balance and in harmony. They might feel like you are on the same wavelength.

Temperance Reversed -
Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


imbalance, mental problems, excess, going to extremes, disharmony, addiction,

lack of self-control, lack of discipline, inappropriate behaviour

Temperance Reversed - General Meaning

Temperance upright speaks of moderation and self-awareness. So, when Temperance appears reversed, it can indicate that moderation is urgently needed. Some behaviour might be out of balance and having a negative effect. For example, you might have been drinking or smoking too much lately. Temperance reversed can indicate that its time to become aware of the negative effects this has on your health, and remind you to change your habits. It could also mean that you are not at peace with yourself at the time. 

Temperance Reversed - Love Meaning

In a love reading temperance reversed can indicate that a relationship has lost its balance. One or both of the persons involved might put all their energy into other areas of their life and this might impact the relationship in a negative way. Another meaning could be that the harmony and balance in a relationship is missing. One of the persons involved might do all the work, they might sacrifice their own needs for the other person, and there might be an imbalance of give and take. 

Temperance Reversed - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, Temperance reversed can indicate that they feel like there is no harmony between the two of you. They might think you are not on the same wavelength. They might also feel that there is an imbalance of give and take. 

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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