Temperance Tarot Card Meanings

Temperance tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


Temperance’s Upright & Reversed Meanings

Temperance (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Breakup, extremes, opposite

Traits: Disruptive, impatient, intolerant, restrained, uncooperative, unrestrained

Emotions: Annoyance, disappointment, enthusiasm, exhilaration, frustration, pleasure, unhappiness

  • Actions:
    • Allowing or denying yourself to enjoy a particular pleasure
    • Doing an activity more or less
    • Going solo
    • Letting your emotions out
    • Pursuing or stopping your favorite activities
    • Separating yourself from others
Temperance (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Blending, combination, harmony, mediation, synthesis

Traits: Balanced, calm, conciliatory, cooperative, creative, healthy, moderate, modest, patient, tolerant

Emotions: Contentment, gladness, relief, satisfaction, tenderness

  • Actions:
    • Bringing opposites together
    • Finding middle ground
    • Moderating your actions or emotions
    • Reaching compromises
    • Synthesizing solutions that please everyone involved
    • Using the old to make something new
Temperance (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Abstinence, avoidance, numbness

Traits: Cowardly, inhibited, passive, repressed, rigid, strict, timid

Emotions: Apprehension, neglect, nervousness, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Avoiding conflict
    • Brushing off the problem
    • Failing to take care of your emotional needs
    • Numbing your emotions
    • Refraining from indulging
    • Refusing to discuss a difficult issue

Temperance’s Advice

Personal Growth

Young people want to toss out tradition and forge ahead. Older people are more conservative. Between these extremes lies a healthier middle ground. Define the polarities and then ask, “What lies between?”


Set superficial relationships aside. Pursue trust and deep intimacy—the subtle blending of two people into one. Bring people together. Commit to introductions, parties, or gatherings. Seek out groups.


Many hands make work easier. Call meetings. Get input from every level at every step. If everyone has a hand in defining an effort, then everyone will feel ownership and investment. Moderate your tendency towards all-or-nothing work habits.


Some spiritual advisors recommend extreme practices, from fasting to abstinence, as a means of boosting spiritual awareness. Consider the potential value of moderation in all things. You can value what is right here, right now, without craving more or surpassing healthy limits.

Temperance’s Symbols & Insights

The Square and Triangle

In many Rider–Waite–Smith-inspired decks, a symbol on the angel’s chest suggests the fiery spirit enshrined in stable matter. What meaning do your possessions have beyond their physical value?

The Blended Cups

Temperance often pours the contents of two cups together, blending water, water and wine, wine and milk, or even fire and water. How might blending two opposites resolve your challenge today?

Land and Water

Occult decks frequently draw Temperance with one foot on stable land and one foot in emotional water. A dive-in-or-get-off-the-dock approach assumes extremes are the only options. Are they?


The flowers seen in Rider–Waite–Smith-inspired illustrations suggest their namesake, Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. What would happen if you reduced your situation to its most basic components, as a rainbow breaks down white light?

More About Temperance Tarot Card

Someone’s using drugs or alcohol to excess.
It’s time to get back on that diet.
Between November 22 and December 21
“I am able to find balance and harmony in all areas of my life.”
The mediator
Hebrew Alphabet
Numerology Number
14 = 1 + 4 = 5
(the catalyst: instability, resistance, confrontation, evolution)
Astrology Element
Astrology Sign
The angel seen here may be the goddess Iris
By extension, priests, priesthoods, or the transfigured Christ
The main character learns to moderate impulses or habits that limit his or her ability to solve the story’s central problem.
Questions to Ask
How can I avoid extremes?
What does everyone involved have in common?
How might combining familiar things help me create something new?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Tarot Birth Card Meanings
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss