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Temperance Meaning - Major Arcana Tarot Card Meanings

By Tina Gong


Temperance Keywords

Upright Keywords Reversed Keywords
balance, peace, patience, moderation, calm, tranquillity, harmony, serenity imbalance, excess, extremes, discord, recklessness, hastiness
Skip to Upright Meaning Skip to Reversed Meaning
Temperance Meaning - Original Rider Waite Tarot Depiction

Temperance Tarot Card Description

On the Temperance card, there is an angel with wings, whose gender is not immediately obvious, which suggests that there is a balance between the sexes. One foot of the angel is in water, to represent the subconscious, while the other foot is on dry land, a representation of the material world. On her robe, there is a square, which has a triangle inscribed inside, another echo of the tangible earth in union with the holy trinity. She holds two cups in a manner where she can mix the waters, which represent the super and subconscious minds. The water flows between them, suggesting union and infinity.

Everything about this card represents balance, the perfect harmony that comes from the union of dualities. Her advice is to test any new waters, before jumping into the deep end.

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Upright Temperance Meaning

In moments where there is anxiety or great stress, you have been able to remain calm throughout. You are a person who has mastered the art of not letting things get to you, and this allows you to achieve much progress in all areas you seek out to explore. The Temperance tarot card suggests moderation and balance, coupled with a lot of patience. Where this card appears, there is the suggestion that extremity in any situation is to be avoided.

The Temperance tarot card suggests moderation and balance, coupled with a lot of patience.

The Temperance card implies that you have a clear vision and know what you want to achieve. This is an indication of higher learning, which is a critical attribute in the journey of life. It reflects that you have found peace with what you are doing and everything is unfolding as it ought to. The Temperance card, in relation to other people, shows that you are able to adapt and work in harmony with your community, your coworkers and your loved ones. Your calmness in all matters gives them comfort and puts them at ease.

Temperance may also indicate a time to evaluate and re-examine the priorities you have chosen. This will help you create a balance between your outer and inner self. At the end of it all, you will find greater purpose and meaning in your actions, for her message is that we cannot live fully in either. 

Upright Love Meaning Upright Career Meaning Upright Finances Meaning
careful and considerate with love, being patient with love or lover success from patience and moderation, steady and slow progress diligent saving, slow and steady growth

Upright Temperance Tarot Love Meaning

In romance, the upright Temperance tarot love meaning suggests patience, moderation, understanding and going the middle path. This card indicates that we must avoid going to extremes, and to be cautious and thoughtful of our actions. Consider your actions when it comes to love; and in what aspects your attitudes, beliefs or thoughts can be excessive. Are you too pushy with potential partners? Or instead, are you too reserved? Are you too giving? Or are you not giving enough? How can you bring these traits into balance? In addition, your relationship or potential relationships may require some patience right now, and attempt to work together to find compromise and harmony.

Career Meaning - Upright Temperance

Patience and moderation may be helpful tools for you to achieve your career goals. You are likely to find what you desire when it comes to your work, but it may come slowly and quietly as you put in the work every day. Your dedication and ability to navigate emotionally charged situations at work with calm can help you be noticed by your peers and superiors. When it comes to making changes in your career path, the Temperance card can be a reminder to remain patient, steady and devoted; all good things take time. Temperance can also signal doing a good job in balancing your career with different aspects of your life; it is neither an all consuming ambition or just a paycheck to you. 

Finances Meaning - Upright Temperance

The Temperance card can be a call to make sure that your approach to your finances is one of moderation and balance. This can mean that you’ve been diligent with saving, while also being able to treat yourself with something you can afford every once in a while. Over time, you may be building your resources with steady, diligent saving.

Reversed Temperance Meaning

Temperance in reversed is a reflection of something that is out of balance and may be causing stress and anxiety. The real meaning of the Temperance card can be deciphered using the other cards in the spread to identify areas where this imbalance is being caused. A Temperance in reversal may also be used as a warning;  if you take a certain path, it would lead to turbulence and excess.

Lack of a long-term plan or vision may also be the Temperance reversal meaning. This creates a lack of purpose for you, leaving you feeling lopsided as you search here and there for what you should be doing. You must reflect and think carefully about what needs to change. Temperance reminds us that all things are only good in moderation, and that we must examine in which aspects of our lives we are breaking the balance.

Reversed Love Meaning Reversed Career Meaning Reversed Finances Meaning
going to extremes for love, all or nothing romances, impatience work-life imbalance, all or nothing at job, rushed job, reckless decisions failure to balance long term needs with short term happiness

Reversed Temperance Tarot Love Meaning

In love, do you tend to think in all or nothing terms? Love, like many things in life, are full of grey areas. When reversed Temperance appears in a love tarot reading, your intensity may be surprising right now. Sometimes, no matter our best efforts, we can’t force love to come into being. You may benefit from being a bit more patient, while also making sure that your own emotions or desires do not go into extremes. When your date does something that is displeasing to you, do you tend to immediately reject them? Are you too demanding on your potential partners, so that nobody ever can satisfy you? It’s important to remember that humans can never be perfect; make sure your desires are reasonable.

Career Meaning - Reversed Temperance

Something at work may be suffering from a lack of balance right now. Do you tend to go all in when it comes to your work, so much so that other aspects of your life suffer? Are you always pulling all-nighters, hoping that it all pays off in the end? Or alternatively, do you find that you slack off, leading to resentment from your colleagues? While the former can bring you success, this can be damaging to you in the long term. If this applies to you, look to correct this imbalance. Ensure that when completing projects, you aren’t rushing through them or making reckless choices; the quality of your work may be suffering.

Finances Meaning - Reversed Temperance

Are you someone who always needs to buy yourself the next nice luxury? Or alternatively are you so frugal that you never reward your hard efforts with any small treat? It’s likely that both of these attitudes will need adjustment, as they are both untenable in the long term. The first always puts instant gratification over your future comfort, and vice versa. Consider your financial goals, and make sure you also put your own well-being in the picture; both your future well-being, and your present well-being needs to find a comfortable middle ground.

Temperance Meaning Tarot Cheat Sheet

Temperance Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings Cheat Sheet

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