(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)
After the trauma and upset of the Death card, Temperance brings a wonderful and much-needed respite from suffering. Death has done his job and cleared away all the dead wood out of our lives, weeded the garden, torn down the old curtains, ransacked the cupboards and drawers, before filling a huge skip with all our unnecessary baggage and things. We are now in a better position to see our lives without blinkers on. With a de-cluttered mind we can now focus on who we are and what we really want for the future. It is Temperance who brings the calm after the storm and allows us to settle and re-balance. It is Temperance who after the clearing of Death allows us a glimpse of our true Spiritual Purpose.
Temperance appears to us as a Winged Angel. Dressed in a white gown she pours water from one cup to another. In front of her is a pool of water. The Angel stands with one foot in the water and one foot on land. Behind her a path leads off into the distant mountains where the sun has risen and is now shining brightly. This card is all about finding balance and harmony within ourselves and our lives. Each Element is represented in this card. Water is prominently featured in the pool and flowing between the two cups. The triangle on her white gown is the symbol for Fire. The square around the triangle symbolises Earth and the Third Eye, or Brow Chakra, symbolises Air. Temperance demonstrates that by taking the time to carefully blend these Elements in suitable proportions, you will find the right balance to succeed in attaining your goals.
The distant mountains on the left are the same mountains that were seen on right in the Death card as the sun was just rising. The pathway represents the journey you have made since shedding the unnecessary from your life. The sun has now risen which suggests that for the moment the troubles of the past are behind you. Through faith in life you have found the light at the end of the tunnel. The pool Temperance stands beside is the pool that was first glimpsed in The High Priestess when you were only vaguely aware of its presence. This suggests that by traveling through The Major Arcana and experiencing its lessons thus far, you have gained access to much of the knowledge contained within The Torah of The High Priestess. You may congratulate yourself on this as it is no mean achievement.
The actions of Temperance are often linked to pouring oil over troubled water. Temperance brings a calming and soothing energy to the situation. The Angel represented is Archangel Raphael. Raphael is traditionally associated with healing so this card is also about healing taking place, or the need to heal. Temperance encourages moderation and pacing oneself. She brings clarity of thought and thus allows for being aware of the bigger picture rather than constantly seeking instant gratification. Temperance urges you to consider your next step, your next move, for these decisions will have a huge impact on the rest of your life. The halo around the Temperance’s head suggests that at this stage of your journey you have matured considerably and have learned many lessons. Some came hard, some easy, and as a result you have grown spiritually. By releasing all that was not worthy of you, and all that was blocking your spiritual vision in the Death card, you now have a clear picture of repetitive patterns of behaviour in your life so far. By examining your past you will have realised how you got where you are today, whether you took the right path or not, and how many times you have strayed.
Temperance is not a card of action, she is content to be still and savour her surroundings. Nothing is learned by rushing around and acting impulsively. You must carefully consider your next step, so take your time as you adapt and adjust to your new situation. Temperance appears to be measuring out a certain amount of water from one cup to the next. She knows just how much of each Element is needed in the mix to create the desired effect (the right combination for success). She stands for balance, equilibrium, harmony and moderation which in turn brings a sense of inner peace. She knows the exact blend needed for any situation which may arise. Not too much, and not too little. This is one of the lessons she brings to you. Everything in Moderation. Pace yourself, not too fast and not too slow.
Temperance is one of the cards for the Sun Sign of Sagittarius along with the Knight of Wands. Sagittarians love to travel and love to teach as well as study so Temperance is also a card for travel, learning and teaching.
Temperance is the wise counsellor, healer or holistic therapist. She also traditionally represents the presence of your Spirit Guide or Guardian Angel who is helping you survive whatever you are going through at the moment. Temperance reminds us of our baptism as she pours the water from one cup to the next. This is symbolic of the Re-birthing Process after all that died in the Death Card.
Teaching or learning and a strong card for travel. Success will be achieved by maintaining a strong sense of purpose and approaching the situation in a balanced manner. You must always keep your eye on the bigger picture and not be lured into actions that are counterproductive to your spiritual growth and personal development. It is a time to be very aware of what you have just gone through and why. After the lessons learned so far you must be aware of the consequences of any actions you take from here on in. It is a time to carefully plan your next step. Take the appropriate action at the right time. Temperance suggests perfect timing and light at the end of the tunnel. Her presence acknowledges that you have been through a tough time but are now entering a period of peace and tranquility.
You may be going back to school or just taking a course. You could be seeing a counsellor or giving counselling to someone. Does your career involve teaching or travel? Maybe you are planning a trip away after a difficult period. A time to rest and rejuvenate. A time to recharge the batteries.
Blessings and the beauty in things accompanies Temperance. Healings of emotions and spirit may be taking place under her influence. Clarity and understanding of the laws of cause and effect (karma). Healing is taking place or is needed in the situation. Maybe you are taking the right action in calming a possibly volatile situation. You may be pouring oil on troubled water, bringing peace to all. Temperance suggests a time of inner peace and the ability to forgive others.
Forgiving those who brought you pain in The Death Card may be difficult but Temperance helps you see the big picture and the understanding that any pain inflicted may have been necessary in your liberation. It often takes considerable time after a painful separation or divorce to realise that what happened was a blessing in disguise. You may not have felt it at the time, but once you let go and accepted the freedom that was gifted to you by Death, you realised that you were not truly living. Now you are free to breathe fresh air into your entire being. You may indeed see the world with new eyes and a sense of wonder and awe.
Temperance appearing in a reading may just be an acknowledgement from your Spirit Guide or Guardian Angel to let you know they are there and helping you through this time by giving inspirational guidance. Your troubles are behind you now and much has been learned as a result.
In a relationship Temperance may represent a Sagittarian partner. Great harmony and peace within a relationship is indicated as a couple strike the right balance and enjoy mutual respect and love. Temperance suggests a couple who know exactly what it takes to make a relationship or marriage work. A mature relationship full of understanding with a strong sense of purpose and direction. There is often a strong spiritual connection or karmic link between partners when Temperance appears in a relationship reading. You may be old souls re-uniting, or have strong bonds from previous lifetimes. On the other hand, you may have met someone while travelling or on holiday. Temperance can also represent a relationship that has come through and survived a rough patch.
Now go to Temperance Reversed