The Temperance Tarot is one of the un-sung heroes of the deck. It may not be wished for like the Strength Tarot, or desired like the Chariot Tarot, but the Temperance Tarot is a card you would be fortunate to be dealt and has a number of incredibly complex and interesting meanings.
Below we’ll look at what the Temperance card means, how it factors into the different positions of a spread and what happens when its paired with fateful cards. You can quickly start making your own predictions and learn card meanings with this great class on how to become a professional Tarot reader from scratch.
What Is The Temperance Tarot?
First of all, while the picture included here is accurate, it lacks color and clear detail and, thus, is far from ideal. Refer to this excellent picture for a more accurate understanding. On a similar note, check out this post on Tarot card meanings and how pictures are worth a thousand words.
The first thing you will notice on the Temperance card is the large, winged angel. The wings are a deep red, symbolic of experience and wisdom, while the robe is white or even pale blue, symbolic of purity and innocence. Almost inarguably, the fact that the angel is a hermaphrodite is the most interesting feature; this would imply that the angel is the offspring of Aphrodite and Hermes, the ultimate symbol of balance.
- Testing The Waters
There is a small triangle located on the chest of the angel’s robe. This represents the female side of the angel and how she has the gift of innate protection. One of the angel’s feet is in a pool of water on the ground; the other is on earth; this is, as they say, “testing the waters”; a wise thing to do before making any serious decisions. On one side of the angel is a path leading from the water toward mountains in the distance, signifying a fertile road leads away from temperance. On the other side of the angel is a patch of golden lilies; representing both purity and wisdom.
- Magic Cups
Finally, the angel holds two cups, one in each hand. Sometimes the cup in the left hand, which is held higher, is depicted as being “red hot,” or warm, while the cup in the right hand is cooler. Water flows between the cups, but it is actually flowing from the lower cup up to the higher cup; this symbolizes one’s consciousness attaining a higher level of being. The different temperatures show how the temperate person finds balance through the water.
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What Does The Temperance Card Mean?
Temperance is all about balance. This card generally means that a happy medium has been or can be achieved. You hide your emotions well, especially if they are detrimental to a situation. You might suppress anxiety and show calm instead.
- Right On Time
Temperance also extends to your path through life. You neither rush ahead nor lad behind. You are right on your own schedule, knowing what you have to do and how to do it. You move at a pace that is both steady and highly effective. Obstacles along the way are dealt with similarly; they do not cause you anguish or frustration, but are simply situations that you will solve.
There is a degree of inner peace, as well. You do not long for what others have and you do not disdain your own good fortune. You help those who are both more and less fortunate than yourself. In general, you are a person others want to collaborate with because you bring this steady, efficient success everywhere you go.
Still, your path is not without questioning and doubt; the key is that by being patient and understanding, you find the right answers, which are always inside yourself. Take a little initiative with predicting your own future with this quick and easy Tarot lesson.
Past, Present And Future
When dealt a Tarot spread, you receive cards in the past, present and future positions. Here are what the Temperance card can indicate in each position:
The past is an excellent position for the temperance card. It means you have a history of practicing the methods discussed above. Likely you matured quicker than your peers and continue to do so. You may also have recently risen to a very important occasion.
Temperance in the present represents a current time of turbulence in which you are struggling to find balance. The card is a good omen, however, as it reassures you that you have what it takes to make the right decisions. It is also meant to remind you that despite the past, the present is a time to make amends and propose change for the better.
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In the future, the Temperance card is perhaps at its finest. Despite tribulations in the past and present, the future looks like and you will surprise yourself at your ability to rise to the occasion, whether it is matters of interpersonal relationships or extreme fluctuations in health.
With Other Cards
Some cards are not as good companions as others. The tower, for example, represents a difficult time ahead in which your sense of balance will be challenged to an extreme degree. It does not necessarily mean that you will fail, but that trying times are ahead.
Other cards are far more favorable. The Emperor is one of the best cards to complement Temperance, often predicting a major step-forward in life by a new-found sense of leadership (in which case it might not be a bad idea to invest in this course on mastering Tarot reading for profit). Many people also like to see the Three of Wands, as this is an easy-going combination of adventure and balance, representing a highly successful and drama-free ambition.