Card 14: Temperance


In Numerology: 14
Star Sign or Planet: Sagittarius
Yes or No answer: This card says Yes
Key dates: November 22 – December 21

Temperance in an Upright Position

The Temperance card can mean several things that show a renewed life and opportunities. There is a feeling of being reborn within the querent or someone who is close by. There is great patience and a feeling of ease at hand. There is a warning about the possibility of being too loose with health, finances, or one’s temper. The querent is asked to keep themselves grounded, which is always difficult when someone feels renewed. The querent may feel like they have a new lease on life, but should practise moderation in all things. Experimentation is favoured as is trying out new careers, foods, and relationships. This card shows an opportunity to find the perfect combinations in order to have a great time and happy life. The message here is to try new things out in order to hit on the one thing that makes the querent most happy. It is also okay to take a few risks, as long as, again, the querent keeps one foot in place.

The querent has been given a second chance of some sort or has given someone else a second chance. This is an opportune moment to wipe the slate of all past wrongs that have been done and move on without holding a grudge or dwelling on the past and its mistakes. The querent must realize that as he was given a chance to redeem himself, so must other people in his life. Things cannot be one-sided. Temperance in an upright stance shows the flow of energy between male and female, which could be seen as a reconciliation between two lovers; however, there is caution about thinking before one speaks in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Temperance is all about holding one’s temper in check, so the querent will need to exercise restraint when he feels a need to speak his mind, lest he be too harsh. Compromise is best when this card is shown in a spread.

Temperance in a Reversed Position

Upon examination of the reversed version of Temperance, we can see that the flow of energy between the two goblets could be interrupted by gravity pulling the fluid from its path and out onto the ground. The angel’s feet are no longer planted on the ground and in the river but up in the air, or up in the clouds. It’s as if the querent’s imagination has run with him, and he has made hasty decisions based on his eagerness to start fresh. The trouble with this is that the querent has done so under false premises. The reversal of the Temperance card shows that the querent did not do his homework before signing up for his new role and may have regrets about moving too fast. He may have been mislead. This is also a warning about not making assumptions, which can lead to confusion. The querent may have taken on too much than he can handle or has too many commitments through his eager nature. There may be two things he is interested in that are competing for his time and energy.

The reversed Temperance card also shows where the querent may have jumped into a relationship too fast and has realized that the chemistry is wrong. There is incompatibility in new friendships and business partnerships too because of jumping in without learning enough before hand. The reversal of Temperance illustrates a warning to read the fine print and make sure that every question is satisfied. Otherwise, the querent may find himself stuck in a position he would rather not be in. Another suggestion is to slow down and take one’s time. There is nothing making him rush, no one behind him in line, so the querent must take this opportunity to learn what he really wants out of life before taking the leap. Impatience will only wreak havoc on his relationships, and waste his precious time. The querent may be experiencing this for himself or see another dealing with these forces. This will depend on the relationship Temperance has with the cards around it.

Symbolism and History of Temperance

With Temperance, we see an angel or goddess who has two goblets in her hands. She seems to be pouring some type of liquid from one cup to the other as she stands at the bank of a river, dipping one foot in the water while standing on land with her other foot. Some decks show butterflies or a rainbow behind the angel, and others show the sun beaming behind the angel, high in the sky. The cups and liquid flowing between them is considered life energy but can also be interpreted as emotion and the flow of emotion. The cups can represent the male and female principles working together in harmony to contain the life-giving fluid flowing between them. The angel seems content and completely at peace. There is no conflict on the horizon, and the angel seems in no hurry whilst focusing its energy on pouring between the goblets.

The Temperance card falls in the Card 14 position of the Major Arcana and is rightfully placed behind the Death card signifying the action of rebirth through the union of female and male between the cups. This is the true rebirth of souls and can appear to some like the principle of reincarnation, or resurrection, bringing about new stirrings of life after the endings of the former card. The angel also shows level-headedness where there was once fear, uncertainty, chaos, and anger. This card can be thought of as the antidote to the extreme moods and reactions of the cards that precede Temperance in a tarot deck. The path a head is like brand new and the way is clear, free of obstacles, and the future is looking bright and promising.

Key Terms

Patience, Being Impatient, Eagerness, Resurrection, Second Chances, Mixed emotions, New possibilities in all things, Enthusiasm, Managing urges, Urgency, Calm, Rebirth, Reincarnation.

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