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What Does the Temperance Card Mean?

Unpacking the Tarot - Temperance

The Tarot have been used for centuries to predict the future and answer our deepest questions. The traditional deck contains 78 cards — the 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.

While the Minor Arcana can help shed light on the actions and decisions we make every day, the Major Arcana helps us understand our life’s purpose. Each card represents situations we face through our journey and the lessons we all must learn. 

Here is a closer look at the next card in the deck, Temperance.


The Temperance card is all about balance and calm. If this card had a slogan, it would be: “everything in moderation”. Temperance encourages you to approach any new path or decision with patience. Don’t rush into anything right now or do anything extreme. Remember what it is that you desire and stay the safe, steady course until you reach it.


The Temperance card depicts a winged angel with no obvious gender, a sign of balance between sexes. On the angel’s robe is the image of a triangle inside a square, which represents humans bound by the laws of Earth and nature. With one foot on the shore, a symbol of the material world, and the other in the water, representing our subconscious, the angel pours water from one cup to another. This echoes the flow of life and the intersection of the conscious and subconscious mind. 


When the Temperance card appears upright in your spread, it can be a sign that you’re right on track. Even if life is stressful at the moment, Temperance reminds you to stay calm. Everything is unfolding as it should. If there are decision to be made, do so carefully but with confidence. Temperance always encourages patience and balance. This isn’t the time to take big risks or be controversial. Stick to the middle and choose the moderate approach. Test the waters before you jump in. 


If your Temperance card is in reverse, you might be overdoing it. Temperance reminds us to choose moderation over excess. It may also be pointing toward an area of life that is out of balance. Use the other cards in your spread to determine where the imbalance lies. It may be a warning to proceed with caution. Are you lacking a long-term plan or feeling lost? It’s time to restore the balance in our life and move forward with patience and calm