Temperance (XIV) Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

Temperance is a card all about patience and moderation. Often seen as a card of harmony, it guides us toward a more measured and centered approach to life. Depicting an angelic figure gently mixing water between two cups, Temperance teaches us the art of blending opposing forces to create something new and meaningful. This card, much like The Hanged Man and the Death card, carries deep spiritual significance, signaling a time of self-reflection and the need for a balanced perspective.

It reminds us that temperance is key to achieving equilibrium in both your inner and outer worlds. It’s not just about restraint or avoiding extremes; it’s about finding the middle path and understanding the interconnectedness of all things. Here’s everything there is to know about the card:

Key Takeaways

Temperance Upright:

  • It’s all about balance, moderation, and finding middle ground.
  • Encourages a tempered approach, avoiding extremes for harmony.
  • In love, take things slow and seek balanced relationships.
  • Career-wise, blend ambition with patience and avoiding work-life imbalance.
  • Spiritually, you need to harmonize the material and spiritual for well-being.
  • In yes/no questions, leans towards a ‘yes’, but you need patience and moderation for success.

Temperance Reversed:

  • There could be imbalance, excess, and lack of moderation.
  • Warns against focusing too much on one life aspect, leading to stress and imbalance.
  • In love, reflects disharmony due to disproportionate focus, urging balanced attention.
  • Professionally, shows potential overcommitment or financial overindulgence, advising reassessment.
  • Spiritually, suggests a disconnect or conflict between material and spiritual aspects.
  • In yes/no questions, suggests a ‘no’, signaling that imbalance or impatience may hinder positive outcomes.
NumerologyRepresents the number 14, symbolizing balance, moderation, and patience.
Zodiac SignSagittarius, associated with optimism, adventure, and the pursuit of truth.
Ruling PlanetJupiter, reflecting expansion, luck, and philosophical insight.
ElementFire, symbolizing energy, passion, and transformative action.
Yes or NoOften considered a “Yes,” but with a need for balanced approach and patience.
CrystalsAmethyst and Sodalite are often associated with fostering balance, harmony, and spiritual awareness.

Symbolism Of Temperance

  1. The Angel: The central figure in the Temperance card is an angel, symbolizing divine guidance and balance. The angel is the Archangel Michael, who helps us let go of the past and face our fears. This angelic presence suggests a higher purpose or a guided path.
  2. The Cups and Water: He pours liquid between two cups (the past and the present), symbolizing the flow and alchemy of life. This action represents the tempering of extremes, combining diverse elements in a balanced way. It’s about finding the right mix of different aspects of life.
  3. The Water Flow: You’ll also notice that the water is being poured from the lower cup into the higher cup, showing with temperance all things are possible.
  4. One Foot in Water, One on Land: With one foot in the water and one on the land, the angel symbolises the need to stay grounded while also being in touch with your emotions.
  5. The Path: The path leading into the background, often ends at a mountain underneath a sun that’s a crown. This path symbolizes the journey of life and the importance of moving forward with a balanced perspective.
  6. The Sun Rising: Often, there is a rising sun in the background, symbolizing hope, new beginnings, and enlightenment. The sun is a source of life and energy, indicating the positive outcomes of moderation and balance.
  7. The Crown: If you look closely you can see the sun is also a crown. This shows that through this journey there is great success to be had.
  8. The Triangle: Sometimes, the angel has a triangle inscribed on their chest, typically inside a square. This is the symbol of fire in alchemy, which shows us that although the angel is balanced, he still holds onto his passion and strength
  9. The Irises: The flowers next to the angel are another symbol of messages and communication. They can symbolize the importance of tempering communication, and speaking with purpose and understanding.
  10. The Robes: The angel’s robes are flowing and light, signifying purity, movement, and the fluid nature of life.
Temperance Symbolism

Temperance Upright Meaning

In its upright position, Temperance symbolizes balance and moderation. You are finding or need to find the middle ground in whatever aspect of your life you’re currently focused on. Drawing this card is the encouragement for you to avoid extremes and to seek a more moderate, tempered approach. In fact, sometimes it can even be about bringing the various areas of your life into flow with each other.

On the concept of moderation, it’s a reminder that excess in any form can lead to imbalance and disharmony. So practice self-restraint and to keep your desires and impulses in check. You need to learn your limits, and then understand and respect them to find a sustainable way to balance your needs and the needs of those around you.

Furthermore, the Temperance card reminds us of the importance of patience and the understanding that good things often take time. Now is not the time for rapid action or hasty decisions. Instead, Temperance asks for a slow, steady approach, allowing things to unfold in their own time. Trust the process and that patience will yield the most rewarding outcomes.

Temperance Upright Meaning

But it’s not just about balance, it’s also about healing and renewal. Not just personal healing but also emotional recalibration. You need to now blend your experiences, both the positives and negatives, to create a more balanced and integrated self for your future endeavours.

As you notice when you look at the card Temperance stands with one foot on land and the other in water, so this balance your looking for stems through both the material and spiritual worlds as well. You need to stay grounded while also exploring your spiritual or emotional side, recognizing that both are essential to your well-being.

Lastly, Temperance in its upright position shows us there will be successful mediation or blending of opposing forces in your life. It might appear in a reading when you are in a role of peacemaker or when you are successfully integrating different aspects of your life or personality. It’s a positive sign that you are finding ways to bring together disparate elements in a way that is beneficial and productive.

Love and Relationships

For both singles and those in relationships, the upright Temperance card calls for a balanced approach to love. If you’re single, it suggests taking things slow and not rushing into relationships, rather seeking a partner who complements your life. For those in relationships, it’s about finding a middle ground, ensuring that both partners’ needs are met in a balanced way.

Careers and Finance

In your career and with money matters, Temperance symbolizes a to make sure you’re balancing/blending ambition with patience, ensuring that your professional life doesn’t overshadow other areas. Financially, it suggests moderation in spending and investment, avoiding extremes for long-term stability.


Spiritually, Temperance signifies harmonizing the material and spiritual aspects of your life. It encourages you to find a balance between your worldly responsibilities and spiritual pursuits, recognizing that both contribute to your overall well-being and personal growth.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the upright Temperance card leans towards a ‘yes’, but with a caveat that patience and moderation are key. It indicates that a balanced, thoughtful approach will lead to a favorable outcome, suggesting that rushing or forcing a decision may not be the best course of action.

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Temperance Reversed Meaning

When reversed, Temperance shows that you’re going through a phase of imbalance, and excess. Now is the time to revaluate your life in order to restore equilibrium.

Right now, you might be focusing too much on one area — be it work, relationships, or personal interests — at the expense of others. This disproportionate attention can lead to stress and a sense of being overwhelmed or unfulfilled. Examine your priorities and to redistribute your time and energy more evenly.

Temperance Reversed Meaning

Or perhaps you’re in a period of excess. Where the upright Temperance advocates for moderation, its reversal shows you may be overindulging in certain aspects of your life. This overindulgence can be harmful, and there will be consequences if things aren’t changed. Again, reassess your habits and behaviors, and return to a more moderate and sustainable approach.

Furthermore, the reversed Temperance card can also signify a lack of patience and a tendency to rush things. You might be feeling an urgency to move things forward or to see immediate results, leading to hasty decisions or actions. It’s reminder of the importance of taking things slowly and allowing situations to unfold naturally, without forcing them.

There’s also a large element to the idea of disconnection between different areas of your life or aspects of yourself. Things right now most likely feel out of sync. This lack of integration between each area can be manifesting as internal conflict, or a feeling of being torn in different directions, as well as an inability to reconcile various parts of your life.

In some readings, the reversed Temperance card can also be a a sign of struggle with conflict resolution. Are you having difficulties in finding common ground or in mediating disputes with your own inner dialogue or those around you? Try working harder on seeking compromise and to find a way to blend see things from each others point of view.

Lastly, it can signify a need for self-care and healing. It might be a sign that you are neglecting your well-being, either by pushing yourself too hard or by not addressing your emotional or physical needs. It’s a gentle reminder to take care of yourself and to seek out the balance that will lead to a healthier, more centered existence.

In short, Temperance Revered is a potent symbol of imbalance, excess, impatience, and disintegration. It calls for a reassessment of your current approach to life, encouraging you to seek balance, moderation, and harmony in both your internal and external worlds.

Love and Relationships

If you’re asking about love, the Temperance Reversed implies there’s a lack of balance in your approach to love. Singles might be focusing too intensely on finding a partner, neglecting other aspects of their life. Those in relationships may be experiencing disharmony due to disproportionate attention to certain areas. Reassess your approach to ensure a more balanced and fulfilling love life.

Careers and Finance

For money matters, Temperance Reversed again shows an imbalance, possibly due to overcommitment at work or financial excess. You need to reevaluate your priorities and find a sustainable balance between work and personal life. Financially, it warns against overindulgence and encourages moderation in spending and investment decisions.


Spiritually, there may be a disconnect in the different aspects of your life right now or an inner conflict. You need to make sure your spiritual beliefs blend nicely with your daily life and to find harmony between your material and spiritual worlds. It’s about a more holistic approach to the spiritual journey you’re on.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the reversed Temperance card suggests a ‘no’, indicating that a lack of balance or impatience may be affecting the situation. You need to look at your current approach and strive for equilibrium before moving forward, as the current path may not lead to the desired outcome.

Combinations For Temperance

The FoolFinding balance as you start new adventures, learning to mix caution with spontaneity.
The MagicianUsing your skills and resources in a balanced way, blending abilities to create harmony in your endeavors.
The High PriestessBalancing intuition with rational thought, finding a middle ground between the known and the unknown.
The EmpressNurturing yourself and others in a balanced manner, ensuring care and growth without overindulgence.
The EmperorExercising authority with moderation, balancing firmness with understanding in leadership roles.
The HierophantIntegrating traditional beliefs with new ideas, finding a harmonious blend of old and new perspectives.
The LoversBalancing head and heart in relationships, finding a middle path in emotional and rational aspects of love.
The ChariotModerating ambition with patience, balancing determination with an understanding of timing.
StrengthCombining inner strength with gentleness, balancing courage with compassion in challenging situations.
The HermitBalancing solitude with interaction, finding harmony between inner wisdom and external input.
Wheel of FortuneUnderstanding and accepting life’s ups and downs, maintaining balance amidst change and uncertainty.
JusticeSeeking fairness and ethical balance, weighing decisions to ensure equitable outcomes.
The Hanged ManBlending different perspectives, finding balance between waiting and acting, surrender and initiative.
DeathHarmonizing endings and beginnings, maintaining equilibrium through significant life changes.
TemperanceEmbodying balance, moderation, and harmony in all aspects of life, blending opposing elements seamlessly.
The DevilFinding moderation amidst temptation, balancing material desires with spiritual well-being.
The TowerBringing balance to upheavals, finding the middle ground in chaotic or transformative times.
The StarBlending hope with realism, harmonizing dreams with practicality, and balancing optimism with groundedness.
The MoonBalancing the conscious and subconscious mind, navigating illusions with a sense of equilibrium.
The SunMixing joy and positivity with a grounded sense of reality, balancing light and warmth with practicality.
JudgmentWeighing past actions with an eye towards balanced renewal, finding the middle path in self-reflection and transformation.
The WorldAchieving harmony and completion, blending various life experiences into a cohesive whole.

Journaling Prompts For Temperance

  1. Can you think of an area you feel like you’ve achieved balance. How did you do it, and how can you do it in other areas of your life?
  2. Is there any area of your life where you’re feeling unbalanced? What steps can you take to level yourself out?
  3. Think about a time when practicing moderation led to positive results. What did you learn from that experience?
  4. Is there an area in your life where you struggle with excess? What can you do to help yourself find balance?
  5. What personal qualities would you like to develop further? How can the principles of Temperance help you in this journey?

Final Message Of Temperance

Always try to seek the middle ground. In the swirl of conflicting desires, navigate the terrain between indulgence and asceticism, passion and reason. Find the sweet spot, the gentle blend that nurtures your soul and empowers your journey.

Blend the waters within. Merge your fiery spirit with the cool well of reflection, your headstrong ambition with the whispers of intuition. Let them flow together, a harmonious river of being, guiding you to wholeness.

Listen to the quiet voice. Amidst the clamor of the world, find your stillness. There, in the hushed space within, listen to the gentle nudge of your inner compass. It will guide you through the labyrinthine choices, leading you to paths of grace and measured joy.

Remember, you are the alchemist. You hold the power to transform discord into harmony, conflict into collaboration. With measured action and mindful intention, you can weave together the disparate threads of your life, creating a tapestry of exquisite balance.


In summary, Temperance is the card all about finding balance in your life. It asks you to avoid extremes and seek a tempered approach to life. Emphasizing the importance of self-restraint, understanding limits, and balancing needs in a sustainable way.

It also reminds us to have patience, and remember that good things take time so take a slow, steady approach. However, Temperance is not just about balance but also about healing.

Reversed, Temperance shows that you are going through a phase of imbalance, excess, impatience, and disconnection. You are focusing too much on one area, leading to stress and a sense of being overwhelmed, as well as neglect in other areas. Remember to avoid overindulgence and a lack of patience. Your urgency for immediate results, is going to slow your progress even more.

Overall, whether upright or reversed, Temperance is a powerful reminder of the need for balance, moderation, and harmony in life. It encourages a balanced, thoughtful approach and highlights the importance of integrating different aspects of life for overall well-being and personal growth.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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