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Temperance is reason’s girdle and passion’s bridle, the strength of the soul and foundation of virtue.’’

Jeremy Taylor


In Rider-Waite deck, an angelic figure pours a liquid- metaphorically, essence of life- from one chalice to another. She is the mediator between spiritual and physical, or divine and man.

The Temperance card symbolizes creating a perfect ratio by blending diverse elements in order to create balance, peace and order.

In order to understand the concept of tempering different liquids, we need to look at some examples in history.

Ancient Greeks and Romans used to dilute their wine with water in order to avoid over-inebriation. In Christianity, mixing the water and wine is symbolic to the communion of Christ’s divinity with humanity.

Classical world identified Temperance as one the four Cardinal Virtues. Later on, in medieval art, Temperance took the form of a female figure pouring liquid from one vessel to another. 

Message of the Temperance is simple: Do whatever helps you to feel at peace within yourself. Figure out what principles you wish to uphold in your life and follow it the best you can. Practice more patience and kindness. Be more adaptable and cooperative. Only you can create the perfect balance in your life.

Number 14 represents inner transformation, moderation and expression. It is also known as a karmic number.


The Temperance Keywords

  • Balance
  • Patience
  • Harmony



  • Imbalance
  • Hastiness
  • Disharmony

The Temperance Upright

Guidance: This is a time when you will need to find and maintain balance in all aspects of your life, starting within you. Focus on how you can best align your thoughts, emotions and actions with your ideals. Practice moderation, patience and cooperation. Whenever you need guidance, follow your moral compass and your intuition.

Love: The Temperance represents being in harmony in your relationship and with yourself. You and your partner bring out each other’s best, help each other to become better. The problems will be resolved through patient and calm communication. If you are going through a reconciliation, take things slow. This card is also associated with soulmate connections and long-term commitments. The key to attracting more love and happiness is always being at peace with yourself.

Work/Finances: The Temperance represents cooperation, persistence and balance in your work life. Past arguments or disagreements in your environment will be resolved. Instead of all or nothing strategy, choose the middle ground. You are also going to improve your work-life balance at this time. Avoid aggressive financial moves, focus on your long-term stability.

Health: Moderation is key to overall wellbeing. The Temperance represents slow and steady healing process, so you need to remain patient and positive if you are waiting to see results. In order to improve your health, think about how you can create balance in all areas of your life.

Spirituality: The Temperance captures the time when everything in your life is falling into place. You are beginning to cultivate a mind-body-soul balance. Your inner and outer worlds are working in perfect harmony, as well as your relationships with others. If there are still lingering issues, just remain patient. Rest, relax and enjoy every joyful moment.

Guidance: The Temperance is naturally a slow card, when reversed this slowness may turn into a frustrating setback and really push your buttons. If you are feeling impulsive or reckless, it is time to take back the control of your life by learning to control your emotions. Relationship difficulties and conflicts may be expected. In order to bring balance to all these issues, you need to remain calm, patient and compassionate even when things get under your skin.

Love: The Temperance reversed is the card of disharmony in relationships. Whatever the problem is, you and your partner need to put an effort on having a healthy conversation before making rash decisions. This card is also a warning to not jump into anything too quickly. When things get heated, take a step back and find your balance and inner peace. As a person in your life, the Temperance reversed is hot-tempered, impulsive or in some cases promiscuous.

Work/Finances: This reversal represents imbalances; therefore, you may be working too hard or not hard enough. If you find yourself backpedaling through the consequences of impulsive or hasty actions, you might want to slow down. Think long-term. Create a budget and debt pay-off plan and stick to them.

Health: You feel something is ‘off’ balance. Just like in upright meaning, Temperance reversed serves as a reminder on moderation. Another meaning of this card is mixing and combining different approaches to create a ‘harmonious whole’. Consider taking a holistic approach towards your health. Slow down a little bit if you have a busy life.

Spirituality: The Temperance reversed calls for peace and quiet, contemplation in order to restore your inner balance. Remove yourself from chaotic aspects of your life to have some much-needed time to rest and reflect.

The Temperance Reversed

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