XIV: Temperance

Also known as: Art
blending synthesis mediation combination harmony

A quantum leap, a bridge between heaven and earth inviting the polar opposites, the creative forces of masculine and feminine, conscious and unconscious, the sun and the moon., fire and water. Connected with the function of feeling, the active, intelligent faculty of choice, a constantly changing bridge between these opposites, a careful sensing of the needs of a particular situation with the goal of harmony and relationship, balance and tolerance at the end. It is an integration of creative power inviting the others to share.
Inverse: Too much harmony oriented, where no change is allowed to occur and the mind suffocates from sheer boredom.



  • Bringing opposites together.
  • Moderating your actions or emotions.
  • Finding middle ground.
  • Reaching compromises.
  • Synthesizing solutions that please everyone involved.
  • Using the old to make something new.
  • Shadow

    • Going to extremes.
    • Disrupting group efforts.
    • Ignoring healthy approaches to life.
    • Becoming an addict.
    • Practicing gluttony.
    • Tearing something or someone apart.
    • Breaking alliances.
    • Symbolism

      The square and triangle

      In many RWS-inspired decks, a symbol on the angel's chest suggests the fiery spirit enshrined in stable matter. What meaning do your possessions have beyond their physical value?

      The blended cups

      Temperance often pours the contents of two cups together, blending water, water and wine, wine and milk, or even fire and water. How might blending two opposites resolve your challenge today?

      Land and water

      Occult decks frequently draw Temperance with one foot on stable land and one foot in emotional water. A dive-in-or-get-off-the-dock approach assumes extremes are the only options. Are they?


      The flowers seen in RWS-inspired illustrations suggest their namesake, Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. What would happen if you reduced your situation to its most basic components, as a rainbow breaks down white light?

      Temperance's Advice


      • Set superficial relationships aside.
      • Pursue trust and deep intimacy - the subtle blending of two people into one.
      • Bring people together.
      • Commit to introductions, parties, or gatherings.
      • Seek out groups.


      • Many hands make work easier.
      • Call meetings.
      • Get input from every level at every step.
      • If everyone has a hand in defining an effort, then everyone will feel ownership and investment.
      • Moderate your tendency toward all-or-nothing work habits.


      • Some spiritual advisors recommend extreme practices, from fasting to abstinence, as a means of boosting spiritual awareness.
      • Consider the potential value of moderation in all things.
      • You can value what is right here, right now, without craving more or surpassing healthy limits.

      Personal Growth

      • Young people want to toss out tradition and forge ahead.
      • Older people are more conservative.
      • Between these extremes lies a healthier middle ground.
      • Define the polarities and then ask, "What lies between?"

      Fortune Telling

      • Someone's using drugs or alcohol to excess.
      • It's time to get back on that diet.


      • Between November 22 and December 21

      Questions to ask

      • How can I avoid extremes?
      • What does everyone involved have in common?
      • How might combining familiar things help me create something new?

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      Major Arcana

      Images of the {{ $store.state.deck.name }} tarot deck © {{ $store.state.deck.copyright }}

      Parts of this page's description of the Temperance tarot card are taken from "A Guide to Tarot Card Meanings" by Mark McElroy.