Skip to Content

The Temperance Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The Temperance Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

Our readers support us. This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More

The Temperance Tarot card is an optimistic card that encourages you to find balance in your life and approach problems with a calm attitude. This Angel has appeared to give you a message of balance and harmony.

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the Temperance Tarot card. We will talk about the symbolism in the Rider-Waite deck and about how to interpret this card in a reading, both upright and reversed.

The Temperance Tarot Card and Numerology

The numbers of the Tarot cards are deeply symbolic, and they add to their meaning. The number of the Temperance Tarot card is 14, which is 1+4, or 5. As we saw with The Hierophant, 5  represents joy and creativity in the material world.

Temperance, along with Strength and Justice, is one of the cardinal virtues depicted in the Tarot deck. Older decks also included the fourth cardinal virtue, which is Prudence; however, that card is now called The Hanged Man.

The Temperance Tarot card is also associated with the zodiac sign, Sagittarius.

Keywords for the Temperance Tarot Card


  • Control
  • Harmony
  • Balance
  • Moderation
  • Tolerance


  • Lack of balance
  • Bad behavior
  • Mistakes
  • Need for cooperation
  • Lack of communication

Imagery and Symbolism of the Temperance Tarot Card

On this card, we can see an angel dressed in white with crimson wings. This angel is neither male nor female. This earthy color seems to indicate that his spirituality is deeply rooted in Creation. On his forehead is a sign representing the sun, which represents illumination and inspiration.

A supernatural aura surrounds his head. There is square on his chest that encloses a triangle. The square represents materiality, and the triangle represents Divinity. On top of the square, the four-letter unpronounceable word for God is written so small that it is almost imperceptible. This marks God’s presence and His superiority over human beings. The angel holds two vessels in his hands, and he pours water from one to the other. That water is the essence of life and it seems to pass between the cups in an almost magical way. It represents how real wisdom lies in moving from one kingdom to another, from the material to the spiritual, without losing the essence of either in the process.

Similarly, one foot of the angel is on earth and the other is in water. In other words, one foot is in the conscious and the other in the unconscious. In the background, there is a path that ends in two mountains. Between them is sunlight, which resembles a crown. The sunlight that is transformed into a crown indicates the triumph of those who are able to balance the spiritual with the material.

The Temperance Tarot Card teaches us to flee from extremes, not to be pure rationalists or ascetics. It is only by tempering our two natures that we can get a glimpse of who we are and where we are going.

The Lessons of the Temperance Tarot Card

In the previous card, we were faced with Death. Now we are faced with the constant flow of life. Everything that is born will die, and even the sun is a star whose energy will stop radiating heat towards the earth.

Because we are humans and capable of reason, we want to impose logic on everything that surrounds us. There are many things that happen for no particular reason, though. Circumstances change, and tragedies and joys occur according to the Divine Plan.

The eternal flow of life: Becoming one with the universe

There are many times in our lives in which we seek certainty. We live in the world of flux and change, and we often have the sense that everything is not as it should be. This is when we need to learn the lessons of Temperance.

We need to learn how to cope with the ups and downs of human existence. Thus, the angel of Temperance gives us harmony between our inner and outer being and between reason and emotion. Both Temperance and Death remind us that energy is not created or lost, it is transformed.

It is important to understand that we will receive from life what it offers us, as it comes. Demanding things to change because we want them to is not only helpless and unrealistic, but it is also a waste of time. So, moment by moment, accept the natural flow of your life and experience reality in the here and now, without thinking of it as “good” or “bad.” This is what allows you to learn and grow.

In our universe, everything flows in a harmonious and synchronized way. Our life – our little world – also flows within the perfect rhythm of the universe, even though we cannot always see it. Things come and go, are born and die, and go up and down, according to this eternal rhythm.

There is no such thing as failure. Seek within yourself the necessary serenity to overcome your difficulties and assess your progress. When you can do this, you will see that you have come a long way toward self-improvement.

How to Interpret the Temperance Tarot Card in a Reading

We find ourselves in front of one of the most profoundly spiritual cards in the Tarot, which ultimately links earthly and spiritual life. Perhaps this is the time to meditate in silence, in contact with nature and with your own heart to figure out the best you can do now. Only by hearing our inner voice, can we connect with our spiritual guides, teachers, and protectors.

Abandon all struggle and extremist tendencies; they will only lead you to feel pain. Seek your inner harmony with sincerity, through a deeply felt peace, but without denying reality. See the world as it is and look for balance. Calm your mind to manage your burdens. This angel of Supreme Love will guide you and protect you all the way.

The Upright Position of the Temperance Tarot Card:

Upright Temperance Tarot Card Meaning – Major Arcana
Upright Temperance Tarot Card

The Temperance Tarot card indicates that you are learning to bring balance, patience, and moderation to your life. Until now you have been able to take the middle path between the extremes and have remained calm when making difficult decisions.

This means that you have learned not to lose your nerves in situations of high stress or anxiety. Do not let your problems affect you and find inner peace in the midst of all the world chaos. This card also stands for having a well-balanced temperament and for demonstrating emotional maturity.

The Temperance card reflects that you have a clear long-term vision of what you want to achieve. You are taking your time to make sure you do the best job you can. This card also shows that you are learning a lot by what you are doing.

When this card appears, it tells you that you are at peace with what you are doing and that everything is coming together. On many occasions, this Arcanum indicates that you need to operate in a harmonious, balanced, and moderate way. Do not get carried away with either your rational thoughts or your emotions. Learn how to find a balance between them.

When Temperance appears in a tarot spread, it announces positive things. It means that you will have success in starting new projects so long as you keep it together and maintain emotional balance.

Temperance represents control, the capacity for moderation, and balance. It also symbolizes the need to ‘taste the waters’ before jumping headfirst in unknown circumstances.


  • A pleasant and stable period
  • Need to value yourself so that others appreciate you as well
  • Support each other


  • Health
  • Stability
  • Tranquility
  • A resurgence of vital energy


  • A stable and positive situation
  • Signing contracts
  • New partnerships
  • Good labor relations


  • Good luck knocking on your door
  • Time for new investments

The Reversed Position of the Temperance Tarot Card:

Inverted Temperance Tarot Card Meaning (Reversed) – Major Arcana
Inverted Temperance Tarot Card (Reversed)

The card of Temperance in the reversed position changes its meaning. It announces that we lack balance and character in our lives. We must act with moderation in our decisions and actions and recover the balance we lost.

Something is out of balance in your life. It might be a conflict, abusive drinking, investing too much time in hobbies, or stressing out too much about unimportant things. The other cards in the spread will shed light on the part of your life that is out of balance.

Temperance reversed also warns you that the path you are on will lead to negative results. Seek for balance and advice before making any risky decisions that might compromise your future. Breathe and stay calm, and everything will follow its course.


  • Warns about difficult times or disagreements
  • Need for serious conversation


  • Slight problems in the digestive system


  • Work problems due to the negative influence of a woman
  • If you have to sign a contract, wait for a better time
  • Look for advice before making any decision


  • A salary increase that you have been expecting will come.
The Temperance Tarot Card Meaning Infographic

Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.