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What the Cards Mean: Temperance


​Temperance is the last card of the second phase of the Fool’s journey. Temperance is also the last of our balance cards in the major arcana. In the Strength card the Fool learned to balance the raging emotions inside of his heart. In the Justice card the Fool learned to logically weigh opposites against each other and come to a practical decision. In Temperance he must learn to balance both his head and his heart together. In other words, the Fool must equalize opposites. He must pay attention to both the positive and negative and making sure both of these voices are heard. This means knowing how to connect to love, compassion, and nurturing in a relationship but also allowing for the anger and disappointment that can come too. Temperance reminds us both of these sides are ok and natural. Feel into Temperance like a balanced yoga pose. Concentrate with your mind but trust what your body is telling you at the same time. Let both work together for you. Temperance reminds us to not hold onto anything too tightly as this can lead to imbalance or addiction. Moderation is the key. Temperance can also indicate you have assistance from a higher source, such as an angel, mentor or spiritual figure (if your belief system lends itself to these ideas) or this card can encourage you to connect to your spiritual self.


If Temperance is reversed or compromised in a spread then this can indicate a lack of balance is at play in your life or your energy is stuck. Temperance reversed can indicate addictions, stagnation, or overcompensating. It could mean your intention is contradicting your actions. Possible fights, disagreements, and overreactions are indicated. There is a need for compassion that does not come or you start overly controlling the situation or those around you. You may lack good judgment and/or good management skills and/or a long-term vision or plan. The compromised Temperance could also mean you overdo it with your passionate nature.


Keywords: Balance, heart and mind working as one, flow between opposites, higher power Reversed: Stuck or stagnation, overcompensating, overly controlling, imbalance, fighting, addiction, problematic passion.



Artwork from The Mythic Tarot Deck by © Tricia Newell, who has granted permission for their use on this website. Photography by Holly Petersen.

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