The Meaning of Temperance [Card 14]

The Meaning of Temperance Tarot

At a Glance

Temperance Card #14 represents coolness in the face of shifting emotional tides.

If You Drew This Card…

Tarot cards offer a range of meanings to draw insight from. Both negative and positive aspects of each card can resonate with various aspects of your life.

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  • Are you searching for balance in your life? What are you trying to balance and what practices help you maintain equanimity?
  • What grueling practices help you to feel balanced in a way that really pays off, even if the practice at times feels monotonous?
  • How can you draw your attention toward what is cool and calming inside of you despite distractions from outside?


  • Do you hold in or bury your emotions to please others?
  • How can you get back in touch with your needs in order to more genuinely be there for others without exhausting your own well-being?
  • Where can you safelyy release your pent up emotions and energy in order to find focus and clarity?

Interpreting the Symbols

  • Angel : Interacting with the material world while maintaining a sense of spirituality and higher purpose.
  • Triangle : Interplay of masculine and feminine or spirituality and materiality.
  • Cups : The fountain of energy between your opposite tendencies, which is flowing and spontaneous yet also balanced and coherent.
  • Path : Taking your time through life’s twists and turns; being content in the moment or throughout unexpected obstacles.
  • Water : Groundedness and refreshment through spiritual thinking.
  • Mountains : The distant journeys awaiting you that will bring you to spiritual fulfillment.
  • Sun : The sun, also appearing as the angel’s third eye, represents the merging of personal aims with the universe’s plans for you.
  • Fire Wings : Muscles and strength necessary to maintain composure and reach a higher being state.

Charmaine’s Take

Temperance is the ability to control one’s temper or temperament. In Thailand there is a concept called “cool heart.” In this phrase, cool does not mean cruel and unemotional. Rather, to act with a “cool heart” means that one is not easily stirred or provoked to go off the handle; one does not quickly come to a raging boil but maintains a steady temperature despite shifting external circumstances. Similarly, Temperance stands with one foot in a cool stream and pours water from one cup into another. Temperance knows how to direct the water in a way that maintains homeostasis.

Other remarkable features of this card are Temperance’s large red wings; they are so big the ends of them extend off the face of the card. Temperance must be strong to fly steadily in the face of winds that might throw off the course. Two bright yellow flowers bloom in the swamp grass in the background signifying the sweet life that grows out of this cool, mediated stream. Temperance has both feminine and masculine traits; one can consider this another display of emotional and physical balance.

Temperance’s hair is bright and halo-like; it gleams into the air mimicking the sun in the background which floats just over the distant mountains. On the tunic, there is a golden triangle, representing the power of balanced forces within. The character on this card is not a space-cadet. They are not disconnected from the world or from others; however, they are focused on maintaining an internal sense of balance. At times this might come off as “cool” in the negative sense. However, sometimes it is important to first balance oneself before accommodating the needs of others.

Temperance is suspended between land and water, and this allows them to be adaptable. At the same time, Temperance has a strong sense of self and is not easily swayed or caught off guard.

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