The Temperance Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)
Last Updated: June 13, 2022
Temperance is the fourteenth card (XIV) in the major arcana, and in this article, we will explore the different meanings of this tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer. To help you understand the deep symbolism within that card, we begin with the below narrative.
“You can be chaos, you can be peace. Be yin, be yang. You can be the centre, the calm in the storm, the sought after overlap of harmonious balance.”
“In all aspects of our lives, balance is key. Doing one thing too much can cause upset like the old saying goes, everything in moderation is the secret!” – Catherine Pulsifer
Table of content
- Key correspondences
- The upright Temperance meaning
- Upright meaning for love
- Upright meaning for career
- Upright meaning for health
- Temperance as feelings
- Temperance as a person
- Temperance as advice
- Temperance Zodiac sign
- Is Temperance a yes or no card?
- The reversed Temperance meaning
- Reverse meaning for love
- Reverse meaning for career
- Reverse meaning for health
- How to use Temperance in spellwork
- How to use Temperance in dreamwork
The Temperance tarot card key correspondences
Balance, peace, moderation, patience, harmony.
Imbalance, clashing, recklessness, overindulgence.
|Yes or No|
What does the upright Temperance (tarot card XIV) mean?
Temperance is the card of harmony, balance, and moderation. Life may be going a million miles per hour around you, all stressful, hectic, and chaotic, but this card is calling you to slow down, stop, pause, breathe, collect yourself… you have the ability to be the picture of calm in the middle of the storm, perfectly balanced, avoiding any and all extremes especially when facing highly stressful situations.
Whilst this card also suggests that you have a clear vision of what you want and where you’re going, Temperance is advising you to be patient and to make sure you are assessing things with a level head, to create that perfect inner and outer balance you can’t be giving in to the stress and anxiety and becoming a bull in a china shop.
Continue listening to that inner voice of yours that’s been guiding you in this direction, remain patient and keep plodding on, you are going the right way.
Temperance is the 14th (XIV) card in the major arcana, and in numerology, 14 represents freedom, determination, conscientiousness, and curiosity. It can also represent change and following on from the Death card, it shows us that transformation (for the better) to lead us onwards and upwards is indeed inevitable, it’s part of the path we must take.
What does the upright Temperance card mean in a love reading?
If you are in a relationship, this is definitely one of the best cards you can pull. Balance, peace, harmony, your relationship is certainly in a very good place! However, if you’ve been experiencing relationship issues then this card is indicating that you will be able to move past any issues and problems together and move forward.
If you’re single, Temperance is indicating that you are finding balance in all aspects of your life, and by creating and maintaining this balance you are making room for a romantic interest to come into your life.
What does the upright Temperance card mean in a career reading?
It’s time to set your career goals! Right now you have the patience to be able to focus on, and achieve, what it is that you want. It is the right time as your hard work will be noticed, and it will pay off.
But whilst this is, of course, a positive thing, Temperance’s advice is that you must be patient. If opportunities start arising then remember you don’t necessarily have to jump at the first one that pops up, assess it, are there better opportunities waiting just down the line?
What does the upright Temperance card mean in a health reading?
The Temperance card reminds us that the key to good health is moderation, and if this card appears in a health spread then it indicates that now is a good time to get any unhealthy habits you have under control for good health in both the present and the future.
Slow down and assess if you have been out of balance in any aspect of your life, has that been affecting your health? Focus on regaining balance in those areas to improve your health.
The Temperance tarot card as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling The Temperance card suggests that there’s interest on their behalf and that they feel good and positive towards you, but it’s also a reminder to you that you should keep your cool.
They prefer calmness so if you want to keep them interested, don’t try and come across as a ‘big personality as this isn’t what they’re into! They prefer calm and collected, everything being balanced and steady, so unless this isn’t something you’re into, be aware of how you come across!
If this is what you like too, then just quite literally be yourself if you wish for things to develop!
The Temperance tarot card as a person
As a personality archetype, The Temperance card represents someone who is always going with the flow, putting their trust in that things will work out just as they are destined to.
They will be a very balanced person, someone who holds a lot of patience and understanding, someone willing to compromise, and someone who usually brings out the best in everybody around them!
The Temperance tarot card as advice
If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, pulling the Temperance card means that you need the following: Balance. Balance. Balance.
Avoid one extreme or another, now is not the time to be launching yourself at something without keeping to the middle path for a while whilst making assessments and observations.
Don’t jump in feet first without ‘testing the waters’ first, so keep an eye on all of your options before making a steady and thought-through decision! Following the middle path and ‘going with the flow’ may surprise you when you see where it takes you.
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with Temperance?
The Temperance card is linked to the zodiac sign Sagittarius. Sagittarius are known for their desire to always learn, to better themselves, to seek knowledge beyond what they already comprehend, they constantly seek that wisdom. They always want to expand on who they are and what they know, and both Sagittarius and the Temperance card are likened to spiritual growth.
Is Temperance a yes or no tarot card?
The Temperance card is usually seen as a ‘yes’ card due to its positive nature, but that yes will always come with caution. So long you remain balanced, steady, and focused on the path ahead then there’s no reason this should be seen as a negative! So take it as a “yes, so long you do x, y, and z” when it comes to your approach.
Below are some of my interpretations based on different types of questions:
- “Will I get the job?” The Temperance card could be taken one way or another when it comes to a job interview as on hand this could be a calling to remind you to remain patient, the job that’s destined to be yours will be coming your way, and perhaps a ‘no’ for this job may lead you to consider what it a job you actually wanted? Or were you going for it for impulsive reasons? Regain your focus and balance and start assessing what you’re truly after, without impulsiveness! However on the other hand it could suggest a job you will come to feel comfortable in, a job of balanced roles and responsibilities.
- “Is this new person in my life good for me?” This card would suggest that there are no bad intentions coming from this person. If anything they’ll help keep you in check; keep you balanced, and keep you ‘grounded’ whilst also bringing out the best in you, being there as a constant reminder to always keep growing and developing, and not giving in too often to your impulsive thoughts! It’s okay every now and again, but this will be a person that shows you the importance of balance.
- “Will I achieve my current goals?” Right now everything is looking to be calm and content, the overall positive and peaceful nature of this card would suggest that whatever the outcome is, you’ll be happy with it.
- “Should I make that investment?” Right now, no. Now is not the right time to be making any sort of investments in anything. Avoid any risky decisions during this time.
- “Should I start my own business?” This card is asking for you to wait and be patient, now is not the right time to start your business. Don’t jump at something that comes your way just because it seems good and exciting at the time, remain balanced in your outlook, your patience will be rewarded.
What does the reversed Temperance card mean in Tarot?
A reversed Temperance card in a general reading is indicating that you are out of balance and have potentially been engaging in bad habits such as overindulging and other reckless behaviours (drinking, gambling, overspending, etc), you are out of touch and this is a warning that you need to stop and focus on getting back on track. It serves as a reminder of MODERATION.
It can also indicate that you are out of balance with the people surrounding you, there’s a significant lack of harmony and you are most likely being dragged into other peoples problems. You need to take a step back to assess with a level head how best to deal with these imbalanced aspects of your life.
What does the reverse Temperance card mean in a love reading?
If you are in a relationship, then this card suggests there is a significant imbalance. You and your partner are definitely not in tune with one another, you have lost the harmony, and are most likely to be clashing and arguing, and not willing to listen to one another. The card’s advice is that you need to focus on working through your problems together instead of working against one another. Point scoring won’t get you anywhere in the grand scheme of things. Take a step back, regain your composure, and focus on resolving the issues.
However, if you’re single, then the appearance of this card is suggesting that you’re coming across as desperate for love by giving too much of yourself to someone you’re interested in without truly getting to know them first! Don’t engage in behaviours to try and force a relationship, you need to be patient and let any potential romance just blossom over time.
What does the reverse Temperance card mean in a career reading?
The appearance of this card would suggest that you are experiencing some conflict at work, or a work based situation and this is most likely causing you to clash with co-workers or even management. Are you working too hard? Not hard enough? Are you reacting negatively to work and things that are being said to you?
What does the reverse Temperance card mean in a health reading?
You are out of balance in one or more areas of your life and this, in turn, is having a negative impact on your health. You need to look inward and connect with how you’re feeling to resolve this issue and to pull back from any potentially unhealthy behaviours you have turned to.
These will not serve you, you need to restore balance where you can to get your health back on track, so it’s time to slow down and focus on how you’re feeling, focus on taking back control and dealing with those imbalanced areas and resorting to healthy coping mechanisms.
How to use the Temperance tarot card in your Spellwork
The Temperance card is a great card to incorporate into your spell work during times where you need to pull back from the chaos and find balance and peace.
You can either physically use the card, or just visualise the card in your mind if you don’t have it to hand, but if you do have it to hand then hold the card in front of you (if not then feel free to close your eyes if it helps you visualise better) and state your intention out loud.
Keep holding/visualising the card whilst you allow yourself to relax and have a peacefulness wash over you.
Once you feel as though the balance has been restored, and you are calm and ready to face the rest of the day, then you can either keep the card on your person (somewhere safe in a bag for example) or leave it somewhere else safe if you aren’t able to keep it with you/would prefer to not carry it around.
How to use the Temperance tarot card in your dreamwork
Working with tarot cards in dreamwork can be highly effective due to our defences and mental blocks being lowered whilst we sleep, our subconscious opening many doors that may reveal an answer or two. You can use the Temperance card in dreamwork by doing the common method of placing the card under your pillow whilst you sleep.
Before tucking in for the night, you should take a moment to calmly sit with the card and just look at it, taking it all in and remembering what the card represents and how it can help you. And may even want to talk directly to the card and tell it your question and/or intentions for how you want it to help.
Place the card under your pillow, once you feel ready, and then get a notebook/piece of paper and a pen and place them next to your bed ready to write down the messages from your dreams as soon as you wake up – or of course, you can use a note-taking app on your phone if you prefer. You can then start interpreting the signs and messages in relation to your question/intention at hand.
If you have the Temperance card appear in your dreams then this is usually appearing as a reminder to do all things in moderation. Are all aspects of your life balanced? Are you giving too much or too little to something and is this having a knock-on effect elsewhere in your life? It’s time to reassess your situation and find ways to healthily restore balance and harmony.
If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written by @Vegan_of.Vengerberg
Outside the weird and wonderful world of my craft, I like to cosplay and fully dive into the fantasy genre across all forms, from books to video games and everything in between.
Learn more about the major arcana tarot cards
Discover the meanings behind the hanged man tarot card: Slowing down, putting something on hold, coming to a halt, and more.
Discover the meanings behind the Death tarot card: new beginnings, abrupt change, a time of transformation and Scorpio season.
Discover the meanings behind the Devil tarot card: it brings awareness to your unhealthy habits and behaviours, ones you may feel you cannot escape.