The Temperance Tarot Card Meaning

By Charrette Vachon

The Temperance card in the tarot represents patience, self-control, and balance. In the Fool’s journey through the Major Arcana, temperance symbolizes lessons that bring balance and stability into one’s life. The card reveals that true, authentic change takes time and that it is wise to avoid extremes in any situation. Rather, moderation and frugality will help you to move towards what you wish to achieve. The card indicates that you have a strong sense of self and that you have cultivated inner peace with the way in which your life has unfolded and with the direction you are headed.

Illustration Credit: Morgane Ledouble
  • Dates: November 23- December 21
  • Ruled by the planet Jupiter
  • Astrological Sign: Sagittarius
  • Astrological Element: Fire

Visual Symbolism

The visual depiction of the Temperance card is an androgynous angel figure pouring liquid from one cup into a second cup. She wears a long robe inscribed with a triangle, suggesting union with the holy trinity. A golden halo surrounds her head, and there is a visible path both behind and in front of the figure, representing the necessity to continue following one’s current path to a conclusion to be guided toward one’s highest good. The angel figure holds the two cups in such a way that the liquid may be transferred back and forth, or that the liquid may mix or interchange, representing the subconscious mind and its counterpart, the superconscious mind. With one foot on land (the material world) and the other in a pool of water (the subconscious world), the figure is balanced between two realms. In this way, she executes her perpetual task of balance.

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The character of The Temperance Card

The Temperance card as a person is someone whose approach to life is balanced in every sense of the word. This individual moves through life with patience and tolerance for others. They accept that making compromises is a part of life, and so they are natural-born listeners and peacemakers, tending to bring out the best in others. Temperance as a person is someone who understands that the universe allows everything to unfold exactly as it should and that there is no need to rush or try to force things to happen. As diplomatic individuals and attuned communicators, you will often find these people in management positions of one kind or another. They are fully wholesome and healed individuals, sometimes even gifted as healers or blessed with psychic abilities.

Temperance Upright

When the Temperance card is pulled from the deck of the tarot facing upright, the symbolic significance is one of clarity and progress. The Temperance card upright means that you are someone who can remain calm and sensible, even during difficult and turbulent times. Rather than dwelling on what you cannot control, or becoming overwhelmed in a downward spiral of stress, you understand that remaining patient and allowing yourself to live in a flow state will open up space to enjoy and explore all that life has to offer. Temperance upright tells you that you are on your way to making significant progress in the areas of your life you choose to focus on.

Relationships and Romantic Love

The Temperance card is one of the most promising cards that can be drawn during a love reading in tarot. For those in a romantic relationship, the Temperance card signifies a soulmate connection of love, commitment, and mutual respect. For those who are single, the card indicates that creating balance in your life will create space for new romantic partnerships to develop. For those with troubled relationships, the Temperance card could indicate that you and your partner will find conflict resolution, bringing forth stability and healthy balance.


As this card represents stability and balance in other aspects of your life, so too for matters related to money. The card indicates that your finances are beginning to stabilize, and soon all debts will be settled. If you pay close attention to your relationship with money and how you interact with it and think about it, you will become more comfortable with your financial status and bring in more room for wealth and abundance. This may indicate that you need to pay more attention and become more attentive to your financial habits, or that you need to become more frugal with your spending habits.

Career Path

When one door closes, another opens. Concerning your career path, the Temperance card indicates that you may have to be patient for the avenue toward a new career opportunity to open up in due time. Stay persistent towards achieving your goals and find peace in knowing that your hard work will pay off in the long run. If you are offered a new position or promotion, remain patient rather than jumping toward the first opportunity offered to you. You may be given an even more rewarding offer if you stay grounded and wait for other opportunities to arise. This card also indicates that now could be a good time to set new career goals to pursue with fidelity.

Health and Wellness

Seek balance in your inner self and body, and move towards moderation in all areas of your physical well-being. Negative habits such as tobacco use or overindulgence should be avoided, and instead, be brought to a minimum or cut out altogether. Also seek balance in your diet and exercise routine, filling your body with a balanced and complete diet of healthy foods from all food groups. Move your body in ways that feel good for you and help you to maintain a boost of energy, rather than overworking your body or seeking out extreme exercise routines. Everything is in moderation.

Temperance Reversed

The Temperance card in reverse symbolizes imbalance. When the Temperance card in the tarot is pulled in reverse, you are given a warning that your reckless or toxic behaviors are negatively impacting your life and that it is time to step back into yourself and work on realigning your inner chakras to step into your higher self. Impulsive or harmful habits related to drug use, alcohol, binge eating, or even other less severe habits in any negative form are bringing you out of balance and need realignment.

Relationships and Romantic Love

For those in a romantic relationship, the Temperance card in reverse signifies that many conflicts have surrounded your partnership, causing tension. The card could indicate that your partnership lacks harmony, or perhaps one of you feels your love is not being reciprocated. Bring balance to the relationship by genuinely listening to one another before jumping into arguments. For those who are single, the reverse card presents a message of bringing balance to the way in which you seek out love in your life. It could indicate that you are too eager when it comes to interacting with new potential partners, and can come off as too desperate. Instead, play it cool and focus on how you show up in your interactions with others. Focus on how you feel about them, rather than solely focusing on pinning down a romantic partnership as quickly as possible. Let relationships develop naturally over time.


When it comes to matters of money, Temperance in reverse indicates that you are in good financial standing, and your funds are well-balanced. Your outgoing and incoming wealth is likely at its optimal amount. However, now is not the time for impulsive spending. If you are having any financial troubles, they need to be resolved immediately. Slow down and connect to your inner self before moving too quickly with your finances, seeking balance by taking your time and avoiding instant gratification.

Career Path

Temperance in reverse clearly warns that now is not the time to branch out on your own in a professional setting. Instead, seek balance by reaching out to your soul tribe of other supportive individuals in your circle who can offer help and guidance on your path toward success. Rather than jumping into a new career, now is the time to patiently wait and focus on setting goals. It could also signify an imbalance or conflict in a work situation, either working too much or not enough, or you could be clashing with your coworkers. Remember to slow down before reacting negatively to constructive criticism.

Health and Wellness

In both the upright and reversed positions, this card is a reminder that moderation is the key to good health. Bring balance to your eating habits and exercise routine, and avoid engaging in indulgent habits. Maintain a healthy balance of sleep and wakeful movement. Remember that your body knows what it needs to maintain your best health at all times, and it will tell you if you listen carefully. Tap into your inner knowing at any time by remaining patient and moving your awareness within. Give your body what you know it needs.

Temperance as Your Past, Present, and Future

Past Position

Working with others harmoniously and balancing the spiritual and material has served you well. You have a foundation of calm in your life and your childhood peace has allowed you to live fully without getting too perturbed. The card could also be an indicator of a recent incident in the past when you acted with integrity and moral uprightness.

Present Position

In the present position, the Temperance card indicates that abundance or something you have longed for will soon come to fruition. By casting aside extremism, you will be happier, and the shadow side of your temperament will be replaced with tolerance, acceptance, and peace of mind. You can rest assured that you are on the right path.

Future Position

The future position of this card is an indication from the divine that moving towards more restraint, balance, and moderation will solve conflicts that have arisen or conflicts that are coming your way soon. The Temperance card in the future position is a positive one, indicating that no matter how difficult the situation, balance will bring you wealth and prosperity.

Yes/No Interpretation of Temperance Card

The Temperance card is positive in the deck of the tarot. The answer is yes.

Temperance FAQ

What does Temperance mean in a love reading?

Temperance is a lovely, positive card drawn in a love reading, signifying a union of deep love, commitment, and balanced respect.

What does Temperance mean for my future?

The Temperance card in the future position is a positive one, indicating that no matter how difficult the situation, balance will bring you wealth and prosperity.

What is the meaning of Temperance in reverse?

Temperance reversed warns that imbalance or moving towards the extremes needs to be reeled back in, warning that overindulgence or reckless behavior could lead to harm.