XIV - Temperance
Temperance is all about balance. This card depicts the peaceful flow that we can achieve when we embrace moderation.
Instead of the static scale seen in Justice, Temperance is illustrated by water flowing between two cups and curling around the feet of an angel. In fostering balance between our passion and judgment we can embrace and revel in the dynamic flow of life.
This card teaches us that we can access deeper parts of ourselves by abandoning the chaos of excess. It illustrates the moments when we learn to tune out these distractions and nourish ourselves with our own truth. As we’ve seen with the previous card, Death, this path is not easy, but it’s the challenges of life that teach us how best to focus inward and lean on our strengths.
Temperance asks us to focus on what’s really important and direct our energy accordingly. It shows us how self-reflection can open us up to the world, replenishing our abilities instead of draining them. As such, it’s a horizon-expanding card instead of a narrowing of focus like the two of swords. Temperance shows us how we can remove blockages in our lives and become truly vibrant.
It’s also a very ideologically motivated card in that it focuses on the why behind our actions. Always seeking meaning, Temperance asks us to focus on what’s really important and start living the life we believe in. This means abstaining from things that don’t line up with our values or that suck our energy, even if they seem pleasurable in the moment. Learning to let go of comforts that don’t enrich us can be difficult but also makes room for deeper insights and self-satisfaction.
Balance, harmony, moderation, deliberate action, self-control, restraint
Seeking balance, moderating one’s habits, making small changes and adjustments, aligning oneself to values, taking time to feel and think before the next move, looking inward, using spiritual practices to achieve sense of wholeness, practicing nonviolence, cutting back on indulgences, resisting temptation with a higher purpose in mind, feeling a connection with the universe, being modest
Calm, self-aware, gentle, focused, centered, engaged, virtuous, peaceful, modest
Resistance to change, traditional, “above it all,” detached from own humanity, austere