Temperance in Tarot

For today’s post, I have decided to take a look at the meaning of the Temperance card in the Tarot.   This card is the ultimate card of balance within the Major Arcana.   Temperance is usually numbered 14 within the Major Arcana.   The traditional Rider-Waite Tarot features the image of an angel on the Temperance card.   In several decks, this card is imagined in new and unique ways!    For instance, The Arthurian Tarot uses The Cauldron as the Temperance card.    Likewise, in The Llewellyn Tarot, Temperance is also referred to as Keeper of the Well.          

When this card appears in a reading the querent is cautioned to have patience.   The card also has the meaning of tempering the ego in order to be more in tune with your spiritual truth.   The appearance of this card foretells a period of inner growth and outer harmony!   Temperance has the message of taking time to blend things (whether they are ideas, resources, or other materials) into a harmonious and cohesive whole.   Finally, there is a link between this card and the moon, as it is numbered fourteen it is representative of the exact midway point of the monthly cycle, from New Moon to New Moon.

Temperance teaches us to wait calmly when things are not looking up, and that we are not currently in a position to rush matters.   It is a step in the right direction, and we will learn much slowly on this spiritual path!   The Cauldron in The Arthurian Tarot is both a representation of the Cauldron of Pen Annwn (which was cooled by the breath of nine maidens, three of which are featured on the card) and of Cerridwen’s Cauldron of knowledge and inspiration!   There is also, of course, the connection between the Cauldron and Goddess worship, linking it to Morgen le Fay and Avalon in The Arthurian Tarot, as well.   The Keeper of the Well in The Llewellyn Tarot is a reference to several women who tended wells.   There is a great tradition of wells being tended by faery women in Celtic lore!    This makes both the Cauldron and the Keeper of the Well great ways to take a Celtic Arthurian and Faery twist for this card! 

I hope that you have enjoyed learning a little bit about this card of moderation and balance.   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a lovely Temperance image.   I found the image on https://www.amazon.com/Tapestry-Colorful-Divination-Medieval-Tapestries/dp/B07VVK92WV/ref=sr_1_53?crid=1ODNIXEZ0LEDZ&keywords=temperance+tarot+tapestry&qid=1651505561&sprefix=Temperance+tarot%2Caps%2C135&sr=8-53.

Further Reading

  • The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need by Skye Alexander
  • The Complete Arthurian Tarot by Caitlin and John Matthews
  • The Llewellyn Tarot Companion by Anna-Marie Ferguson