The Major Arcana Tarot cards represent the life lessons, karmic influences and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul's journey to enlightenment.
The Major Arcana cards include 21 numbered cards and 1 unnumbered card (the Fool). The Fool is the main character of the Major Arcana and makes his journey through each of the cards, meeting new teachers and learning new life lessons along the way, and eventually reaching the completion of his journey with the World card. This is known as the Fool's Journey and is a helpful way of understanding the story line of the Major Arcana Tarot card meanings.
UPRIGHT: Balance, moderation, patience, purpose
REVERSED: Imbalance, excess, self-healing, re-alignment
The Temperance card shows a large, winged angel. The angel balances between one foot on the rocks, expressing the need to stay grounded, and one foot in the water, showing the need to be in flow. She pours water between two cups, symbolic of the flow and alchemy of life.
Temperance is the card for bringing balance, patience and moderation into your life. You are being invited to stabilise your energy and to allow the life force to flow through you without force or resistance. It’s time to recover your flow and get your life back into order and balance.
This card calls on you to remain calm, even when life feels stressful or frantic. Maintain an even temperament and manage your emotions. You have learned to keep composed in stressful situations. Little things don’t get to you, thanks to your seemingly abundant source of patience. Your respect for balance and tranquillity is what will help you achieve and experience fulfilment in your life.
Temperance asks you to take the middle path and accommodate all perspectives. Now is not the time to be highly opinionated or controversial. Be the peacekeeper and take a balanced and moderate approach, avoiding any extremes. Include others and bring together diverse groups of people to create harmony and cooperation. By working together, you will collectively leverage the right mix of talents, experiences, abilities and skills.
There is alchemy within Temperance. This Tarot card is about blending, mixing, and combining diverse elements in a way that creates something new and even more valuable than its separate parts. ‘Blending’ can take on many forms; for example, a blended family, an artist who blends different materials or techniques, a bartender who mixes new and exciting cocktails, or a chef who combines different cuisines and cooking styles.
The Temperance card shows that you have a clear, long-term vision of what you want to achieve. You are not rushing things along; instead, you are taking your time to ensure that you do the best job you can. You know you need a moderate, guided approach to reach your goals.
Finally, this card reflects higher learning. You are learning a great deal where you are now and are at peace with what you are doing – it is all coming together well. Your inner voice is guiding you to the right outcome, and you are patiently listening and following.
If you have recently experienced a period of excess, Temperance Reversed is your invitation (or sometimes, your warning signal) to restore balance and moderation as soon as possible. You may have been over-eating, regularly drinking, buying things you can’t afford, arguing with loved ones, or engaging in negative thought patterns. These activities are taking you further away from who you are and what you are here to do. So, it is time to stop. As they say, “Everything in moderation!” Or, you may find you need 100% abstinence to break this negative cycle and bring your life back into balance again.
Temperance Reversed can also be a sign you sense that something is ‘off’ in your life, creating stress and tension. Life is not flowing as easily as you had hoped or there’s a niggling voice from within going, “Wait a second! This doesn’t feel right!” You can ignore it and carry on with life as usual. But, heed Temperance’s warning: If you stay in this state for too long, that voice will just get louder and louder until you pay attention. Or, you can listen to it now and make the necessary adjustments to find your flow once again. Focus on your long-term vision and higher purpose and seek to align your daily activities with this vision.
Temperance Reversed may reflect a period of self-evaluation in which you can re-examine your life priorities. Internally, you may feel called in one direction, but your daily life may not match up to what is emerging. See this as your opportunity to align your higher vibration with your outer world. You may need to change your living arrangements, relationships, career, and daily habits so you can cultivate more balance and purpose in line with your new priorities. Don’t be surprised if you run into tension or even conflict as you align your inner and outer worlds; it’s a natural part of the process of levelling up and creating positive change.
Similarly, the Temperance Reversed can be a call for profound self-healing. By creating more balance and moderation in your life, you open the possibility for such healing to occur. Given the reversal of this card, you are doing it in a way that is personal and private to you, without the influence of others. You know you have what you need to heal yourself and create more ‘flow’ in your life.