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14 – Temperance

This card depicts a figure, nearly always an Angel (as confirmed by the wings) standing near the water, pouring water from one cup to the other. Whether Angel or not, the figure is usually gender-neutral and wearing white, sometimes with an insignia of a triangle on the chest. Sometimes there are creatures drinking by the water, and often we see the land behind the Angel, with mountains, foliage, and a path leading to where it stands. The sun is often behind the mountains, just rising. Occasionally, a crown is on the figure’s head, and often one foot is in the water, suggesting the bridging the gap between the physical and the spiritual.

Temperance generally suggests the need to moderate, to take a look at what you are doing and decide if excesses are being indulged and if so, pulling those excesses back into check. Somewhat similar to Justice in this regard, it counsels moderation. Also, though, Temperance can indicate a "tempering", similar to the way steel is tempered using heat and cold to mold and form it- our experiences and choices "temper" us. In readings, the card can indicate that the querent is having a difficult time getting disparate elements of their life, personality, inclinations or desires to mesh and meld. They may believe that such a merge is impossible, but Temperance advises that continued experimentation is the key- trying different combinations, with varying quantities of this or that, to achieve a union that is workable. Synthesis through right choice and moderate approaches is the key message of Temperance.

13. Death Back to Card Descriptions 15. The Devil