Hello, lovers. Today we’ll be discussing the Temperance Tarot Card, the 14th in our Major Arcana. Who is this angelic figure, and what do they want from us? I say this about many of our friends in the Major Arcana, but I used to not like this character very much.

Tarot Story Time

The night I drew the Temperance Tarot Card.

Most stories from my teens-late 20s start with a boy. And this one is no different. I was invited to a Halloween party by someone I liked. Looking back, I did not know enough about this gentleman to know if I really liked him. But it was one of those magnetic attractions that feels like the movies, which, in my case, always means run for the hills. But that’s hindsight. I did not run for said hills, ever. Not once.

So he invites me to a work function. He worked in the hospitality industry, and I’d heard stories about crazy nights with his crew. To keep up, I invited my loudest, most fun, hardest-partying friend. I put zombie makeup all over my face while guzzling red wine and waited for said friend to arrive. But here’s the thing: my loudest, most fun, hardest partying friend was also my flaky, pot-loving, “sorry I fell asleep,” late-arriving friend.

My Temperance Card, made from construction paper.

I had some time for a tarot reading.

I asked my cards what one thing I should keep in mind, and, hoping for something romantic and encouraging, I got Temperance. Because the Universe has a sense of humor that way. Here’s the thing:

a) I barely knew what the card meant at the time (it was mundane, in my young opinion) and

b) that ship had sailed. I was VERY drunk and VERY antsy for my friend to pick me up, and VERY MUCH TOO EXCITED to see the boy. Not at all temperate.

When I arrived at what turned out to be a modest gathering, I was mortified and tried to cover it up by making light of the situation. Only I was drunk, so I just made a drunken ass of myself. The night ended with obsessive text messaging and tears.

If I’d have listened to Temperance, I’d have slowed down, made myself a coffee drink, and tried to relax. Maybe I could have even gone elsewhere with my friend. I could have played it cool, and told the guy to meet us later if he was into it. That would have given everyone time to get on the same level of drunkenness, and I may have calmed down enough to act like my usual charming self.

Maybe I could have made the above mistakes but not sent the mopey texts Maybe I could have chosen not to pre-game in the first place.

There are so many opportunities in this story to exercise temperance, and I took none of them. It’s ok. Last I checked he was hapilly married and into jogging, so I was not the one.

Temperance in the RWS

So, What is Temperance?

If you look it up in the dictionary, temperance is the act of abstaining from alcohol. As a tarot concept, however- it’s more about the concept of balance and moderation in all things. The figure in the RWS Temperance card has one foot on the ground and one in the water.

In tarot, water represents intuition and emotions. Earth represents practicality, literally a sense of groundedness. It’s about having everything in equal measure. Come up with that unique cocktail that makes your life sing. If you take a look at all the aspects of life, let’s say work, social, mental spiritual, and creative- are you firing at all cylinders in one or two categories while neglecting others? It’s completely natural and sometimes even necessary, but Temperance tells you to slow down and get back into balance.

Temperance by Pat Fish


Examine the ingredients to the cocktail of your life. Could it use a little something? The Temperance Tarot Card asks you to create a rich, full bodied experience that hits all the spots. If you’ve been spending a lot of time lounging, and luxuriating, for example- a little discipline may be in order. If you’ve been all work and no play- I prescribe some Kylie Minogue and your best disco dance moves.

Wondering if Temperance is in the cards for you? Book a reading with me today to see what you’re being called toward.