Temperance

Alt names: Art
Keywords: Blending, synthesis, mediation, combination, harmony
Temperance
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Range of meanings

Light: Bringing opposites together. Moderating your actions or emotions. Finding middle ground. Reaching compromises. Synthesizing solutions that please everyone involved. Using the old to make something new.

Shadow: Going to extremes. Disrupting group efforts. Ignoring healthy approaches to life. Becoming an addict. Practicing gluttony. Tearing something or someone apart. Breaking alliances.

Questions to ask

  1. Are you seeing things in black and white that might be more clearly seen as a spectrum?
  2. How might blending two opposites resolve your challenge today?
  3. What would happen if you broke down the situation?
  4. How can you avoid extremes?
  5. What do the different sides have in common?
  6. How might combining familiar things help me create something new?

Advice

Personal Growth: Young people want to toss out tradition and forge ahead. Older people are more conservative. Between these extremes lies a healthier middle ground. Define the polarities and then ask, “What lies between?”

Work: Many hands make work easier. Call meetings. Get input from every level at every step. If everyone has a hand in defining an effort, then everyone will feel ownership and investment. Moderate your tendency toward all-or-nothing work habits.

Relationships: Set superficial relationships aside. Pursue trust and deep intimacy—the subtle blending of two people into one. Bring people together. Commit to introductions, parties, or gatherings. Seek out groups.

Spirituality: Some spiritual advisors recommend extreme practices, from fasting to abstinence, as a means of boosting spiritual awareness. Consider the potential value of moderation in all things. You can value what is right here, right now, without craving more or surpassing healthy limits.

Fortune-Telling: Someone’s using drugs or alcohol to excess. It’s time to get back on that diet.

Associations

Astrological: Sagittarius

Hebrew: Samekh/Foundation/60

Archetype: The Mediator

Religions: The angel seen here may be the goddess Iris. By extension, priests, priesthoods, or the transfigured Christ.

Fool's Journey: The main character learns to moderate impulses or habits that limit his or her ability to solve the story’s central problem.

The Number 5: The Catalyst: instability, resistance, confrontation, evolution. The number representing humanity (head, arms, and legs).

Triangle in Square: In many RWS-inspired decks, a symbol on the angel’s chest suggests the fiery spirit enshrined in stable matter.

Blended Cups: Temperance often pours the contents of two cups together, blending water, water and wine, wine and milk, or even fire and water. Bringing opposites together.

Irises: The flowers seen in RWS-inspired illustrations suggest their namesake, Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. She traveled from the gods to the humans over this rainbow, and she represents hope and miracles.

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.