By Cheryl Hill

The Temperance card is one out of the twenty two major arcana cards in a tarot deck. Out of these major cards, there are five that do not begin with the word, The: Justice, Temperance, Strength, Death, and Judgement suggest to the reader that their titles are autonomous. These entitlements are specific to the cards but their meanings are, like all tarot interpretations, as ambiguos as the different number of decks to choose from. 

All cards of the major arcana depict a journey the questioner has embarked upon, or will be taking soon. The time frame of the querent's trip can be measured by the number of major arcana in their reading. Most cards depict a woman standing by a body of water holding two cups and she is pouring liquid from one cup into the other. The liquid does not spill but flows expertly into each cup. This demonstration of balance is also depicted with the figure having one foot on the ground and the other in the stream. 

So, Temperance tells a specific action the client needs to take. Different interpretations set aside, Temperance has the theme of balancing but balancing what? The word temperance translates: moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, and self-control.Therefore, this card informs the questioner that evenness in her life flows from a leveling off of emotions and the bringing forth of her feeling about the issue, thereby giving her an even premise of how to handle the situation. 

The artwork on the card does not show storm clouds, or choppy seas, but rather a clear sky and a clear stream. The woman looks serene in her surroundings and tells the reader that the querent is not in an emotional time frame, but rather a feeling mode. Feelings are an intelligent faculty of choice. Emotions are tears, anger, etc. There is something the querent needs to bring together or work with to bring harmony into her life or situation. With the pouring of the liquid, one must learn to keep their feelings flux and not succumb to the volatile, unpredictability of emotions. 

To come to this chapter in life, one has already learned many lessons. But, now, it is time for one to feel and have not only balanced thought, but also a balanced heart. Simply put, this may be the time in the querent's life that she may have to think without the turmoils of emotions coinciding. The goal is to allow agreement and consistency to form a cohesive, compatible relationship in life. 

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009

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