The Temperance Tarot Card

Traditional Meaning

Temperance signifies moderation.

The following positive keywords are associated with this card:

  • Compromise
  • Harmony
  • Health
  • Moderation
  • Peace
  • Self-control

It can also be associated with the following negative keywords:

  • Conflict
  • Domestic strife
  • Impatience
  • Lack of foresight
  • Quarrels


The Temperance card is closely attributed to self-control, which enables the person to handle unpredictable aspects and be able to bring positive results. It is also a sign that they will be experiencing a time of harmony in their relationships, which should be enjoyed. The card also emphasizes the importance of moderation and that spirituality could bring them comfort. Some people even say that the card is a representation of the angel or spirit who is watching over them.

However, the Temperance card could also mean that if a person lacks insight about a situation and is impatient when it comes to making a decision, it could cause conflicts and may even hinder their progress.


Life does not appear to run efficiently at this time and something needs to be set right. The client should slow down and take their time, gently and carefully working to bring things back into balance. View the situation from every angle. It is possible a slight adjustment can bring everything on track and running smoothly again.

A Deeper Look:

In this card, we see an androgynous angel placidly pouring fluid from one cup to another. On the angel’s chest is a red triangle. Red is the color of passion and creativity and the triangle represents the holy trinity of spirit-body-mind. The name of the card comes from act of “tempering” steel and refers to working with that material when it is both very hot and very cold, to contour it into a desired shape.

The flow of the fluid from one cup to the next follows the pattern of the infinity loop that runs back and forth in a horizontal figure eight motion. Water refers to emotion and intuition, which are elements of the West. Behind the angel, the sun rises in the East bringing new beginnings and the influence of the intellect, again demonstrating the dedication the Tarot has to the blending of opposites and balance.

Just like the angel in the image on the card, the client is advised to keep one foot on the solid ground of logic and intellect and the other in the flow of intuition, maintaining a living cycle and balance between the two. They work cooperatively, blending literally “the best of both worlds” into a beautiful spirit, mind, and body connection. The spirit is Heaven, the body is Earth, and the mind is the center connection that brings the two together.

Temperance tells us to be “in the world, but not of it” and to live the ordinary life in an extraordinary way. This card demands nothing less than balance at this time and the challenge is to find the stabilizing center in life and position ourselves firmly with a foot in both worlds.


imag eof the Temperance Tarot CardQuick Reference for Temperance Tarot Card

Association: Associated with Sagittarius.

Keyword: Higher self

General Meanings: Balance of opposites. Scientific method. Exploration of the boundaries of self. The higher self and intuition. The spiritual road.

Love: The highest kind of love.

Health: Thighs – over all good.

Money: Use your intuition.

Spirit: Union with spirit.


The Death Tarot Card

Traditional Meaning

The card of Death signifies an abrupt change.

Some of the positive associations with this card are as follows:

  • Clearance
  • Endings
  • Sweeping change
  • Transformation

It can also be associated with the following negative keywords:

  • Fear of change
  • Loss of friendship
  • Loss of opportunity
  • Stagnation


While the name of the card itself is quite frightening, it does not actually tell that somebody will be dying. Rather, the card represents the unavoidable end and beginning of something. This card is a sign that shocking and unforeseen events will occur, and that this event will serve as the starting point of another. To simplify, Death signifies that the time for transformation will be coming soon.

For the negative association, Death tells of the possibility that the person might be afraid of the transforming event that they are about to experience. If the reverse position is shown in the spread, it simply implies that the person should be ready to show what they are capable of. Another negative association with the card – stagnation – also signifies the person’s resistance to change even if it important that they do. This resistance could lead to missing out on crucial opportunities (thus, leading the person to be unchanged or “dead”).


Boredom, stagnation, frustration – the client is in a rut, likely because they resist important changes that are trying to take place. It is usually fear that keeps the person frozen in place even when they know they should make changes. Delaying this change does not help. The advice of Death reversed is to move forward despite all resistance and embrace the new future that is coming.

A Deeper Look:

The Death card tends to elicit strong emotional reactions for those who do not understand the meaning and the many layers of interpretation it offers. It does not predict a physical death, but an end to certain conditions that are no longer good for the client. A complete new way of life is on its way and the client should not resist the changes that are coming. This card says that some part of their current life is outmoded and is no longer serving their growth. It is timely and right that change occurs now.

The Universe may have urged the individual to make these changes before now and the client resisted, which has created situations that force the changes, outside of the client’s control. When we do not heed our inner wisdom, the world has a way of creating situations where we no longer have a choice but to move forward out of our old way of being.

In the images depicted on the Death card, we see that everyone including kings, popes, and common people, must show deference to Death. Even as Death brings release from the hardships of the current life, there is a bright sun coming up over the horizon and the flag Death carries has a white flower of peace and purity against a black background. This shows the duality of black and white, of life and death, and illustrates that one cannot exist without the other. Without death, there is no new life and no growth. A white rose means promise, happiness, new beginnings, and love, which is why that flower often has a prominent role in weddings.

The client should not resist any changes that come up in the near future that feel out of their control. The individual should allow the current of those changes to carry them to their destiny. Change is NOT always bad, but as the thorns on that white rose tell us, even the best of new beginnings can sometimes bring a little sting. The advice of this card is to shake off fear and resistance and embrace fate and the changes it brings with excitement and confidence.

image of The Death Tarot CardQuick Reference for
The Death Tarot Card

Association: Associated with Scorpio

Keyword: Ending

General Meanings: Change at a deep level. Stagnation. Self destructive patterns. Preparation for something new. Time, aging, death. End of a cycle.

Love: Ends in heartbreak – self-destructive choices.

Health: Genitals and inner reproductive parts.

Money: Change will bring renewed flow.

Spirit: Look beyond the present.


Further Resources

1. The Temperance Tarot card at Keen

2. The Temperance Tarot Card at Psychic Revelation

3. Temperance Tarot Card Meaning at Tarot Teachings

4. The Death (Tarot card) at Wikipedia

5. The Death Tarot Card Meanings at Biddy Tarot

6. The Death Tarot Card Meaning at Kasamba