Exploring Temperance

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Temperance card and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


Temperance is card number 14 in the deck and the fifteenth card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples



L-14Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

I don’t think it’s quite as apparent in the Universal Tarot as it is with the other cards, but alchemy is at work here. In the Universal Tarot, it looks like the angelic woman is just mixing two identical cups of water together.

In the Mythic Tarot it’s subtle, but the cups are slightly different from each other. Yet, it still looks like it is just water being mixed together. The process seems to be creating a rainbow.

Meanwhile in the Dragon Tarot, we see something more magical in nature happening. There are these spectral hands floating above the dragon. One hand is wearing the symbol for fire and the other is wearing the symbol for water. Traditionally, these are energies that don’t mix however in this image they are mixing.

The Tarot of Dreams visually explores this same concept, but in a much bolder way. Instead of goblets or cups, we have magic disks. One containing water and the other containing fire and bridging them together is a rainbow. It appears to me that this angelic woman’s intent is to combine these two disks and create something new.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

All things in moderation. I say this a lot. It’s a philosophy I developed while studying human nutrition in college, but one I’ve found applies to everything in life.

It’s a very simple statement but the reality is far more complex, isn’t it? It’s about constant tweaking and adjusting. It’s about the synergy of all the parts within the whole. It’s about how everything is working together as one.

So whether you are looking at your body, your home, or your community this concept applies. The alchemy I mentioned above in the analysis is about converting multiple energies into one unified energy that is working towards a single goal. Sometimes this means working with what appears to be opposing forces and bringing them together in harmony.

Birds of a feather flock together because they have a common goal. Opposites attract because the strengths of others bolster their weaknesses. In this way, we get more done working as a team than we do alone. This is synergy and alchemy at its finest.

The keyword I choose for this card is: SYNERGY.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

2 thoughts on “Exploring Temperance

  1. Pingback: Chaos Wave: Temperance – The Art of Chaos

  2. Pingback: Self-Care with Temperance | The Art of Chaos

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