Center of the Storm

"Temperance is the in-between state of all things.  It is neither one nor the other.  Our world consists of sometimes sharp social political constraints.  Some walk along the edges and don't fit into the confinements available to us.  In traditional depictions, the Temperance angel is neither female nor male.  This angel comes to us to bring a softening to our hard ridges.  They may overlook thew beauty  that lives in the vast complexities of our world and ourselves."
-Mary Elizabeth Evans, Apparition Tarot Guidebook from the spirit Speak series (2018)

Bea Nettles, Mountain Dream Tarot, United States, 1975
The idea for this tarot came from a dream of the artist.

Temperance is the fourteenth key to the Major Arcana in Tarot.  The Element of Temperance is Fire and the zodiac affiliation of Death is Sagittarius.

Qualities of Temperance are Protection, Moderation, and Balance.  Alternate names for Temperance are Temperance.  Symbols are Angel, Robes, Triangle within a Square, and Water.

In German Death is called Der Ausgleich, Die Ausgewogenheit, and Die Massigkeit.  In French, La Temperance.  And in Italian, La Temperanza.


The temperance card features a large winged angel, often genderless, as if balanced between masculine and feminine and able to move between both worlds.  One foot is usually immersed in water, the symbol of the subconscious, the other, on d4ry land, a representation of the material realm.  The angel wears a blue or white robe, in most decks, emblazoned with a triangle enclosed in a square, a symbol indicating a spirit balanced and bound by the earth and natural law.  In each of the angel's hands are chalices, water flowing between, representing the connection of the super and subconscious minds.  Temperance is able to move fluidly, like the water, between, signifying balance, harmony, and the union of opposites.  In the distance, a path winds through a high mountain range, indicating a spiritual journey.  Some cards show a golden crown glowing in the sky, alluding to the higher path toward enlightenment.  


This is a card of balance and moderation, harmony through equilibrium.  Temperance asks for patience and points to the need for both a stable personal foundation and an openness to collaboration and commodity.  The water in the chalices flows in both directions, outer world to inner consciousness to outer world and back again.  Temperance teaches us to practice planting a foot in each of these realms, the material and spiritual.  Temperance is the calm at the center of the storm, offering peace by balancing the scales.  Temperance asks us to take the middle path where the ground is stable.  Temperance reminds us that the rational and material creativity and dreaming, and the desires of the body and the expansion of the mind are all of equal importance, and should be considered in equal measure.

Marty Yeager & Ken Hickenbottom, Tarot of Meditation, United States, 1975
This tarot features dreamlike and fantasy artistic themes.