Cosmic Tarot - Temperance


There is so much we can see in this card! There is a definite person power about it that helps us to attain our goals and dreams.

Most Temperance cards have an Angel standing by a stream. In the Cosmic Tarot it shows a beautiful, passionate looking woman pouring water into a stream. The upper portion of her body wears an exquisite gold necklace and the lower portion of her body seems to be donned in luxurious gold satin or silk, on her feet a lovely pair of gold sandals. Behind her looks to be a bird called the heron. In front of her is an iris plant, its magical properties promote love and psychic awareness. Part of the sun is showing, the other half, concealed by the clouds. The Sun on her tiara could mean she has a headstrong character.

Animal Magic
From the stately heron I learn dignity,
Patience to wait for proper timing.
By example I see the sense of methodic planning.
One step at a time, personal problems are solved.

This card says to me, ‘stand still and be open’. Temperance is said to be ruled by Sagittarius, a sign that does not like being tied down, they are not ones to sit too long in a classroom, they have too much nervous energy. But they are inquisitive curious and very creative…bouncing from one endeavor to another! But when all their energy is channeled into patience, tolerance and a willing to change, they have the ability and the staying power to learn on their own. Once they have patiently mastered something, they become excellent teachers of their craft.

This is the card of the alchemist, mixing and blending base metals (attainable goals) into the philosopher’s stone (alchemists gold).

When we feel truly passionate about something, we can make quick decisions without first thinking them through. Temperance not only offers us strength and stability… helps us turn inward, opening us to guidance and bringing balance in our lives.

tink :love:


I like this card a lot, yet it has had a few alternate meanings to me - at times, the young woman does not look at what she is doing, and seems almost reluctant at her task. It's as if she is following the rules without really believing in them.

This is likely the upside down meaning when not using reversals.


A woman stands by a stream mingling water from two goblets as she pours it into the running water. She doesn't have wings but her beauty and the gracefulness of her gestures is more than human.

The water in the two goblets is being mingled, tempered. Different parts of the self (or the situation) being brought together, balanced, made whole.

One of her feet is on land representing the solidity of everyday life, going to work, cooking dinner; and the other is in the water representing spiritual experiences, transcendant emotions. However if you look very closely the foot that is more in the water is actually dry and the foot that is more on land has water on it. This shows that the spiritual and material realms are not separate.

In the sky there is half a sun showing and the rest is hidden behind a cloud. It may seem obvious but this always reminds me that in life some things will be positive and some things will be negative. It is a good idea not to let negative circumstances throw you off balance.

As in the Waite/Smith deck the irises are a reminder of Iris, the rainbow messenger of the Gods. So it is saying that the connection with divinity is always there and perhaps this work of mingling the spiritual and the material and seeing the spiritual side of everyday life is part of how you experience this connection.

The symbol on her necklace is a sun glyph inside a square. The sun represents the self, but in this case it seems to be the higher self. It is inside a square that represents matter. This is similar to the circle inside a square on the wheel of fortune card and again shows spirit infusing and mingling with matter. The higher self inhabiting us.

I also get a sense of purification because of the running water and the way she is looking away from what she is pouring out. Is the tree on the right side of the card a eucalyptus tree? If so that would reinforce the idea of purification and cleansing as eucalyptus is used this way in both herbal medicine and folk magic.

I find Temperance hard to interpret in readings. The concept that it stands for is pretty abstract and it is hard to really understand it or pull something practical out of it. Practical meanings could include: combining two aspects of a situation or two points of view; seeing situation from more spiritual or holistic angle; purification; trying to find the good in a situation that looks all bad; maintaining your balance and your connection with divinity; acting from your higher self; tempering (moderating) your behavior; seeing the other person's point of view.


PS, I'm reading other peoples posts on the cards after I journal them as that seems to work better. Tink27 I love your ideas about the meanings of the heron and irises. Lovely interpretations!

Ace of Stars

What I find most puzzling about this one is how she is looking away from what she is doing with her hands -- maybe it is about feeling over thinking (the head representing the intellect).