"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous."

- Bill Moyers

Temperance - Waite Smith
Temperance - Thoth

Associations / Attributions

Alternate Card Titles
Hermetic Title
Daughter of the Reconcilers, The Bringer Forth of Life
Hebrew Letter
Samekh (Support)
Sephirotic Path
Tiferet (Beauty) to Yesod (Foundation)
Potential Uses
Bring into balance polaric forces; creation from creative tension

Card Meanings / Keywords

Golden Dawn

Combination of forces, realization, material action.


Moderation, frugality, accommodation. Reversed: Things connected with churches, religions, sects, the priesthood. Also unfortunate combinations, competing interests.


Combination of forces, realization, action based on accurate calculation; the way of escape.


Polaric forces attempting a resolution.


Temperance mingles polaric energies—male and female, dense and rarefied, inward and outward, yin and yang. The character of this card seeks to produce a dynamic balance between the two, a process which will reveal a powerful third potential that may be harnessed and directed toward creative action. This creative potential can be visualized as the balanced tension of the bow of Artemis or Sagittarius (the fiery sign with which this trump is associated) drawn back and ready to be aimed at a target.

Temperance may be seen as the “honeymoon” of the alchemical “wedding” in Trump VI (the Lovers) where the polaric energies are first introduced to one another. A vast energy is generated from the meeting of the two and refines both to produce something new. One of the key personality traits of Temperance is this action of uncovering the formulas where energies are balanced in the proper ratios to produce an effect that goes between and beyond the forces mixed. In this way, Temperance offers both a corrective for extreme energies, an enhancement for those already in balance, and the possibility of creating something that goes beyond both.


Poised on the precipice
Artemis draws deep
Aiming at the heart
of the secret stone born
in the union of here and there
The quiet of creation hums
a brocade of bees weaving
a garment of light worn
by those who utter the secret name

What forces at play in my life create a dynamic tension that I may harness if properly balanced? What medicine and knowledge may help bring moderation to an excess that draws me away from my goal? What is the nature of what I seek to create?