Tarot Hero’s Journey: Temperance

RWS_Tarot_14_TemperanceThe next step on our journey to awakening is Temperance. An angel pours liquid between two goblets. She stands with one foot in the water and one on the land while the sun rises above a mountain on the horizon. This is card number 14 which reduces to 5 giving us the pentagon, a five-sided figure symbolising organic growth, inspiration, and the reconciliation of several parts into a greater whole.

The hero has sacrificed his old self and let go of his attachments. He waits in a passive state of potential for the next stage of the journey and his new life to begin. He can no longer use his ego as a point of reference so he can’t make any value judgements in relation to the world. His consciousness remains in a dark communion with the unconscious, and into the void steps the angel of Temperance. She fills the hero’s consciousness with the water of new life.

Temperance in this context means the mixing of ingredients in the right proportion. The angel stands both on the land and in the water. The pool symbolises the depths of the unconscious, so she is bridging the gap between the outer and inner worlds.

Having faced death the hero has a new perspective and integrity. His conscious and unconscious minds are balanced in the right proportions meaning he can now act from a secure centre. The angel is the Higher Self. She has been guiding him all along, but now the hero can hear her clearly. He has rejected the voice of both his ego and his shadow, and will only continue to move forward if he can maintain this balance in his psyche. The end is in sight, the Higher Self beckons him on, but there are still trials to face.

Keywords for Temperance:
  • Moderation
  • Balance
  • Tranquillity
  • Blending
  • Compromise
  • Alchemy

Next step on the journey to awakening: The Devil

>Catch up with the rest of the series here