Queen of Tarot

The ancient wisdom of the cards

Temperance Tarot Card Meaning and Art Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck



About the Deck

Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck

These cards are featured in my book, "A Concise Guide to the Tarot" by Loren Lundgren. I took the information for the meanings on these tarot cards from "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination", by A. E. Waite, 1911, now in the public domain. I edited the tarot card descriptions and meanings for clarity and brevity, modernizing the text. I scanned in the original black and white illustrations of the cards drawn by Pamela Colman Smith, from the 1911 book. I digitally retouched and painted those illustrations in detailed color.


Loren Lundgren, © 2021


A winged angel, with the sign of the sun on its forehead, and on its breast the square and triangle of the septenary (symbolism of the number seven). The androgynous figure pours the essences of life from chalice to chalice. It has one foot on the earth and one on water, illustrating the nature of the essences being poured. A direct path leads to heights on the horizon, and above shines a great light, through which a crown can be vaguely seen. Here is some part of the Secret of Eternal Life, as available to man in this existence.

Meaning of Temperance from the Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck


Thrift, moderation, frugality, management, settlement.


Things connected with churches, religions, sects, the priesthood, sometimes even a priest who will marry the Querent; also separation, unfortunate combinations, competing interests.

According to Many Schools of Thought

A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings

Temperance. The winged figure of a female--who, in opposition to all doctrine concerning the hierarchy of angels, is usually allocated to this order of ministering spirits--is pouring liquid from one pitcher to another. In his last work on the Tarot, Dr. Papus abandons the traditional form and depicts a woman wearing an Egyptian head-dress. The first thing which seems clear on the surface is that the entire symbol has no especial connexion with Temperance, and the fact that this designation has always obtained for the card offers a very obvious instance of a meaning behind meaning, which is the title in chief to consideration in respect of the Tarot as a whole.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers's Divinatory Meanings


Combination, Conformation, Uniting


Ill-advised combinations, Disunion, Clashing interests, &c.

Papus's Divinatory Meanings

Temperance. Economy.