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Temperance (Tarot card)

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Subject: Tarot, Major Arcana, Minchiate, Rider-Waite tarot deck, Tarot of Marseilles
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Temperance (Tarot card)

Temperance (XIV)

Temperance (XIV) is the fourteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.


  • Description 1
  • Alternative decks 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Temperance (Italian: La Temperanza) appears in the oldest Italian decks where it is numbered VI or VII. In the Tarot de Marseille and in most contemporary decks the card is numbered XIV. In the Thoth Tarot and decks influenced by it, this card is called Art rather than Temperance.[1]

A woman mixing water into wine was a standard allegory of Temperance in European iconography. This statue is part of Peter of Verona's tomb.

Temperance is almost invariably depicted as a person pouring liquid from one receptacle into another. Historically, this was a standard symbol of the virtue temperance, one of the cardinal virtues, representing the dilution of wine with water. In many decks, the person is a winged person/angel, usually female or androgynous, and stands with one foot on water and one foot on land.

In the Rider-Waite image by Pamela Coleman-Smith (shown on this page) the Hebrew Tetragrammaton is on the angel's chest above the square and triangle. In the derivative Tarot decks this is usually not included.

Alternative decks

In the X/1999 Tarot version made by CLAMP, The Temperance is Arashi Kishuu.

In popular culture

  • In The House of the Dead 4, part of Sega's The House of the Dead series of light gun games, Temperance is the name of the fourth boss, a giant zombie who is ironically morbidly obese, and almost impervious to attack. All of the bosses in the House of the Dead are named after cards from the Major Arcana, and Temperance in particular was designed to invert the meaning of its namesake card.
  • In the SNES video game Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen, the Temperance Tarot card depicts a woman instead of a winged angel wearing white robes and gathering water from a marsh. On drawing the card after liberation of one of the towns, it increases the Reputation Meter by 2 points, and cures all characters infected by status ailments when used in battle.[2]
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, "Temperance" was among the Major Arcana-based "Arcana Force" cards used by second season villain Sartorius, later released in the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. It has the ability to negate battle damage to a player if they discard it from their hand or to halve damage received by either you or your opponent.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, one of DIO's henchmen, Rubber Soul, has a Stand named after the Temperance card, called Yellow Temperance, which coats his skin with a yellow substance that allows him to take the form of any person he desires.
  • In "The Binding of Isaac," there are a series of usable items that correspond to the cards in the major arcana. The Temperance card can be used to summon a "blood donation machine"; a device that allows the player to trade their health points for currency.


  1. ^ Scribes, Joanne Sacred. "TAROT - The Royal Road: 14 TEMPERANCE XIV". TAROT - The Royal Road. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  2. ^ Ogre Battle - Tarot Cards
  • A. E. Waite's 1910 Pictorial Key to the Tarot
  • Hajo Banzhaf, Tarot and the Journey of the Hero (2000)
  • Most works by Joseph Campbell
  • G. Ronald Murphy, S.J., The Owl, The Raven, and The Dove: Religious Meaning of the Grimm's Magic Fairy Tales (2000)
  • Juliette Wood, Folklore 109 (1998):15-24, The Celtic Tarot and the Secret Tradition: A Study in Modern Legend Making (1998)

External links

  • Temperantia - Sophrosune - Temperance from The Pythagorean Tarot
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