Card XIIII: Temperance (La Tempérance)

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            The number 14 is equal to 12 + 2, which is to say, to a evolutionary period which has been completed, locked within a polarity. This is why this Card, drawing its power from a concentration resulting from the experience of a completed cycle, operates in a closed circuit, motivating a movement between two passive reservoirs which compensate for each other.

General and Abstract Meaning

            This card symbolizes THE GREAT RESERVOIR OF POSSIBILITIES BETWEEN THE ETERNAL GAME OF THE ENERGIES OF MATTER; it represents ETERNAL CONTINUATION; it comes after Card XIII because it does not mark an end.

Specific Analogies

            The figure is that of an angel in order to signify immateriality and to show that its action is not the fruit of human endeavor. It has blue hair, a sign of spirituality. The red star on the figure’s forehead gives guidance and shows that it can only act on the physical plane. The figure’s wings, flesh-colored, locates its action on the living plane.

            The red arms show her penetration into the physical plane, her bodice of diverse colors makes it above all intellectual and spiritual, a covering which conceals the divine; its work takes place entirely in the world of energies.

            The robe is half red, half blue, because equilibrium must be maintained as much in spirituality as in the material, and they cannot be separated.

            The angel is leaning to make it clear that it is the blue vase of physical spirituality which it pours into the the red vase of materiality. The position of its hands and its posture are unchanging; if the angel remained upright, it would suggest that she could lean in the other direction.

            The two vases symbolize the perpetual renewal which establishes balance between the material and the spiritual; the one eternally passing into the other without ever filling it, the material forever renewing itself. The colorless water, which is to say, neutral, represents the fluid uniting the two poles and thereby neutralizing them; leaving the same blue vase and returning, following the principle of the flux and reflux of forces.

            The angel is standing on yellow ground with green herbs in order to show that it has a divine base in its action on the material plane, a base which produces an earthly, but not divine, bloom.

Orientation of the Figure

            The body is facing the viewer, but her head is turned to the left, thus indicating that she is taking time to reflect since, as temperance reconciles extremes, action requires taking the time necessary to be performed effectively.

Specific and Concrete Meaning

            The name “TEMPÉRANCE” has been given to it since this card has to do with reconciliation in all things.

Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes

            MENTAL.  She bears the spirit of conciliation, the absence of passion in judgement; she expresses a sense of the profundity of things, thus representative of an eternal principle, a psychic personality, not imposing any notion of fixity, but rather something plastic–which is to say, moving, and adapting to circumstances.

            ANIMISTIC.  Entities brought to gather by affinity; under the influence of this card, they are contented, but do not evolve and do makes exchanges between one another.

            PHYSICAL. In business, conciliation. Weighing the pros and cons, finding the right arrangements to make, but not knowing if the undertaking will be crowned with success; reflexion, a decision which will not immediately be acted on.

            With respect to health: incurable affliction, since it is engendering its own fermentation.

            INVERTED. Trouble, discord, but prevarications and and hesitations will be eliminated.


            In sum, in its Elementary Sense, “LA TEMPÉRANCE” represents the task of adapting in the face of a new pursuit, the task of becoming malleable which which Man accomplishes in order to adapt to something new, and in a broader sense, material energies adapting to spiritual energies.   

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