Diving Deep with Temperance

by Barbara Moore

Pathworking the Tarot

Leeza Robertson

Most experienced readers know that theory will only take you so far. You can read a hundred books on what the cards mean, but until you experience them in a conscious way, you don’t really know them. There are lots of ways to experience the cards…we experience them or what they represent every day. But there is a difference between merely reading about them or experiencing without knowing it. Pathworking is a way that anyone can connect with the cards on a more meaningful level.

Don’t know what I mean? Well here’s an excerpt from Robertson’s latest book. She discusses the Temperance card, then offers three different styles of pathworking. You may want to pick just one or try all three.


Temperance sits between Death and the Devil. She bridges who you were with what is on offer for who you could be. She stands ready to heal your wounds and prepare you for what lays beyond within the devil’s playground. In this respect, Temperance brings past, present and future and molds them together to create something completely new. You are not who you once were, and now she needs to mold your new image. This requires balance, expertise and refinement, since she must attend to the after birth of your new self while cleaning up the mess left behind from the death of the ego. She does all of these while preparing you to walk through the residual energy of your past self. This residual energy will be in abundance, once you cross over to the Devil card.

Temperance’s work is complicated, specialized, and unique, as she must change and alter her healing techniques for every individual that crosses her path. What works for you will not work for the next person who comes to her healing waters. Temperance is a magician in her own right, molding and weaving together elements to make something beautiful, resilient and strong. She takes her task very seriously, and when you stand before her, you will have all of her attention. Having someone this focused on you and your well-being may be new to you, and it could make you feel uncomfortable and exposed. In your very raw state, this level of exposure may make you feel anxious and even slightly paranoid. Temperance is going to see things that you and other people may have missed, such as details and information that will help you navigate your next steps. Therefore, ask her questions,ask her what she sees, ask her for guidance and for words of advice. Ask as many questions as you feel you can find to ask, because once you leave Temperance behind, her healing magic and her focus will shift onto the next person.



Temperance is best known for bringing two opposing elements together and making something beautiful and unique with them. This is why she is often referred to as the alchemist. She can basically take something that others would discard or look over and make it to something precious and desirable. Remove the Temperance card from your deck and place it in front of you face up. Shuffle the remaining cards and ask Temperance what two elements or things she wants you to blend together. Shuffle the cards until you feel down and fan them out in front of you. Scan your hand over the cards and select the two cards that either heat up or give off a prickling feeling in your palm. Turn them your two cards over and have a look and see what trick Temperance wants you to pull off. You may wish to journal with these cards for a while as making a recipe for these two cards may take you some time. Just trust that the two cards you have drawn are the correct ones. Do not be tempted to put them back in the deck and try again just because you don’t like the pair you have been given. Remember, Temperance sees things others miss. She knows what ingredients you need. All you have to do is blend them.


Temperance has a long connection to the rainbow. Even in my very own Animal Totem Tarot, we see a flamingo that has a rainbow being formed by the waterfall behind it. In the original Rider-Waite-Smith image, the artist was very heavily influenced by the goddess Iris, who was the personification of the rainbow and was said to be a messenger from God. In today’s spiritual community, you often hear of how loved ones have crossed over the rainbow bridge, meaning they have passed away, which isinteresting, as Temperance is considered a bridge. Mix Iris and temperance together, and you have a rainbow bridge crossing from the heavens to the earth plane and back again. This is a wonderful image to meditate on, to see the rainbow as a sort of heavenly conveyor belt. Get yourself comfortable and take a few nice deep breaths.  Visualize the answers and solutions to your problems and questions sliding down the rainbow into Temperance’s arms, as she mixes you a drink while you pull up a seat to her spiritual bar. Just picture yourself sipping on something cool and smooth, as all of the things you ever wanted just come gliding down the rainbow bridge. Know that with each sip of the cocktail that Temperance has mixed for you is healing your body, calming your mind and restoring your soul. Take your time with your drink and spend as much time as you want hanging out at Temperance’s bar. When there appears to be nothing left coming down the rainbow bridge then you know it is time to leave. Take a few nice deep breathes, say thank you and carry on with your day.


Temperance lands at number fourteen in the Major Arcana, between Death and the Devil. Her numbers connect her to the Hierophant, as 1+4=5. This means we have come to another card that brings change through knowledge and understanding, but this time, instead of it being so rigid and formal, it is more intuitive and experimental. Where the hierophant likes to keep to a strict and ancient code of conduct, Temperance likes to mix things up. Today as you wander around in Temperance’s shoes, think about how you can change things around, mix things up and bring some rainbow energy into your daily habit or routine. Consider taking a different way home. Go down to a shopping center or Mall that is new to you. Take a new class or even just say a hello to someone you normally walk straight past during the day. Use the fire energy of this card to get into the ‘doing’ energy of change. The best adventures are taken by those who actively step into them. Temperance says, “Now it’s your turn!”


Share this

Explore more

Popular posts