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The Tottenham Hotspur Tarot: XIV – Temperance

Go with the flow.

Mystical wanderers,,,,hello. I, Troy Parrott, Tarot Pro, am continuing our journey through and exploration of the Tarot. What else am I to do while recovering from an appendectomy?

We are now over halfway through our our examination of the 22 major arcana cards, using a special North London themed deck of my own design. Draw the cards, gentle reader. See what they have to say.

Today, we move on to Card XIV: Temperance.

XIV: Temperance


Balance, moderation, patience


Imbalance, unintended consequences, excess, recklessness

Temperance is all about flow. Water imagery is everywhere. A winged angel wearing flowing robes of white stands in front of a river, with one foot in the water. A path meanders through the background, up the mountains, to where a golden crown hovers in the air. Water reeds and flowers grow behind the angel, who pours water — or is that white wine? — between two goblets.

This is a card of balance. Every augury deck needs at least one. Liquid flows from one point to another and then back. The river meanders in its own time. Nothing is bombastic, all is tranquil. You might say the scene looks Nice.

Upright, the Temperance card represents tranquility and peace. All is in its proper place. The figure is neither base nor majestic, though he does have a substantial air of leadership about him, does he not? He does not scream... unless he must. He does not tarry... unless it is required. The Temperance figure maintains the proper order between extremes and regulates the flow between them to keep everything tip-top. Draw the Temperance card upright and it is a call to remain patient and forthright in your actions. This card is suggesting that order is needed, or actions should be taken to maintain the current balance. Now is not the time for rash actions. Everything in moderation. Keep Calm and Carry On.

Inverted, Temperance would suggest the opposite, that something in your life is out of balance. Or perhaps you have taken actions that have put things out of order, inviting chaos. It is a sign that you’ve been engaging in self-destructive activities — say, for example, overindulging in the bottle and attempting to drive home yourself causing you to be arrested by the authorities and chastised by your employer. Just an example, obviously. Obviously, the balance could tip too far in the other direction as well, with similar destructive results, even when taken with the best of intentions. These imbalances can obviously have a detrimental effect on your life, and can throw everything out of whack.

The inverted Temperance would be an invitation to self-reflection, to understand why your life is out of balance and contemplate what you need to do to make amends. It can be a true wake-up call for the person who draws it, but can also be a profound motivator for self-healing and forgiveness.

If a person’s psyche is a ship, you might say that Temperance is is the keel — it prevents the boat from listing too far in any one direction. It doesn’t prevent the captain from making the ship turn if desired, but if working properly it will keep the crew from getting too wet.

Come back tomorrow and we shall discuss the next card in the Tottenham Hotspur Tarot.