In Temperance we see a beautiful Angel, Archangel Michael, an alchemist no less, blending and mixing the different elixirs. The word Temperance comes from "temper", or "to temper", meaning "to dilute, qualify, or soften by the addition or influence of something else, to bring to a suitable state by mixing in or adding a usually liquid ingredient". Temperance is about rectifying extremes, always trying to find the comfortable middle. Homeostasis.
This is a time of blending and balance in your life as well. In the upright, it suggests that you are doing just that. That is not to say that life won't have its ups and downs, but that you will know how to traverse the landscape like a well adept traveler. You are able to blend and mix the different elements in your life successfully and maintain a sense of balance. Moderation is the key. Again, to moderate is to not be excessive or extreme, to be within reasonable limits. That is what this card is advising you to do.
Keep a sense of patience and consider all sides before any decision and you are sure to come out ahead. You are learning to work well with others, and when you take your time, practicing patience and moderation, thinking things over before making decisions, you are able to blend all of the elements in a given situation for the best outcome possible. Cooperation and compromise are key elements as well. The best results in any situation are found when each person brings the best they can to the table and together they are blended into a new whole. In some situations, you find your solution by adding a NEW element to already existing ones, to create a new outcome altogether.
Temperance is said to represent the search for higher meaning in your life. That is because of it's connection with Sagittarius, the seeker of truth, higher learning, and of course, meaning. You are looking down the road right now and have a clear head to help you determine the right path for your long range plans.
This is also the central card in the Tarot for healing. When this card comes up, it can signify something such as a doctor (further symbolized by the golden circle on his head similar to what a doctor used), or other types of healing. Because this card is about mixing things, it can literally be about medications. However it is frequently about finding balance or homeostasis in the body within the body systems. This is also the card of the healer, or Reiki practitioner as well.
While the upright shows us actively working to maintain a state of balance and harmony in our lives, in the reverse we are having a very difficult time doing so, and things are no longer under our control, flowing smoothly. There is no longer moderation, we have gotten off track and are in an extreme state. This creates an extreme amount of stress on the body, taking us out of that balanced homeostatic state that Temperance so aptly works to maintain. The maintenance is failing. Something in our lives, be it personal or professional is taking over too much time, emotion or focus, at the expense of other things.
This is a time for you to regain balance in your life. Things are WAY out of proportion. It is pivotal that you address what is draining you. We only have so much time and headspace, so when something is excessive in our lives, it truly is taking away from something else. It could be a relationship suffering under the strains of a job that is working you around the clock, or giving in to someone else too much at the expense of your own needs. You could be putting up with conditions or people at work to "keep the peace" at the expense of your own emotional sanity.
There is a disruption in the flow, and it is your job to figure out where the dam is, and unblock it. Your emotional well-being is at stake. In some cases, you may need to recognize that you are giving too much of yourself, trying to do the right thing. Being a "people-pleaser" ends up being very taxing, and as hard as it is, you have to figure out what instances are those where you really do need to give, and which you need to pass on to give to yourself. Usually this manifests in an imbalance that results in being physically and mentally drained or exhausted.Once again, return to the previous card, in this case Death, and determine what you need to cut out or prune so that you may move forward.
It could be that you are the one who is being unfair and taking more than you are giving, though usually this card comes up for the person who feels like they are giving too much compared to what they are receiving. But it never hurts to take a look at your own side and see if you are doing the basics. At work, attempt to be a team-player. At home, try to give back and forth equally, even if you think you are giving 110%, someone else may see it another way. Try to see things from all perspectives. However in the situation where one person feels like they are doing a lot more of the giving, and not receiving enough in return, this can be a very emotionally taxing card. Their emotional bank account may feel as if it has more "charges" than "deposits", so they eventually go into a negative balance.
This could be that you are having a hard time envisioning your future. Sagittarius, the ruler of this card, is concerned with expansion, growth, the long range future, distance and greatness. When this card comes up reversed in relation to your future, it says you aren't really sure where you are going or what you want. Yes, this could be about your life direction in general, or, in relation to career or a relationship, it could be saying that you aren't certain about the job or the person, or that you don't exactly know how you think, or even want the situation to work out.
It could represent upsets in any of the processes in the body that promote homeostasis. As the card of healing, it can point to holistic and homeopathic care. As a healer, it could be a block of your energy gifts, reiki healing, chakra work, ect. because of the imbalance. No matter what the reason of the imbalance, one thing is clear, you need to cut whatever is not necessary, whatever is not working, and whatever is bringing you stress, out of your life if possible, or look for ways to reduce what you can, in order to regain your sense of peace and happiness.