The angel Barbara G. Walker chose to depict Temperance is powerful in her calmness. She skillfully pours water from one jug to another. As water is the element of emotions, this symbolizes that she has her emotions under control, but they are not repressed. They are allowed to flow. She expresses them with poise and skillfulness.
However, amongst all this order, you'll notice that the jugs are red, the color of passion--passion is tempered and molded by wisdom into something useful. Even the trees behind her are organic, but ordered from tallest to shortest. This is not a wild card. It represents intelligence and dignity. At the same time, it respects nature, and passion is part of nature. Those who live a balanced life must respect nature, for it has its own temperance. Those who practice true temperance acknowledge passion.
Like Barbara G. Walker, Robin Wood's Temperance has golden wings. Gold is the color of Heaven and riches, and is a masculine color. The questioner may be accessing higher planes of existence, and soaring to new heights. The golden ball in the angels right hand (the "masculine" hand) also represents these qualities.
The other two balls are silver and crystal. Silver is the color of intuition, a feminine color, and, with the gold, indicates the balance between the masculine and feminine, the intellectual and the intuitive, the sun and the moon. The crystal ball symbolizes foresight. Temperance smoothly balances all these aspects and qualities.
Another detail that Robin Wood's and Barbara G. Walker's Temperance have in common is that they are in the same pose--one foot on the land, and another in the water. This means that there is skill in the "real" material, intellectual world (the land), and also in the emotional, creative, mysterious realm (the water). As you can see, the land is immaculate and the water is a pristine, crystal blue, so everything is in harmony.
A path leads from the water to the mountains in the background. The mountains are mysterious, but the sun is breaking over them, the future with all its gifts and challenges will be revealed. The questioner has the skills to bring their ideas from the abstract realm of dreams and wishes (the water) and into reality.
The Celtic Deck shows a woman standing in the liminal space of land and water of a swamp, again demonstrating the balance between practicality and imagination, and the skill of bringing dreams into reality. She pours the water of emotions into the golden cups--there's that color again!--and turns the intangible emotions, fantasies and subconscious desires and insights into sources of all kinds of riches--material, creative, and spiritual. These gifts are for the questioner.
Kris Waldherr's Temperance is represented by the goddess Yemana. Yemana is an orisha--a deity of the African and Afro-Caribbean beliefs of the Yoruba tradition. She is also known as Yemaya or Yemajya. Yemaya/Yemana/Yemajya is a lunar goddess and the orisha of the sea. She guards all ocean life, and she also protects mothers and children on land. The land and the sea are of equal value to her--metaphorically, the concrete and the abstract, the intellectual and the emotional, the conscious and the unconscious, are in balance.
If Temperance turns up in a reading, it means that the questioner already has the qualities Temperance symbolizes, such as control, harmony, poise, and balance, or could do with developing some of them. It may indicate a leveling off of energy that has been frenetic. It may also be a reassurance before a change or an increase of responsibility that the questioner can handle it.
If drawn reversed, Temperance is giving the questioner a wake-up call. Things are dangerously out of balance, and harmony is endangered. The questioner is taking on too much, or choosing a path that is unhealthy for them. The questioner may be feeling out of control, or sickened mentally and physically. The questioner must seek help if necessary. On a smaller level, the questioner needs to look at her priorities and lifestyle.