The Moon : Preview from Unlocking The Arcana

maj18“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” Tupac Shakur 


Moving onward leaving the serenity that is The Star we come into contact with The Moon and are spellbound by its influence. Along with the stars the Moon has captivated the imaginations of mankind for as long as we can remember. When the Moon is full it glows bright, gazing into it can put you into a hypnotic state because of it beauty. The Moon is mysterious and is rich in mythology and symbolism.

The Moon card depicts a scene that is dark and mysterious. There are no humans, only animals. The full moon shines down on a dog and wolf who howl into the night. A lobster or crab is emerging from the water. There is a trail that leads from the water down into the foreground passing two pillar structures similar to those we saw in the Death card.

The Moon is associated the subconscious, emotion, intuition and creativity. The Moon is linked with the High Priestess because of their similarities with intuition, subconscious and psychic tendencies. The water in the card represents our unconscious. This card is connected with such right brained activates as poetry, drawing, music, dramatic acting and dance. Anything outside of the realm of logic and order is in the realm of The Moon.

On the other hand The Moon represents illusions and misinformation. Everything is not as it seems.  The Moon does not actually produce its own light; it reflects the light from the Sun. The light from the Sun removes darkness and shows reality. The Moon since it reflects only a part of the Sun’s light we only see some of the truth; we get part of the whole picture. The full moon lights the path in the card for us to walk, but we need to proceed with caution. We can’t see far ahead, our eyes may play tricks on us. What that a person or just a shadow I just saw? What is that sound? Is someone following me? There is a sense of paranoia here, doubt and fear. Because we don’t see the whole picture we try to fill in the rest by what we perceive might be there. This might be right it could be wrong. Our perceptions are subjective, often our senses can fool us and what we perceive to be happening is not. It’s all in our mind. The Moon is subjective because of its nature of fluctuation, the Moon controls the tides. The rising and lowering of the ocean represents the change in emotion and fluctuation in perception.

The Moon is third in line of the stages of increasing enlightenment by the representation of increasing light. Remember, Lightening from The Tower, star light in The Star and now Moon light. More is revealed to us with the moon light. However what is revealed to us is not objective information. Things are not revealed by logic but by intuition and the voice inside, especially by our dreams. Dreams are an important association to The Moon card. Dreams reflect on the things we process during our waking conscious state. Dreams help us solve problems by offering solutions; they let us face our fears in a safe environment where no harm can come to us. Dreams also reveal to us future events and connect us with those who have passed on. The Moon card signals you to pay attention to your dreams and your intuition over all.

In classical mythology the moon has been personified as a female goddess. In traditional esoteric thought the energy of a female has been associated with the intuition, unconscious, and the kind of unknown or mysterious side the Moon represents. Women are also associated with the moon because of the link between the cycle of the Moon and a women’s menstruation cycle. The Triple Goddess is linked to the Moon because the phases of the moon reflects the maiden, mother, crone that the Triple Goddess represents. Hecate is an example of the Triple Goddess.

In Greek mythology the Moon is associated with Selene the Titan Goddess of the Moon, this is pre-Olympian world view. When the Olympians took control Artemis became the goddess of the moon. Artemis was the twins with Apollo (god of the sun); Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, wild animals, hunting among other roles. The wilderness and wild animals is an important one in association to The Moon card. The Moon card features an open landscape, set out in the wilderness. As I mentioned before there is a dog, wolf and lobster/crab. The dog and wolf represent our animal nature, one that is domesticated (dog) and the other wild and free (wolf). Artemis had dogs in her companion during her hunts. Another goddesses closely associated with the Moon is Hecate. Hecate was the goddess of the crossroads and magic. Hecate also had dogs in her company, dogs are sacred to Hecate. What is it about the dog that makes them so closely linked with the moon and the moon goddess? The senses dogs are more keen then that of humans. Dogs smell and hear things that humans cannot. This ability makes the dog appear to have a sixth sense and thus makes them to appear as a psychic animal. Waite wrote that the dog and wolf are “the fears of the natural mind”. The crab emerging out of the water was seen by Waite as the manifesting of the animal nature. I can understand that view; however I see it as the manifesting of your intuitiveness and the awaking of the unconscious.

Numerologically, The Moon is card 18. 1+8= 9, The Hermit. The Hermit held out a lantern out into the darkness to bring illumination to the dark. To be a guiding light to others. While The Hermit is often an external guide The Moon transcends. The Moon is a guiding light in the darkness of night, calling people to be their own guides, to delve into the unconsciousness. 1-8= 7, The Chariot. The Chariot and The Moon both depict two creatures. The Chariot has two sphinxes (black and white) and The  Moon has a dog and wolf. The creatures in The Chariot are controlled, in The Moon the creatures are free. This can represent the freedom of the imagination and the wildness of the Self when it has no master (logos/Logic) which is missing in The Moon.

Astrologically The Moon is linked to Pisces and Neptune.  Pisces is represented by the two fish swimming in opposite directions linked by a think cord. The swimming in opposite directions can denote inability to make a decision. The Moon card is not a good card for making any actions or decisions because as we already understand the facts are not all there, the picture is not complete, all we have is our perceptions and subjective experience of the situation. The direction of the fish can also be symbolic of be pulled in different directions, as represented by the dog and wolf as two opposing forces. Neptune is the ruling planet here; Neptune is associated with illusions which reinforce the nature of the moon as a card of illusion.

In tradition The Moon was seen as a negative card because of its female qualities. In a world ran by men of course they would fear the female because they could not understand its nature. So cards like The Moon which are heavily female in nature would then been seen as negative. This is not the case however. The Moon is not a negative card. It is just a mysterious card that is linked to the underworking of your unconscious, what can be so scary about that?

In readings when The Moon appears it can indicate that you may need to be more consciousness of the unconsciousness. What does this mean? It means you need to pay attention to the way you react to people and situations. The Moon is a card rooted in emotion and emotions can change at the drop of a hat. Pay attention to these shifts in moods and feelings. The Moon suggests that there may be influences at work in the situation with remain unknown at the moment. There may be a person working in the shadows influencing things or there may be something at work internally which you are not aware of. For example you may be jealous of someone but you do not know this consciously. The Moon may suggest that things are changing and are not fixed at this time so do not build houses on sand so to speak. The concept of illusions is important as The Moon may be telling you things are not clear at the moment and you are only seeing part of the whole and seeing illusions, filling in the missing parts with your mind. The Moon can also indicate lies and deceitful tactics so be careful. Be more aware of what is happening around you.

When ill-dignified The Moon can represent deception, manipulation, people trying to take advantage of you by tricking you. You may fall victim to your emotions, which can get the best of you. Repressed emotions may bubble up which you are not ready to handle. On the same token you may be repressing a feeling which you are attempting to ignore. The Moon when ill dignified can also represent an escapism mentality in which you escape reality and attach yourself to a dream world, fantasy or your creation. It is a card of denial.




The recipient of Tarosophist of the Year 2011, Angelo Nasios is a rising voice in the tarot community. Angelo is known for his popular YouTube channel in which he produces educational tarot videos. Tarot: Unlocking the Arcana, Angelo’s first book will be released by Schiffer Publishing.

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