The Moon: Existence of Illusion

I’ve always been fascinated by the moon and particularly in awe when I’ve encountered a full moon in a clear night sky. In the past few years however, I’ve become more aware of its significance in astrology, and occult practices in general: it is associated with femininity because of its cycles, represents the subconscious in it’s position between the sun (conscious) and the dark night (unconscious), and also symbolize the cycle of life itself as it goes through its phases from new moon, to crescent, to full and waning.

The moon is also associated with my Zodiac sign, Cancer. Cancer is a water sign and is associated with being emotional and sensitive, having great empathy and also a strong intuition. Check, check and again check!

18. THE MOON

The Moon from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

What you see: The moon in three phases sits in the sky between two towers. It illuminates a path leading into the distance. In the foreground is a small pond, which a red crayfish crawls out of, onto the path. On either side of the path is grassy fields with a dog on the left and a wolf on the right, both howling at the moon. Fifteen yods from the Jewish alphabet, sit in the sky.

What it means: The Moon symbolizes the subconscious state, shining a light (though not as bright as the sun’s) on the path representing life’s journey. The crayfish with its armour, is starting its journey out of the water that signifies the subconscious, and crawls between the wild and tamed beasts. The towers represent good and evil, and the yods symbolize intellectual light guiding.

The story: As a character, the Moon represents an illusion or something that isn’t what it appears. As an event, it means an uncertain path ahead that will be hard to navigate. As a relationship, it symbolizes uncertainty or even deception. As an event, it calls to use your intuition and subconscious.

As part of the Fool’s Journey: The Moon is the beginning of the death sequence; a moment of illusion and fear for the unknowns ahead.

Reversed meaning: When reversed, the card represents misunderstanding or a deception that was not detected.

In mythology: Selene was the Greek Goddess of the Moon, who visited the Earth in eight phases. Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and Hecate, Goddess of Witchcraft, were also associated with the moon.

Potential insights: Sometimes our paths takes us through areas that are hard to steer through; we may find ourselves confused, uncertain and even fearful. At times like that it is best to trust our instincts and intuition.

This card seems fairly straightforward, but in reality we don’t often make it a point to quiet down and listen to what our gut is telling us. This is a reminder.

My research sources:
A Complete Guide to the Tarot, Eden Gray, 1970
Tarot Card Meanings, Biddy Tarot
Card Meanings, Labyrinthos

Deck: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®

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Tarot Stories

A Canadian marketing strategist learning storytelling through the Tarot, and maybe finding the meaning of life along the way.