Thoughts on Major Arcana 18, The Moon
This is an entry for the Jupiter Frequency Tarot Translation Group, where a few tarotists all answer the same question, each in their own way. See what others had to say about the Moon by visiting the Jupiter Frequency Tarot Translation Group page.
The Moon is perhaps the most confusing card in the deck. That is not surprising, though, because one of the key words for the Moon is "confusion." Other key words are "treachery," "illusion," "deceit," "lunacy," "hidden enemies," "psychic work," "magick," "feminine spirituality," "spirituality," "mysteries."
How can one card have such a spectrum of meanings, ranging from danger to confusion to spirituality?
Historically, the actual moon has always been associated with feminine spirituality, i.e. witchcraft. In earlier times, people feared the spiritual power that comes from magick, especially as performed by women. I often think that the demonizing of Major Arcana 18 reflected the sexism of the times in which the early tarotists lived.
But there is a thin line between psychic and psychotic, and between illusion and clarity. Things in the moonlight appear differently than they really are. This is a beautiful allegory for our search for our true spiritual path; our search for enlightenment.
It is easy to miss the path as we journey toward our spiritual truth. It is easy to become waylaid, and taken in by illusion.
Many people see the Moon card as a warning, and maybe it is. Maybe it is a warning for us to trust our intuition, for us to stay on our path and not be fooled by those who would tempt us off it.
The Moon falls in the last third of the Major Arcana, which I see as the journey toward spiritual enlightenment. In its placement between the Star and the Sun we see the need to find our own truth, to pay attention to our dreams and to solve our own spiritual mysteries.
When the Moon comes up in a reading, it often suggests the need to focus on spiritual matters. It may tell you to pay attention to your dreams. It may suggest you have some mysteries in your life that need to be solved. It may tell you to be careful what you trust.
Here is a poem I wrote about The Moon, from my 78 Poems Project.
Mistress of the dark is she, and keeper of the light
Emerging from the water's depth, I stumble in the night.
Howling wolves and baying dogs echo in my ear
Behind each rock and shadow lurk treachery and fear.
Moving through the midnight land as one moves in dreams
Nothing under moonlit skies is just the way it seems.
Spirit rains in droplets that dance before in my eyes
Intuition is the enemy of treachery and lies.
Her gift is in the dreamtime, when anything may be,
Her light shines down from blackened skies, and shows my path to me.