The Tarot Moon card either takes us deeper within through dreamwork and meditation or it takes us into the realm of fear. It’s a card of illusion, projection and delusion to those who refuse to face their own shadow and a card of release and deep wisdom who choose to shine the light of their conscious awareness on the darkest corners of their psyche.
1. This is the ultimate ‘Know Thyself’ card. Until we face our shadows, we cannot emerge whole and fully individualised. This card is foreshadowed in the Strength card but whereas things we tend to repress are tolerated and handled with compassion in Strength, a different process is needed in the Moon. The reason is that we are dealing with thoughts and feelings too painful to bring to the surface unless we can somehow transmute them. We are also dealing with patterns that take patience to detect. Spending many years doing dreamwork will yield a different level of awareness than understanding the meaning of just one dream because we begin to see the whole picture of our psyche rather than just one detail.
2. The Sun-Moon symbol at the top of the card shows us psychic wholeness. The Sun represents the conscious mind and the Moon the unconscious mind. We need to harness the power of both to completely free ourselves from fear, masks and self-imposed limitations. The pool of water is another symbol of the unconscious mind. From it a crayfish emerges.
The crayfish scavenges the depths of the pool, much like our dream consciousness scavenges the depths of the psyche while we are sleeping. The tame dog and wild wolf-dog are other symbols of conscious/unconscious. A humanoid expression of the double nature signified by the two dogs are Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, where Mr Hyde literally becomes everything we fear and seek to repress. The wild dog can be seen as the id and the tame dog is the super ego. Neither is a full representation of the Self.
3. Looking at the meaning A.E. Waite intended for the Tarot Moon card, we learn that ‘The card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit.’ Waite sees the crayfish as a ‘nameless and hideous tendency which is lower than the savage beast,’ i.e. too terrible to even contemplate. The ‘dew of thought’ falling from the Sun-Moon urges the creature to fall back into the depths of the unconscious. My understanding of Waite’s take on this archetype is that he wasn’t willing to face what was lurking in his own depths.
4. The highest spiritual potential of the Moon card lies in dispelling fear as an unconscious driver. There truly is nothing that is too terrible to examine in the light of consciousness… but it does take courage!
5. When the The Moon shows up as the challenge, some questions for self-examination might be… ‘What nudges have I noticed lately from my dreams/unconscious mind?,’ ‘How is fear the main motivator in some of my life choices now?,’ ‘Is there a limiting pattern that I am in denial about?,’ and ‘Am I being honest about my motives?’.
6. The Zodiac correspondence for the Moon Tarot card is Pisces. All things hidden fall under the domain of the 12th (Piscean) House in the Zodiac. The corresponding archangel is Asariel, angelic ruler of Neptune. Asariel can help clear the confusion of the mind to help us be completely honest with ourselves.
I realise it gets confusing, The Sun Tarot card corresponds with The Sun so you might think The Moon should correspond with The Moon but the High Priestess is the card corresponding with The Moon in the Golden Dawn system of correspondences.
7. On a Moon sort of day, you may…
- Feel confused
- Suspect someone of keeping secrets from you
- Hide something from someone (or yourself)
- Lie to yourself
- Have a powerful dream
- Find that your expectations don’t match reality
- Have vivid imagination
- Feel anxious
- Use conscious altering substances
- Have very unusual and possibly frightening thoughts
- Suffer from a phobia
- Be unable to see things clearly
- Put your inner demons to rest
- Understand a lifelong unconscious pattern
- Have nightmares
- Be emotionally sensitive
- Lack boundaries
- Suffer from delusions
The Frideborg Tarot Moon card
People living deeply have no fear of death.
~ Anais Nin