XVIII. The Moon

The Moon
Efflorescent Tarot

Card Meaning

The Moon is a card of intuition, the unconscious, and mystery. The Moon symbolizes the deeper and more intuitive parts of the mind and how these parts influence us when they surface. It can represent our “gut” or “animal” instincts.

The moon is our primary natural source of light at night, and by the light of the moon things may or may not be as they seem. In the same way, our unconscious can bring our attention to important things by showing them to us in a new light. But it can also distort reality. The crawdad coming up from the water can symbolize the “monsters” hiding deep within us. When we get a peek at them, we can be frightened or disgusted.

I adore this insight from Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life: “The French idiom entre chin et loup (literal translation: ‘between dog and wolf’) describes the time just before nightfall when the light makes these two animals indistinguishable.” He tells us that the Moon communicates to us to equally value the “friendly and familiar” part of our mind (the conscious mind / the dog) and the “unknown-and-seemingly-dangerous” part (the unconscious / the wolf) (125).

The Moon
Gypsy Palace Tarot

Both the Animal Wisdom Tarot and the Animism Tarot use the rabbit to represent the Moon. I particularly like how Joanna’s rabbit peers into the water and sees not her own reflection, but another rabbit and another moon. While the world seen through the light of the Moon may be magical, we have to be careful not to lose our way. Huszka’s depiction seems a bit more ominous, perhaps speaking more to the warning of deception, including self-deception.

A shadow of the Moon can be deception, lunacy, or spending too much time in the depths of the unconscious. An opposite or reverse of the Moon can be a fear of the unknown/mysterious, a refusal to explore the more mysterious parts of our consciousness, or the inability to handle the creatures we may find there.

Elemental Association

If I were to assign an element to the Moon, it would be water since the Moon represents the mysteries of the unconscious.

Personal Reflection

I like to peek at the “Questions for Reflection” in Quinn’s Tarot for Life when doing this part of my posts, especially when I’m not sure how to relate to a card. One question for the Moon is, “What are your recurring dreams, and what is their message?” (127)

The Moon - animals
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

I don’t have recurring dreams, per se, but I do have recurring things that happen in dreams from time to time. The plot totally differs, but these three things pop up as pieces of my dreams with some frequency:

  1. Gum is stuck in my teeth and I spend the dream (no matter the plot) picking gum out of my teeth. I can really feel the gum in my teeth and a relief when I snap a piece out. But there’s a never-ending supply in there :p
  2. I am smoking, and it is incredible. I am what you might call a goody-two-shoes, so between that and my responsibilities as a teen / young adult, I have never so much as taken one tiny puff of a cigarette or really even desired to. But in my dreams, oh! I sit on a porch or a curb and light up and there’s nothing like it.
  3. I am trying on clothes to go somewhere, and I can’t find anything to wear. I spend the entire dream trying clothes on, taking them off, and digging through drawers or closets. It’s amazingly frustrating.

And I have no idea what any of this means. I am a believer in past lives, so sometimes I wonder if I was a smoker in one (or more!). I don’t tend to put much stock in my dreams as having meanings. Sometimes one will come along that is packed with symbolism and I think, “Okay, I know what that means,” but most of the time I just assume it’s my brain firing off doing its night time filing.

I admit the Moon card is still a bit of a mystery to me, but considering its nature, I’m okay with that 🙂

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