Welcome to Full Moon Tarot, a blog dedicated to the beauty and mystery of Tarot.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Magnificent Moon Mysteries

If there are any words that could describe this past week or so, I think we can all come up with intense, scattered, emotional, intuitive, creative… just to name a few. The “mega moon” really created an intense, emotional yet scattered atmosphere, and coupled with the Moon in Scorpio that has followed directly after with its intensely emotional introspection seeking an outlet, I think it is safe to say, in the wise words of Neo, “Whoa”

A lot of people who are sensitive will have experienced a tumultuous week ~ emotional issues you thought were dead and buried have managed to creep their way back into your consciousness, demanding your attention; you may be reacting strongly and emotionally to events going on in your life and/or around the world; your intuition may be stronger then usual; you may be filled with creative energy that will explode if you don’t get it out ~ all of this and more could describe what you may have been going through recently.

In honour of the “mega moon” and the tremendous energies that have come with it, I am examining one of my absolute favourite cards in a tarot deck, The Moon. I adore this card; in fact, the Moon and the High Priestess are the two cards that make me decide whether I will buy a deck or not. Interestingly, the Moon and the High Priestess are “sister” cards, each being a different level or gateway of your spiritual journey.

With Pisces as it's ruling sign, the Moon is all about visions and illusions, creativity and emotions, dreams and nightmares. There are many aspects to this fascinating card that can't be “summed up”in a single sentence.

The Moon ~ Rider-Waite/Smith
 In the Rider-Waite/Smith and RWS inspired decks, the Moon often has a distinctly feminine appearance, and this is because the Moon is the feminine receptive energy to the Sun's forthright masculine energy. In the Golden Dawn tradition (of which Rider-Waite and Smith were both a part) the Moon held negative connotations, such as living in false illusion, trickery or thievery, dark deeds, dark times and the like. A possible theory for this could be because men were afraid of the feminine mysteries encompassed by woman.

When you are reading or studying the cards, one of the first things you should look at is the imagery within the card ~ what images/symbols do you see, and what could they possibly mean? This is the first step in breaking down and working with the various layers contained in any card. Being a Major Arcana card, the Moon will of course have many layers of meaning to offer us, and sometimes this can become confusing, no matter how much experience you have.

The most common symbols you will find in most Moon cards are the Yods, which appear in RWS and RWS inspired decks, denote wisdom from the Divine (however you see it). There are two dogs ~ one savage, one tame; these often represent choice or struggle. The crab usually represents us, hard on the outside with our defences up or projected images we want to the world to perceive us with, emerging from the waters of the subconscious. The two towers are symbols of what is safe, and therefore attractive and appealing on our spiritual path because they look “easy” but are in fact illusions; the path, if taken properly, is actually clear to see in the moonlight and a clear path can be seen on the Moon card. The two towers can also be related back to the Moon's sister card The High Priestess as the two pillars that stand behind her.

With these basic symbols and meanings in mind, let's explore the Moon card deeper.

The energy of the Moon is often that of chaos. It can be insanity or artistic genius, or blocked/repressed emotions/creativity/sexuality that are now bubbling under the surface seeking release. Illusion and delusion could be rife; we have to use our intuition to guide us through the sometimes murky waters of existence to get to the real truth. All of these things relate very much to the “mega moon” and Moon in Scorpio energy we have just been through.

9 of Swords ~ Gilded Tarot

Because the Moon has a monthly cycle, so the Moon card is often associated with cycles in our lives, similar to the Wheel but in a much more intense way. Where the Wheel is very general about the cycles of life and the need to trust in them, usually for the good, the Moon is about a specific cycle in our life ~ those cycles that see us feeling incredibly creative, emotional, intuitive. Madness, depression, emotional cycles, are often represented by the Moon, sometimes in quite extreme states. The Moon can represent having difficulty dealing with a time in your life that is incredibly huge, such as depression, mental illness or drug addiction. A lessor, more common interpretation could be the facing down of an emotional challenge and taking action, symbolised by the crab emerging from the waters of the subconscious and walking the path illuminated in the card by the moonlight. Quite likely the “light at the end of the tunnel” will be the Sun card that comes next in the Major Arcana, a place of happiness, freedom. In this way the Moon card is closely associated with the 9 of Swords ~ this is a long dark night of the soul that must be faced by you and you alone. In the decks where the Moon is given a face, the eyes are closed, which further reinforces this message that you are the one who must face this\walk the path by yourself ~ those you normally rely upon, friends, family, the Divine, can not help you. If the Moon has comes up representing such a time, do not be fooled by the gentle moonlight ~ this is a time of emotional or mental trial, and you have two options. You can howl at the moon wandering through the lunatic landscape (getting drunk/high, wallowing in depression or a victim mentality, alienating the people in your life through your behaviour) or you can walk through that landscape with purpose by painting, writing or some other such creative endeavour. One way of looking at this could be by seeing the water that crab is emerging from as still, which is fine for a while, but does not take long to turn stagnant. You can not stay in stagnant water without being infected by it; you have the choice to stay and wallow, driving yourself deeper into whatever madness has claimed you, or you can move onto the shore and follow your path with purpose.

The Devil ~ RWS

Sometimes when the Moon appears in a reading it indicates that you or the person you are reading for may be going through a Moon Moment ~ a time of tense emotion that actually leads you to rock bottom. For anyone who has read or seen Eat, Pray, Love, the Moon can be seen as the tarot equivalent of a Bathroom Moment; that time when you have the choice of staying on the bathroom floor sobbing and wishing for someone/something to come along and make everything right, or you can stand up and take some action. No matter what the situation, a choice has to be made and you have to move on. This links the Devil and the Moon card ~ having your Moon Moment comes from facing the issues you are faced with in the Devil card.

The Hermit ~ Druidcraft Tarot

Be aware though, that mystery surrounds you, that all may not be what it seems ~ go with your instincts and illuminate the dark corners in your mind. The mysteries revealed to you will lead you to a place of wonderment. You may feel alone and isolated, but keep in mind the Moon's numerological counterpart, the Hermit. The Hermit is always there for you as an inner guide.

This does colour the Moon card with a negative slant but I believe this is more a shadow of the card then a connotation that the card itself is negative. We all exist with a shadow, and it is by the moonlight and the moon's essence of reflection that we see these shadows and confront them before they control us ~ this is something I actually delve into in my next Samhain piece which will be out in a couple of weeks. A lot of people don't like to see such strong and seemingly “negative” meanings attached to tarot cards, and I think this type of attitude is misguided. If you want nothing but positive, find yourself an affirmations book, don't turn to tarot. One of the reasons that I love and adore the tarot so much is because it reflects the full spectrum of the human experience, and that has to include the times when we are at our lowest, not just the good times. The path we take in life is difficult sometimes, but the more we enter into the mysteries, the greater the reward.

The Moon ~ Legacy of the Divine
Another interpretation of this fascinating card is that the Moon is the call to the dreaming soul to wake and wander through the realms beyond the logical, rational, daytime self. It is a time to travel through the the dreaming time, listen to your intuition, seeks answers in ancient memories deep in your subconscious. It is a time to release your hold on the mundane and to be ok with everything not needing to make sense all of the time. This is a card of imagination, fantasy, vision and creative work. You are entering a time when you have the power to tap into your subconscious and bring it to the fore, with beautiful, awe inspiring results. Quite often, the creativity that comes when one is going through a moon time with it's magnetic pull that is hard to resist. Artistic genius, creation that brings fulfilment and comes from the very depths of your soul ~ this is the sort of period inspired by the Moon card, and the potential is boundless. Soar high in the night sky with the stars or dive deep into the waters of the subconscious and follow every instinct you have. Be wild, be free and enjoy the freedom that comes when limits are removed from your horizon. Indulge your creativity and see what bursts forth.

The Moon ~ Mythic Tarot
In Goddess lore, this can be linked to the Wild Feminine who lives by instinct and intuition. More often then not, the Moon is associated with dark goddesses such as Hecate in the Mythic Tarot for it is the dark goddesses that take us through our “Moon moments” with their blessing, wisdom and protection. The Moon card is a time when we can confront of fears and our shadows (represented by the darkness in the card) trusting that we will emerge from this stronger, wiser and blessed. Fear has the potential to be a powerful teacher and ally, and always remember that the opposite of fear is trust. If you can allow yourself to be guided by trust, no matter how afraid you may be, when you are confronted with the gates of the Moon card, the gates being a decision, spiritual gateway or season of growth, you will arrive at the realm of the Goddess (because the Moon is associated with the dark goddess, the realm referred to is the Underground, or Underworld) who will bless you with inner wisdom.

Whichever meaning is relevant to you or the person you are reading for, transformation, should the Moon be lived fully, is imminent. Look to the Moon for guidance, for she is ever present, ever knowing, and has much to teach you should you seek her mysteries.

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