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The Thirteenth Moon
Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
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Addendum: What the Moon is about vs. What we think it should be about

Originally Posted by SweetSiren View Post
I have a very positive association with the card. The Moon lights up the dark.
Hey there. So, I've been doing further research on the Moon thanks to this thread, and have a clearer idea as to why there is a discrepancy between the usual definitions of this card vs. how you (and so many other readers) see it. The issue is simply that the card is called "The Moon" and what pops to mind when you hear that? Usually a full, beautiful moon, right? The kind of moon that gives all of us positive feelings; a spring moon that song writers create lullabies about, a silvery-blue, summer moon we walk under on romantic evenings, a fantastic harvest moon that is just magic. That's what we think when we hear "Moon." And to be fair, a lot of decks feature such moons for their Moon card.

The Moon, however, has four phases. Waxing, Full, Waning and Dark. The first three symbolize the triple goddess, and are usually associated with the HPS—who is astrological the Moon. She is maiden (Artemis/Diana), she is mother (virgin mother—Isis) and she is crone (that veil behind her being the more mysterious and magical side). In short, SHE is all the good things you associate with the Moon. She lights your way through the dark, she maintains stability between day and night (her position between the pillars). Etc. So, when you think "The Moon" you should think "High Priestess."

The Moon card is actually the fourth phase. So, imagine not that early time of night when the full moon looks so peaceful in the sky, when you hang with friends, and have a lovely evening; think, instead, of waking up at some late hour of the night. You're all alone. You look out, and there is only that dark moon. A starry sky, and a big, dark circle which blocks a certain portion of those stars. Does "instability" start to make sense? The Moon card's hebrew letter means "back of the head"—which is what you can't see, only sense. The subconscious. The instincts that drive you or make you jump. The dark moon swims across the sky like a fish through deep waters. At best, you can sense it passing overhead, feel its pull and influence. But you can't see it. It doesn't illuminate the night. It makes the night darker, more unknown, more uncertain.

I'll add here that your personal feelings and interpretation of this card are, of course, all up to you. But those other definitions, the ones that didn't make sense to you, are not so wrong as you think. It's hard for an artist to present that dark moon rather than a full moon, and most would rather show the full and beautiful one. But such images, the same as we get in our minds when we hear "the Moon" create this discrepancy between what we imagine the card should be about, and the interpretations that appear in books. And yes, tarot deck creators are at fault both for calling the card "the moon" and using pretty images. It's hardly your fault—the fault of any of us, if a pretty full moon image makes us think of a quiet, serene evening rather than a scary night.
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