The Moon | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

The Moon

Keywords for The Moon 

DREAMSCONFUSION
VISIONSFEAR
IMAGINATIONSTRANGENESS
THE UNCONSCIOUSDISORIENTATION
FANTASYMADNESS

We come upon an eerie and enchanting scene. By the light of a brilliant full moon, see three animals at a pool of water. In fact, it is only the other side of the very same pool we have seen in the new dawn of the Star just one card before.

At the very bottom of the card, we catch sight of a crayfish partially emerging from the watery depths. This animal represents the ancient instinctual elements that even now, we humans retain on some level of our subconsciousness. The crayfish shows our primal survival instincts, a legacy of life’s primordial origins. 

We could even think of this as being linked to our cerebellum, or “reptilian” brain. It is the part which regulates vital life functions and controls our deeply rooted survival response, such as the “fight or flight” mechanisms activated in a crisis. 

On the right side of the pool, we see a wolf caught in the act of howling at the moon. He represents our unevolved animal nature, the part of us that remains wild, untamed, and fierce.

To the left, we see a dog who also howls at the moon. He stands for the aspect of us which has been subject to the forces of domestication. It shows the aspect of our being which has been cultivated by human consciousness and conditioning. 

Interpretation of The Moon in a Reading

When the Moon appears in a reading, it can often indicate the experience of coming into contact with the deep, unconscious forces of the psyche. As a result, we may have powerful dreams, increased intuitive capacity, and visions. It can also be related to the awakening or development of psychic abilities. 

In some cases, this activation of deep unconscious forces can so strongly overwhelm us that our rational ego’s defenses collapse under the influx of these intense and often disturbing psychic elements. 

If the unconscious contents are too powerful and we cannot cope, it may even lead to madness. In fact, the word “lunacy” is rooted in the Latin word for moon, luna, showing the ancient association between the moon and irrational forces that continues on to this day.

When channeled appropriately, these lunar forces can be utilized as inspiration motivating the expansion of our creative drive and ability. When in touch with these intense and powerful elements of our unconscious, we may find that we are more capable of creating compelling and persuasive works of art drawing on profound mythological & archetypals elements of our human nature.

However, this card can also refer to disturbing experiences of disorientation, bewilderment and confusion. By the strange light of the moon, we might find ourselves lost in an unreal, bizarre and even slightly absurd landscape. When this happens, we can very well lose our sense of direction and purpose. This can lead to disturbing feelings of fear, doubt, anxiety, or even terror and despair. 

We may find our minds scattered, our vision obscured, our senses distracted by fantastic visions and our ears filled with deception and lies. However, it is important to keep in mind the many positive, creative potentials that this card can also indicate for us. If we can manage to stay grounded and centered in reality, the surreal, dreamlike territory of the moon can inspire us with greater purpose and vision, rather than fear.