The Moon is a magical, mysterious card emblematic of the unconscious and the invisible realm of dreams, imagination, and psychic impressions. Usually the moon occupies the top half of the card, sometimes shown in both its full and crescent phases with the crescent enclosed in the full circle. In the Waite deck, drops of water fall from the moon, raining down on two canines, a dog and a wolf, who bay at the moon. Two towers, one on either side, reflect the portal theme. At the bottom of the card is a pool or pond of water from which crawls a crab (symbol of the astrological sign Cancer, which is ruled by the moon), crawfish, or lobster. The water suggests the moon's link with the tides, the earth, the emotions, and the unconscious realm.
Some authorities say the animals represent our opposite tendencies—the wolf, the untamed inner animal nature; the dog the domesticated, daily persona we show to the world. But canines and the moon have deep mythological roots that relate to the underworld. In addition, the dog indicates psychic ability as it is able to follow an invisible trail and locate what cannot be seen.
Astrologically, the moon represents the soul, which is the link between spirit (sun) and matter (earth). The moon is feminine: It symbolizes what we feel and how we respond. Therefore, it is emblematic of all that is receptive in human nature: the subconscious, the emotions, the instincts, and the automatic functions of the body. The lunar self is the channel for the flow of the universal, or divine, source, and as such, the moon has great power. It affects everything and everyone on earth, from the ocean's tides to the moods and reproductive cycles of humans.
Therefore, when The Moon appears in a reading, it suggests that you should be paying more attention to your inner self, your lunar self. It advises you to illuminate your deepest nature. In its diffuse light, we can often see more clearly than in the glare of the noonday sun. The light of the sun enables us to see the world around us, but the moon allows us to illuminate what springs naturally from inside ourselves.
During the hours of night, our subtle senses are more open and receptive to our inner spiritual harmony. When The Moon appears in a reading, it is time to attend to your dreams, feelings, instincts, and intuition.
Although traditionally The Moon card can indicate deceit and self-deception, confinement and undoing, these conditions are usually a result of ignoring your own inner promptings. If you get “taken”—especially emotionally—it's because you were letting your rational mind override your feelings. The Moon card's appearance also notifies you to take care of loose ends connected to the past, especially to your mother or other females.
The Moon card can point to a need to nurture yourself or to care for your health. For artistic people, its presence in a reading may mark a time of increased imagination and creativity.
The Moon is the symbol for the goddess, whose three aspects represent the three faces of the Great Triple goddess. As the newborn crescent, the moon is the maiden, the virgin—not chaste, but belonging to herself alone, not bound to any man. At the full moon, she is the mature woman, sexual and maternal, giver of life. At the end of her cycle, the waning moon about to turn dark represents the crone whose years have ripened into wisdom.
Also called “La Lune,” the Moon corresponds to the number eighteen and to the Hebrew letter Tsadeh.
The Moon says that you are aware of the need to tune in to your lunar energies. You are now perceiving the reality of your inner nature more clearly, becoming more aware of the shadings and nuances of feelings and inner perceptions. The Moon also suggests psychic ability. You can tune in to other people's vibrations because you are connected to the information network of the invisible world. Pay attention to hunches and dreams. This is also a good time to develop your psychic skills.
Your soul is calling for help, trying to get your attention. You may have been ignoring your lunar needs—self-nurturance, artistic expression, and receptivity. The demands of the day—the masculine side—are overwhelming you, and you need time out to reconnect with the feminine side of life. You have allowed the pressures of the outside world to throw you out of balance, and you feel disconnected from your true self. It's time to rest and reflect.
The moon's energies change continually, segueing from one phase into the next. After the night of the dark moon, for example, the energy of the new moon begins increasing, and two weeks later culminates in the full moon. The energy of the full moon can usually be felt two days before total fullness is achieved and continues for another day or two afterward, diminishing as the waning phase takes over.
The Moon, as the luminous aspect of the night, belongs to [the goddess]; it is … an expression of her essential spirit. [It] appears as a birth—and indeed as rebirth. Such processes are the primordial mysteries of the Feminine … from which all life arises and unfolds, assuming, in its highest transformation, the form of the spirit.
—Erich Neumann, The Great Mother
To increase your sensitivity to the moon and your lunar self, sit facing the direction of the visible moon. If possible, position yourself in front of a window or go outside where the rays of the moon can shine on you. If you cannot see her, acknowledge her by closing your eyes and imagining the beautiful silver crescent or disk in the dark sky. Sit quietly for several minutes until you can feel the moon's energy contacting you. Imagine her vibrations entering your body, connecting your soul to her. Feel the magnetic pull of the moon on your sensitivities, just as they pull the tides, and allow yourself to be touched within by her softly glowing light. Let the moon illuminate your dark night of the soul, inspiring and uplifting you.