Walking the Moonlit Path with the Tarot

I’ve been wanting to take you with me on a deep dive into the Tarot for some time now, because even after 26 years, I am still learning new things. My first introduction into the Tarot was in 1995 when a friend of mine gave me a reading. As an artist myself, I was utterly enchanted with the cards, and with all the illustrations so rich with meaning and symbolism. They were so colorful and detailed, plus the history of The Tarot ignited my imagination to such a degree that I had to learn more.  

The first step on the path

At the time, I had just started dating someone and we both thought it would be fun to learn about Tarot together. Since this was 1995, when you wanted to learn something, you went to the library. So we went, and we each checked out some books on the Tarot, and one of the first I started with was The Complete Guide to the Tarot by Eden Gray. 

Though the relationship didn’t last long, the Tarot has since become a life-long passion. Despite all my life changes, I still have the notebook with those initial hand-written notes that I took. I studied the cards every morning, and gave myself countless readings as I learned. The card I identified with the most, that kept turning up for me was the Queen of Swords, and as I continued to learn all the cards, it became clear to me that I must learn to discern how the cards influenced the ones around it.

This was the key to understanding how it all worked in a reading. Over time, I began to appreciate how the Queen of Swords would go about solving this riddle. To me the Tarot is filled with hidden secrets, mysteries and meaning. Teasing out how the cards became a narrative while using my intuition taught me so much. for me, the study of the Tarot became a moonlit path, where things are revealed a little at a time. It is not an easy road, but it is well worth traveling. 

Walk with me

You are invited to join me as I explore the entirety of the Tarot under the light of a single card: XVIII The Moon. Look for a new post every Monday evening, which is the Moon’s day. In the days of the week, the Sun precedes the Moon, but in the Major Arcana, it’s the other way around. To me this makes perfect sense, as it is the heavenly body that is closest to the earth.

So we will be spending the next 78 weeks comparing the energy and meaning of The Moon in the Tarot with each other card in the deck in the following order:

  • Swords
  • Cups
  • Wands
  • Pentacles
  • Major Arcana

In addition to my original notes from 1995, I will also be referencing Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom, and the deck that I am using for comparison is the Tarot Illuminati, lavishly illustrated by Erik Dunne. Since this is the deck I use when reading for clients, I naturally will also be referring to the Complete Guide to Tarot Illuminati by Kim Huggens.

The Moon - XVIII - Card 18 in the Major Arcana

 “Here we travel onward on the path of the Moon. It is a strange path, filled with mystery and the unknown, strange creatures and the subconscious, lunacy and tidal flow”
Moon
Kim Huggins
Complete Guide to Tarot Illuminati

The Moon is shining behind two towers, with a dog looking upon it peacefully next to the path that leads to the valley of the moon. On the other side of the path a wolf is howling. Irises are growing near the water and a lobster is emerging from it. There is a face in the full moon in the Tarot Illuminati and she is gazing further into the heavens. Bright orange and yellow rays emanate from behind the moon, a reminder that it gets light from the sun and reflects it to the earth.

As the 18th card in the Major Arcana, it’s number is 9. This is a number of near completion, understanding that the journey is nearly done, that the cycle is almost finished. It is also associated with the Astrology sign of Pisces, which shines and sparkles and casts a glamour. As the Crone Goddess, it is the card of witchcraft and all types of moon magic.

The Meaning of this card is related to the archetype of the Moon Goddess, such as Artemis, Diana, Hecate. It tends to be more the Crone aspect of the Goddess, having to do with wisdom that comes from intuition and experience. It can also mean illusions or unforeseen perils depending on the question or surrounding cards. Secrets or hidden meanings are also a part of what the Moon offers, as it does not reveal things as clearly as the sun. As such, it can be a more gentle teacher, with a more subtle voice. 

The silver path that winds between the two towers represents a journey to the otherworld or the land of the dead. There are watchers that may be lying in the shadows, so it is best to follow the path until dawn. The Moon in a reading can indicate the awakening of psychic awareness, or a visionary state for the artist or poet. The wolf is a hunter, as the Goddess Diana is, and the hound is her servant. If you can access your wild primal nature and make it serve you, there is nothing for you to fear on the moonlit road.

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