The Moon is card eighteen of the Major Arcana. Its imagery displays the illusion and fear that often shows up when we are overthinking, worrying, and sitting in self-defeating thoughts. Framed by two towers the moon illuminates a path leading from a shallow pool into the distance. The pool of water like most water in the Tarot is symbolic of the subconscious, intuitive mind. In decks based on the symbolism of the Rider Waite Deck there, we see a crawfish emerging from the water, symbolizing the shifting of our consciousness from a primitive state into one of greater awareness. On one side of the path we see a domesticated dog, and on the other, a feral dog or wolf (In some decks, we will see other animals or beings, but there is always a depiction of opposing viewpoints), inviting us to see that there are different ways of approaching the situation at hand.
When The Moon shows up in a reading we are being asked to take the position of the crawfish emerging from the primordial waters, as the card represents a situation that will expand our consciousness by forcing us to face the fears and illusions that bind us.
The Moon illuminates the path we must follow, showing us that we are going to face a situation that will change the way we think by guiding us through the illusions and background bullshit that we fill our minds with. Leaving the waters of the subconscious we see an illuminated path and a marker that defines the point of no return, in which our view of reality has been altered, and the illusions created by our fears have been seen for what they are!
This card speaks directly of the journey to becoming, as we must gaze upon the illusions that bind us before we can proceed. On either of the path, we see animals representing opposing ways of being in the world; one domesticated, the other feral. These symbolic creatures live within our consciousness representing the wild and tame attributes of ourselves and with them the fear, worry, and self-loathing that keep us trapped in painful disillusionment!
The Moon is an invitation to see the world differently. Like Dorothy in the Emerald City looking behind the curtain to see the wizard was really just an old man using smoke and mirrors, The Moon beckons us to pull the curtain back and look fully on the truth of the situation.
When The Moon shows up in readings I do for clients I point out that there is both a domesticated dog and a feral dog living within us. The domesticated dog speaks to us of obedience, pleasing others, and doing what is expected, while the feral dog speaks of freedom, doing what we please, and self-preservation. Neither is completely bad, in fact, what we need is a balance between the two. When the feral dog speaks to us of our fears, it whispers of the need to do as others would have us do, how we must please others at all cost, and without approval, we will be lost, while the feral dog tells us 'fuck-em all, I do what I please' and bellows narcissistic devotion of how everyone is just trying to control us. Both carry an ounce of truth, and in fact, we need both a healthy value of self and others to become balanced. When The Moon presents itself to you be prepared to face your fears, with an understanding that you are most likely leaning in the direction of one of the dogs!
The lessons The Moon has to offer are illuminated by our desire for growth, our need to move beyond the place we find ourselves stuck. Remembering that the Major Arcana can be followed like a story of soul evolution, we can see the same story the Devil showed us, only more evolved. Where the Devil shows we are hanging out in our trappings; with chains loosely adorning our neck, unaware we are our own prison guard, The Moon is liberated, depicting a well-developed soul that is now choosing to clean up the illusions that distract them from their truth. Often when The Moon shows up we are not surprised to see which side of the feral-domesticated line we fall on, and often we are actively seeking to move beyond such limitations. Seeing The Moon as an invitation to initiation is a good start. The path has been presented to us, by acknowledging our imbalance and choosing to move beyond it we cross the towers/mountains a more evolved person, with a deeper understanding of our weaknesses and the illusions we are prone to.
If The Moon has shown up for you recently take it as an invitation to free yourself from the dysfunctional illusions you surround yourself with. Acknowledge that you are now thoroughly on the path of becoming your true self and that you are ready for the change it offers. I also suggest meditating on this card under the full moon!
The Moon is part of a 22 part series that you can find here on my blog-
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