The Tarot Moon card meaning in a nutshell:
Longing for the sake of longing,
and the hope of fulfillment.
The Tarot Moon card stands for longing, the needs of the soul, just like the moon does in astrology. The link to astrology, older by far than the Tarot, is obvious in several ways on the card's image. Mainly, the sign of which the moon is the ruler, Cancer, is suggested by the water as well as the crayfish - the element and the original symbol of this Zodiac sign.
The age-old astrology is a primary source to just about every system of symbols and metaphysical thinking. The Major Arcana of the Tarot deck has three cards particularly connected to the components of astrology: the Moon, the Sun, and the Star. The first two are present in any horoscope, whereas the third one can be said to represent the astral perspective as such.
The Moon, the nocturnal light, is what moves within us. The Tarot Moon card represents what we long for and need, in order to be satisfied at depth. Cravings of the Moon are not silenced by one single feast, no matter how spectacular. They are constant reminders from within. When we're unable to satisfy these needs we are frustrated, at length maddeningly so. At moments when we do please our inner longings, we're at peace for a while, just to have our thirst increase in no time. The longing of the Moon takes its toll, but what can you do?
The canines barking at the moon, on the Tarot Moon card image, show the power of the urge and the difficulty of solving it. They bark at what they can't reach. In one way or other, we all do. Longing is a paradox. If we reach what we long for, our longing should stop - but it doesn't. It's because we need to long for something or other. Without longing we become complacent, passive, as if sleeping. That's also stated by the Tarot Moon card.
In divination, if the Tarot Moon card refers to a person, it's somebody who awakens your longing by seeming able to fulfill it. But as said above, that's not the likely outcome. Instead, your longing will probably be increased, which is not at all a bad thing, although frustrating at times.
If the Tarot Moon card refers to an event, it's a moment when your longing is obvious to you and things happen that increase it. It can create a turmoil of emotions in you, but you welcome it - albeit with some trepidation. At the very least, you're reminded of your emotional needs and the importance of trying to satisfy them.
The Moon (represented by the Roman goddess Luna on her chariot) and its astrological traits. Woodcut by Hans Sebald Beham, from the 1530's.
A. E. Waite's Texts
18. The Moon. Some eighteenth-century cards shew the luminary on its waning side; in the debased edition of Etteilla, it is the moon at night in her plenitude, set in a heaven of stars; of recent years the moon is shewn on the side of her increase. In nearly all presentations she is shining brightly and shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew in great drops. Beneath there are two towers, between which a path winds to the verge of the horizon. Two dogs, or alternatively a wolf and dog, are baying at the moon, and in the foreground there is water, through which a crayfish moves towards the land.
About the Tarot Moon Card
The Inner Symbolism of the Tarot Moon Card
The distinction between this card and some of the conventional types is that the moon is increasing on what is called the side of mercy, to the right of the observer. It has sixteen chief and sixteen secondary rays. The card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The path between the towers is the issue into the unknown. The dog and wolf are the fears of the natural mind in the presence of that place of exit, when there is only reflected light to guide it.
The last reference is a key to another form of symbolism. The intellectual light is a reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot shew forth. It illuminates our animal nature, types of which are represented below - the dog, the wolf and that which comes up out of the deeps, the nameless and hideous tendency which is lower than the savage beast. It strives to attain manifestation, symbolized by crawling from the abyss of water to the land, but as a rule it sinks back whence it came. The face of the mind directs a calm gaze upon the unrest below; the dew of thought falls; the message is: Peace, be still; and it may be that there shall come a calm upon the animal nature, while the abyss beneath shall cease from giving up a form.
Divinatory Meaning of the Tarot Moon Card
Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error. Reversed: Instability, inconstancy, silence, lesser degrees of deception and error.
The Tarot Major Arcana
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
- The Fool
This book by Stefan Stenudd presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, i.e. focusing on what impressions the images and their symbols give. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Also, it gives many examples of symbolic and allegorical imagery within and beyond the Tarot. This book will help you find your own intuitive way of making inspired Tarot card readings. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.