Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.
The moon has been celebrated in many cultures throughout history. Song lyrics, poems, and literature have made reference to delightful events happening “by the light of the moon.” In truth, the moon does not create light, rather, it reflects it. Similarly, in the tarot, The Moon may hold less intriguing secrets than those in art.
When we encounter The Moon in tarot, we are often looking at some form of hidden truths, deception, or the place where fears, anxieties, and nightmares are conceived. This may be a time when following the landscape of your inner world has led you to an unfamiliar place and you are unsure how to return to a safer, more illuminated area. This is the secret domain where our shadows take refuge and cultivate new and unpleasant thought patterns. It is a place where unhealthy and deceptive deeds occur. Things that we are so deeply familiar with in the daylight become twisted and unrecognizable in the moon’s reflection. Although we can skillfully find our way through the dark in our own home, navigating new and unknown territory requires trust in ourselves.
The Moon also warns us that we may not have all the necessary information and may be looking at “partial-truths.” Making large decisions based on what we believe we know is unwise. This is a good time to deeply tune into your intuition and your inner knowing.
As with all things that ask us to confront shadows, the degree of the discomfort we experience from doing this will come from our perspective. We can observe the shadows that challenge us in these dark places and draw them into the light. We can honor the pain that comes from all healing. It is wonderful and nourishing to explore the positive, loving parts of ourselves but incredible growth comes from trudging into the darker parts of ourselves that remain unacknowledged. Many of these shadows are born from imposed societal rules and norms. We may have been a child who was repeatedly told to be seen and not heard, so as adults we learn to be silent even when life requires us to scream. We may have impulses that are not shared with the majority of society so we wrestle them down into the basements of our existence. When we do this, these shadows cast themselves on our personalities, our self-identity and our interactions with others. So, when we are ready, with a courageous heart, we can begin to cast an honest light on these shadow aspects and draw them out to be healed. The more we do this, the less weight they have–even on the darkest days. Past experiences can be powerful catalysts for projections on current and future circumstances if we let them.
The moon can be a beautiful sight to behold and the more we work with the shadows, the less we have to fear in its illusory light.
Does the idea of confronting your shadows cause fear or exhilaration for you? If it causes fear, how might you describe that fear? What does this fear look like? What does it smell like? Can you recall where this fear may have been born? What about shame? Do you have secret behaviors, wishes, or desires that you hide? What are your reasons for doing this? Would these desires be harmful to others? If so, that is something that may require professional help. If it is something that feels shameful based on your upbringing or peers, perhaps you could find like-minded individuals to share this interest with. This might be a great time to learn more about the lunar cycles! Perhaps you could start a lunar journal where you track your mood and energy levels and notice patterns based on the moon phases. With this understanding of the moon, we may gain the gift of night vision.
“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
― Tahereh Mafi
“We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.”
― Anaïs Nin
Until our paths cross again…