Alternative Names: Illusion, Luna
Astrological Sign or Planet: Pisces the Fish
Key Meanings: Illusion, dreams, and crisis
The Moon card in Tarot symbolizes that things might be amiss and that you can’t trust your first impression. Things are not how they seem. The basic card symbols are a full moon (with a crescent within), twin pillars, a dog and a wolf howling, a stream that runs to the ocean, and a crayfish emerging from the water.
Upright Meaning: 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/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 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 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, 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 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.
Reversed Meaning: When the Moon is reversed, you may avoid difficult emotions and confrontations, so your needs are not expressed or recognized. A trauma is ignored again rather than explored, so the Moon reversed can show you going back to old ways of coping with the past. The card can also show you feeling stuck in an old emotional pattern that keeps arising—until you give it attention.