The Moon tarot card can be read in a multitude of ways, like the various phases of the Moon orbiting the Earth. It can be positive or negative depending on context, but also on tradition (the Moon is quite neutral in the Ride-Waite-Smith tarot but clearly has a more negative meaning in the Marseille deck, for example.
Traditional meanings associated with the Moon card
The actual Moon in the sky is ever-changing, and in a similar vein the Moon tarot card has many different interpretations. The only common point between all these interpretations is that they are all layered, not easily accessible, and usually require a close connection with your unconscious mind to be fully understood. Instinct and intuition are the mysterious keys that can unlock the wisdom hidden away by the Moon. Like the secrets in an initiatory tradition, they require a thorough knowledge of symbolism to be fully understood.
Upright: Illusions, double meanings, dreams, and imagination.
Reversed: Lies, deceit, darkness, and nightmares.
Upright Moon tarot card meaning
Standing between two towers (echoing the twin pillars found in several other major arcana), an artistic representation of the moon stands on the horizon. There are usually three animals that can be found below, a dog and a wolf howling the Moon, as well as a kind of lobster resting in the waters below them.
It might be interesting to note that the actual depiction of the moon on the arcanum is probably the single case where the Marseille deck and the Ride-Wait-Smith deck are the most similar.
There are a lot of hidden messages to be found in the Moon tarot card meaning. And appropriately enough, the first and most important one lifts a mirror to the face of the card, as the Moon major arcana can be a sign of hidden messages that need to be deciphered.
On a positive aspect, this can be an introspective message, a way to find meaning in your life through the symbols and images you encounter, understanding how they come together to provide you with priceless insight in your everyday life. On a negative aspect, it might represent a web of deceit and illusions, and bad decisions made from false information when things are not exactly as they seem.
This is also a card that references your dreams and imagination, anything related to the unconscious mind, and the way it uses symbolism to share important messages with you.
Reversed Moon card meaning
When the moon tarot card is reversed, most of the positive aspects of this complex major arcana disappear, leaving nothing but the various artifices used to obfuscate truth and meaning. Lies and betrayals can be found in this tarot card meaning if you let your guard down, as well as empty promises that might leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.
The Fool’s Journey
Like the various faces of its counterpart in the real world, the Moon tarot card has many interpretations and aspects. The Fool must learn how to make sense of it all. Drunk of the blissful feelings experienced in the Star, it would be easy to fall for one of the various traps and illusions that come under the gaze of night. Happiness and bliss should not be an excuse to be naïve and offer blind faith into anything.
If the Fool can remember all the lessons they have learned so far, then what seemed like ifllusions and dangerous traps at first can end up offering hidden knowledge and wisdom to anyone bold and competent enough to lift the veil of deceit meant to keep the unworthy at bay. When you don’t lose sight of reality, it is easier to make your dreams come true and boost your own creativity and imagination.
The Moon and modern feminism
Just like the High Priestess, there is another layer of meaning to be found in the moon tarot card. Traditionally, and for centuries, the Moon has often been associated with female energy, and female empowerment. In that context, the Moon tarot card can be read as a strong feminist impulse when drawn in a reading related to a woman or a girl. In that context, the positive aspects of the moon tarot reading are further enhanced and should be analyzed accordingly in the reading.
The Moon in love tarot and meditation
The presence of the moon major arcana in a love tarot reading will once again be read in very different way depending on the context of the reading and the other cards that have been drawn. The spectrum of meaning to be inferred from such a drawing range from the sweet bliss of shared dreams and future plans with your significant other, to a dire warning that you are being played for a fool and lied to.
If it is too hard to determine which way the drawing stands between these two aspects, additional cards can be drawn to shed some light on the general direction of the tarot spread.
Whenever you seek to determine a hidden message, or need to separate truths from falsehoods, the Moon tarot card is ideally suited to the task. When you meditate using the Moon tarot card, you are channeling your own intuition and subconscious and bringing them closer to the surface.
As a result, your intuition gets honed and you will more readily understand the arcane meanings hidden between many layers of lies and half-truths.