The next step on our journey to awakening is The Moon. In a dark landscape, a crayfish crawls from the water while a dog and a wolf howl at the moon. In the distance are two towers and a road leading away into a mysterious land. This is card number 18 which reduces to 9 making it the final part of another stage of the quest. This card is similar to card 9, The Hermit, in that it represents solitude and vulnerability.
This stage of the journey represents the final great trial which must be gone through.
It is the dark night of the soul which follows the withdrawal of the inner light of The Star. The hero’s faith will be tested as he realises everything around him is an illusion. He knows he is close to his goal but he can no longer see the way forward clearly. He can’t rely on his normal senses in this badly lit landscape and must allow himself to be guided by intuition.
The Moon depicts the world of Hecate, the wise crone and dark mother. The crayfish symbolises the primitive devouring forces of the unconscious. The wolf and the dog act as guides through the land of the dead, but they cannot be trusted. The towers mark the entrance to Hades, the dark womb and tomb.
To reach the goal of higher consciousness, the hero must make his way through this forbidding landscape. All around are illusions and deceptions which tempt the hero into wild imaginings and fantasies. It’s hard to know what is real and what isn’t. The hero must stick to the narrow path and not get distracted from his goal. He is being tested.
The Moon is a warning to not get caught in fantasy and self-deception as an escape from the world of reality. If the hero wanders from the path he may get lost in the land of the dead. His consciousness will be invaded by destructive forces from the unconscious and the journey will be over.
To fail at this point means getting stuck in an endless dark night. There is only one way out – follow the narrow path. The Buddhists would say follow the Middle Way. In other words, don’t be drawn into dissolution (self-destructiveness) or fantasy (narcissism), and remember this journey is not about boosting your ego but transcending it.
Keywords for The Moon:
- Crisis of faith
- Creative potential
Next step on the journey to awakening: The Sun