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The Divine Moon

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on February 2, 2010 | Comments (11)

Each Tuesday in February, I’ll post a Moon card from a different deck. Looking at the same card from different decks is one way that I like to study a card. It is always interesting to see new versions and consider other ways of thinking about a card. Because I would, some day, love to resolve my personal issues with The High Priestess, I considered picking her. But no. For some reason, The Moon demanded some airtime.

In general, I find The Moon to be complex and uncertain. I hesitate to read it as too negative because of its association with feminine energy and the goddess. Instead, I try to look at what it is without judging it as “good” or “bad.” The Moon moves through the sky, waxing and waning through its cycles, indicating changability. What might be true today might not be true tomorrow. The Moon reflects light, but it is a shadowy kind of light that conceals as much as it reveals. Things that seem lovely in the moonlight may be monsters by the light of day, and vice versa. The Moon heightens intuition and creativity. It calls forth fears. It creates delusions…or illusions. To me, this card says, “be careful, things are not necessarily as they seem.”

I realize The Moon says ever so much more than that. But that’s exactly what we can talk about over the course of this month.

For today, I give you The Moon by Ciro Marchetti from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

legacy moon

The Legacy Moon card includes a crab, representing fear; a woman, representing beauty: and a pair of ibises, representing truth. Of this card, Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone have written, “the mythical becomes real and the real becomes inexplicably beautiful.” This version, to me, highlights the attractive and hypnotic nature of the moon, the promise it holds of magic and enchantment.

Reader Comments

Written By Theresa
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 8:16 am

Wow – I don’t know why I have been hesitating to buy this deck but I think I need to get it. Gorgeous!

Written By Corrine Kenner
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 9:07 am

I also like the visual pun on this card. She’s mooning us!

Written By Stacy Stratton
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

While the Moon Herself is unchanging, the way in which we are allowed to perceive her is variable. Over the course of a year we are allowed to see each part of her facade at least once. While seemingly complex, She is obvious and honest. However, we are not always able to see her completely at all times. Sometimes we are able to look her right in the eye, other times we can’t tell if we are talking to her elbow or celebrating her knee.
While I can see that it is valuable to interpret the image as a denotation of external misconceptions, would it also not be wise to consider that the viewer might be traveling on a misguided path of recognition?

Written By Barbara Moore
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

Corrine, you crack me up (oops, another pun)! Of course you would be the to point it out. But you are right…she is!

Written By Barbara Moore
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

Stacy! Thank you! That is a brilliant observation. One that I wish I was perceptive enough to have made. She is unchanging, really. Duh. I like the distinction between external misconception and misguided path of recognition.

Written By Blackbird "BB"
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

Oh my,
That’s simply beautiful.

Personally, it has been my general rule to stand the traditional reading of the moon on it’s head. ie if our lovely lady here comes to us upright, then I see the moon speaking to us of our deepest intuition, knowing without learning, Gnosis, even an encounter with the Divine Feminine.

While all those “Traditional” Helio-Centric readings of the Moon as, Illusion, Deception, Shadowy and Unseen, they all have their place, but I view that place as being the Reverse side of the card. After all … especially (IMHO) with the Waite Deck, there is a deep suspicion of all things Feminine, and a Celebration of The Masculine, the Reasonable. Even the Priestess … beautifal as she is … sits with the Torah, the Word, the Logos, in her hand, tying her to that Helios no?

Depending on her placement, the Moon Rx surrounded by other Neg cards, might also speak to the Dark Goddesses of the New Moon, Hekate, Kali, Lilith.

No the Moon, in her upright aspect is to be celebrated in your spread, she says the Goddess is smiling on you. I do hope you will include a Tarot of Marseilles in your tour, if not, I recommend a look at the Camion.

Blessings, BB.

Written By Cherie DuPertuis
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

Responding to Stacy’s comment above, I must point out that the moon always keeps the same side facing Earth. An entire side of her can never be observed from an Earthly viewpoint, hence greater mystery! It is truly occult (i.e. hidden), shrouded forever in darkness to us in this plane.

The ibises also would represent Thoth, the first Hermes, the bearer of learning and hidden (i.e.occult) knowledge.

Quabbalistically, the Moon corresponds to the Hebrew letter Qoph, which means the back of the head, and is usually seen as representing sleep, a restorative function of the body, but also the world of dreams, which can touch the subconscious and prophecy. It also corresponds to the Sephira Yesod.

I don’t mean to go on and on, but I’ve always had an affinity for the Moon. (My middle name is Diane, so Cherie Diane means “beloved goddess of the moon”.)

The card is exquisite. This is not a deck I’ve seen before, and a revelation. And I like the visual puns remarked upon. Always learning…

Written By Barbara Moore
on February 3rd, 2010 @ 7:41 am

Blackbird and Cherie, thank you. I love hearing everyone’s comments. I’ve mentioned in other blog posts about my issues with the High Priestess. By extension (too much reverence for Helio/distrust of feminine), the Moon is also an issue for me. They do go to together in so many ways, don’t you think?

I am, however, enjoying my journey through and into and melding with these powerful archetypes.

Written By Irmata
on February 3rd, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

This has long been one of my favourite Moon cards. It is exquisitely sensual and wholly feminine. The way the entrance to the sacred bath is blocked by the triple goddess chain… this is the High Priestess in her “off” time. This is when she will speak and reveal the true mysteries, although you might not like what she has to say. But then, you asked 😉

Written By Tangerine
on February 9th, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

The goddess is entering her sacred space and therefore she is in her full complement of power. If the images above the head of the ibises are lotus blossoms saturated with moonlight, then the wisdom she will impart is touched by the sacred.

The curves of her body reflect the curve of the waxing and waning moon as well as of the feminine form. Full revelation is only possible with full nakedness, i.e. putting oneself in a position of being open to listen and receive the wisdom.

With her back to us, and to the water, the goddess shows the dreamlike quality of knowledge. One never “gets” it all with knowledge at the first glance. It takes many repeated viewings as well as some private, quiet time to decipher the intricacies of the universe. The DNA, genome project, manhattan project- all are mysteries which have been solved to a certain extent but not all the way. There are still many layers to unravel, many curves that remain hidden and modest away from overeager and prying eyes. This is why the goddess has her back to us. The final revelation is not for us to know yet.

The crab is there as fear, as the negative aspect of femininity. Crabs in a barrel will keep each other in captivity; crabs scuttle sideways as they travel; crabs will fight and dismember the other. This is one small crab, but if the negative of the Feminine is not curbed, i.e. non-creative, non-supportive activities and habits are not checked, then the shining pool will become choked with crabs and therefore disruptive to the acquisition of knowledge, calm and peace.

The totems with the golden moon goddess triduum symbol, represent that aspect of security, of guarding the secrets of the heart, of the innermost you from the poisonous, and disruptive influences that corrupt, interrupt and disrupt the communion with the Higher Powers. Without guard dogs at the gates, without the proper establishment of boundaries, then the knowledge that is acquired will be tainted, fouled and sullied.

This is a lovely and luminous deck, and speaks with a clear and resonant voice to me.

Written By Kristen
on February 13th, 2010 @ 4:50 am

This deck surely is very beautiful! I love it! Might have to buy it myself even though I rarely even touch the tarot and have quite a few decks now. The Moon to me, is very beautiful and mystical and this in itself gives me a highly positive feeling and attitude towards it and the card in the tarot. The inclusion of Thoth, the lunar god, is fantastic as this I have not come across before. I love Thoth and have great respect for him. He is a very trustworthy deity and very wise. There is much wisdom and gentle, subtle, mysterious lore that can be acquired from the moon and I am most disappointed that I have lost some of that connection that I had with the Moon and her phases some years ago. I can only hope to reconnect as powerfully as I have done. There are many gods and goddesses with much power that are connected with the moon and she is truly wonderful.

Thinking of the crabs in the card at the bottom of the reflective pool, they could be considered “nasty little surprises” for the unwitting and for those who do not tread carefully. Still, they can be a warning also – either a minor irritation sent to remind us of the boundaries or a warning on the downward spiral.

The dogs do indeed look like guardians – they look like the breed of dog of the Egyptian Saluki. This reminds me of beautiful Anubis, the jackal headed god and guardian/guide of the underworld. I think Anubis is the leader when it comes to exploring our shadow sides and our subconscious amongst other things. Anubis is another god that is very trustworthy and like a dog, loyal, dependable, etc.

To summarise, I have learnt not to distrust the divine feminine or any of the so called “dark” goddesses or deities as they are often demonised by the church throughout the ages and most unfairly I might add. The Moon should not be viewed with suspicion or mistrust, just as the goddesses should not. For example, Hecate or Hekate is not to be feared, rather she is a wise teacher and a very decent one at that. I could add also that the Morrighan is not negative, nor are most of the other deities, particularly goddesses that have been cast as dark or negative. We women must overcome such issues as we have been badly misled and therefore are missing much needed wisdom and knowledge that could greatly enrich our lives – also, compare wonderful Lilith, darling Kali Ma, etc.

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