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18 - The Moon - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


influences of our subconciousness, the depth of our soul, hidden feelings, intuition, anxieties, illusions, insecurites, secrets, emotional pain, inner demons, deception, fantasies, dreams, repressed feelings and thoughts, instincts, something that is not what it seems, psychic disorders, depression, trauma.

moon tarot

Description and Symbolism

A wolf and a dog are howling at the moon. Even though the dog is tamed, his instincts still affect him, making him howl like the wild wolf. This is a representation of the influences of our subconsciousness. There is a stream at the bottom of the card, representing the subconscious mind and a crab is crawling out of it – influenced by the moon. A pathway is leading into the distance. It is dimly illuminated by the light of the moon, making it hard to see what is there and what is just in the imagination. The two towers on each side represent polarities in our lives.


General Meaning

The Moon has the number 18, which can be reduced to number 9, referring to the Hermit card and inner knowledge and wisdom. The Moon can represent our subconscious impulses - like the impulse of the wolf and even dog - to howl at the moon. This card can indicate that the actions we take are driven by subconscious impulses. When you don't quite understand your own motiviations, it can be helpful to think about your past and even childhood experiences and traumas, to find out more about what makes you act in a certain way. Another meaning of the Moon card is deception or illusion. We might not see a situation for what it really is, just like we can't see clearly when we look at a landscape that is only dimly lit by the light of the moon. The Moon card can also indicate a secret.

Love Meaning

In a love reading the Moon can represent deeply rooted feelings and an attraction that won’t die easily. It can also mean that you are not sure of your own feelings, just like things can’t be seen in all clarity in the moonlight. This card can also represent the influence of past experiences on the psyche. So in a love reading it could mean that someone is affected by the experiences of a past relationship. For example if there was a betrayal in a past relationship, it might cause a person to not trust other people easily anymore. The Moon can also hint at a deception. Things may not be as they appear. If you have a gut feeling that something is not right, it might be true. 

As Feelings

If you ask how somone feels for you, the Moon can indicate that the person in question is unsure about their feelings right now. They might also be unsure about why they even feel the way they do, since the Moon deals with subconcious impulses. Another meaning is that their feelings are based on an illusion. Maybe they see you as something that you are not. Lastly, it can indicate that they feel for you very deeply - like it is the case in a soulmate relationship. 

Negative or reversed Meaning

If the Moon has a negative meaning it could deal with secrets and purposeful deception. Maybe someone is hiding something from you. The Moon can also indicate mental problems or disorders. 

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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