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The Moon (XVIII)

The Moon (XVIII) is the eighteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.



  • Two large, foreboding pillars are shown. Some see them as tombstones, others relate them to Karma.
  • A wolf and a domesticated dog howl at the moon.
  • A crayfish appears in the water.
  • The Moon is "shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew in great drops".WAITE These are numbered 15 in the Rider-Waite deck and are all Yodh-shaped. On this basis, some associate this card with impregnation.

Rider-Waite specific

  • Very clearly, the figure in the moon is frowning, reflecting displeasure.
  • The waxing moon has 16 chief rays and 16 secondary rays.
  • The beasts are a dog and a wolf, which represent "the fears of the natural mind".WAITE
  • The crayfish crawls from the water onto the land.
  • There is a pathway into the distant, dark unknown.


According to Waite's The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, the card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The dog and wolf are the fears of the natural mind in the presence of that place of exit, when there is only reflected light to guide it. This reference is a key to another form of symbolism. The intellectual light is a reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot reveal. It illuminates our animal nature, types of which are represented below—the dog, the wolf and that which comes up out of the deeps, the nameless and hideous tendency which is even lower than the savage beast. It strives to attain manifestation, symbolized by crawling from the abyss of water to the land, but as a rule it sinks back whence it came. The face of the mind directs a calm gaze upon the unrest below, and the dew of thought falls. The message is: "Peace, be still," and it may be that there shall come a calm upon the animal nature, while the abyss beneath shall cease from giving up form.

Some frequent keywords are:

  • Lack of clarity ----- Tension ----- Doubt ----- Fantasy
  • Deception ----- Psychological conflict ----- Obscured vision
  • Confusion ----- Illusion ----- Fear ----- Imagination ----- Worry
  • Romanticism ----- Anxiety ----- Apprehension ----- Unrealistic ideas

Other meanings

This card has to do with sleep patterns. This can mean both dreaming and nightmares. If one gets this card, they may be going through a particularly difficult emotional time. Rather than losing yourself in the overwhelming imagery and fantasy that signals the presence of the Moon, give form to this imagery through the creative arts (painting, writing or dancing). The association this card bears to imagery and fantasy can put one in touch with visions and insight, creativity and psychic powers. [1]

Alternative decks

  • In old Italian Tarot decks, instead of the above scene there is instead an astronomer measuring the large moon above him in some way.

In pop culture

  • The Moon is a monster card in the Yu-gi-oh! card game, as part of a group of cards called the Arcana Force.
  • Persona 3 has a Moon Social Link represented by a gluttonous boy known as the 'Gourmet King'. Persona 4 has Ai Ebihara a girl thought to be heartless ice queen as the Moon Social Link.


  1. ^ "The Moon" from "Thirteen's Tarot Basics" Eclectic Tarot

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