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The Moon Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

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the moon tarot card

For those first beginning to read tarot cards, you may think the meaning of the Moon tarot card could simply be defined as "things that happen at night."

Well, while you can still interpret this nocturnal card that way to an extent, with experience you'll come to realize that the Moon card means so much more.

Moon Tarot Card Meaning

Upright meaning keywords: Illusion, intuition, uncertainty, confusion, complexity, secrets, fear, anxiety, subconscious, dreams, vagueness, instability, deception, misconceptions, insecurity, the feminine psyche

Reversed meaning keywords: Release of fear, repressed emotion, inner confusion, unveiling secrets, subsiding anxiety, truth, regaining composure, clarity, understanding

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The Moon, in Tarot, is ultimately mystical. There is something magical and secretive about this card, and it never really fits into any tarot reading, as it seems to immediately shift the interpretation to mean that there's something going on that you must take notice of, and perhaps it's your own behavior.

The Moon shines equally, with a neutral expression on its half-face, on all of us earthly creatures. But are our actions all worthy of such beautiful moonlight?

The Moon gives you a second chance — you can stay and accept your fate, or you can rebrand yourself at will. It's all up to you.

This Major Arcana card suggests to the reader that you need to move through life in a more balanced way as, eventually, the spotlight will come your way and your behaviors and/or bad habits will be revealed.

Above all, the Moon calls on you to trust your instincts, rely on your intuition and gut feeling, and release any fears and anxiety you hold towards situations you cannot control.

Moon Card Description

When looking at the Moon tarot card, up in the sky, between two distant towers, we see a bright yellow Full Moon. The Full Moon is hovering over a wolf and a canine howling at the moon, and a lobster or crayfish, with visions of grass, sea and mountain range.

Photo: Pamela Colman Smith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The wild animals represent our tame side, and our wild side. The lobster represents our crawl to life, our potential and our earliest memory. The towers are also opposing ideas — our good nature, and our bad. The water is the subconscious, the mind.

According to "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot" by A.E. Waite, co-creator of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, "The [Moon tarot] card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The path between the towers is the issue into the unknown. 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... The intellectual light is a reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot reveal."

And the terrain is our earth, and we are beneath the Moon, figuring ourselves out. Are we good, or are we bad?

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Moon Upright Meaning

The Moon tarot card upright asks you to look beyond the illusion and to use your psychic ability, because there's more to what's going on than meets the eye.

Seeing this card upright instantly implies that everything is not as it seems. You're being required to look deeper, to employ your inner senses, your intuitive ability.

The Moon is also the number one card that tells you to trust your gut and investigate what's going on inside you. Why do you feel that way? What is it that keeps getting your attention? Why are you so stuck?

The upright Moon sheds light — that's what it does — and the nocturnal light is what reveals your dark side as well as your psychic side. The Moon is also a great card of femininity and womanhood.

If you pulled the Moon in a reading, it can show up to represent a wise woman in your life, or it might very well be you, as the Moon. When you relate to this card as yourself, it's because you know yourself to be nurturing, protective, security-driven and constant.

This card is also associated with menstruation, the monthly flow, ruled by the cosmic lunar force in our sky, our Moon. It can be found in darker scenarios such as crime, betrayal and confusion. This meaning is not restricted to women, however. The Moon's shine reveals the feminine in all beings.

The cards that come up beside the Moon Tarot card tell how the Moon should play. For example, if the Moon Tarot card is next to the Lovers tarot card, it's pretty clear that those lovers will connect. If the Moon is surrounded by the Tower tarot card and, say, the 10 of Swords, the Moon is telling you to get out of Dodge, and fast.

Moon Reversed Meaning

The reversed Moon tarot card is symbolic of depression, anxiety, or other negative energies that can stifle expression and cause insecure feelings being cleared.

When reversed, the Moon is a sign your life is about to become easier, like a cup full of troubles has overturned. Finally, all of that psychic energy can be released.

When this card is reversed, the meaning is release. Pent-up energy dissipates, answers come, and so does completion along with them.

The Moon is serious energy. We've all seen what the Full Moon can do to us here on earth. Heck, it makes some of us scream yellow bonkers. So, when its representative card, the Moon, shows up reversed, it's giving you a break.

How that completion shows up is a whole other thing. The Moon's release can show up as you coming to terms with something awful about yourself, or giving up a long time habit.

You know the truth about yourself. You know just how bad you've been (in whatever way), and the Moon card is saying, "Now's the time to act. No more regrets, only action."

Reversed, the Moon still gives us that duality, though. The Towers below and the canines still cemented to their earth along with the lobster offer the lesson that nothing really changes until you're willing to look at it deeply and do what needs to be done.

Don't let your bad habits go too far. Don't let incomplete tasks go unfinished for too long. Life is short, so make good on your promises to yourself.

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Moon Meaning in Love & Relationships

When the Moon tarot card comes up in a love reading, it's there to make us take notice. This card can indicate uncertainty about a relationship, or even deception and paranoia towards romance. It all depends on the position in which it is pulled.

Love and Relationships: Upright Moon Meaning

When upright in a love reading, the Moon card can mean it's time for a deep conversation with your partner, because this relationship has all the potential in the world to be long-lasting and wonderful with some nurturing.

The Moon can also act as a prod for you to be a better partner. It's not a warning, but it does come up to alert you to the idea that you might want to take a look at your stubbornness or your inability to open up on certain topics.

The Moon shines light and, in a relationship, you have to decide what you want seen and what you want to keep in the shadows. Perhaps the Moon's light is seeping in, which means it's time for you to live more freely, in love and in honesty.

If you are single, an upright Moon card means someone you are dating or are interested in may be deceiving you or may not be all they seem to be. Take your time and get to know them better before taking things too far.

Love and Relationships: Reversed Moon Meaning

The Moon card reversed in a love reading means something may be wrong in your relationship or that you need to confront a difficult reality. The Moon is here to reveal what you must pursue in order to find the truth.

When the Moon Tarot card comes up reversed, it's a good time for you to take a beat and think about your relationship. It's worth it to pay attention and take this card seriously.

If you are single, a reversed Moon can indicate you are regaining confidence and should trust your intuition. If you don't, there is a chance you may ignore serious warning signs.

Moon Meaning in Career

In a career reading, the Moon can indicate uncertainty toward a specific career path, or deception in the workplace. Again, it all depends on whether the card appears upright or reversed.

Career: Upright Moon Meaning

An upright Moon card reveals confusion or indecision when it comes to deciding what career path you want to take. You are unclear about which way you wish to go, and may even feel anxious about making a decision.

Additionally, this card appearing upright can also mean experiencing tense situations in the workplace or with your coworkers, whether it pertains to specific tasks or interpersonal relationships.

The Moon is saying that you need to be clear about what you want in order to prevent miscommunications. Also be sure that you have all the proper information before making a choice.

Career: Reversed Moon Meaning

Reversed, the Moon indicates a clarity towards what you want to do with your career, as well as the direction you want to go in. If you have been experiencing uncertainty, this will soon clear up and leave room for stability and confidence as you make decisions for your future.

The Moon can also reveal that situations will become more tense, specifically in the workplace, where poor communication is the source of betrayal and even sabotage. Don't play into your anxieties, as this can lead to a worsening situation among coworkers.

Moon Meaning in Finance

In a financial reading, the Moon appears to reveal insight about money. Depending on if the card is pulled upright or reversed, it points to uncertainty or lack of financial knowledge, or even monetary deception.

Finance: Upright Moon Meaning

If the Moon is revealed upright, understand that now is not the time to make any huge decisions as they pertain to money. You only have partial information regarding a specific financial decision, so it's best to hold back for now.

Before making this big choice, be sure to do some digging of your own and uncover the complete picture in order to make an informed decision.

Additionally, the Moon may also indicate deceit from someone intending to take your money in a con of sorts. Trust your intuition and gut feeling before jumping in head-first.

Finance: Reversed Moon Meaning

While a reversed Moon can mean that you will now have clarity and a clear mind when creating financial goals, this card can also indicate deception or deceit. You have the complete picture for making big financial decisions or investments, but it's still important to trust your instincts.

So, yes, while you will not feel confused about your financial future, be wary of making any monetary commitments until you have every single piece of information. And this may mean waiting a little bit before that information is revealed.

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Ruby Miranda interprets I Ching, Tarot, Runes, and Astrology. She gives private readings and has worked as an intuitive reader for over 20 years.

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