THE MOON, which is the 18th ATU/Key of the Major Arcana or Trump, is called the Path of Qoph (Qof)--meaning, back of head or ear. Connecting Netzach (Victory) with Malkuth (Kingdom) the Path of Qoph is described as the "Victory of the Material World" and/or the "deceptive effect of the apparent power of the Material World". This path, is also known as the "Threshold to life”: a spiritual birth that may be considered on two levels. On one level, it is the course of incarnation where the soul organizes the physical body of which it will inhabit. It is a kind of sleep (physical consciousness not yet formed), a kind of pre-consciousness, that differentiates into mater from the collective unconscious of Netzach. On another level, where the student is advancing spiritual awareness up the Tree of Life, it is a path of conquest of the phantoms of their "man-made" personality which are creations of the created.
The path is a probationary path, where the student must face the emotional phantoms hid in the dark recesses of their own mind, as well as those of the race. The moon symbolizes the “Self –reflection” that goes on with the inner Solar Soul and our consciousness. Our consciousness is the Moon of “self-reflection”.
This path can be disturbing to those of weak moral fiber, and can pose real dangers to one's emotional stability. On the other hand, those strong enough to tread this Path and slay the monsters "within" our sleep-consciousness and understand their mechanisms, gain the capacity to manipulate those qualities in ourselves and those of others. Mastery of Illusion is a product of this path.
As stated, the meaning of Qoph is also the back of the head, while behind the head itself, is the Sun-Resh. The Moon symbolizes the anterior to the bright intellect of the Sun/Son. The Moon, the Path of Qoph, only reflects the light of the Sun/Son. Thus the central path of the card goes from the dark side of the Moon, towards the light side that reflects direct Sunlight. This rising act of direct Sunlight is show as the Egyptian Scarab symbol of the God Kephera (kheprera), pushing the Sun towards the Moon. Basically, the Moon -Key-18, symbolizes the rebirth of light out of hideous darkness; bright intellect overcoming the dark denizens of our subconscious, i.e. the illusions of emotional fears imposed by the survival mind of the body.
In Thoth Tarot, THE PRIESTESS, is a source of pure, crystal clear waters (consciousness) emerging from the Godhead (One Mind)-The Father, to God the Sun/Son. The Same waters of consciousness are seen here on The Moon card, but they are polluted with the dark subconscious fears of mortality, that physical manifestation bestows on consciousness. However, as I have stated before, the traveling up the Path of Qoph, towards the "Son Consciousness”, notably changes the body physiology, as the Bright Beautiful Light Intellect of the Son (Tiphareth-the 6th Sephiroth) descends into it. When traveling up the Path of Qoph, the Personality becomes increasingly aware of the Higher Self and less control by the dark fears of the body are felt. In Qabalah, traveling up the Tree of Life, means going inward; to travel down the Tree is to go outward in perspective.
Therefore, Dr.Paul Foster Case, the creator of the Brotherhood of The Antietam, called The Moon, the "Corporeal Intelligence" which means the "body consciousness". Also in Hebrew the word "corporeal" means "to rain upon", which is why we see the symbols of Yods raining down from the central orb of the card. Since this is a Watery Card, some of a more poetic bent, say that these Hebrew letter-Yod symbols are "tears of the Moon- Goddess" raining down and filling the Nile. What we all agree on is that something descends from the Moon to the Earth on the Path of Qoph, which is represented as raining Yods.
The Path of Qoph is that of primitive instincts, of nature red in "both tooth and claw" which emerges uncontrolled by moral or ethical reasoning. The traveler of this Path will face aspects of themselves that our culture forces them to repress but are indeed integral and undeniable parts of our predatory homo sapiens sapiens form. This is the Survival Mind, where the "law of the jungle" resides in the dark pools of violence, predation and conquest. This can be a very cruel path to endure, until the student is able to fear not these internal demons by mentally removing the veils of darkness, allowing in the Bright Intellect of the Son/Sun who applies beautiful reason to our consciousness. Our identity is ternary, Spirit-Mind-Body. Hence, we can place our identity in any one dimension of Energy that we wish. Will, is Spirit, and by willfully using our Mind to change the bodies self-image, we can conquer every subconscious demon and replace the indoctrinated and dogmatic programing of the Patriarchy's incessant slavery software.
The simple Hebrew letter of Qoph, also translates into the English word, sleep .Thus we have a conscious relationship with the Moon, The bright Sun reflecting side, our waking consciousness and the dark sunless side of the "sleeping" sub consciousness. As the Moon has cycles, so does our consciousness, as during the cyclic phase of conscious withdrawal from the physical (Sleep) many of us still act upon the fantasies and information closely related to the body’s survival based experiences. Their dreaming is filled with phantoms produced by the body’s fear of pain and/or death which once consciously transcended, is the successful completion of the Path of The Moon.
The initiate, finds that birth, death, and resurrection are pivotal concepts on the Path of the Moon. These biological processes occur in the light and dark of our sensual perceptions. The two figures of Anubis, the jackal -headed gatekeepers, symbolize this cyclic process (Spiral energy) as the god Anubis was the Egyptian god of light and darkness, death and resurrection. The "As above, so below" is shown as a pattern on this card also reinforces this meaning.
The Moon, symbolizes the process that consciousness goes through, when energy proceeds from order to disorder (2nd law of Thermodynamics), from organized flesh to death. To understand the Path of Qoph--The Moon, is to understand the partnership of our personality-consciousness to the physical vehicle, which the Soul Personality builds for each manifestation. Since most people are taught perceive themselves as having existence only through their bodies, this is often a most difficult undertaking.
The Moon was often seen as a Goddess of Life (White Goddess of Light and a Goddess of Death (Dark Goddess) at once praised and then feared. It is the physical vehicles fear of dying that hounds our consciousness in many subtle ways, producing phantoms who manifest as phobias, obsessions, and mental - emotional disorders. Our consciousness comes from the immortal Soul/Psyche, and is unused to such thoughts of fear filled ending. We recycle, our consciousness, which is a "reflection" of the Soul Conscious-Personality by the transformative process of death. Bodies forget, that they are a recycled part of the Whole Organic Organism that we know as "Organic matter", which is a Super System. Like I have often said to my own brain," You came from cranberries and to cranberries you shall return..." which is a slightly dark humor that I use to give the brain pause from its attempts at survival thinking.
As Energy/Spirit, we are not a physical brain (Wet-ware). We are Spirit, the Photons that spark through the Neurons and flow throughout the body as "light", our Solar Self/Psyche is supposed to program the brain-wet-ware with its own software of Self-Information, for the purpose of experiencing the discernment and intimate experience of being a "living thing". Thoughts can no longer be indiscriminate mental ramblings of an imagination floating in the dark of space. They now must support life, and expand and liberate the "living" from fear of death- based thoughts into the greater realm of Immortal Self.
We are The Immortals who are here to redesign the "survival mind" of the animal body, for we are the Evolution of Self-Awareness that is the Son/Sun of the Divine Creative. We are the Suns of Living Creative Conscious Energy, who must reflect upon a world of Matter/Measurement, which for generations was symbolized by the Moon. For as we all know, this is the realm of "Reflected light" which is less than one percent of the total electromagnetic spectrum that is the medium of our “personality-consciousness". One could say, that on the Path of the Moon, the Souls learns to run the physical vehicle by expanding the brain's perspectives beyond that of life and death, into the knowledge of personality-resurrection. For if a personality/self-conscious, is self-corrective, it ain't broke and we all know that it is smart to "not fix it if it ain't broke". Therefore, the Soul doesn't absorb the energy of the released personality, to recycle it, but rather, sends it diligently to the next avatar it is supposed to operate in the name of the Son/Sun. I Am, is that name. Me is the personality. Hence when the I (all seeing eye) is Spirit, Am is Mind and Me is the personality that I AM creates as Self-Awareness in operation. Understanding data (idea) creates In-form-action and/or information. Therefore, the Moon merely reflects out self-information. And if that information is controlled by cultural and racial indoctrination, it is misinformation, for no person, place or thing created the Soul that you are. From the No-Thing, have we become the expressions of the Greater Self, One Energy, One Mind, One Self and many self-reflections.
The Tarot of The Ages-Key XVIII-The Moon, seems to represent the Thoth Tarot in its imagery. However, the letter Thoth Tarot associates with the Moon, Qoph, is not present, nor does the Moon represent itself in the zodiac here. Rather, the Hebrew letter Tzaddi, meaning "hook" which is normally associated with the Star-Key 17-card, and the sign of Aquarius, which also represents the Star card are used on the base of this card. I can only think there is some kind of mix up here. For the Moon card doesn't represent anything but the Moon as a zodiacal sign. However, the Moon is associated with water as is Aquarius.
Here the Moon is shown as the Vesica Pisces- gateway to life and death, guarded by the Anubi who are holding on jackals on leashes, a form of desert coyote, who are howling at the moon. The Scarab, Kephera, is pushing the Sun towards the Moon on the Thoth Card, but on this Tarot of The Ages Tarot, we have a "bubble" being pushed. In Egyptian lore, the Sun was believed to be pulled across the sky by the Moon.
We are the Light Children of the Divine Creative, so I again find this card's imagery falling short of the Deeper Arcane meanings of Western Qabalah. Some call us Children of Light, but that is backwards, as the body-the homo sapiens sapiens, is made as a avatar for the light-intelligence that operates it. For we are the Light Self, the Solar Self known as souls and/or the Solar Logos and the body is made of "crystalized" light/Stardust. We are the Psyche of the Stars, and not of the Earth and as the Self-Information of light, we give Life to information, which is measurement and/or material. For without intimacy with information, there is no knowledge. Knowledge is our "Mother", and is known as the invisible Path of Daath, on the Tree of Life. So contrary to popular belief, the body is not who we are, but what gives us, the Light Children , the ability to operate matter in our name (I Am). This is necessary for intimacy, which we call the "senses".
There is no "love of being" when being cannot be intimately connected to its Divine Creative. Each of us are that intimate connection between the Divine Creative and the Created, i.e., The Golden Child, that is the Soul. I Am is my name, and I AM Me, is "living light". Each of us are the animator's of our Organic Form and the Moon reminds us that we are delusional in thinking we are animated by some outer force, and/or authority, or that we are "locked into a form". We are the lover's of Sensuality, we are the "Loving Light Children" and have much to teach our animal self. For our inheritance from the Divine Creative, is the Universe, and our observation of it, changes it. Hence, we have the ability to do work---the very definition of Power. I Am the Power that is "Life" and I operate an Organic Being in my Name of I AM and I call it a "Me". Hence the Trinity of I AM ME, and/or Spirit-Mind-Body which makes a "Whole Spirit" and/or Whole Willed Self. For we, each and everyone, began as Light directed by the Eheieh/ Kether which means "I Will Be"! You are the fulfillment of the Divine Creative's/ the Great No-Thing's, wish to be for you are the "Will" it launched into the Void of Being. It's time to be grateful for your wealthy inheritance, there is no poverty in the Mind, only in the brain is such "impoverished thinking" implanted by the illusion of Patriarchal authority. This is because the Patriarchy's only ability to do work (power), are those enslaved by the Patriarchy's control of definition (words). The Moon shows us this illusion of fear based indoctrination; an illusion because we are the Love Based Solar Child of the Divine Creative. We are how "god" is intimate with its creations. Are we not also "made in the Image (imagination)" of I AM? Are we not how energy dreams of itself? I Am the total controller of Me.
The meanings that represent the Thoth and The Tarot of The Ages-Moon card are the same.
When the Moon card is thrown during a reading:
If ill defined by the surrounding cards:
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