The Babylonian Tarot- Key 18-The Moon-Sin, depicts the Moon god of Mesopotamia, Sin whose mountain, Sinai (meaning- Sin's Mountain), whose the chief amongst the astral triad of gods, including his children, Shamash and Ishtar. The Mesopotamians believe the bright day-Sun was born out of the dark night of the Moon that was ruled by Sin. Like the Egyptians, they believed the Moon, drew the sun across the sky. While the sun provided heat, food, and fertility, the Moon was a spirit guide to humanity because of the regularity of its changes. Because of these changes, the full moon was considered to be Sin's Crown, and therefore, he was called "the lord of the diadem", "prince of the gods", "the one that furnishes light", "heifer of Anu", "the shinning boat of heaven", and "illuminator", amongst others. Sins wife was Ningal, "the great lady", and goddess of divination, dream interpretation, and insight. Sin was considered to be a "see all" and just god, as the light of the Moon guided mankind at night, and reveled the evil spirits and the criminals that hid in the dark.
Sin was also the ruler of Time, since the Moon cycles gave mankind the awareness of past, present and future, as well as eternity. He was supposed to go into the underworld every month, where he decreed the fate of the deceased. Therefore, Sin, ruled over the night sky, the lunar calendar of Mesopotamia, destiny, change, secrets, oaths, tides and predictions. The Moon was seen as male, before the Romans and Egyptians changed his to her sex. Hence, Sin was also attributed to the menstrual cycles of woman. In fact he was often shown in cuneiform writing as the number 30.
The Babylonian Tarot- Moon Card, is attributed to Pisces,and depicts a scene from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Grief stricken because of the death of his best friend Enkidu, Gilgamesh wanders through the world seeking immortality. During the night, he comes to a mountain pass patrolled by lions. For the first time in his life, Gilgamesh is now afraid and prays to the Moon god Sin, to keep him safe. The crescent moon is seen as Sin' boat, that carried him across the night sky. Also because the crescent resemble the horns of a bull, he was seen as the one responsible for the fertility of livestock.
THE MOON, which is the 18th Key or ATU of the Major Arcana or Trump, is Qabalistically called the Path of Qoph--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 Logos and our subconsciousness. Our subconsciousness 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. The instinctual subconsciousness of the animal, is full of fears of being preyed on .
The meaning of Qoph is also the back of the head, behind the head itself, is the Sun-Resh. The Moon symbolizes the anterior to the bright intellect of the Sun. The Moon, the Path of Qoph, only reflects the light of the Sun. Thus the central path of the card goes from the dark side of the Moon, towards the light side that reflects direct Sun-light. This rising act of direct Sun-light 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 sub-conscious, i.e. the illusions of emotional fears.
In Thoth Deck Tarot, THE HIGH PRIESTESS, is a source of pure, crystal clear waters (consciousness) emerging from the God Head-The Father, to God the 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/Sun consciousness”, notably changes the body physiology, as the Bright Beautiful Light Intellect of the Son (Tiphareth) descends into it. When traveling up the Path of Qoph, the Personality becomes increasing aware of the Higher Self and less control by the dark fears of the body.
Dr.Paul Foster Case 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 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 human form. This is the Survival Mind, where the "law of the jungle" resides in the dark pools of violence and conquest. This can be a very cruel path to endure, until the student is able to fear not these internal demons which removes the veils of darkness, allowing in the Bright Intellect of the Son who applies beautiful reason to our consciousness.
The simple Hebrew letter of Qoph, 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 gate keepers, 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 builds for each manifestation. Since most people perceive themselves as having existence only through their bodies, this is often a most difficult undertaking. However, we are a Psyche of no known end, who measures itself by information, in-form-ation, becomes a body/Persona of the Dreaming Soul.
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,superstitions and mental - emotional disorders. Our consciousness comes from the immortal Soul, and is unused to such thoughts of fear filled ending. We recycle, our consciousness, which is a "reflection" of the Soul Conscious-Personality. Bodies forget, that they are a recycled part of the Whole Organic Organism that we know as "Organic matter". Like I have often said," 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.
We are not a physical brain (Wet-ware). We are Spirit, who is supposed to program the brain-wet-ware with its own soft-ware, for the purpose of experiencing the discernment of being a "living experiment of Self Awareness". Thoughts can no longer be indiscriminate mental ramblings of an imagination. They now must support life-forms, expanding and liberating the "living" from fear of death- based thoughts and/or their own preconceived limitations.
The Immortals are here to redesign the "survival mind" of the animal body. We are the Suns of Living Creative Conscious Energy, who must reflect upon a world of Matter, 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.
All one has to do is get over the fear of "death" to conquer the Moon. The Fear of death is slippery, for it also manifests as "fear of rejection", fear of discomfort, fear of change, fear of lack, etc..
When the Moon card is thrown during a reading:
· The querent is experiencing dissatisfaction and voluntary change is on the horizon.
· The querent is experiencing choice and authenticity over old illusions and delusions.
· A call to enter into the darkness of the unconscious and to come to grips with one's fantasy made demons.
· Within 18 weeks or 18 months the querent must take control of the survival mind and expand it beyond its fear based perspectives.
· They must remember, that they are a Spirit who owns a body, not a body who owns a spirit; an Immortal Conscious that owns a mortal consciousness.
·Intuition into dreams.
The Moon is about the Illusion of darkness and death, so there will be moments of lying, falsity, deception, if the card is ill dignified.
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