The Druid Craft-Key 18- The Moon, adheres to the more traditional depiction of the Moon Tarot Card, than the Thoth Tarot. Here we have the twin pillars of stone, that form the gateway between life and death. The Crescent moon in a dark sky, implying her cycles, and the howling dogs and/or wolf and dog, implying primitive instincts. The crab crawling out of the water, is a symbol of resurrection and reincarnation, as they shed their shells to grow. And of course, the ubiquitous ocean, whose tides she controls.
The feminine activity of menstruation and its dark blood is connected to this 28th Path of the Moon, called in Hebrew, Qoph, the path of childbirth presided over by the Greek Goddess Artemis whose Roman counterpart is known as Diana-The Huntress. As the sister of the Sun God Apollo, Artemis was the Moon. Liker her Roman counterpart, she traveled through dark, mountainous and brutal woods, with her pack of hounds. The goddess, like this Path of Qoph, can be viscous and unforgiving, her legend being filled with qualities both dark, and unforgiving. Being also vindictive, any breech of her regulations was immediately and ferociously punished. Hence, the dogs of the moon, were considered her hunting pack that was ready to attack and destroy men. Therefore, the Path of Qoph/the Moon is considered to both primitive and viscous, as Nature who is both "red in tooth and claw". The Moon represents the path of primal instincts, of passions, emotions and energy that are uncontrolled by moral or ethical considerations. Later this became the symbol of the Witch. For Christendom condemned anything female, especial "Wise Women", or "women with their wits about them", which shortened became Witch. Hence, the act of birth became linked with the darkest and most viscous acts of Nature. Ironically, I am sure that most women would agree, giving birth sucks, but children are a blessing to be nurtured and loved. Thank goddess for that, since I am a male born of woman and my mother was a wonder. Woman is the most important persona in my male-world.
THE MOON, which is the 18th Key of the Major Arcana or Trump, is called the 28th 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 animal-consciousness. Our animal or instinctual consciousness is the Moon of “self-reflection”, where the phantoms of fear embellish our self-identity with thoughts of ineptitude and is often called the "sub-conscious", as it is subservient to our Psyche/Soul and is mostly visited by our personality, in sleep.
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 and the ability to "bewitch" others, are a products of this path.
Since 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. It, therefore, implies the last dark cycle of the Moon.
In Thoth Tarot, THE PRIESTESS, is a source of pure, crystal clear waters (consciousness) emerging from the God Head-The Father, to God the Son/Sun. 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) 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 are felt.
Paul Foster Case called The Moon, the 28th Path of "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.
As stated: 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" and where bright reason removes the veils of darkness, allowing in the Bright Intellect of the Son/Sun who applies beautiful reason to our consciousness.
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 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 the disassembly of 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 perceive themselves as having existence only through their bodies, this is often a most difficult undertaking. In truth, we are a trinity of Spirit, Mind and Body and/or I AM Me.
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, 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 Infinite-Spiritual Mind, 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 thing", i.e. of having measurement.
Thoughts can no longer be indiscriminate mental ramblings of an imagination just as a god's dream. They now must support life, and expand and liberate the "living" as a Lucid God in his/her dream, hence, from fear of death- based thoughts of the survival mind.
The Immortals are here to redesign the "survival mind" of the animal body. We are the Suns of Living Creative Conscious Energy, who must self-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 Soul/Psyche learns to run the physical vehicle by expanding the brain's perspectives beyond that of life and death; fear of being, into the knowledge of personality-resurrection of "I AM Being".
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.
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.