The Fool’s Journey
The Fool follows the star through the darkness until he comes upon two strange pillars. Between them, the moon is rising. The pillars look familiar… he’d caught a glimpse of them first when he’d visited with The High Priestess. But in this darkness, beyond the pillars, everything is disorienting.
Dogs run wild throughout the landscape, and The Fool can feel the eyes of unknown childhood monsters upon him. The land he walks on now isn’t even Earth, but a watery place that feels alien and mysterious. Here, the law of nature rules, not the law of civilization.
The current of the water increases as The Fool trudges forward. Suddenly a small boat floats by. The Fool has to act quickly—he can choose to stay in this strange land of the Moon, or he can get in the boat, with no oar or rudder, and trust the current to take him somewhere safer. At least the boat will take him somewhere, he decides, so he gets in and surrenders to the current. For a moment, he thinks he sees the approving eyes of The High Priestess in the face of the moon.
The story of The Moon is one that helps you understand that just because you perceive something one way, that speaks more about where you are than what is true. In the light of The Moon, things are never what they seem—they are usually distorted, disorienting, and what you see has very little to do with what is, and instead is a mirror of who you are.
The Moon is one of the Major Arcana cards that has no human imagery. Instead, we are greeted with a wolf and a domesticated dog howling at the moon. Domesticated or not, sometimes instinct wins out, especially in unknown territory, and no matter what your place in society (domesticated or not, high ranking or not), we are all subject to illusion. There is also a crawfish, which represents our subconscious mind taking over. When this happens, it is hard to determine what is real vs. what is a manifestation of your fears.
In many cultures, The Moon is tied to the divine feminine because the female cycle had visible correlation to the moon cycle. Physical fertility can be represented when this card appears, but it is most often referring to fertility of the mind.
The Moon is the last ordeal posed by the Major Arcana, and when it appears it is a strong indication that things are not what they seem. In a negative reading, it can also mean that things are not as bad as they appear. In any case, you must open your eyes to what is true, because at the present moment you are unable to see reality.
The way through the ordeal is summed up in The Fool’s Journey when The Fool gets in the boat provided by The High Priestess. You are not lost to the darkness. In fact, your subconscious knows how to successfully navigate the river. At some point you need to surrender, otherwise you’re letting your fears win by being too controlling. It is scary, but movement is better than staying rooted in a nightmare.