Tarot Card Comparisons: Key 18-THE MOON- Ryder-Waite & Thoth Deck
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: Key 18-THE MOON- Ryder-Waite & Thoth Deck

The Moon, which is the 18th Key of the Major Arcana or Trump, is also the 29th 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 astrological sign attributed to the Moon Card is Pisces.

The path of Qoph is a probationary path, where the student must face the emotional phantoms hidden in the dark recesses of their own mind, as well as those of the race.
This path can be disturbing to those of weak moral fiber,or "those looking for love in all the wrong places" 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 while understanding 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 meaning of Qoph is the back of the head,and behind the head itself, is the Sun-(Hebrew word-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, as shown on the bottom of the Thoth Deck Card.

Crowley disagrees with the Ryder-Waite representation of this Key 18, as Waite believed the Moon to be on its increase. Waite's rational being that, on one level, the crayfish crawling out of the water (On his card)  is the symbol of Cancer, meaning that when the Sun is in Pisces the Moon will be increasing in Cancer. As he stated," the Sun below the horizon, as he ever is when the Moon is increasing above." Crowley developed the idea of the Crayfish as a representation of the Dung Beetle, or Scarab, making the Scarab central to his card emphasizing the darker aspects of the Moon Key 18.

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 Ryder-Waite and Thoth Deck- The Moon card, but in the Thoth deck 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 "Sun/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 "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 both the Ryder-Waite and Thoth Moon 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.This is not implying that there is anything intrinsically evil about the Path of Qoph, as we are only experiencing the phantoms related to the density, sensuality of the Human body. The Survival portion of the animal mind, that fears pain, death and loss; fears that make nightmares in our imagination.

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" subconsciousness. 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 bodies survival based experiences. Their dreaming is filled with phantoms produced by the bodies 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,in the Thoth Deck card, symbolize this cyclic process life, death and resurrection, 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 of curved lines of energy, both above and below on the Thoth card, also reinforces this meaning.

The Two Dogs (one dog and one wolf) on the Ryder-Waite Moon card, represent the same concept, as it is understood that eventually the Crayfish must pass between the two dogs along the path and between the two desolate towers that are under the personalized Moon. Thus, the death of the body is akin to the weighing of the soul that is depicted in the Judgement or Adjustment Card.
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 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 Light0 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. We are Spirit, who is supposed to program the brain with its own soft-ware, for the purpose of experiencing the discernment of being a "living thing". Thoughts can no longer be indiscriminate mental ramblings of an fear sotted imagination. They now must support life, and expand and liberate the "living" from fear of death- based thoughts. Survival thinking is the foundation of all wars, hideous acts of violence and genocide and we, as Spirit on founded on Love based thinking. where all things are of God, and we are the Divine Child.It is time for the Will that we are,to become the operating intelligence of the body under Love. We are better than fear, hate, and the judgmental madness of survival thinking.

The Immortals, the Spiritual I AM, are here to redesign the "survival mind" of the animal body; the Me. We are the Sun's 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 Soul learns to run the physical vehicle by expanding the brain's perspectives beyond that of  life and death, into the knowledge of the Life cycles of personality construction, then deconstruction to eliminate errors and then-resurrection to enact the Wisdom learned.

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. 
  •  One 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 death, so there will be moments of lying, falsity, deception, if the card is ill dignified. 
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!


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