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
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.
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
- 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
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!