The Thoth Tarot-Key 18-The Moon & The SpellCaster's Tarot-Key 18- Moon:
The Moon is the Qabalistic Tree of Life Path of Qoph.
- Primary path color: Crimson (ultra-violet)
- Musical note: B natural
- Astrological sign: Pisces (Mutable water)
- Symbol of meaning: Back of head, ear.
- Simple letter: Sleep
Qabalistic esoteric title: The Ruler of Flux and Re-flux. The Child of the Sons of the Mighty.
From theThirty Two Paths of Wisdom (Dr.Paul Foster Case):
Twenty-ninth Path is the Corporeal Intelligence, so-called because it
forms every body which is formed beneath the whole set of worlds and the
increment of them.
The Path of Qoph or Qof, of the Hermetic Qabalah connects the 7th Sephiroth-Netzach/ Victory with The Kingdom -the 10th Sephiroth-Malkuth and is described as the "Victory of the Material World" but also as the"deceptive effect of the apparent power of Material Forces".This
is spiritual rebirth and/or resurrection. As we incarnate, it is the
first stage of the Soul's organization of the physical body that it will
inhabit (often done in the womb). It is a form of "sleep", a
pre-consciousness (that precedes the waking consciousness)
differentiating into physical matter from the collective
elemental unconscious of Netzach.
The Moon Tarot card is represented in "every form Sinister"
because of the limited sight of the Survival mind of the Dark
unconscious, a well-spring of deception, illusion, and in the
extreme, lunacy. On the Thoth card, we see a sinister landscape above
the Water of the Unconscious; watered by a stream (or path) of
serum(semen) tinged with blood, which flows between the gaps of two
barren mountains. Nine drops of impure blood or menstrual blood shaped
like Yods (meaning-hand) represent self-sustaining primal points
of matter formation and/or sexual energy or sexual love, fall on the
Also, in terms of the spiritually developing individual self conscious
it is the conquest of the phantoms reflected from the material world of
the Self-Conscious Survival Mind into the Unconscious Mind of
Imagination. The Qabalistic lodge of the Golden Dawn, described these
phantoms as, "The Child of the Sons of the Mighty"
which simply means the "creations of the Created"
This is a watery path of probation, where the student must face and
conquer the phantoms of their own deep unconscious as well as those of
the race in which they are born. It can be a terrible and frightening Path,
not only of stunning illusions but of real dangers to the emotional
stability of those who have not built up enough inner strength (inner
virtue--often called "Character") to handle this experience. However,
when we slay the "monsters within" the deep recesses of our
sleep-consciousness (sub-conscious), and understand their mechanisms, we
gain the capacity to manipulate those qualities in ourselves as well as
in others. This ability is often called "Witch craft", however, it is
also the ability of a good therapist, doctor or healer.
The Path of Qoph or Qof,
is an inner primitive path of raw animal nature; of instincts (survival
mind), uncontrolled passions, and emotions of nature that are both "red in tooth and claw"
are not subject to intellectual, moral or ethical considerations. This
Path shows us predatory survival aspects of ourselves which society
forces us to repress but which are an integral and undeniable part of
our human being. To be whole, we must approach this Path with our Whole
Being, applying reason, rather than fear, to that which we encounter. Just remember, what is encountered on this path are "creations of the created", as
we apply feeling to that which is encountered on this Path of
In the Thoth Tarot, Key 18-THE MOON
there are two images of the Guardians of the Gate who are the Ra Kings
of ancient Egypt. These are the Sun gods who protect our life force and
energy as we change and reclaim our authentic selves.
(represent the Egyptian deity Anubis) remind us that we must let go of
the old in order to go through the gates into new experiences. The Moon
card also shows Anubis in both forms, of the Dark nether realms of Death
and the light realms of resurrection and is a very complex deity of
lunar opposites. However, one way or the other, birth, death and
resurrection are pivotal concepts on the Path of the Moon. These are
biological processes and they occur in the dark Unconscious and light of
consciousness, championed by our sensual perceptions that are tainted with the concepts of good and bad.
The Egyptian scarab
, represents Khepri,
the Egyptian God of Transformation, i.e. "He who becomes". This dung
beetle and/or scarab, rolls the ball of the sun, pushing it into the
Other World in the evening and over the horizon into the morning. For
the ancient Egyptian, the scarab-beetle-god represented the rising sun
and symbolized the renewal of life and the idea of eternal existence.
Not unlike our own knowledge of eternal existence in the first law of
thermodynamics ( There is only one energy that can't be created nor
destroyed; only transformed).
The SpellCaster's Tarot, also depicts 2
guardians of the Gate Way to Life and Death, shown as a one dog and one Wolf, both howling at the full Moon. Behind the Full Moon are the Ray's of the Sun; Therefore, we have a Sun and
Moon, depiction just as we have on the Thoth card, albeit
without a scarab. Out of the dark pool, crawls a crawdad, with a golden ankh, imprinted on it's back. The Crawdad or Crayfish, is an ancient symbol used to imply reincarnation, as it sheds it's outer shell, to gain size. Here again, The Moon Tarot reminds us that Death begets life.
One is reminded that this is a watery path of probation, by the rain drops falling from the Moon. The images of Moon phases are shown atop the twin towers that form the Gate to Life and Death, of illusion and reality. This SpellCaster's Tarot card is a more modern version of the Rider-Waite-Smith decks.
The Moon is not only the astrological representative of the water-sign Pisces but is also the universal feminine principle of magnetism.
The magnetic influence of flux and re-flux help us to see the inherent
power of our receptive nature; to open, expand, yield, and totally
express our full power and nature, like the Moon. The Moon reflects back
to us the mystery of who we are and of our changing phases of our happy
light side and our fearful dark side. The Reclamation of our Authentic Self or Real Person requires
that we open, receive and go-inward. Moon like, it is essential to
reveal ourselves without holding back or censoring ourselves in anyway (
Of this I am profoundly accused of!).
The traditional two fish of Pisces
are symbolized here as the Anubi gate guardians, and represent the Pisces commitment to evolutionary transformation. To me as a practicing
Magus, this is the gateway to the "other side of the Mirror".....The
non- Son/Sun-reflected-subjective side of my Dark Psyche where my
dark- warrior champion exists, basking in the fact he has destroyed his
enemies...For are we not all, Shakti the Lover of Life and Shiva the
Destroyer? Nevertheless, because the Soul of me fears him not, he of
magnificent darkness and I of the Bright Sun, have had long and
meaningful talks and have become friends who listen to the Great She,
together, as one who is both Husband of the light and darkness.
Dark Warrior has donned Golden Armor, and becomes Shepard of Her forms
The Moon- of the Tarot, is the 18th Key of the Major Arcana or Trump and as stated:
is 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.
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.
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
self-conscious or "man-made" personality which are creations of the created.
Therefore the path of Qoph, 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.
This probationary path of emotional phantoms
can be disturbing to those of weak moral fiber who lack discernment and
can pose real dangers to one's emotional stability. On the other hand,
those of discerning minds are strong enough to tread this Path
and slay the monsters "within" our sleep-consciousness and understand
their mechanisms, therefore gaining the capacity to manipulate those
qualities in ourselves and those of others. Mastery of Illusion is a product of this path.
Since the meaning of the Hebrew word-Qoph or Qof, is the back of the head, behind the head itself, it also represents the Sun- or Resh
in Hebrew. 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 Thoth Moon card goes from the dark
side of the Moon, towards the light side that reflects direct Sun-light. The Sun behind the Moon, image on the SpellCaster's card, shows this back of the head connection to Resh.
Basically, the Moon
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.
The Moon card is veiled by illusion and those
illusions must be understood in order for the Prodigal Soul, who lives in the Moon's shadow, to claim its
Rich Universal Inheritance from the Proton Sun of the Galactic Core.
The simple Hebrew
letter of Qoph or Qof, translates into the English word, sleep.
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
Psyche. For 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. Therefore this is often a card of
impure horror and hidden darkness that our self-conscious must pass
through before our conscious-light can be reborn.
In Thoth Tarot of the Hermetic Qabalah,
HIGH PRIESTESS-Key 2, is a source of pure, crystal clear waters
(consciousness) emerging from the God Head-The Father and/or the Central Galactic Core Photon Sun, to God the
Son/Sun, the Bright Intellect. The Same waters of consciousness are seen here on The Moon
card, but they are polluted, on the Thoth card, with the dark subconscious fears of
mortality, that self-conscious physical manifestation bestows on
consciousness in a world where "life eats itself to stay alive".
However, as I have stated before, the traveling up the Path of Qoph,
towards the "Son/Sun Consciousness" of Tiphareth, notably changes the body physiology, as the Bright Beautiful Light Intellect of the Sun
(Tiphareth) descends into it. Hence, when traveling up the inner Path
of Qoph, the Personality becomes increasing aware of the Higher Self and
less controlled by the dark survival fears of the body. This traveling
conscious- energy process is shown on the Thoth Moon Card as cyclic
wave motion, as a pattern of both above and below, linked by the Beetle
of the Sun. In the simplest of terms, this is a Path of natural energy
from which our bodies develop in the Womb and is continual process
throughout our lives as cells live, die and resurrect-replace in daily
life. The work of the Path of Qoph ends with the dissolution of energy
back to its source, which is Netzach (victory).
As before stated: 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 Thoth Tarot Moon- card
(Down from Tiphareth) and from the SpellCaster's Full Moon. 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. However, what most Qabalistic
Scholars agree on is that something descends from the Moon to the Earth
on the Path of Qoph, which is represented as raining Yods
on the Thoth Tarot or water droplets raining down from the SpellCaster's Moon.
Since 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, "Moon Dogs" or a dog and a Wolf,
are often presented to represent this controlling fact of Instinctual
mind, one wild and one domesticated by culture. Making our instinctual mind confused and unclear. 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 Master predator 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 and great love to our "animal self".
Therefore, the Moon Tarot Card-Key 18 represents:
The universal principle of Choice and Authenticity.
This has been called one of the Karma Cards ( work that needs to be done).
Ultimately, we have a daily
choice between supporting our authentic or Real Self or our dutiful
man-made self. There is the Real which is the Spiritual Being or
Soul and then there is reality, the "self-reflection and/or
indoctrinated identity that we call our ego or personality or
self-conscious. In other words, the Psyche and its simulation as the personality. The personality is a simulation of the union of the Sun and the Moon. The "Mind of the Moon", is choked full of "negative emotional self
identities" as well as, fears of being preyed on by "others"; the Mind of the Sun, is of quanta origin and is immortal and fearless. Hence, these
fears of being "preyed on" are also well represented as
The Tarot Moon, therefore reminds us of the illusions of the survival mind. If you as an individual knows
that everyone you see is another way of being you; you are basking in
the Real Sun/Son light of divine self-awareness. If you see everyone as
enemy or friend, you suffer from reality blindness brought on by the
survival mind of the animal that you should own but now owns you because
reactions to the blindfold imposed darkness of "good and bad" thought that now rule your sensuality. Such as,
fear of pain, fear of discomfort, fear of vulnerability, fear of
rejection; All of which come from the animal thought of "fear of being eaten", which is also called fear of death.
The Moon is a card
representing illusion and reminds us that the illusion imposed on our
consciousness by the senses. For senses are all psychosomatic, meaning
that not everyone has imagined the same sensual experience from the same
environments; in other words they are not scientific proof. According to Qabalistic doctrine,
the body is only 1% of us, and its purpose is to intimately
define thought . In other words to aid our creative psyche in
discernment so that Self-Awareness becomes a ever expansive and
liberating motion in life rather than a Faustian fantasy of death.
Dreams are another attribute of the Moon. Dancing with ones nightmares, disarms any fear associated with them. Hence, becoming a Lucid dreamer, who transforms their dreams, is part of this Path of Qoph.
In the Qabalah
Reality is defined as trans-formative, the Real is the One who
Transforms but is not the transformation itself. You may also see the
Scarab beetle on the bottom of the Thoth card. This is the symbol of the
Egyptian god Khepri, the god of transformations. The Crayfish, is also a symbolic god of transformations and by placing the Ankh on its back, the SpellCaster's Tarot succeeds in linking the crayfish with the scarab.
understanding of this inner- path, represented as the Moon Tarot Card, is to understand the relationship of our
personality-consciousness to the physical power-tool built for each
incarnation-our body. The Moon Card
is a reminder that most people/souls, become so attached to fear, that during the cyclic phase of
withdrawal of consciousness from the physical Power-Tool, continue to
act on information and phantasmagorical fantasies related to survival
subconscious, or "group animal Soul" of body existence. If not released,
the sleeping soul-consciousness becomes a phantom of its own fantasies
that are so close to the fabric of material manifestation that they are
often seen as phantasms or as ghosts.
In the Thoth illustration,
the Scarab is rolling the Sun across the horizon, into the
"other-world" of the evening and this world at the dawn. This motion
represents the renewal of life and the Real eternal existence which is
invisible and thus called dark.
The Moon in astrology
is considered a Planet, most Universal, as She is partaking of both the
highest and lowest, as well as filling the space between. In other
words, the Moon waxes and wanes. In her highest point (Elaine the Moon Goddess) the Moon acts as a link between the human and the Divine. In her lowest avatar (the goddess Tabu)
where she is waning, she joins the earthly spheres of Netzack (victory)
with Malkuth (kingdom) culminating in the matter of all superior forms.
Many of us know that a Waning moon
is attributed to witchcraft, sorcery and abominable deeds which is a
superstitious way of defining the poisoned darkness of Winter, that is
the condition before the rebirth of light in the spring. However, there
is also a poisoned darkness in our deep subconscious. Here thoughts of
fear, loathing and hate putrefy without the light of conscious
Looking back at the Thoth Moon Tarot Card,
we see two dark towers, representing the "unknown" that so disturbs the
unconscious. As stated:Guarding these towers are the images of the
jackal god of Kem
who is the watcher in the
twilight. Thus both the threshold of Life and the threshold of Death,
are depicted here. Hence, to some, this Path of Qoph
, is all a
journey of great fear, that demands monumental courage from the
adept-traveler; a "dark night of the soul" where all is doubtful, all is
mysterious and intoxicating. Not the intoxication of Ecstatic Dionysus,
but that of dreadful madness caused by pernicious drugs.The Venom of
the Moon has placed a drunkenness on the mind; a lunacy that seems
However, the adepts of the Hermetic Qabalah,
do not fear this night, no matter what horrors may afflict the
soul,whatever abominations may excite heart loathing, whatever terrors
may gibber in the mind, the answer is the same at every stage:"How splendid is the Adventure!"
the Dark Goddess is the Real Lady, while the Light Goddess, is "The
Real Lady, dressed in veils". True love does not balk at darkness.
We would all best remember,
that the Moon reflects the Light of the Sun as the consciousness
reflects the thoughts of the unconscious. The seemingly harmless
self-absorbed thoughts of the consciousness, become reflected in the dark
emotions of the unconscious and the body becomes "insane" with
destructive perversions.....not a great scenario for enlightenment...
unless you begin to understand that survival thinking must be replaced
by the Knowledge of the Immortal Soul.
In this world of cause and effect, to know pain, is
to know pleasure and darkness cannot be seen without the knowledge of
light. Knowing this, the student doesn't fear their inner darkness of
shadowy emotions, they just bring in the light, as the Hermit strides
through the Night with his lantern glowing and as the Moon spins
through darkness, ever growing closer to the Sun. The Moon card reminds
us to face our inner demons with the Divine Daemon (God-man) of the
Soul, since all shadows disappear in the light. It is through the gates
of fearful but voluntary personality- death, that we find our "True
When the Qabalistic Tarot- Moon card is thrown:
The querent is reminded that they are functioning in the realm of the
unconscious where they become aware that reality is a dream, that
time/space and physical bodies are merely conceptions, and therefore
deep cellular change is possible.
- Often this is the
Shamanic call to enter into the darkness of unconscious desires and
fears so that you may transform them into functional motion rather than
- Dissatisfaction, voluntary change ( involuntary change is usually death).
- There are issues in the life of the querent that are of error, lying, falsity, deception; it is a time to watch motives.
- The querent must drop denial, self-deception, delusions in order to claim their own authenticity.
here is the waxing and waning of phases where one begins the process of
self-examination that will eventually arise as authoritative states of
- The Greeks called this Mental path, "the Path of Childbirth", a time of renewal.
- 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.
18 weeks or 18 months the querent must take control of the survival
mind and expand it beyond its fear based perspectives.
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 life and death, so there will be moments of lying, falsity, deception, if the card is ill dignified.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!