If you're a spiritual baddie who has spent some quality time with a deck of tarot cards, you've likely pulled the moon tarot card at some point. Traditionally, the moon tarot's card imagery features—you guessed it—a luminous moon, a full moon, to be exact, in the night sky. In the foreground, there's a pool of water with a lobster crawling out of it, while a nearby dog and a wolf howl at the moon.
Although the moon tarot card is not as well-known as, say, the death card, it's still a major card in its own right, literally. In case you need a tarot 101 refresher, the tarot is divided into two sections: the major and the minor arcana. The minor arcana cards focus on things happening in your daily life. Meanwhile, the major arcana, which the moon tarot card is a part of, represent life themes and usually appear when a life lesson needs to be learned, or a karmic cycle needs to be addressed, says Frances Naude, a reiki master and tarot card reader.
Furthermore, there are 22 major arcana cards, and the moon tarot card is 18, nestled right between the star (17) and the sun (19), forming a trifecta. "The star and the sun shine their light on the moon, illuminating her phases of constant change, exactly as nature intended," Naude says.
As with all tarot cards, the meaning of the moon tarot card has many layers, and it is up to the reader to interpret it in their own way. While knowing where the moon tarot card sits in the tarot card journey, the dreamy imagery, and your trusty intuition, can go a long way in helping decipher its message, sometimes it's still super helpful to learn the moon tarot card's traditional meaning in order to understand what the heck the universe is trying to communicate.
To help with that, keep reading for a breakdown of the moon tarot card's traditional meanings, including its message if it shows up in a relationship, career, health, or money reading.
The moon tarot card upright meaning
Generally, when the moon tarot card appears upright in a reading, Naude says, it is a reminder to move through change and life transitions with ease and grace rather than fear and resistance—hence why it may pop up more when you're experiencing a lot of change. "The guidance is to see our new phase as an exciting opportunity that illuminates our highest path forward and to trust in the path unknown instead of fearing it," Naude says.
The moon tarot card can also point to unresolved fears and anxieties from that past that are ready to be healed. "Instead of avoiding them, take the time to let them rise and know that you are strong enough to resolve them," Naude says. "You may like to call in the help of a healer, therapist, or any other support system who can guide you through this phase."
And lastly, the moon tarot card is a reminder to practice patience. Just like the moon moves through its own phases naturally and can't be rushed, Naude says we too must slow down and let situations unfold so we can see it clearly before making a decision.
Depending on the reader, the moon tarot card can take on a different meaning if it appears upside down, which is known as reversed. If you choose to read reversals, Naude notes that a reverse moon tarot card is a reminder to pause and check in with your intuition. "The reversed moon card may reflect that the changes you are experiencing in life feel extremely overwhelming or like they are happening too fast," she explains. "Trust that you have all the information and that you can see the situation at hand in its entirety. This transition is happening for you, not to you."
A reversed moon tarot card, Naude adds, can also indicate avoidance of certain things that are causing upheaval in your mind and energy. "The guidance here is to allow yourself to embrace all aspects of your life at the moment and know that you are going to be okay," she says. "This is just a phase, and you will move through it positively."
If the moon tarot card appears in a relationship reading, it can represent balance or lack of balance. "The guidance here is to make sure that both partners feel seen and valued for who they are and that you are both working toward the same things in your relationship," Naude says. "Understand that your relationship will change and evolve, but if it is still serving you, and you are both working equally toward the success of the relationship, let yourself enjoy all parts of it—the ups, downs, and everything in between."
"When the Moon appears in a career reading, it is likely that you are looking to make a career or position change but feel fearful about what to do or how to do it," Naude says. "The guidance is to release the fear that is keeping you trapped in a situation that is not serving you, and shift your mindset and energy to the new phase you want to move into—i.e., the new position, new job, et cetera."
In a health reading, Naude says the moon tarot card encourages you to listen to your intuition and give your body what it needs. That can be starting a different exercise regime, seeing a specific doctor or holistic practitioner, or practicing a better work/life balance. Whatever you intuitively feel your mind, body, and spirit needs, do it.
If you're worried about money, the moon tarot card is a reminder that your current situation is temporary. To open yourself up to receive more, Naude says the moon card's advice is to stay focused on what you want to know, look for hidden opportunities, and because the moon shines its light on everything, feel gratitude for all the forms of abundance in your life such, as family, friends, joy, and fresh air.
How to intuitively read the moon tarot card
All that said, if you're a tarot newbie and the traditional meanings of the moon tarot card don't resonate or just feel downright overwhelming, consider this your permission to throw it all out the window. There is no right or wrong meaning to each tarot card. Your intuition alone is more than enough to decipher the moon tarot card's, or any tarot card’s, meaning.
To do this, Naude recommends tapping into your different "clairs" of intuition (aka your psychic superpowers). The four clairs are: clairvoyance (clear seeing), claircognizance (clear knowing), clairsentience (clear feeling), and clairaudience (clear hearing). In other words, as you look at the moon tarot card, pay attention to what you see in the imagery and the story it tells you, as well as what you internally know or feel without explanation, or hear in your mind. Then use those nuggets of intel to deduce your own meaning.
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