THE MOON you will die

Placement: The Major Arcana


We find ourselves once again at the lake or river or overgrown puddle that features in many of these cards. Temperance Angel and The Star have gone off to do whatever water pouring enthusiasts do during their time off, though perhaps they have been frightened away by the wolf and the dog who have come to howl at The Moon.

A road travels from the edge of the water up beyond a pair of square towers. A scorpion, lobster or perhaps even a mutated crayfish climbs out of the water onto that road. The Moon itself looks down upon the wolf and the dog and the towers and the road and the water and the scorpion, (or lobster or mutated crayfish) frowning.

The Moon didn’t ask the wolf and the dog to howl at her. It’s disrespectful and there’s no way to respond politely other than to keep quiet and maybe approach her supervisor The Sun about it later. Maybe she shouldn’t bother being polite. They are the ones out of line. Later, she will think of something perfect to say to quiet them, and she will kick herself (as best as a legless celestial body can) for not having thought of it sooner.


Right side up:

The Moon card tells us that things are not as they appear. Maybe the wolf and the dog are werewolves and The Moon is disappointed that she turned them once again to prey on more victims. Maybe the creature in the water is neither scorpion nor lobster nor mutated crayfish but imitation crab meat packed together in such a way that you could swear it were the genuine article.

This card can refer to successful dreaming, the kind that inspires us with endless possibilities, a realm in which your mind can truly play. Play? Wait, you remember something about playing something… There was a beta test for a virtual… OH MY GOD YOU’RE STILL IN THE GAME!


Upside down:

The Moon reversed is the chaos of an over-stimulated mind. The ten percent of your brain* that you use will be cranked up to eleven without your permission or control. Everything is a metaphor and a portent and it all links up together in one enormous plan from forces unknown that are coming to get you. Everyone stares as you voice your concerns out loud. Wait, did you say them out loud? Maybe you didn’t. Maybe they can read your mind.

Lycanthropy. Every full moon you turn into a wolf and slaughter livestock and villagers. You wish you wouldn’t. You have little to no control over the howling beast that you become, and the destruction that results from those nights gnaw at your conscience. Finally, the villagers uncover your identity, hunt you down like… well… a dog, and shoot you will a silver bullet that has been soaked overnight in holy water and then dried out with the fires of votive candles. You are, as they say, pooched.

However, The Moon reversed may also indicate a lack of imagination. You will have nothing more to say, and disappoint any reader by rambling on pointlessly with no satisfying end: a shaggy dog story.


*The notion that human beings use only ten percent of the brain is apparently a myth perpetuated by the media, like the lunar landing or the nonexistence of werewolves.


Classic The Moon deaths:

  • Werewolves
  • Zombies
  • Surprise tidal wave
  • Sleepwalking into a welcoming set of pincers
  • The moonlight exposing you to your enemies as you try to sneak away