The Man in the Moon looks very contemplative in this image. Inverted, we see him as a waning crescent, the phase between the Full Moon and the Third Quarter, a time for “letting go, clearing away, cleansing, releasing, shedding old patterns, undoing bindings, opening up problem-knots, making space.” We associate the Moon with the tides and night. And the Moon card has some strong interactions with the suit of Cups (the water element), especially with the emotionally-packed 5 and 7. Inverted cards are open to so many interpretations, many of them contradictory. Add the dreamy, mystic layer of the Moon, and these interpretations can either deny or embrace the fantastic.
In the denial camp, this can indicate a need to cling to the rational and practical world. If you can’t touch it, it doesn’t exist. If it isn’t logical, it’s not worth trying to understand it. This mindset might take some effort now, especially if you are confronted by something irrational, other-worldly, or paranormal. This might be a feeling you can’t shake, but can’t believe is true (like a deceased loved one who sends you a message through a dream). It might drain you psychically to fight for the conventional.
On the other hand, you might dive into these experiences with certainty. You might actually find comfort in mystery, knowing there are energies and beings working just outside normal perception. This can represent emerging psychic gifts, or the calm necessary to deal with issues surrounding trauma, madness, or addiction.
The upright card is hard to pin down, and its inversion can be even trickier. Carefully note the other cards in the spread, and take your time with the interpretation. This might be one of those readings you photograph, take notes on, and ponder for some time. It could be as simple as setting a timeline based on the waning moon, or it could be a gateway into a parallel world.
The Moon tends to obscure the surrounding cards, and its interpretation depends largely on the question asked, and the surrounding cards.
Magician: The Moon and the Magician (Magus or Cobbler in other decks) in combination, represent a con man. Keep an eye out for trickery or deception.
High Priestess: The Moon and the High Priestess in combination, indicate the need to focus on intuitive and internal work or experiences.
Hierophant: The Moon and the Hierophant in combination, suggest there may be a misuse of power, deception, or spiritual manipulation present in the situation.
Lovers: If the Moon comes before the Lovers, it suggests the end of a love affair through deception or lies, or an illusion of love which ends abruptly.
Chariot: If the Moon comes before the Chariot, there will be a scandal or sickness. This influence is weakened if the Moon is inverted. If the Moon comes after the Chariot, a secret will come to light.
Justice: The Moon and the Justice in combination, are strongly malign and indicate deceit, injustice, and secrets or withheld information that might have some bearing on the situation.
Death: If the Moon comes before the Death card, it denotes loss as a result of slander. If both of these cards are inverted, the truth will be revealed.
Devil: The Moon and the Devil in combination, are strongly malign and indicate the need to focus on physical work or experiences. Also watch for secrets or withheld information that might have some bearing on the situation.
Tower: The Moon and the Tower in combination, are strongly malign and indicate deceit, injustice, and secrets or withheld information that might have some bearing on the situation.
7 of Rods: The Moon and the 7 of Rods (Wands, Staves, or Clubs in other decks) in combination, indicate the need to focus on physical work or experiences. Also watch for secrets or withheld information that might have some bearing on the situation.
7 of Cups: The Moon and the 7 of Cups (Hearts in other decks) in combination, represent confusion or living in a fantasy world.
5 of Cups: The Moon and the 5 of Cups (Hearts in other decks) in combination, are an indication to watch for extreme or unhealthy lengths of depression, especially as related to mourning a loss.
3 of Swords: The Moon and the 3 of Swords (Spades in other decks) in combination, indicate the need to focus on physical work or experiences. Also watch for secrets or withheld information that might have some bearing on the situation.
The Major Arcana
The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana tend to hold the big lessons. These cards carry powerful messages. If you are reading a spread of cards, watch for the Major Arcana. If your spread contains more than 30% Major Arcana, you are in the midst of something big, or beyond your control. If most of the cards in the spread are from the Major Arcana, you might be trying to exert too much control. You might have trouble expressing your feelings, or you might be near your breaking point. A spread without any Major Arcana cards could indicate you are hiding from the truth of the issue, or are in some deep distress. If this is the case, it is important to find someone you can trust to guide you through this period of time. In a spread, focus most of your attention on the Major Arcana. The other cards will be useful for clarifying the situation.
The Number — 18, which resolves to 9
Nine represents completion, solitude, and protection.
There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:
- Blocked or Resisted
- Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
- Inner, Unconscious, Private
- New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
- Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
- The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
- Misused or Misdirected
- The Upright Meaning Backward
- A Rectification or Cure
- Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous