Symbolism in The Tarot

Symbolism In Tarot |
When starting out to read your tarot cards, of course you’ll most likely use a book to guide you or perhaps use an online ‘educational’ resource tool.

Way back in January I talked about the importance of getting to know your cards by really looking at them. What you will of course have noticed is that as well as the corresponding number to your card, it is covered with graphic symbols, some as difficult to ‘read’ as hieroglyphics!

Lets take this card by way of an example – The Moon.

Morgan Greer Tarot
Morgan Greer Tarot

What can we see as the dominant symbol here..? Of course it’s the moon, shining down full and golden in all her glory. But what else do you notice?  Let’s look at the towers , the winding pathway which leads to the mountains in the distance, the dog and the wolf baying at the moon, the pool or lake and the strange crustacean crawling from it.

But what does this mean, what symbols can we see here that are important and collectively, what do they mean for your querant (the questioner) ?

Well firstly the moon of course is a powerful symbol of the feminine principle and as the moon waxes and wanes in cycles so does a woman’s body in terms of menstrual cycles. The moon also represents the mind and the intellect, madness was often associated with the moon, hence the term lunacy. The moon also links to psychic ability but also instability too and the moon also rules the emotions. Just in that one symbol we have many aspects to discuss!

Rider Waite The Moon
Rider Waite Tarot

The dog and the wolf are representative of our wild versus tame nature and once again shows how we have ‘evolved’ from more dangerous things! This duality of nature we may often wrestle with (the beast within..?) from time to time.

The lobster or crayfish is certainly very strange as it is not something one would see every day crawling from the depths of the sea onto the land. But this strange crustaceous being is here to remind us all of our primeval beginnings in the swamp soup of evolution and demonstrates how creatures from the sea eventually walked upon the earth, transformed over centuries of evolution. In terms of the meandering path from the waters edge, through the shore side… up, up and away into unexplored territory (leaving our home or castle behind) we see we are on a metaphysical journey of self discovery.

This message here then is quite powerful. See how you can change if you examine closely the depths of your emotions or inner psyche. Look deep into your subconscious and see what lies beneath and what you might become if you follow the ‘path of enlightenment’.

Aquarian Tarot
Aquarian Tarot

Some decks will prove more challenging than others in terms of interpreting symbols. This one by the Aquarian Tarot gives very little away… so how would you work with this deck for example? Others are even more confusing sometimes and as tarot continues to evolve and more and more decks flood the market, how do you know which one is best for you?

Deviant Moon Tarot
Deviant Moon Tarot

As you move through the rest of these powerful and strange symbols you’ll realise it’s a little like being a detective. What do you see and how does this make you feel? What message is the tarot trying to bring forth?

It’s at this time that you are firmly relying on your own tuition, which of course is what this powerful and complex tarot card represents!

Whenever the Moon appears in a reading we know that challenging times may be ahead, especially in terms of the emotions, the mind and our ability to ‘see things clearly’. Confusion, distraction and even deceit is highlighted with this powerful card. What we need to focus on now is the difference between reality and fantasy, fact and fiction and use our intuition to guide us through the dark of the night to a ‘higher’ place…

Credits:

Winters Magic Deviant Art

Deviant Moon Tarot

Rider Waite Tarot

Morgan Greer Tarot

Aquarian Tarot

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