XVIII: The Moon

An initial description:

A woman sleeps in a bed. She has blonde curly hair, and her face is untroubled. Her hands rest on top of the blankets; her sleeves are white with gold doodles and spirals. Her garment appears to be a fancy dress, it is white with gold trimming. At her feet sleeps a black cat. The headboard has the phases of the moon cut out, and the bed is wrapped in vines. Above her on the wall hangs a tapestry of a castle on an island surrounded by mountains and clouds with a bird. To her left is a window with wooden shutters that are open. Moonlight pours in and illuminates the vines that are creeping into the room.

Preliminary meanings:

The moon card represents dreaming and the power we gain from our dreams. The subconscious comes into play as we dream, and this is our mind’s best opportunity to make contact with our waking self, to let us know our true desires and needs.

The basic fairy tale from once upon a fairy tale (Sleeping Beauty):

The king and queen only invited 12 out of 13 fairies to celebrate the princess’ birth. The fairies all gave her gifts, but the 13th fairy cursed her to die at 15. The last fairy turned death into a 100 year sleep, and all the spindles were destroyed. One day she wandered through the castle when her parents were gone, and the witch tricked her and she fell asleep, as did everyone else in the castle. After a long time a prince decided to come and rescue her. He kissed her, and everyone woke up.

personal significance:

Sometimes the dream world holds far more power than the waking world. The idea of falling asleep, and living in a dream world for years is appealing, but the reality is that everyone must wake up and face life as it truly is.

book symbolism, etc:

The room symbolizes the capture of the mind in an inner exploration. “The moon reinforces the cycle of life, its fullness illuminating the dark recesses of the mind and connecting us with our past influences and future hopes” (page 71). This card represents going within to examine our inner minds and dreams to prepare for the next step.

variations of Sleeping Beauty:

– Sun, Moon, and Talia (Italian)-

A king had a beautiful daughter, and it was foretold that she would die from a splinter from a flax. When she was grown that very thing happened. and her father had her placed on a throne and shut up the house. A king was nearby hunting several years later, and came in to retrieve his falcon. Finding her there, he got hot and bothered and took her to a bed and slept with her. 9 months later she had two children, sun and moon. He began to wonder about her and came back, finding the children. His wife got suspicious and sent for the children, which she commanded to be killed and served to the King. The cook hid them. She then sent for Talia, then tried to set her on fire. The king comes in time, and has her burnt instead, and marries Talia, living happily with his children.


-The Petrified Mansion (India)-

A prince once found a mansion in which all of the people and animals were petrified. As he turned to leave, he noticed a door ajar, and in the room, on a bed of gold, he found a beautiful woman. He picked up a bar of gold near her head and accidentally tapped her on it, waking her. This woke everyone who was petrified (by a silver stick). He marries the girl and brings her home, where his parents are dying. He taps them on the head with the gold bar and they become healthy and live a long life.

Traditional meanings of the Moon (From Gray’s book):

“The moon will lead him along the rugged path, past the towers, to the final heights of attainment, if he will be guided by her reflected light and listen to the voice of his subconscious.” page 54. This card represents sleep & dreams, and is a step along the journey of one step forward, two steps back, then another forward. It signifies intuition, imagination, and deception. Reversed is do not take any risks.


Sleeping Beauty is traversing the path until it is stopped suddenly. After a long period of dreams and sleep, she wakens, moving forward towards the top.

The Moon (From Journey of the hero):

This is the last stage of the underworld, or the dangerous return. This is the point of greatest danger, for one mistake can destroy all that has been achieved thus far. This card represents darkness, and the deep exploration of the inner spaces. The hero must recognize that his goal lies behind the darkness, and refuse the temptations of the ego. Most of all, this card stands for the deepest exploration of our inner nature; our unconscious. The archetype is the night, and represents insecurity and fears.

Related to the The Moon:

“One mistake can destroy all;” this sums up how they are related fairly well. Through her foolishness Sleeping Beauty falls asleep, and all of her progress in life is halted.

Meditation/writing jump off:

 Sometimes a reprieve is necessary; a period of time that allows one to reset and begin once more where one left off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *