Futhark Village

Tarot Major Arcana – The Moon

The Moon is ironically associated with ᛊ (Sowilo) as a Rune of of intuition. You would think that Sowilo would align more with The Sun (the next card in the Major Arcana), but like so many things in Tarot, the symbolism just isn’t the same as the symbolism of The Runes. The Moon is the card of the light in the darkness. 

There is considerable folklore about the connection between the wolf and the moon, so it is fitting that The Moon card features a dog and a wolf. The two canines are puppies, too young to be a help or a threat, but they stare at the moon, reminding us of Skoll and Hati who will devour the sun and the moon at Ragnarok. What looks like a path down the center acts more like a wall, dividing the two halves of the card. 

The crab in the foreground also gives a hint of hidden danger to this card. The wolf can see it, but the dog can’t. This is similar to the many stories in The Sagas in which a viking comes back and can perceive dangers that his farmer neighbors cannot. (In many of those stories, the dangers aren’t real; many berserks from The Sagas would be diagnosed with PTSD or a mood disorder today.) Look to the other cards in the reading to determine whether the querent is the wolf or the dog. 

The Fool’s Journey

This card represents the darkness at the end of times, just after Ragnarok. The moon is weeping in this card (and during Ragnarok she will be eaten by the wolf, Hati), just as every being wept for Baldur except Loki. This takes place before the rebirth described in The Star (the card before this in the Major Arcana).

The most common symbols on The Moon are a dog and a wolf, a crab or lobster, water, two towers, and of course the moon himself. I discussed the animals above and will discuss the water below, but the towers are an interesting symbol for this card. Towers are defensive fortifications which allow you to see farther than if you were standing on the ground, and therefore could represent both ᛉ and ᛊ (Algiz and Sowilo) as Runes of defense and sight respectively. 

Water is an oft-overlooked symbol in The Moon card. This is understandable, given that Pamela Coleman Smith didn’t pay much attention to it in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck on which most Tarot decks are based, but some artists really did. The woman in the Darkwood Tarot (Left) looks like she is floating, but only her feet and hair are in the water. 

The Modern Witch Tarot shows women wearing dog- and wolf-masks, with a shadow coming up behind them from the water. They adopt the characteristics of animals, but still miss the evil behind them. This card is a warning that no matter how in tune you are with nature, you are still only human and therefore still subject to human failings. Trust your intuition, and still be careful.